Pat To Stop – Petite Flossie litter

Six dogs, two bitches, Whelped October 1988

Inductee Hall of Fame 2020

In a Hall of Fame first, 2020 sees the induction of arguably the most successful litter in Tasmanian greyhounds. From extremely humble beginnings, and from a mating that was never really meant to be, seven of the eight born raced, and their combined achievements were off the scale.

The mighty Pat to Stop wins the Johnson Puppy

Pat To Stop was a magnificent chaser that had 90 starts between June 1985 and November 1987. Part owned and trained by Rod Baker, then later trained by Keith Gillie, this fawn son of Dashing Disco – Carletta’s Choice won 34 races, with 24 seconds and 14 thirds. He won a Breeders Classic, Easter Cup and Ansett Cup; ran 2nd in back to back Devonport Cup Finals, and third in back to back Launceston Cup Finals. A mighty beast and super honest! When a hock injury ended his racing days, Pat To Stop ended up with another part-owner and greyhound mentor Joey Sherriff from Lilydale, 27 km northeast of Launceston.

Sometime later, Sherriff rang Southern breeder and mate Barry Heawood, to see if he had a broodbitch available to breed a litter to the great dog. The only bitch suitable for breeding (a task Barry had no intention of performing) was Petite Flossie, a nearly two years retired “pet” known as Jenny. She was the treasured pup, his then-wife Juliet, had picked when born and had nurtured back from the brink, after contracting distemper, which had left her temporarily blind. As a racer, Petite Flossie was trained by Barry’s uncle, Bert Heawood at George Town. In a career spanning 51 starts, Flossie won 9 races with 14 placings, with wins from 340 meters to 722 metres; the latter victory over the mighty stayer Eskimo Chevaux. But, she was somewhat of a tricky chaser, and before Joey’s call, would almost certainly remain a pet only. Nevertheless, an agreement was reached to breed, but because of Juliet’s great fondness for Flossie, the litter were to be raised at Barry and Juliet’s Sorell property at 21 Tasman Highway.

Some of the litter as puppies

In October 1988, a litter of 8 pups were whelped, bearing 6 dogs and 2 bitches. This basically “random” litter that fate brought about, almost ended as quickly as it started. Two days post whelping, Petite Flossie died of a suspected brain tumour. As a result, Barry and Juliet were forced to bottle feed and nurture all eight in a heated whelping box, set up inside their house. Amazingly, at no stage did the pups look or act unhealthy, and when eating without assistance, were like any normal litter. At about four months old, three dogs and a bitch went north to Joey Sherriff, and the other three dogs and a bitch stayed with the Heawoods.

So where did they go to for racing purposes? Joey kept two red brindle dogs, Talkaman and Lilydale Lad, and the only dud of the litter, the unraced bitch Plain Lily; which Joey claims had more trainers than starts. His other red brindle dog was sold to friend and fellow Lilydale trainer Noelene Garwood, which she named Pat Michael. Barry and Juliet kept the red brindle bitch Jenny’s Legacy, and a light fawn dog Pat To Shout. They went to close friend and now Hall of Fame trainer John Cameron at Tea Tree, and raced under the ownership of the OLD BODS Syndicate; BODS aptly representing an old bunch of drunks! Bert Heawood, who had trained Jenny, was given the red brindle dog Shy Toby, and a red fawn dog named Friendly Flyer. Racing in the ownership of Bert and his son Darren, they may rate as two of the greatest giveaways of all time.

From March 1990 until late 1992 (late 1993 in Friendly Flyer’s case) six of the seven that raced were quite brilliant, with Pat To Shout more than adequate. Collectively, they raced 460 times for 140 wins (30%), 90 2nds (20%) and 84 3rds (18%). They accumulated just shy of $160,000 in stake money, won a multitude of Finals, often with three or four of the litter making the same Final, and owned two Track Records. Let’s take a closer look at these remarkable siblings.

Star chaser Friendly Flyer winning at Olympic Park

Friendly Flyer was the hardiest and most prolific winner, and stiff not to secure one of the big three Tasmanian Classics (which three of the others did achieve).  He raced 89 times for 45 wins, 17 seconds and 8 thirds, and made so many Finals, with many heat and semi victories, but was continually unlucky on the big occasions.

His only actual feature win was the 1990 Johnson Puppy, also winning his heat. He ran 3rd to Shy Toby in the 1990 Gold Collar despite breaking the 522-metre Track Record in his Heat, at only his eighth start. Shy Toby also beat him into 2nd place in an Easter Purse Final, and a Young Star Classic Final after winning a Heat. He was 5th in a Hobart Breeders Final after winning the Heat and Semi and was 2nd in a Devonport Breeders Final after a heat win and Semi 2nd. Four of the litter made that Final behind Silverdome. Another brother Pat Michael also ran him into 3rd spot in Devonport Show Cup.

In 1991 Bert sent the brothers to Kelvin Greenough for a taste of the big time. This great chaser had 17 starts over 3 months and won 6 with 4 seconds. His three Olympic Park wins included a win in his Victorian Heat of the 1991 National Sprint, before 5th in the Final. He also won 2 at Sandown and one at Bendigo.

Friendly Flyer did make “the Big Three”. After a Heat win and Semi 3rd, he was evens favourite but only 7th in the 1991 Devonport Cup. He also won a Cup Heat at Devonport in 1992. The Flyer was 7/4 favourite and 5th in the 1991 Launceston Cup, after his Heat win and Semi 2nd. The Hobart Thousand also eluded him. He was 2/1 in the 1991 Final following Heat and Semi wins but wound up 6th to his mighty sister, Jenny’s Legacy. Nonetheless, Friendly Flyer was voted the 1991 Tasmanian Greyhound of the Year.

Bert and Darren Heawood with the brilliant Shy Toby

Shy Toby was less resilient than Friendly Flyer, but after a blazing start to his career, winning his first 6, and 8 of his first 10, was able to nail four feature Finals. Toby raced 59 times, 19 wins, 15 seconds and 11 thirds. His career started on April 6, 1990, with a Heat win of the Easter Purse at White City, then a Final win over Friendly Flyer. He snuck into the 1990 Gold Collar Final after an unlucky Heat 5th, but smashed the Final and two of his siblings, making it 7 wins from his initial 8 starts. A Breeders Semi victory at Hobart was followed by a Final 3rd to Stormy Dale, three other siblings making that Final.

This turbo-charged start to his career continued with a Heat and Final victory in the 1990 Young Star Classic at Hobart. Brothers Friendly Flyer and Pat Michael filled the placings. The Devonport Breeders came next, and after winning his Heat and Semi, was 4th in Silverdome’s Final. Three other brothers ran 2nd, 3rd and 5th. His greatest triumph came in January 1991. A last to 2nd Heat of the 1991 Devonport Cup, was followed by an all the way Semi win over brother Lilydale lad in a best of day 25.78. In a tightly contested Final, this star chaser prevailed by a mere ½ head from brother Pat Michael, Lilydale Lad running 6th.

Like his brother, in 1991 Shy Toby had 11 starts for Kelvin Greenough in Victoria which saw him victorious at Traralgon, Bendigo and Ballarat, as well as a 2nd and 2 3rds.

He was highly competitive at the elite level for all of his career, but his loftiest heights were early on. He still ran 2nd in a Heat, and 4th in a Semi of the 1991 Launceston Cup. He was 3rd in a heat, 2nd in a Semi, then 7th in his sister Jenny’s Legacy’s 1991 Hobart Thousand Final. He made the Final of the 1992 Devonport Cup, but was unable to defend his title, finishing 7th to Worthy Gain. Towards career end, he nearly struck gold again. He ran a Heat 3rd and a Semi 1st in the 1992 Launceston Cup. In an amazing litter feat, Shy Toby couldn’t overhaul his brother Talkaman in that Final, with another brother Pat Michael 3rd. Jenny’s Legacy finished 6th, so half the litter made up half the field infamous race. Shy Toby’s great career ended with a Best 8 win in the Aub Jacobson at the Royal Showgrounds 0n 12 March 1992.

Jenny’s Legacy was at least the equal of her aforementioned brothers and did land the greatest scalp of all. She scored in her fist and last runs for John Cameron, in a career spanning only 47 starts, but yielding 22 wins, 7 seconds and 5 thirds. Her ability was no early secret, winning her three-track Juveniles as an odds on pop in each. Her first real test was a heat win of the Johnson Puppy, before a troubled Final 5th to her brother Friendly Flyer. At start 14, Jenny’s Legacy formally announced her impending greatness, in a basic Grade 4 at Hobart. In winning by 11 lengths, she reduced the Track Record to 25.81 for the 457 metres. She was injured in her Heat 4th of the 1991 Launceston Cup and missed 4 ½ months.

Champion Jenny’s Legacy with John Cameron and daughter Susan

As master mentor John Cameron does, he resumed her in sparkling fettle with a neck 2nd and three wins. The bar was raised. She tackled the 1991 Tasmanian Gold Cup and was run down in her Heat 3rd to Wotta Gain. In a Final for the ages, Jenny’s Legacy led, was headed but stormed back to win by ¾ of a length. Champions Just Brilliant and Fox’s Image ran 2nd and 4th, with her brother Talkaman 3rd. She now tacked all the biggies.

After her Heat win of the 1991 National Sprint, she led in the State Final, just overpowered late by Just Brilliant, which subsequently ran 3rd in the National Final in Sydney. Heading up the highway, she won her Heat and Final of the 1991 Coca Cola Cup, reversing the tables on her great nemesis Just Brilliant. Then Jenny’s Legacy ascended the Mt. Everest of Tasmanian greyhounds. At twos on she stormed home to win her Heat of the 1991 Hobart Thousand. Appreciating box 8, she left star N.S.W. chaser Red Amerigo four lengths in arrears to score in her Semi-Final. At 9/2 in the Hobart Thousand Final of 1991, Jenny sealed her greatness with a 1 ½ length win over Red Amerigo, with her brothers Pat Michael, Friendly Flyer and Shy Toby running 3rd, 6th and 7th respectively. The favourite and great rival Just Brilliant ran 5th.

She would have only 13 more starts, but was a Semi-Finalist in a Devonport Cup; a Semi winner of the 1992 Launceston Cup, before a Final 6th to her brother Talkaman; nearly defended her 1991 Gold Cup win, when 3rd to Vintage National in 1992; and ended proceedings on 3 September 1992with a runaway victory over 590 metres at Hobart.

Talkaman for Joey Sherriff was a beauty too. Only marginally in the shadow of the previous three, he raced 68 times, for 16 wins, 12 seconds and 17 thirds. Renowned for his early wheel, he too snared one of the classics and was a multiple big race Finalist and true top grader. Early on he made a Gold Collar Final (though scratched), and both the Hobart Breeders Final (8th) and Devonport Breeders Final (3rd). He made the Grade 5 Peter Jackson Final at Hobart when 2nd to brother and kennel mate Lilydale Lad. Talkaman won a Heat of the City of Glenorchy at Hobart and was 3rd to the mighty Fox’s Image in that Final. One of his best efforts was his 3rd to sister Jenny’s Legacy in the 1991 Gold Cup, after which he was a Media Cup Finalist at Devonport. After winning a Christmas Stakes Heat at White City, he ran 4th in the Final.

Talkaman claims the Launceston Cup

His big moment came at White City in March 1992. He led his Heat of the Launceston Cup, before winding up 3rd to Painted Hilux. He worked to reach the lead in the Semi-Final, before his sister Jenny’s Legacy relegated him to 2nd. Talkaman’s faultless manners won him the 1992 Launceston Cup Final. At 12/1 in a superb Final, he led every step of the way, beating his brothers Shy Toby and Lilydale Lad. A kennel trifecta! And Jenny ran 6th. The 4/1 on favourite Fox’s Image could manage only 4th despite the coveted red box. He won a further 5 races after his magic moment, was 3rd in both a Media Cup and Easter Cup and made the 1992 Gold Cup.

Lilydale Lad, also for Joey Sherriff, raced 68 times for 15 wins, 8 seconds and 14 thirds. Not a star, he was still a multiple big race Finalist and genuine top grader. Early on, he was a Young Star finalist behind his brother Shy Toby and a Tom McKenna Finalist at Devonport to Salute Harry. He won the Grade 5 Peter Jackson Final at Hobart, before finishing 6th to brother Shy Toby in the 1991 Devonport Cup, having been runner-up up in both his Heat and Semi. Ever consistent, Lilydale Lad was 3rd in both his Heat and Semi of the 1991 Launceston Cup. The following year was Lilydale Lad’s finest achievement, and again it was in the Launceston Cup. After winning his Heat, he finished 2nd to Fox’s Image in the Semi, thus making back to back Cup Finals. In a career-best, he came from 7th early to wind up 3rd behind brothers Talkaman and Shy Toby.

Pat Michael for Noelene Garwood, was an enigmatic racer rather than a genuine chaser, but for pure talent was in the same conversation as any of the litter. From 84 starts, he won 15, with 23 seconds and 19 thirds. It took him ten starts to win a race, but he had a great middle career, making many top Finals and was forever challenging all the stars. He ran 2nd in a Heat, Semi and Final of Stormy Dale’s Hobart Breeders of 1990, with three of his brothers behind him. He was 3rd to his brothers Shy Toby and Friendly Flyer in a Young Star Classic. Apart from a Johnson Puppy Championship 4th to Friendly Flyer after scoring in his Heat, Pat Michael also ran 5th in the Devonport Breeders after dead heating with Friendly Flyer in his Heat.

Pat ran 2nd in the Coca Cola Cup at White City behind Chief Wonder, before a 3rd to Meldar’s Ace in the 1990 Consolation Final of the Hobart Thousand. In 1991 Pat was 2nd in his Heat, Semi and Final of the Devonport Cup, going under to his brother Shy Toby by a mere ½ head. He lost six months to injury shortly after that, but Noelene nursed him back as good as ever. He beat Take An Inch in a Ladies Bracelet Heat, before his 2nd to the same dog in the Final. His best win was in the Devonport Show Cup of 1991, beating great chasers Just Brilliant and his bro Friendly Flyer. Even better was to come. He narrowly won both his Heat and Semi of the 1991 Hobart Thousand, and ran 3rd in Tassie’s greatest race in that Final, to none other than sister Jenny’s Legacy. This tough and talented bloke even made the L.G.O.T.B.A. Final at start 78.

Noelene Garwood with the enigmatic Pat Michael

Pat To Shout, John Cameron’s kennel mate to Jenny’s Legacy, rounded out the litter. Though not in the same league as his other six siblings, he was a serviceable chaser and had 48 starts, for 8 wins, 8 seconds and 10 thirds. Best suited to the middle distance and U-turns, he did score his wins over both distances at Hobart and Devonport.

Rarely, if ever, has a litter been so exceptional in Tasmania. For two seasons six of them continually raced against the State’s finest, in an era of star performers. They virtually won every feature event between them, and amazingly, four of them made Jenny’s Legacy’s Hobart Thousand, four made Talkaman’s Launceston Cup, whilst three made Shy Toby’s Devonport Cup. From inauspicious beginnings, this marvellous litter now, collectively and uniquely, sail into the Tasmanian Greyhound Hall of Fame.

By Greg Fahey


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