GREYHOUNDS: Just when Graeme Bowles thought he was ready to retire from greyhound racing, he found a dog that he couldn't say no too.
The Wooli based owner and trainer had decided to take a break from greyhounds four years ago, after spending 25 years owning and training the dogs.
However it was only a year into his retirement when mate and fellow greyhound owner Boab Doak introduced him to Echo Gal, and that was all it took for Bowles to return to training.
The partnership could pay dividends today, when Echo Gal lines up for a shot at the $25,000 purse in the Charcoal Inn Casino Cup (484m).
"She's a beautiful, red fawn greyhound," Bowles said.
"She seemed such a lovely and intelligent greyhound (as well).
"I thought 'let's give it a go', so I started training her and it's been terrific.
"She's a timid greyhound so it took me about 12 months to work out how best to train her, but it's been very satisfying. I've had so much enjoyment with her.
"She's an amazing greyhound."
Last week's victory in the heats continued the successful relationship between the pair. Echo Gal's recent form is impressive, with two wins and four placings in her last seven starts for a record of 14 wins and 13 placings from 51 starts.
While Echo Gal has been racing over 600m and 700m in recent months, and is a Casino track record holder over 620m, Bowles said Echo Gal has handled to drop in distance well, and is firming as a decent roughie for what would be the biggest title yet for Bowles in his training career, not that he is spending the money already.
"I could do with a new car, that's for sure," he said.
"I think you'd see me celebrating but I'm not holding my breath. I wanted her drawn outside as she's not the quickest (greyhound) early and it will be tough to win from this box.
"I know she's in great form and condition and I know she'll give her best, so it's up to her."
The final is race eight of 11 at Casino on Friday and jumps at 6.14pm.