Tayla Duley’s greyhound training career off to flying start

Nighthawk Zeus provided Tayla Duley with a win on a premier night at Addington. Photo credit: Dave Robbie.

Tayla Duley has quickly come a long way in a short period of time since taking up training greyhounds.

The 26-year-old was originally involved in harness racing; however, she had no hesitation in making the switch to greyhound racing after meeting young trainer Dan Roberts.

She had a brief period of working with Tony Hart, and when Matt Roberts and Sarah Clausen offered her three kennels to train from, Duley seized the opportunity.

Duley has filled those kennels with three handy greyhounds and the success she has enjoyed led to her being deservedly named as the August GRNZ Board Award winner, which celebrates young achievers in the industry.

“I am rapt to win the award. Having the young achiever award is a really good overall initiative for the industry,” said Duley.

She has formed a successful racing partnership with Craig Bradford, after the proprietor of the Crate & Barrel Hotel asked her to source him a greyhound.

Duley’s first win as a trainer came during the 4 July 2023 Addington meeting, when she presented Nighthawk Zeus to win a C2 295m sprint in 17.23.

A win from Nighthawk Jet soon followed for Duley, when he won over 520m at Addington in a C2 event, clocking 30.41.

And it certainly won’t be long before the third member of her team, Hurunui Molly, opens her winning account for her.

The biggest success in her fledging training career came during the Christchurch 13 July 2023 Premier meeting, when she mentored Nighthawk Zeus to victory in his C3 295m sprint, completing the dash in 17.33.

Her charge led throughout, leading home the Matt Roberts-prepared Claws In Sparky by 1.25 lengths.

“That win was huge for me – really exciting,” enthused Duley. Ironically, Nighthawk Zeus was previously trained by Matt Roberts.

She openly acknowledges the Roberts family and the assistance they provide her.

“They have all been tremendous in the help they have provided me. Without Matt and Sarah, I would never have had the opportunity to train. I couldn’t do it without them or Pete Clausen.”

She adds, “Nighthawk Jet is my favourite dog. He has such a lovely nature and personality. He always tries hard, and he has done really well.”

She is also grateful to Kim Fraser who, along with Matt Roberts, has bred numerous greyhounds who carry the Nighthawk naming prefix from the broodbitch Nighthawk Rose.

“Kim has been really good to me,” she explained.

“I would love to keep on training and I’m quite happy with what I currently have,” commented Duley.

Duley freely speaks to members of the public whenever she is out with her greyhounds, including when travelling greyhounds around the country.

“Generally, people have a lack of knowledge about greyhounds. People ask me questions and I try to educate them and tell them about the positives about greyhounds. I feel good doing that and they always leave with a smile on their faces,” she explained.

And it is that type of invaluable background public education work that Tayla Duley undertakes which greatly assists the public understanding and perception about greyhounds, which in turn assists with creating positive awareness about the greyhound code.


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 05 October 2023

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