The First Flag Bearer
Known by his kennel name ‘Charlie’, Bright Idea was one of the dominant greyhounds to race in the formative years of greyhound racing in Western Australia in the 1970’s, attracting mainstream media coverage for the fledgling sport.
Whelped as litter runt in 1972, owner and trainer Des Duncuff had to be convinced by the original owner to train him and initially only took the greyhound on a lease basis. One of the smallest dogs to race in his era, racing mostly between just under 26 to just over 27 kilograms, ‘Charlie’ was a strong, courageous and hard-chaser famous for his railing ability and uncanny track sense, who could both lead or come from behind.
Renowned for his racetrack rivalry with noted big-finisher Academy John, he earned the reputation as a “big race specialist” because he always seemed to win the races with the big trophies.
Winning eight feature event heats and winner in five of those finals, in addition to an astonishing eleven invitation event wins, he certainly earned the moniker.
Despite winning the WA Sprint Championship, he did not represent the State as WA did not start to compete in the Nationals until 1976, and following a severe toe injury was retired to stud in mid-October 1976 after winning his last 3 starts, but was subsequently poorly patronised. In a return to the track in late December 1976 “Charlie” was placed eight times from his first eleven starts.
Pundits had written off his comeback before a change in training routine saw him win a further five races including two feature event heats and a final.
During the period 1975-1977 he won the WA Sprint Championship, Summer Gift, Spring Gift and his last victory was in the 1977 Winter Cup Final at exactly five years of age to the day. He had been beaten into second in the same race two years prior. In a career that spanned 90 starts, he recorded 30 wins and 35 placings.
Having chased until the ripe old age of five years and nine months, Duncuff attributed his longevity to the late start to his racing career, only winning his Maiden at 29 months of age.
Bright Idea was crowned WA’s first Greyhound of the Year titleholder in 1975, with a princely prize of a new $4,000 Datsun motor vehicle.
PRINCIPAL RACE WINS