Eighteen months ago, Clint Kratzmann decided purchase a few tried greyhounds and get back into the racing game, re-igniting a passion he’d been a part of on and off for most of his life.
After being around greyhounds from an early age with his great uncle, hobby trainer Ray O’Sullivan and experiencing the highs and lows of ownership in his early twenties, Clint decided to take a break and focus on work and family.
“The first few years I struggled a lot because I was buying cheaper (dogs). I had winners, but I wasn’t doing it properly, so when (Ray) died I had about ten years out of it” Clint explains.
“When I came back this time, I was in a much better position financially, and also I’d learnt a lot from my first experience.”
“I decided to come back and buy quality race dogs and quality race bitches with the view to breeding down the track.”
Quality over quantity is the mantra for Kratzmann,
“I’ve gone out of my way to not have many, but have good ones.” he said.
The strategy appears to be paying off for Kratzmann as he alongside trainer Selena Zammit took out the 2016 Winged Runner trophy with quality bitch, the now retired Iona Champion (Don’t Knocka Him x Charlie Cheetah) who is sure to be one of the leading pieces in his new breeding operation.
“I’ve been back eighteen months, and Iona Champion has been by far my best. She won (about) $50,000.”
“I’m going to pretty active with my pups, I’ll sell some and keep some.”
“I’ll be keeping some of my progeny but I’ll still be looking to buy quality race dogs.”
Clint rates Mick and Selena Zammit along with Steve Kavanagh as his biggest influences and advisors, particularly as he embarks on his new breeding program.
“Mick and Selena have been fantastic to me on the racing side, and I’ve got a very close relationship with Steve Kavanagh.”
“I’ve bought two bitches off of (Steve).”
The exceptional Kavanagh line was appealing to Kratzmann, particularly considering it has produced influential stud dogs such as Cosmic Rumble, Ace Hi Rumble and Collision, but also the wealth of knowledge that Steve can provide which has proved invaluable to a relative newcomer to the breeding side of the industry.
“The big thing that (Steve) has taught me, and it’s a huge thing (with the greyhounds), is temperament.”
“(Steve) puts temperament above just about everything else.”
Kratzmann also believes that the Queensland Greyhound Industry could be on the verge of an uptick, despite popular opinion in the current climate.
“A lot of people will try and hose you down, but I believe we could be on the cusp (of a boom) if it’s let happen.”
“Obviously that’s what we all want, and I think it could happen.”
His advice for people looking to get involved in the industry on a budget is to look for race dogs rather than spending big money on pups.
“You can buy good sprinters, 400m dogs, for four or five thousand. You can go out and win races instead of paying 1500 or 2000 for a pup.”
“You know what you’ve got from day one, you know you’ve got something that can be competitive.”
Now, after a successful returning spell as an owner, Clint and his business, Clint’s Caravan Warehouse have teamed up with the BGRC to become the naming rights sponsor of October’s Gold Coast Cup.
The Kratzmann name is synonymous with caravans, and Clint cut his teeth working in sales for his father, before branching out and starting up his own business three years ago.
“In caravans, (the Kratzmanns) are nearly like the Wheelers in greyhounds.”
“We specialize in new and used caravans, as well as camper trailers.”
For Clint, sponsorship is just another way to be a part of an industry which he loves.
“I enjoy racing dogs, I want to go to the track and have that feeling that you get from owning a racing animal.”
“But it’s the people, the atmosphere, and being around a beautiful animal.”
The Group 3 Clint’s Caravan Warehouse Gold Coast Cup, worth $38,000 in total prizemoney, will be run on Thursday October 13, with the heats the Thursday prior, the 6th of October. Anybody wishing to contact Clint about his business can phone 1300 134 684 or visit thecaravanwarehouse.com.au.