Red Cliff residents Keith and Jon Bowen have well and truly caught the greyhound racing bug thanks to their star Jimmy Newob, who claimed an impressive victory in the $35,000 Warragul St Leger on Sunday.
Starting as the $1.80 favourite from box one, Bowen had his reservations about Jimmy Newob’s chances in the same race that kick started the career one of Australia’s most versatile chasers, Fanta Bale.Jimmy Newob winning the 2017 St Leger from box one at Warragul.
“We were a little concerned how he would cope with the inside box draw because he had only raced from box one once, but as soon as he gets going he has a fair bit of early speed,” Keith Bowen said.
Following their first greyhounds retirement 40 years ago, Keith and Jon Bowen decided to get back into greyhound racing with their friend and trainer Barry Fullerton. After a bit of research breeder Joe Baldacchino’s Cosmic Rumble and Nosey Rozy litter sparked the interest of the Bowen brothers.
“Joe sent some photo’s down of the litter and we liked the look of Jimmy even though we didn’t know what we were looking for in a greyhound pup,”
Jimmy Newob now weights in at 35 kilos.
“Joe recommended Jimmy because he was a bit aloof and tended to stay away from the pack but was the first in for his food.”
Bowen believes that he has now made a friend in Baldacchino thanks to Jimmy Newob.
“We talk after every run, win lose or draw,” Bowen said.
As a pup Jimmy Newob had an unusual rearing partner, a Kelpie.
“Jimmy would run and run and run to try and keep up with the Kelpie on the farm, he would then have to stop for a 20 minute break before he was back playing.”
Keith and Jon have recently purchased another pup – Cliffy, this time out of Black Magic Opal in hope of their very own Bewildering or Extreme Magic but they are unsure if they will rear him with the Kelpie on the farm.
“We thought if he bought a young pup now when Jimmy retires we will have another one ready to race.”
Jimmy Newob is now a winner of 12 races from 22 starts and has amassed more than $98,000 in prize money.
The biggest race of his career to date was the Group One Harrison-Dawson, which saw him finish second to Black Mumbo.
“Being apart of races like the Harrison-Dawson and even the Launching Pad is so exciting and the money that the dogs are running for is incredible. I think everyone looks at us a little silly because when we go to the track we are a big crew that does a lot cheering.”
Keith and Jon will continue to watch on in awe of the athleticism of Jimmy Newob but also in thanks for the dedication that the Fullerton family put into the dog.
“To make the eight hour journey to Warragul each way is just one example of the dedication Barry, his wife Jennifer and daughter Melissa have for Jimmy.”
“The Fullerton family love him as much as we do and I think we are just as lucky to have them as we are to have found Jimmy,” Bowen said.
As for Jimmy Newob’s next venture, Jennifer Fullerton said they will continue to target age restricted races, starting with the Cranbourne Classic later this month which will be a 14 plus hour return journey.