Two of the Greats in the Greyhound Racing Industry Lost

This week, we lost two wonderful people in Greyhound Racing; Mike Martin and Joan Bates.


Joan was a well-respected administrator who ran the Wellington Greyhound Racing Club right up until its closing.

Joan joined forces with the Wellington Greyhound Club in the late seventies, holding its hand as it took its first steps as an equalisator club through the 'on course only' days and then its first 'full tote' meeting.
Hutt Park greyhounds were the place to be in Wellington when they were the only place you could see vision of the fabled Avondale night gallops.  The place would be packed and rest assured that Joan sold everyone a ticket in the raffle.
The late 90s saw Harness move away from Hutt Park and eventually the venue closed for the Greyhounds too, with Joan overseeing the move of the Wellington Cup meeting to Hatrick Raceway, Wanganui.
Joan continued to serve the club until around 2014 and was in some way fitting that without her at the helm the club ceased operations soon after.
Joan was a no-nonsense administrator who gave her heart and close to 40 years of service to the sport that she loved.


Mike, along with his wife Linda, was a very successful trainer, training memorable racers such as Spadeworthy, El's Gypsy and Matanuska.
Since Mike was young, Greyhound Racing was in his blood; his father, Brian, was the race caller in the Central district. Mike became a successful trainer and was heavily involved in the running of the Tokoroa Greyhound Racing Club with his wife Linda.

Spadeworthy was his best race dog. Spadeworthy had a freak accident leading a field at the height of his career and unfortunately broke his neck. Mike carefully nursed him back to health and returned him to racing again and Spadeworthy was still an open class competitor. 

Many trainers remember Mike from the good old days and said he was a "good bugger" "a very passionate trainer who speaks his mind" and "a stalwart for those with lesser opportunity than others."

Both were pillars of our industry and will be sorely and dearly missed. Our love goes out to their family and friends.

Posted on 29 May 2020

< Back