Mary looks forward to friendly competition again – By Anne Marie O’Brien
Mary Crotty’s ‘Inislosky’ dogs are always worth watching out for when they’re running at Limerick and Tralee – and she’s hoping that when racing resumes, they’ll continue in the winning vein they were in when the tracks shut down.
She has a number of promising young dogs, all out of her good brood bitch Inislosky Swift, who at the age of ten is enjoying her retirement but gets the credit for Mary’s regular successes.
Inislosky Jethro, from the Jan. ’18 litter to Romeo Recruit, is the star of the litter, with six wins from 16 starts and a best clock of 28.91. His sister Inislosky Urchin won four from 19, including three in a row at the start of this year, with 28.94 on her card; and brother Inislosky Bosco has won three.
Based in O’Brien’s Bridge, Co. Clare, Mary is only 15 miles from Limerick Track and about 60 from Tralee but doesn’t mind the longer drive down to the Kingdom Stadium as the welcome there is just as friendly as at her home track.
“People in dog racing are very friendly,” she told the Sporting Press. “I do miss meeting my friends at the tracks, and the dogs miss it as well. They’re anxious to go when they hear the van starting up, and start whinging.
“Hopefully it’ll start again at the end of June, but at the moment, the shutdown is saving lives, so we can wait another five weeks.”
Mary has eight race dogs in the kennels, most in her own name and some owned by her son and daughter, and also has 11-month-old saplings on the way up.
The family came back from England in the 1980s and at that stage owned no greyhounds, though they had two pet dogs. “A woman asked me to rear pups one for one and that was how I got started out,” said Mary. “Greyhounds are really lovely dogs – placid, easy-going, wagging their tails when they see you coming.”
They’ve been mostly exercising themselves in a couple of big runs that Mary has at the kennels during the shutdown, as the travel restrictions have prevented her driving to any gallops.
Luckily though, she’s had no shortage of company at home, with her husband and son helping out, and her daughter lives nearby.
And of course there are the dogs. Mary said: “I am happy once my dogs get a race – if they win in their own time, I’m happy enough. I always believe they get their own race eventually. Dogs are dogs and things happen in races, and young dogs have to learn and get to know the track.
“They’re a great interest and keep people going, and get them out. You meet a few people and have a chat and a bit of craic, especially with the people in the same race as you. You know everyone, so we’ll all be looking forward to getting back to the track. Racing behind closed doors was working out fine before the shutdown so if we have to put up with that, we will.”
We’ll all be looking forward to racing again – and don’t forget to look out for that promising Jethro!