For John Meredith, there’s a lot more to greyhound breeding than just developing future champions.
It’s a love for the Dubbo racing stalwart and despite him being 88-years-old it’s taken on even more significance in recent years.
Meredith is enjoying some of his greatest success at the moment as Bekin Street, a dog he bred at home, will line up in the National Sprint Championship at Albion Park on Friday week.
And while saying the victories the young sprinter has scored are “lovely”, it’s not the only reason he’s in the game.
“I wouldn’t mind breeding another litter, really,” he said.
“I’m getting a bit long in the tooth now but they keep me going.”
Bekin Street is the son of Serisier Street, a dog named after the place where Meredith’s wife grew up.
I’m getting a bit long in the tooth but they keep me going.John Meredith
She passed away in 2012 and Meredith said dogs like Serisier Street and the many others he has bred “keep me company while I’m living on my own”.
A man who still fondly remembers finishing second in a Christmas Pace at Wentworth Park when the winning prize was three thousand pounds, Meredith said breeding greyhounds has always been a passion.
He and his son Paul have seen many runners race at Dawson Park, but it is in the breeding and rearing pups where Meredith gets his joy.
And it’s clear he knows how to develop stars as Serisier Street enjoyed multiple wins at Wentworth Park while Bekin Street, trained by Christine Proctor, earned the right to represent NSW in the National Sprint with his come-from-behind win over Mister Twister in last Saturday's $10,000 state final at the Sydney track.
“He’s only 22 months old and he’s only had 14 starts but he’s won eight of them and only missed a place once,” Meredith said of Bekin Street.
“It’s been lovely. I’ve been in the game for a long time. I remember racing around the old showground in the 1940s.”
Proctor, based near Richmond, took Bekin Street to Brisbane’s Albion Park track, where the national final will be held, this week and he trialled there on Thursday night.
That was to give him a feel of the track before the $75,000-to-the-winner final.
The youngest greyhound in the field in the state final, Bekin Street did not begin fast but made full use of his box one draw, driving hard along the rails going into the first corner.
After taking the lead at the top of the straight, the Proctor-trained greyhound comfortably held off Mister Twister.
Proctor said Bekin Street will more than hold his own in the Group 1 National Sprint Championship.
“It is extremely difficult to beat top Queensland trainers like Tony Brett at Albion Park, but Bekin Street is very talented and is a tenacious chaser,” Proctor told thedogs.com.au.