Long story short, we negotiate a deal where I got a puppy from him and he got the car- David Lewis
Everyone has a story to tell. Whether it be following in family footsteps or living next door to a trainer, everybody tells a tale of how they became involved in greyhound racing.
David Lewis is no different, although his story about a wandering dog is a little rare.
It was back in the 1970s when a teenage David noticed a greyhound roaming past his house in Blacktown.
"A big trainer at the time, Joe Newton, lived three doors down from us and my mum said, 'is it one of Joe's?'," Lewis said.
"I grabbed the dog and went and asked him and he said it will be the young bloke on the opposite side of the creek. I went to Johnny Edwards' place and he was a night-shift worker and was asleep, but I woke him up with my banging on his door.
"Sure enough the dog had escaped by digging a hole under his fence but that was the start of a lifelong friendship with Johnny.
"When I was old enough he would let me help him out and walk the dogs with him. From that moment it got me in. I was hooked."
Despite the instant connection, it was 30 years before Lewis obtained his own training licence.
"My dad bought me a couple which weren't much chop and then work commitments and other things changed and I decided to give it a go."
That was 2006 and his first winner would arrive in 2007 with a dog called Son Of Satan, the dog who was part of car sale.
"It's a funny story. I was selling cars at a place called Gosford Motors and this bloke - Grant Fennelly - came in and I said 'I think I know you.' He's thinking 'yeah sure, typical car salesman', but I said I did know him and then I realised I'd seen him in the Greyhound Recorder; he was the Young Gun Trainer of the Year.
"Anyway we talked dogs for a while then he said 'look, I'm about $2,000 short to buy this car'. Long story short, we negotiate a deal where I got a puppy from him and he got the car. That dog was Son of Satan and he was my very first winner, and he won six or seven straight at Appin and won the Cawbourne Park Cup there."
Fast forward to November 4, 2023, and Lewis reached the pinnacle of his career when Our Mechanic, his four-and-half-year-old greyhound, won at Wentworth Park to register the trainer's first city success.
To be fair, Lewis, who trains at Kangy Angy on the NSW Central Coast, was only having his 13th starter at Headquarters. His previous best was in March 2017 when Myrniong Angel finished second at Wenty.
"I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I just didn't know. I loved it. It was absolutely the highlight of my life. I had no idea what it would be like to win a race there, but that is the pinnacle for a trainer, and it took a while, but I finally got a winner there and it surpassed everything I could think it would be," Lewis said.
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.
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