By Neil Brown
Australia 's Queen of the track Bogie Leigh Inducted into the Hall Of fame
Only the best of the best are inducted into the AGRA Hall Of Fame and the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club had no hesitation as soon as the great Bogie Leigh retired in nominating the brilliant black bitch for the highest honour. She had met the criteria and then some. The AGRA Delegates at the Annual Meeting deliberated for only seconds before endorsing the induction with an unanimous vote and she takes her place along side the elite of greyhound racing joining fellow Queensland superstar Flying Amy, Tenthill Doll, Rapid Journey, Chief Havoc, Zoom Top, Highly Blessed, Macareena, Rookie Rebel, Sandi's Me Mum, Bold Tease, Brett Lee, National Lass, Winifred Bale and Lizrene.
There is always an interesting story of how people get into greyhound racing and Bogie Leigh's owner Les Bein is no exception. Les went fishing with some mates some years ago, had a great time, and the boys decided they would repay the trip. One gave Les a greyhound.
"My wife was not impressed," said Les.
But that first dog, named Boogie Baby, won five races and Les and his family had so much fun with her that they were hooked on the sport.
"So I bought another one," he said.
Les named it Bogie Two, left out one of the "Os" in the Boogie by accident and has stuck with that name for all his dogs since.
Bogie Two won 10 races was placed another 35 times, made a Lord Mayor's Cup, won at Wentworth Park and earned $23,000.
To say Les was hooked by now is understating the fact.
"We bred with Bogie Two and a litter by Bearability won 35 races for us," said Les. "They included Bogie Storm, Bogie Fire and Bogie Ability."
About this time Les was getting Peter Bryers to sand some floors in a house he was "doing up".
Peter and Les struck up a friendship.
"Peter told me he had the best greyhound in Queensland ," remembered Les. "It was Hypo Havoc but I had never heard of the dog.
"So I followed her from that moment. After she had won about 15 races I phone Peter one day and said I wanted a pup out of her."
As soon as Hypo Havoc retired, after winning 31 races and 25 at Albion Park , she produced a litter to champion sire Just The Best.
"Peter was on the phone soon after and told me to come and pick out a pup ... for $4000," said Les.
Les went over to Peter's property and saw four black pups. "Most of them were playing together but one was off by itself. That's the one I picked."
That black bitch he selected was none other than Bogie Leigh and it started the journey of a lifetime for Les, his wife Sandy and popular trainer Tony Brett and his wife Fleur.
I met “Bogie” early on in her race career when she was kenneled overnight at my home for the semis of the 2003 Laurels. It was her first time in a strange environment and she was so calm and relaxed her behavior was extraordinary. Little did I know at the time the heights she would reach but I never forgot her temperament.
What a race career it turned out to be in all she contested 13 Group race finals and notched 41 wins, 12 seconds and five thirds from 68 starts.
Her group race success was as follows 2004 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, 2004 Group 1 Australian Cup, 2003 Group 1 Brisbane Cup, 2003 Group 1 Sapphire Crown Classic, 2003 Group 2 Queensland Futurity, 2003 Group 3 Lismore Cup (29.48 - track record).
She was also a finalist in the following group races 2004 Group 1 Brisbane Cup (2nd), 2004 Group 1 Topgun (6th), 2004 Group 1 Winter Carnival Cup (2nd), 2004 Group 1 Adelaide Cup (3rd), 2003 Group 1 Topgun (3rd), 2004 Group 3 The Temlee (5th), 2004 Group 3 SA Interstate Challenge (2nd)
At on her beloved home track at Breakfast Creek, Bogie Leigh won 29 races, with five seconds and two thirds, from 38 starts. Her personal best was 29.83 at Albion Park .
She amassed $488,335 only $42,660 shy of the all-time stakes record held by New South Wales legend and AGRA Hall of Fame inductee Rapid journey ($530,995).
Bogie Leigh raced for the last time in an emotional farewell fit for a queen at Albion Park on December 16, 2004 . She was chasing a fairytale ending to her illustrious career - a tilt at a second consecutive Group 1 Brisbane Cup. And it was almost a dream finale - she finished second, beaten two and a quarter lengths, to NSW star Malfoy.
Bogie Leigh was crowned Queensland 's 2004 Greyhound of the Year before a gala function at Brisbane 's Hilton Hotel in February 2005. After being runner-up the year before she was also runner-up in the 2004 AGRA Greyhound of the Year an award many thought she should have won.
At all times throughout the journey trainer Tony Brett seemed to have a permanent beaming smile on his face and he endeared himself to all he met regardless of the which state of the country he was in. Not far behind on most occasions were Les, Sandy and Fleur the whole team were a credit to their great champion.
Like the mighty careers of the superstars of yesteryear, greyhounds that reach the class of Bogie Leigh enjoy an outstanding public adulation richly dissevered for consistent deeds at the highest level.
Bogie Leigh's final chapter most certainly will be as a brood bitch but that's for later, for now she takes her rightful place in the AGRA Hall of Fame.
A commemorative poster produced by the Queensland GRA
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