Roger Bryant was in his early twenties when he and wife Primrose, along with 14-month-old daughter Cheryl, emigrated to Australia in 1966.
But little did Bryant (who turns 76 on October 28) realise then that greyhound racing would play an integral role in his life.
“Roger the Pom”, as he’s known to his Aussie mates, was always interested in the ‘Lucky Country’ and was to spend 33 years working as operations manager for P&O Stevedoring at Portland.
The Bryants also bred Jack Russell Terriers for around 50 years. In fact, their first terrier was christened “Carry On Regardless” – after a 1961 British comedy film.
But the catalyst behind the Bryants involvement in greyhound racing is legendary Warrenbayne breeder Lindsay Wilsmore.
“He taught us a lot about breeding and rearing – particularly feeding and exercising pups,” Bryant said. “And we are still regularly in touch.”
When Wilsmore, his wife Athalia and daughters went on holidays for six weeks in 1986, the Bryants were entrusted with caring for a four-month-old Chariot Supreme x Barb’s Melody litter.
“We looked after some future stars (Singalong, Barbariot and Freewheeler) and when they returned, I was offered a pup from the litter,” Bryant said.
That pup raced as Carry On Pom, and some years later Bryant enjoyed further success with Carry On Aidan and Carry On Coley (1993 Victorian GOTY runner-up) – both under the tutelage of iconic trainer Allan Britton.
Based at Heathmere, the Bryants also bred greyhounds from the early 1980s to mid-1990s, but then had a 20-year hiatus from the sport.
“Our daughter (Cheryl) moved to Darwin and we also started doing a lot of travelling,” Bryant said.
But it was friends and racehorse owners Dennis and Colleen Rose who were responsible for reigniting the Bryants greyhound racing passion.
“They were interested in getting involved, so I contacted Rob Britton and bought two pups out of Express Links, and they went on to race as Carry On Rose and Colden Star.
And now, Colden Star is the dam of Carry On Maxwell (Box 3) who contests tomorrow’s $47,000-to-the-winner Group 3 TAB Great Chase final (525m) at The Meadows.
Bred by Primrose and owned by the “The Two Poms” syndicate – comprising Roger and Dennis – Carry On Maxwell is named after the Bryants first great grandchild.
“Max is 20 months old, but we’ve only seen him once due to our greyhound rearing commitments and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bryant said.
Trained by Tim Britton, Carry On Maxwell (by Mepunga Blazer) has won three races from nine starts. He won his Great Chase heat in 30.02sec at The Meadows and finished second to Earn The Answers in a semi-final last week.
Carry On Maxwell is a $13 chance on TAB’s fixed odds market.
The G3 TAB Great Chase final is Race 8 at 5.24pm.
Photo by Jason McKeown Photography