Bendigo. Wednesday. January 10. Race two. Box three. Relief.
These were the nine words Scott Manning (a trainer for just three months) used to describe the first winner he trained after more than 40 years in the sport.
New Apollo is the greyhound behind his happiness.
“I just felt relief at first. Relief that I can actually train,” Scott Manning (pictured with his four-year-old daughter Amelia) said.
The Manning family, made up of Scott’s grandfather Norm and father Peter, have been greyhound educators for more than 45 years running the Manning Greyhound Complex in Bendigo.
“I am the only Manning to have a trainer’s licence.”
With community inclusion and a constant search for young participants at the heart of their business, the Manning Greyhound Complex and the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Association have been supporters of local charities Give Me 5 For Kinds and Beyond Blue.
A Chippy by trade, Manning was able to utilise his work on the tools and upbringing in the greyhounds to revamp their kennel property which includes a GRV registered trial track and a domestic boarding kennel.
“Greyhounds have been my life for so many years, even during my time as a Chippy it was good to have the dogs to go back to,” Manning said.
The Manning family’s love for greyhound racing doesn’t stop with Scott, his two daughters Amber (16) and Amelia (4) share the same passion.
“Amber and Amelia are always helping with the dogs. Amber is in the process of applying for her catcher’s licence which she is very excited about.”
With a new found understanding and appreciation for the racing side of greyhounds, rather than just the education, Manning believes he will never be able to step away from training.
“Training and educating work hand in hand, I have a better understanding of what both race dogs and educators need now,” Manning said.
“Even when we get busy with breakers I still want to keep my toe in training. I am interacting with so many great people at the races, and watching a dog go around that you have put work into is pretty special.”
Bendigo Greyhound Racing Association Manager Troy Harley is one of those great people and was the driving force behind Manning applying for his trainer’s licence.
“Troy has been great to me and has given me the confidence I needed to start training greyhounds. I have this new appreciation for greyhound racing and I have Troy to thank for that,” Manning said.
Pictured: New Apollo after a win at Bendigo. Photo credits Amber Manning.
Although New Apollo was not the first greyhound Manning trained, having begun his training journey with Tinted Blue who has had three starts, New Apollo has and will continue to create plenty more firsts for Manning.
New Apollo is a winner of three consecutive races from seven starts. After starting out her career over the shorts at Bendigo, Manning decided to step her up in distance which resulted in immediate success.
WATCH: New Apollo win her first race at Bendigo from box three.
New Apollo’s maiden win was an early birthday gift for Manning who celebrated his birthday the following day.
“Even though I was relieved to have won the race, I was so excited,” Manning said.
Manning utilises his trial track to also train his racing greyhounds.
“On the track we have boxes that start on a bend and a straight, I think this helps the racing dogs because I can prepare them for whatever start they will face in a race.”
For now, Manning will continue to train his three racing greyhounds as well as operating the Manning Greyhound Complex, enjoying every single one of his firsts.