Master Cornhill

Harcourt owner-trainer Scott Gibson, 48, is a johnny-come-lately to greyhound racing. But the waste disposal worker is certainly making up for lost time.

Gibson resided in Mooroopna as a teenager and had a keen interest in the sport. He would often attend meetings at the now defunct greyhound track at the Shepparton showgrounds.

However, he never took the next step until ‘biting the bullet’ in his early 40s.

“I came in cold and didn’t realise there was so much involved in training greyhounds,” Gibson said.

Fortunately, Gibson has the experience and knowledge of two people to thank – former Bendigo GRC president Noel Massina and local stalwart Alan Inglis.

“Noel and Alan pointed me in the right direction and their assistance has been invaluable,” Gibson said.

A few years ago, Gibson decided to create his own mini-breeding dynasty and purchased then four-year-old Ester Bale from Adelaide for $800.

“She was a daughter of Amity Bale, who I loved to watch race,” Gibson said. “Unfortunately, we lost her to bone cancer around 18 months ago.”

But Ester Bale has left a sentimental legacy, as Gibson now trains two of her progeny – Cornhill Rebel (Race 6 Box 4 – 7.09pm) and Cornhill Tiger (Race 8 Box 6 – 7.56pm) – who line up at Shepparton on Saturday night.

And, ironically, the litter brothers share the same birthday as Gibson, being born on the 3rd of July.

As for Cornhill Rebel’s chances, Gibson says “it’s not an easy race, it’s a tough draw”. “Normally I would run him over 500 metres, but I’ve dropped him back in distance… He was unlucky last week and should be strong to the line.”

Gibson is more confident on Cornhill Tiger’s prospects, saying “he’s got his confidence back and if he gets a clear run, he’s a winning chance”. “He’ll track wide and I’m hoping he gets a bit of galloping room.”

Expert form analyst The Watchdog has assessed Cornhill Rebel and Cornhill Tiger at $9.00 and $10.00 respectively.

Gibson says commencing work at 5am, driving a waste disposal truck, makes it difficult to juggle his greyhound racing passion.

Enter wife Megan and daughter Darcy, 10, who are his ‘girls’ Friday’ – and every other day for that matter!

“I couldn’t do without them, in more ways than one,” Gibson said. “Megan looks after the race dogs in the morning and Darcy is a great help with the pups.”

Pawnote: What’s in a name? Gibson was dining at a Castlemaine pub one night when he noticed a book on a shelf with the wording ‘Cornhill’ on its spine. Hence the racing prefix for his greyhounds.

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