Once a successful greyhound steps off the racetrack and into the breeding barn, the anticipation builds towards their first progeny commencing their careers, with a sense of optimism that they can bestow a future champion.
Lochinvar Marlow is fast becoming one of Australia’s boom sires after an extremely impressive start to his stud career, with talented chasers beginning to filter onto the racetrack. The son of Bombastic Shiraz and Sensation Lee who was owned by the Gordon family, renowned for their support of greyhound racing, retired at the end of 2010 after claiming the Group One Paws of Thunder and Group Three Christmas Gift during that year, along with a well-deserved Greyhound of the Year nomination.
One of his most gifted offspring to date is the adequately named Mike Marlow, prepared by astute trainer Lorraine Atchison of Jilliby on the NSW Central Coast. After beginning his campaign in the Magic Maiden series at Wentworth Park in March, a slight hock injury forced Atchison to nurse her star prodigy back to health. Atchison’s team are now certainly reaping the benefits after his best performance to date last Thursday, in an all the way display at Maitland in a sizzling 25.30 over the 450m journey. Mike Marlow now takes his young career statistics to three wins and two minor placing’s from just five starts. Atchison is not surprisingly wrapped with her youngster’s progress:
‘We worked on a hock strain which he sustained at Wenty but it’s all fixed now and we are seeing what he can do. He's always shown promise right from the start. The first time I put him in the boxes, he went straight in and did everything perfect’ said a glowing Atchison, whose sister Noelene Holloway bred Mike Marlow’s litter from her very talented chaser Fascinate Marina.
A daughter of Hallucinate and Malawi’s Marina, Fascinate Marina won 12 races including 7 at Wentworth Park and was Holloway’s very first greyhound. As she explains, it was a wonderful start to her involvement with racing that originated just seven years ago.
‘I was walking out of church and God said I should go to Lorraine’s because she has a surprise for me. One thing led to another and I got Fascinate Marina to train. She was an amazing little dog who gave me many thrills during her career. I couldn’t have done it without Lorraine, she is always willing to help out in any way’ said a delightful Holloway who now trains Mike Marlow’s siblings; Queen Esther and King Sapphire who are already exhibiting pleasing early signs.
Holloway continuously looks to her sister for inspiration as she is no stranger to success, with many superstars having occupied her kennels including; Sergio (2011 NZ Greyhound of the Year, Multiple NZ Group One winner and 2011 Easter Egg Finalist), Tarawi Tess (Runner up in 2003 Paws of Thunder) and Salvatore (Runner up in 2010 NSW Distance Final), just to name a few. Atchison’s abilities don’t stop at training, as her breeding record speaks for itself with her magnificent broodbitch Malawi’s Marina having produced some of Australia’s most gifted greyhounds. Black Cobra (2006 Group One Easter Egg finalist), Big Tee Mac (2009 Group One National Derby finalist), Quicklee Tommy (2008 Group Two Black Top finalist) are just a few of her amazing offspring to have graced the racetrack with their remarkable ability, making Atchison a very proud breeder.
‘They are beautiful to watch grow up. Once you start the break in process obviously some don’t progress as fast as others but all they need is time along with plenty of love and care and it’s not too long before they get the hang of it. One thing is I don’t have standards because every greyhound is different with their progression. Some of the best don’t always break in the best’ said a passionate Atchison.
Atchison’s career spans back to the days of her prominent parents; George and Joan Singline, who were break in specialists and allowed Atchison to get a behind the scenes insight into the education of greyhounds:
‘I didn’t like school. All I wanted to do was be involved in the greyhounds. Now I have my own 38 acre property with lots of help from my family. I am so passionate about the industry I couldn’t see myself doing anything else’ said an enthusiastic Atchison
If there is one certainty you can always rely on, is witnessing Lorraine Atchison and Noelene Holloway cheering profoundly from behind the boxes if one of their charges is victorious. The incredible dedication and affection these two adoring sisters have for their greyhounds is truly inspiring to any potential greyhound enthusiast, as they truly are queens of the track.