Sport

Miracle on the greyhound track

By Aydin Payne

It was all too easy for Shepparton greyhound owners Marcia and Bob Greig when their dog Too Easy Jack claimed an unbelievable victory during the week.

Too Easy Jack defied the odds, literally, to take out Tuesday night's President's Cup Final at Horsham in a star-studded field.

Ranked as an outsider - Too Easy Jack was doing the rounds at 40/1 - before crossing the line at $27.40 and claimed the $15 000 prize.

But it was the fashion in which Too Easy Jack took out the 485 m race that has many calling it a miracle.

After jumping poorly, the winner trailed the field heading into the bend, but just like famous speed skater Steven Bradbury at the 2002 Winter Olympics, carnage allowed for the delivery of the miracle.

The leading runners, consisting group one runners, were checked and tumbled out of the lead, allowing an opening for Too Easy Jack to dash from last position to first and claim glory. 

"It was so unexpected, we were both jumping around," Mrs Greig, 70, said.

"It was like that Olympian, Steven Bradbury, all the leaders fell over and the opening came and he took his chance.

"We watched it six or seven times again after the race to actually believe that it had happened."

Too Easy Jack was close to not even producing the memorable win after finishing the qualifying heats in third position.

As first reserve for the final, Too Easy Jack entered the fray after a scratching from box two - a desired box for the runner.

"When he got box two, we thought he might be a chance here because he likes to get to the rail early on," Mr Greig, 74, said.

"He was doing everything right, probably a bit slow out, but he put in one hell of a showing and ended up winning by four lengths."

But there is a heart warming and touching story behind the greyhound being dubbed 'Steven Bradbury' after his heroics in the President's Cup.

The couple named the match winner after grandson Jack, who was killed in a car accident 2 1/2 years ago.

There was nothing that was too hard for Jack, hence why he always answered "too easy" to a question.

"Whenever you asked Jack anything he would say, 'too easy' and that's how we named the dog," Mrs Greig said.

Despite his passing, Jack lives on in the family through Too Easy Jack, with the miracle winner bringing the family closer than ever before.

"Every time we watch Jack race, whether it's here or Sandown or Horsham, we are always reminded of Jack," Mrs Greig said.

"The beauty of it, Too Easy Jack is connecting the family, we always contact our sons to say when he's racing. 

"He (Too Easy Jack) is keeping Jack in the family even more now.

"To have him (Jack) back in our life in a different way is amazing."

Mr Greig, who has been involved with greyhounds for more than 30 years, was quick to thank local Harston trainer Tony Duncan for his role in producing the miracle win.

"Tony's done a magnificent job for us," he said.

"After the race, he got on the phone to me straight away and he was yelling and screaming. It meant a lot to him.

"He's a great bloke, he looks after the dogs and we couldn't be happier with him."