Vale - Johnny Mooney

By Jeff Collerson
Johnny Mooney, one of the great trainers of the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000s, died on Thursday, his 74th birthday.

Mooney, who won fame as a trainer while exercising his dogs around the streets of Lidcombe, moved to Green Point on the Central Coast in 2006 where he enjoyed continued success.

Mooney bought his first greyhound, Blue Rhombo, for $60 with money from a tax refund he had received while working part-time earning pocket money during high school holidays.

Blue Rhombo won 10 races for Mooney, who always acknowledged the late great trainer Bill Fletcher as his mentor. 

Among the outstanding greyhounds Mooney trained were Speedy Clogs, Miss Wongarbon, McGillucuddy, Last Quoted and Best Quoted.

Speedy Clogs was runner-up to He's Some Boy in the 1973 National Distance Championship, held at Brisbane's Gabba track, while McGillucuddy, a brilliant Harold Park sprinter, finished fourth to Tasmanian star Busy Vintage in the 1984 National Sprint Championship at the Glebe track.

McGillucuddy later went to America where he stood at stud.

In more recent years Mooney had tremendous success travelling around Australia with the great stayers Last Quoted and Best Quoted.

Last Quoted broke the Cannington long distance record in a heat of the Perth Galaxy and took out the 2005 Albion Park Gold Cup and Melbourne's Roy Maidment Memorial.

Best Quoted won the Perth Galaxy final at Cannington, the West End Distance Championship at Adelaide's Angle Park and in 2005 brought Australia's richest long distance prize, the Sandown Cup, back to Sydney.

GRNSW wishes to extend sincere condolences to the Mooney family and to the legion of greyhound folk up and down the east coast of Australia, who counted Johnny as their friend._