Carl Haas Snr


By Peter Quilty

Greyhound racing ‘jack-of-all-trades’ Carl Haas Snr has died.

Haas passed away in his sleep in the early hours of Saturday morning, January 22 – three days after his 90th birthday.

A stalwart of the sport, Haas was highly respected as a greyhound trainer and administrator, and bookmaker.

Haas was raised in Malvern and attended Caulfield Grammar before following his father, Rudolf, into bookmaking.

And it was as a ‘satchel swinger’ which proved a catalyst to his significant contribution to greyhound racing.

“In late 1975, Dad bought a 42-acre property at Tynong on the back of a big day fielding at Flemington races and Sandown dogs,” his son, Carl Jnr, said.

“He won $30,000 on Oaks Day and followed up with another $30,000 win that night.”

With an unlimited dog permit at the Gippsland property, Haas and wife Pat – a GRV Hall of Famer – had unlimited success.

They raced greyhounds the ilk of Overflow Love (four-time Group race winner), Jennifer (an Australian Cup finalist), Geoff’s Bank (a Melbourne Cup favourite and Wentworth Park track record holder), Striding Ahead (a Melbourne Cup finalist, which won 13 straight at Olympic Park) and Worth Backing (a Topgun winner).

Striding Ahead is renowned for being one of the best beginners the sport has ever seen. It’s believed she placed her hind legs up against the roll-down entry shutters to the boxes at Olympic Park and ‘kicked off’ them after the lids opened. And Carl Jnr reckons it’s not ‘urban myth’.

Amazingly, Worth Backing dead-heated in two major finals – the inaugural 1993 Topgun with Golden Currency and the 1992 Traralgon Cup with Tough As Tears.

But it’s Overflow Love which was dear to the heart of Carl Snr.

“His favourite greyhound was Overflow Love, and his favourite horse was Bernborough,” Carl Jnr said.

And he added his father was an innovator when it came to bookmaking.

“He kept his own form cards prior to the advent of computers – that was one of his key advantages. He and his sister, Barbara, eventually printed them, along with tips, and sold them as form guides in the 1950s and ’60s.

“And Dad was also a stickler for sectional timing. He had the staff place coloured discs at two specific points at Sandown Park until a club director exposed the ploy.”

Haas commenced bookmaking at Cranbourne greyhounds and eventually fielded on all three codes – primarily Olympic Park and Sandown greyhounds; all metropolitan thoroughbreds; and the Showgrounds harness.

Haas also gave distinguished service to greyhound racing as an administrator.

He was an MGRA director for around 16 years, according to Carl Jnr, and a committee member and president at Warragul GRC.

“Dad was also president of the Country Clubs Association and through that position obtained a coordinated approach in negotiations with GRV,” Carl Jnr said.

“He adopted a pragmatic style to greyhound racing administration. He was also a strong advocate for ‘arm trials’ and the ‘stir-up’.”

Winner – G1 Sapphire Crown, G1 Maturity Classic, G1 Golden Jubilee, G2 Queensland Futurity
Runner-up – Inaugural 1977 Celebrity Stakes (invitation only)
NB. The Golden Jubilee was to celebrate 50 years of greyhound racing in Australia and was the biggest race in NSW for 1977. It is the equivalent to the current Golden Easter Egg.

Winner – $48K New Zealand Cup (Olympic Park)
Finalist – G1 Australian Cup (4th)
Raced seven times for seven wins at the old Geelong track (Showgrounds) over each distance.
Won from 300m to 732m.

Winner – Olympic Park Sprint Championship, Moomba Cup, Hume Cup, Celebrity Stakes
Runner-up – Sandown Sprint Championship
Finalist – 1979 G1 Melbourne Cup
Won 29 races at Olympic Park in 1981 and 13 in a row.
The first female greyhound to break 30sec at Olympic Park and did it twice. No other greyhound broke 30sec in 1980 or 1981.