By Peter Fenemor
Ever since he was a 14-year-old, Dylan Voyce has always held collars and leads in his hands, and in doing so, he has become a very valued member of the greyhound community.
Voyce, now 28 years old, has been an integral part of the Tony Hart training operation, which includes Dylan’s mother Kirsty Taylor.
“Tony is like a stepfather for me. I got into greyhound racing when Jack (Tony) got back into the game in Rakaia,” said Voyce, who is the March GRNZ Board Award winner, which celebrates young achievers in the sport.
Voyce feels extremely privileged to be currently supervising the Hart-led Dunsandel kennels, which was previously the mentoring domain of the late, great GRNZ Hall of Fame trainer Ray Adcock.
“It is very humbling to work out of the legend’s property. Every day, I reflect about Ray and what he meant for the industry for so many years. And Jose and Donald Arthur are fantastic owners.”
“Dylan is the perfect man to look after the Dunsandel team. We have every confidence in his ability and his work ethic is fantastic,” said Hart.
“I have been lucky enough to handle a number of outstanding greyhounds over the years,” enthused Voyce.
Included among them has been Dyna Vikkers (multiple Group race winner) and the Alan Williams-trained Apatche Jet when he won the 2010 NZ Breeders’ Stakes.
He has also handled the outstanding greyhound Postman Pat, although, as he chuckles, “He got beaten both times I handled him!”
Then he added, “Postman Pat is the fastest greyhound I’ve seen, while Big Daddy is also an outstanding greyhound.
“I rate Charlotte Lu winning the New Zealand Oaks (2022) as right up there, while bringing back Cheeky Lu to racing after she had a six-month break away from racing was very satisfying. It’s the little things that are very special to me.
“I have chipped away, training a few myself.”
Included was Pick The Tip (13 wins), Memoir (18 wins) and Cronk Went Plonk (seven wins), whose name lines up with the legendary Melbourne Storm rugby league player Cooper Cronk. The Storm is the NRL team who Voyce closely follows.
And he is likely to take in a live Storm NRL match next month, because Voyce, along with Tony Hart and Cameron Thomassen, are crossing the Tasman on 7 June where they will watch the former Hart-trained star greyhound Postman Pat race at Sandown Park on 8 June.
Postman Pat has been absolutely superb in his three races since entering the Jason Thompson kennels. He has already exceeded expectations thanks to his pair of low-flying Geelong 460m 25.35 and Shepparton 450m 24.66 wins, with his Shepparton victory just a tad over a length outside the 24.59 track record.
Postman Pat then returned to Geelong on Saturday, where Thompson produced the Jose Arthur-bred and owned son of Hooked On Scotch and Birdie Tee to deliver another swift 25.28 460m win.
“Jason is that rapt with Postman Pat, that he will now send him north to contest the A$1 million Brisbane Cup heats (520m heats June 29),” advised Hart.
Voyce has indicated that he will invest the monthly $500 GRNZ Board Award prize by extending his Victorian his trip.
“Jason Thompson and Anthony Azzopardi are elite trainers over there. There are so many options available there and I would like to learn as much as I can from them while I have the opportunity.”
And by the way – yes, the Melbourne Storm play at home on Sunday June 11, when they play the Cronulla Sharks.
“Sometime down the track I would like to go out public training myself,” Voyce suggested, while he also advises that his partner, the January GRNZ Board Award winner Clare Harding, has settled in great in Dunsandel.
“Clare is really enjoying it down here – she is very good for me!”