OPINION

Greyhound racing mourns the shock loss of industry icon Paul Wheeler

VALE: Greyhound racing industry icon Paul Wheeler. Photo: Clint Anderson.

VALE: Greyhound racing industry icon Paul Wheeler. Photo: Clint Anderson.

Vale Paul Wheeler

The greyhound racing industry was shocked and saddened with the news on Wednesday night that industry legend Paul Wheeler had passed away suddenly at the age of 66.

The Wheeler name is synonymous with greyhound racing with Paul the most successful breeder and owner in the sport's history. Paul was inducted into the Australian Greyhound Racing Hall of Fame in 2016, eight years after his father Allen entered the Hall Of Fame.

Most of the Wheeler greyhounds carried the 'Bale' moniker, with those dogs winning just about every feature race on the Australian racing calendar, and none were better than the great Fernando Bale.

Paul bred and raced four Melbourne Cup winners, Kantarn Bale (1999), Dyna Tron (2011), Dyna Villa (2014) and Dyna Double One (2015), and was also breeder and owner of the sport's highest earner, Fanta Bale.

Greyhound Racing NSW extends its condolences to Paul Wheeler's family and friends.

CUP WINNER: The greyhound racing industry is mourning the loss of Paul Wheeler. Photo: Clint Anderson.

CUP WINNER: The greyhound racing industry is mourning the loss of Paul Wheeler. Photo: Clint Anderson.

Wenty's Big Night

Good luck to all connections of runners in the big races at Wentworth Park tomorrow night, the Group 1 Peter Mosman Opal, the Group 1 Vic Peters Classic and the Group 2 Sydney Cup. You can watch a full coverage of the night with live races, tips, interviews and analysis at www.thedogs.com.au.

Young Winners

We have seen a growing number of young people take out their training licences and have instant success in recent months, and the trend continued last week.

First it was 20-year-old Jacob Betar winning with his first starter Gourmet Love at Richmond on October 6, then two days later 21-year-old Joshua Board did the same winning an event at Goulburn with Spring Meteor, which was also his first starter as a trainer. It's great to see this next generation of trainers enter our industry and show their ability through instant success.

Looking Sharp

There has always been a synergy between greyhound racing and rugby league and this week the two sports came together again when a former great of the game had his first runner as a greyhound trainer.

Steve Sharp was a member of the legendary Parramatta side of the 1980s, the last team to win three successive premierships in 1981, 1982 and 1983. Steve and his wife Narelle moved to Bulli a few years ago, and after a visit to the local track they decided to buy a pup and get their training licences.

Lightning Sharp had his first start on Tuesday at Bulli and while it didn't go to plan, the Sharps will persist and Steve admitted that regardless of how his racing career goes, he will have a home on their lounge for the rest of his life.

This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.

This story Greyhound racing mourns the shock loss of an industry icon first appeared on Newcastle Herald.