Stapleton suited to Southland
Training greyhounds has provided Deane Stapleton with an income and an enjoyable lifestyle.
He became a trainer five years ago and is a regular attendee at Southland Greyhound Racing Club meetings in Invercargill.
''We never miss a meeting,'' Stapleton, of Rakaia, said yesterday.
''The track suits our type of dogs.''
Eight of his 20 greyhounds raced at Ascot Park yesterday. His starters were Santa Sloy (first), Hazza's Lad (third), Naevia (third), Top Player (fourth), Jennings (fourth), Salvador Bale (sixth), Lady Lucy (seventh) and Merely A Dream (seventh).
Stapleton and Leeston trainer Steve Evans have bought a 6 metre-long van for transporting their greyhounds. It was previously owned by Rangiora trainer Gary Cleeve and will be fitted with 20 cages at the weekend.
''Its maiden voyage will be to Forbury Park (races) on Tuesday,'' Stapleton quipped.
When asked about his biggest win in greyhound racing, Stapleton replied: ''I haven't had one, but it's coming.''
He liked to prepare greyhounds for certain races.
''We set them up for a punt . . . We're pretty good at it,'' said Stapleton, who trains in partnership with Kylee Bonnett.
''If you have a nice young pup, hide it (don't show it up at trials), you can get the money.''
Stapleton said greyhound racing was prospering with good stakes and the $40 petrol vouches given to owners of unplaced runners at all New Zealand meetings.
''Greyhounds are going really good.''
Stapleton owns a few standardbreds with his father, Warren, a harness racing trainer at Rakaia. Warren trained open class trotters Highwood (Rowe Cup) and Cedar Fella (Dominion Handicap).
Deane used to train and drive standardbreds, but admits: ''I was useless at driving.''
He drove five winners during 16 years of holding a licence (1989-2004). As a standardbred trainer, Stapleton posted 28 wins in 11 years (1994-2004).
- © Fairfax NZ News