Greyhound racing is more than just a sport to Youngtown owner-trainer Frank Feeney - it's a life-changer.
Feeney, who has Parkinson's disease, started training a couple of dogs just to keep active.
But it's done a lot more than that.
"It's completely changed my life," he said.
"Less than 12 months ago I needed a walker to help me get around.
When I went to my last doctor's appointment he couldn't believe the change.Greyhound trainer Frank Feeney
"Now I'm walking 5 km a day with no walker.
"When I went to my last doctor's appointment he couldn't believe the change."
As well as the positive impact on his health, Feeney has now got another benefit from his new-found hobby.
After just a few weeks as a licenced trainer, he's experienced the joy of winning.
He trained his first winner at Mowbray on Monday night when pint-sized Tintern Abbey streeted her rivals by more than four lengths.
She was only his third runner.
Feeney races the former NSW bitch with well-known Launceston racing identity Daz West.
Both have had an association with the Tasmanian Turf Club where Feeney served on the committee for several years and West has worked as a doorman and gate attendant.
The owners are hopeful the lightly-raced Tintern Abbey can now go on with the job.
"She's only small but I've always believed it's the heart that does it," Feeney said.
STAR IGNATIUS HOME 'TO FIND FORM'
Tasmanian-owned pacer Ignatius has returned home to try to recapture the form that elevated him to superstar status as a two and three-year-old.
The now five-year-old is back with Longford trainer Todd Rattray whose wife Lyrae owns the winner of 20 races and $441,000.
Rattray will give Ignatius his first start for seven weeks in a 1680m free-for-all at Mowbray on Sunday night.
"He had a couple of weeks off after he got home so he'll probably need a couple of runs to get back to where he needs to be," the trainer said.
"He has been working well but obviously he's not race fit."
Rattray said there were no set plans on when Ignatius would return to the mainland, either to his brother James in Sydney or to Melbourne for the upcoming carnival.
"We will play it by ear and see what happens - it's week-by-week," the trainer said.
"He'd have to be going pretty good to go back over.
"The big races in Victoria are coming up fairly soon so he has to pick up his game pretty quickly."
Although Ignatius won his first start after a four-month break at Menangle on July 11, he's been beaten twice since and Rattray said he "just wasn't at his best."
"He didn't have any injury problems but we thought he'd benefit from another break and might pick up being back here.
"It's good to have him home and we'll see what we can do."
Ignatius won five his six starts in his debut season culminating in the group 1 $125,000 NSW 2YO Breeders Challenge final.
He then won 11 races in a row the following season including the group 1 $150,000 NSW 3YO Breeders Challenge final.
He had a relatively quiet four-year-old season with only eight starts but managed to complete the NSW Breeders Challenge triple crown with a win in the $100,000 4YO final.
In the current extended season he's had 12 starts for two free-for-all wins at Menangle.
NEW CHAIRMAN FOR APPEAL BOARD
The Tasmanian Racing Appeal Board is to have a new chairman.
Racing Minister Jane Howlett has announced that barrister Kate Cuthbertson will take over from Tom Cox on January 1.
She has been deputy chairman since 2010.
Wendy Kennedy, Rodney Lester and Suzanne Martin have all been reappointed to the board for a further term.
Howlett thanked Cox and outgoing deputy chair Kate Brown, whose term also expires on December 31, for their valuable contributions.
"Both have been members of the TRAB and/or the former Integrity Assurance Board over the last 12 years and I thank them for their high levels of commitment and professionalism," she said.
CLEANSWEEP FOR CLASS LITTER
Four greyhounds from the same litter made a cleansweep of the semi-finals of the Devonport Breeders Classic on Tuesday afternoon.
Vintage Fame, Highland Chief, Wynburn Sheean and Quick Joey Small are all out of an October 2018 litter by Aston Dee Bee from She's All Class.
Wynburn Sheean is prepared at Wynyard by Ben Englund and the other three are from the Longford kennels of veteran trainer David Crosswell.
Although Wynburn Sheean has possibly the biggest reputation of the quartet - and he did that no harm with a 9-3/4 length win - it was Highland Chief who ran the fastest time (25.29 seconds).
Wynburn Sheean recorded 25.58, Vintage Fame 25.82 and Quick Joey Small 25.92.
The draw for next week's $5000 final is - 1 Quick Joey Small, 2 Wynburn Cruz, 3 Burn Baby Burn, 4 Highland Chief, 5 Recall, 6 Guesses, 7 Vintage Fame, 8 Wynburn Sheean, 9 Winklee Caey (res), 10 Bust Me Gall (res).
Meanwhile, Goodnight Vicki, trained by Blake Pursell, scored an easy win in the Steve King Ladies Bracelet final in Launceston on Monday night.
After beginning fairly from box 1, she railed through to the lead entering the back straight and went on to score by more than four lengths from Hooked On Brenda and Amy Cora.