Liam’s Bogger dogs enjoying the best of freedom in lockdown – By Anne Marie O’Brien
“I have a few,” was Liam Peacock’s laid-back reply when the Sporting Press asked how many dogs he has. Then came the real answer: “50 including pups.”
So greyhounds, many with the ‘Bogger’ prefix, are a seriously full-time job for the Littleton, Co. Tipperary owner-trainer, with this bumper crop keeping him hard at it seven days a week, 15 or 16 hours a day – but he loves it, and has been at the game all his life.
“I was working with Mickey O’Sullivan for 15 years and with Derek Kehoe for two before I started on my own, and I hope to take out a public trainer’s licence in the future after racing starts up again,” he said.
“It’s not about money. We like rearing dogs and getting them to race. It’s not about being good – whether they are A10 or open class, they all get treated the same.”
The lockdown has been difficult for everyone but Liam is better positioned than many handlers, because, as his prefix suggests, there’s a 500-acre bog at the back of his kennels so his pups and runners get the best of exercise. “You can’t beat freedom and good food,” he added.
“I’m tipping away since the lockdown started, galloping every day, and getting help from the family too,” he said.
There are currently 16 race dogs in the kennels, including a good few promising youngsters, and up to March, Liam’s frequent runners in Kilkenny had him at the top of the owners’ table there with 14 winners so far in 2020 and more than €5,000 in prize money.
He’s looking forward to getting back to the track again and says that racing behind closed doors will be fine, as there aren’t too many in attendance at the morning SIS meetings anyway, apart from the owners and trainers.
Meanwhile, the pups are fast getting to the qualifying stage. By the time racing resumes, Liam says he’ll have about 15 of them to qualify. “I’d be hoping to sell them when they get to a certain stage – I keep two from each litter and sell the rest.”
Let’s hope that when racing gets going again, Liam will resume his successful ways at Kilkenny.