Dusty’s Charlie will be officially representing Queensland in the first-ever National Straight Track Championship at Healesville on Sunday 18 August.
While Dusty’s Charlie qualified through the Capalaba series, he also has a very strong local connection through part-owner Darren Adams, a Healesville local who’s eyeing off a share of the $35,000 winner’s purse with his first foray into greyhound ownership.
“He’ll be representing Victoria, definitely,” laughed Darren, who runs Healesville Garden Supplies and is chairman of local radio station Yarra Valley FM.
The stars have certainly aligned for Darren with Dusty’s Charlie, which was a Christmas present from wife Lisa.
“I’ve always been interested in the greyhounds,” he said.
“I used to live in South Melbourne and I had seven brothers so we went out to Sandown and Olympic Park.
“Out of the blue my wife bought me a share in this dog for Christmas and then for my birthday she bought me the photo of his first win at Capalaba.
“I’m a Richmond supporter so the name is perfect, with Dusty’s Charlie referring to Dustin Martin’s Brownlow Medal.
“When he won his second race I bought more shares – I think we’re the third biggest owners in him – because I had plenty of confidence in him.
“I thought he would turn out alright.”
Dusty’s Charlie has come a very long way in a short period of time, with Darren recalling that during break-in “he would turn around and run the wrong way”.
That led to his relocation to Queensland and Walloon trainer Peter Furbank.
The son of former star Victorian sprinter Keybow won two of his first three starts but hasn’t won since, earning his berth in the inaugural 350 metre National Straight Track Championship by running second in his heat and third in the Queensland final at Capalaba.
The innovative straight track format included qualifying series conducted at Healesville, Capalaba and Murray Bridge in South Australia, with Queensland and South Australia having three positions in the final and the home state two.
“Dusty’s Charlie is really starting to come good; he’s only just been getting beaten,” Darren said.
“I’d like to bring him back to Victoria to watch him but we couldn’t take him off Peter – he’s done a great job – and I haven’t missed watching any of his races.
“My sister-in-law owns shares in him as well so I think we’ll have about 20 of us there supporting him in the final.
“I think he’s got a chance to win and our share of the prize-money would be about $2800.
“But we don’t really think about the money; we’re just in it for the fun of it!”