Kempshall clan in fine form on dog track
THE Kempshall kennel has been a standout at the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club for several years now but the racing couple has really turned it on early this year, claiming two kennel trifectas in three weeks.
The husband-and-wife duo trained four of the top five runners in the 407m Caldwell Electrical Non-Graded race on Monday's racing program.
Co-trainer Warren Kempshall said it was no mean feat and could quite possibly be the last time the kennel pulls off a winning trifecta.
"It is not that often that you get that many dogs in a race," Kempshall said. "It is really good. We sort of just keep doing what we do and it is good to be rewarded for that.
"We were pretty happy a couple after the dogs came through. With all the negativity going around about greyhound racing it sort of puts a dampener on things, but at least this gave us something to smile about."
Winning pup Price Rise has been with the Kempshalls since birth and it was a proud moment for the couple to see her cross the line just ahead of kennel mates Alan's Kidz and Stone Prince.
"Price Rise, she was born and rared on our property and has really started coming into her own of late," Kempshall said. "It is the same with Stone Prince who ran third. He was a bit of a long shot coming into the race but he is slowly but surely starting to get his act together.
"He is deadset bombproof, he just loves running and pulls up sound after every race. I reckon he would run all day long if he had to. He barks his bum off at tucker time and even more at running time. He is a pretty easy dog to train."
Kempshall praised the efforts of kennel foreman John Gorman who has been present at both trifecta victories for the kennel.
"Johnny helps us no end," he said. "Honestly, he is always there to assist us - it is great to have someone like John with us."
Grafton Greyhound Racing Club secretary Brad Ellis applauded the Kempshalls on their trifecta and suggested they were clear favourites in the battle for the annual Trainer of the Year award which they won last season.
"It is certainly a great achievement," Ellis said. "The better thing about it is it happened in a non-graded race. It is one thing to do it against the lesser dogs but to do it against some of the best running at Grafton is an incredible feat.
"They are the sort of trainers that just go about their business each meeting. Professional is what they do. They are also people you can put your money on knowing the dogs will be ready to race when they turn up at the track.
"If I could find a bookmaker offering me a $1.50 for the Kempshalls to take out Grafton Greyhound Trainer of the Year award again this season I would take it in a heartbeat."
Ellis suggested Whiteman Creek trainer Evelyn Harris as a possible challenger for the Kempshalls chances at retaining the prestigious award.
"Evelyn Harris has done a very good job this season and is certainly a chance but with recent results the Kempshalls have definitely extended their lead."