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    Tony Brealey: The Coppice Man's Passion for Greyhound Racing and Fast Cars
Tony Brealey: The Coppice Man's Passion for Greyhound Racing and Fast Cars
Coppice Mary with her puppies on the track at Bicester, also (inset) Tony Brealey with Coppice Fox . Source: greyhound star

Tony Brealey: The Coppice Man's Passion for Greyhound Racing and Fast Cars

In an engaging discussion, Greyhound Star editor Floy Amphlettand greyhound breeder Tony Briley from South Derbyshire unveiled their shared love for dogs, disdain for bureaucrats, and more. Tony's bustling schedule initially hindered an immediate meeting, but after a few days, he returned the call.

"Crayfords yesterday, then Oxford in the evening, Bicester in the morning... runners on 4 tracks, coaches, winners of yesterday's races... Finally free! Can we talk?" exclaimed Tony, shedding light on the demands of his commitments.

Tony, a successful businessman unafraid of risks, narrated his venture of acquiring an aerosol and liquid chemicals company in 2006, initially considered lacking in growth prospects. Tony's strategic leadership transformed it into a thriving enterprise.

Image Source: Midjourney

Having cherished dogs since childhood, with flyball as his favourite pastime, Tony reached the final of the British Championship in 2010, a source of great pride. "If they ask me what I love most, I will answer, it’s greyhound racing and cars! Fast dogs and fast cars - that's what turns me on and gives me drive!"

For six years, Tony, a relative newcomer, has actively participated in the world of dogs, earning recognition with the prefix Coppice, named after his house. Notably, Cygnet Denver, trained by Kevin Hutton, clinched the 2022 Laurels and Produce Stakes, adding to Tony's roster of champions like HadfordRanger, Hadford Zidane, and Grand National victor Coppice Fox.

Presently overseeing about 70 runners, Tony's team is under the guidance of four coaches. Noteworthy racers include young talents like Koppis Ella, Koppis Sapphire, and the promising Coppice Gracie, earmarked for the British Breeders Stakes.

When the discussion turned to greyhound racing as a business, Tony raised pertinent issues. While the industry is rigorously regulated for drug testing, disparate results from various laboratories pose challenges. Tony expressed doubt about the GBGB's coherent plan for marketing and investing in racing, contrasting it with his company's successful £1 million investment in production.

Image Source: Midjourney

Tony highlighted the meagre prize money as a deterrent for potential owners and criticised the substandard food and service at many tracks. Suggesting improvements, he proposed the introduction of a national owner's privilege card for preferential access to licensed GBGB tracks and advocated for organised owner days on tracks.

Tony acknowledged variations in track quality, praising Hove, Romford, and Crayford for their efforts in ensuring owners feel valued. Despite industry challenges, Tony's enthusiasm remains undeterred, as evidenced by his parting laughter: "After buying another dog, these thoughts disappear from my head!"

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