Little Pearls the Star Attraction of GRNSW Puppy Auction

09:34 08 February 2024

Auction records are set to be broken with confirmation that four blueblood pups out of champion sprinter She’s A Pearl will be offered at the inaugural GRNSW Puppy Auction in May. 

While most expected the five pups from She’s A Pearl’s first litter would have a ‘not for sale’ sign on them, the man who guided She’s A Pearl to greatness, Andy Lord, confirmed today that four pups are definitely on the market.

The quartet - three dogs and a bitch - are guaranteed to attract enormous attention and will undoubtedly spark some spirited bidding at the first NSW greyhound auction held since 2019, before COVID-19 hit.

She’s A Pearl, a winner of 39 races including the TAB Million Dollar Chase and Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg, and almost $1.8 million in prizemoney, retired from the racetrack in August last year when she came on season, and in October she had the litter of pups to super sire Fernando Bale.

“I’m a big supporter of puppy auctions, I really think we need them,” Lord said. “Obviously She’s A Pearl’s pups will be a drawcard, and I’m hoping it can kick start the industry a bit again as far as puppy auctions go.

“I have just got off the phone from Ireland where I was offered $50,000 for the one bitch in the litter. The buyer was happy to leave her with me to train but when she was finished racing she was headed to Ireland and I like to see my dogs stay in Australia.

“They are beautiful pups, outgoing like their mum, not scared of anything, and a good size. The only one I’m not putting in was born like the mum. Pearl had a kink in her tail up the top, and this one, we call him Zorro, he’s got the lightning bolt look right through the whole tail, so obviously we wouldn’t put him in, and Jodie (his wife and the State’s premier trainer) has already claimed him.” 

The Auction will take place on May 26 this year, with the associated race series to be conducted in October-November 2025.

The winner of the Auction Race Series Final will collect $150,000, the fourth most lucrative prize in NSW greyhound racing, behind only the Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase ($1 million), the Ladbrokes 715 ($500,000), and the Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg ($350,000).

“We lost puppy auctions through COVID and it’s been a massive decision from GRNSW to bring it back,” Lord said. “When you have auctions regularly, people know they are there every year and rely upon it, then it gets taken away from them and people go other ways then. The auction supporters stop breeding.

“But while I think it was a big decision to do this, I think it will be a winner.

“I really think we need them. We need some sort of incentive for breeders, and hopefully we can also attract new people to the industry.”

Lord confirmed that the She’s A Pearl quartet won’t be the only pups he takes to the auction, with buyers set to be spoilt for choice of quality bloodlines.

“I’m going to put a few pups in. Some out of (Group 1 winner) Good Odds Emma, Bandit Jane and Coast Model,” he said.

“I’ll pick a few out of their litters and I’ll be hoping to take probably 12 well-bred pups up there, all at a good age for people to buy.

“For me this is about giving something back to the industry. You take plenty out of the industry it’s good to give a bit back where you can, and hopefully these pups will create some interest and get more people involved in the auction and greyhound racing.

“I really hope it’s well supported at the end of the day, and, I will happily put my hand up to be the trainer for the She’s A Pearl pups. That’s having your cake and eating it too,” he joked.