Wheeler And The Daillys: A Special ‘Team’

Team Dailly forged one of the greatest partnerships in greyhound racing with legendary breeder Paul Wheeler, until the industry icon’s recent passing.

Gerard Guthrie

26 October 2021

Victoria’s premier trainer Andrea Dailly, husband Tom and Tom’s brother George – aka ‘Team Dailly’ – forged one of the greatest partnerships Australian greyhound racing – make that sport – has seen with legendary breeder Paul Wheeler, until the industry icon’s tragic recent passing.

“The biggest thing that ever happened to us was the day Paul Wheeler asked us to train his dogs,” said George Dailly.

“Paul gave us the chance to show what we could do.

“We had a lot of great times training Paul’s dogs but more importantly, it was the man he was. It was a shock to lose him.

“When we started training dogs for the Wheeler family 20-21 years ago, for probably the first ten years we mostly spoke to Paul when he was sending us dogs, or it was time for us to move some of his dogs on.

“But over the last eight or ten years we developed a really good friendship.

“I always looked forward to Paul’s phone calls; we spoke about everything, racing, business, what was going on in the industry. There was no bullshit with him, he was never afraid to give you his opinion!

“As successful as Paul was, he never sat on his bum. He was always looking to the future and working out how he could improve things. He always had a plan to take things to the next level.

“He was a visionary and that’s why he was so successful.”

The omnipotent Dailly/Wheeler association was highlighted by the great Fernando Bale, the greyhound racing world’s first million-dollar earner, an eight-time Group 1 winner and regarded by many as the best ever.

The families also combined to win two Melbourne Cups, courtesy of another ‘millionaire’ in Dyna Double One, a four-time G1 winner that ran down Fernando Bale in an unforgettable 2015 Cup final, and 2011 winner Dyna Tron, the year the Wheelers incredibly supplied seven finalists.

“Fernando Bale was the best but there were so many,” Dailly said.

“Dyna Double One, Dyna Tron, Cromlah Bale (G1 Vic Peters Classic, G2 Traralgon Cup) and Allen Deed (G1 Adelaide Cup, The Meadows 525m Track Record).

“Then you’ve got Heston Bale and Bekim Bale that both could’ve broken the Sandown record in maidens at a Sunday meeting if things had gone their way.”

While the Wheeler relationship continues unabated, the Daillys are now making a significant impact with their own breeding lines and it’s absolutely no surprise Paul’s fingerprints can be seen on their success.

The powerful Anakie kennel has an excellent chance to celebrate homegrown Group glory over the next week after claiming winning doubles in the heats of both the G1 Hume Cup (600m) and G2 Cranbourne Cup (520m).

Litter sisters Gypsy Wyong and Gypsy Urana won Hume Cup heats at The Meadows, while Lala Kiwi and Daph’s Ascend advanced to the Cranbourne Cup, with defending champion Jax Bale giving the Daillys a third finalist.

“When I bought this property in 2015, I wasn’t sure about the ground being suitable, so I got Paul to have a look at it,” Dailly explained.

“I used Paul’s rearing establishments as a guide, but Paul didn’t really rear pups. He trained them to be race dogs from the day they were born.

“If you want to be good at anything, you look at people who’ve been successful and try to emulate it and improve on it, if you can.

“I’ve always liked breeding and while Paul wouldn’t tell me who to breed with, we would talk about it, and I’d look at what bitches Paul had put to a stud dog and try to work out why he’d done that.

“I didn’t realise how closely Paul looked at what other breeders were doing but he’d ring me and say I noticed you’ve crossed this with that.

“When it looked like greyhound racing might’ve been finished in NSW, Paul sent me down a couple of females that he thought he probably wouldn’t be able to breed with. 

“We were going to go 50/50 but then Paul said he was giving them to me. There were two of them – Dyna Gypsy and Fabriola Allen – and he just gave them to me. That’s the sort of person he was.”

One of those gifted matrons, Dyna Gypsy, is the mother of $2.70 Hume Cup favourite Gypsy Wyong, already the winner of 13 from 23, including the G3 Top Cat Video Cup (725m).

Likewise, Lala Kiwi is a key player in Saturday’s Cranbourne Cup, with the $4 chance unbeaten in four appearances at the track, highlighted by the G3 Cranbourne Classic.

Paul Wheeler’s funeral service will be held next Monday, November 1, at St. John’s Anglican Church in Young, NSW, commencing at 11.00am.