Victorian trainer Noel Massina with Prairie Puzzle after the dog’s win at Dawson Park on Thursday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLEBendigo’s Noel Massina is one of the top trainers in the greyhound industry.
After close to 40 years in the sport he is well-regarded among his peers.
But even the best can make a mistake.
On Thursday at Dawson Park, Massina’s bitch Prairie Puzzle lined up in the Sean Clarkson Concreting Stakes (318m).
But Massina got the shock of his life when the dogs got on the track and started heading for the 318m boxes.
“I thought I had nominated her for a 400m race but when I walked out on the track they said it was a 318m,” he said.
“I trialled her over the 400m as well and she is better over those kind of distances.
“I gave a bloke a couple of hundred to have on for me but when he told me I said not to bother because it’s the wrong distance.”
It’s history that Prairie Puzzle went on to win the race regardless of the trainer’s blunder.
The win was the third of the Solve The Puzzle x Oceanic Tycoon bitch’s short career after she won her first two starts at Horsham in February
Massina has been a regular at the Dubbo club’s Anzac carnival for more than a decade now and says the week of racing is right up there with the best in the industry.
“I’ve been training greyhounds for 40-odd years and coming to Dubbo for the last 10 or 14 years,” he said.
“I went to the big carnival at Grafton for about 20 years straight and always said I would come here.
“Here in Dubbo it’s a great track, great atmosphere and great people so I’m really glad to be here.”
Massina’s wife Robyn is usually his travelling companion but with a big carnival on in Bendigo at the moment he is travelling solo.
“Between us we generally have about 30 dogs in work and usually bring 10 or 12 to Dubbo,” Noel said.
“I’m on my own this year and the carnival is on at home so I only have six with me.
“But you can still get good results with a small team. I remember we won 117 races one year with six dogs, about 10 or 12 years ago.”
Massina has won numerous big races at Dubbo and other carnivals during his career as a trainer but it’s easy to see that his heart lies in Victoria.
“It’s very competitive here at carnival time when the better dogs get here,” he said.
“But down at home this is what the racing is like most of the time.
“I believe the best dogs in the world are in Australia and the best dogs in Australia in Victoria.
“But we will take a winner wherever we can get one and the Dubbo carnival has been really good to us over the past few years.
“We’ve won the Cup a couple of times and the feature maiden as well. It’s 10 hours from home but it’s well worth it.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.