SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9: JB Irrigation Feature Grade 5 heats (512 m). 400 m, 512 m, 600 m races according to nominations received. Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, October 4 with GRSA. See "Racing Calendar" for full details. TUESDAY AND SATURDAY TRIALS: 9 a.m. (SA time).
Thursday, September 29, 2016
It’s now been close to 30 years since Bea Bryant trained her first winner – Carry On Pom at Mount Gambier’s original greyhound track at Glenburnie.
As such she would have noticed a few differences when racing for the first time at the purpose-built Tara Raceway on Lake Terrace East in June this year.
Bryant had made the trip over from Heathmere with Colden Star which created a huge impression when winning over 400 metres by 13 lengths in 23.20 seconds. The daughter of Collision and Express Links then returned several weeks later for another impressive short-course win.
Last Sunday, Bryant was back at Tara Raceway for a third time – with a black and white bitch called Colden Girl that she had bred herself.
Colden Girl, a daughter of Farmor Las Vegas x Soul Calibur, had previously been at Lara with Robert Britton who had also trained both her sire and dam.
But according to Bryant she never really settled in the larger kennel environment and after six starts she returned to Heathmere.
Having her first race start since July, but with the benefit of a recent trial on the track, Colden Girl ran right up to her odds-on quote in last Sunday’s JB Irrigation Maiden (400 m) when rounding up tear away leader Star Eagle down the back before finishing strongly for an eight length win in 23.46 seconds.
The win completed a successful few days for Bryant and her owners – Roger Bryant and Colleen and Dennis Rose – after Colden Star had recorded a best of night 25.35 seconds win over 450 metres at Warrnambool on the previous Thursday night.
And later on Sunday there was much interest in another of their runners – Colden Girl’s litter brother Carry On Pendles which raced over 595 metres at Sandown Park where he gave plenty of cheek when running a 1½ length third.
FURTHER OPTIONS FOR GREYHOUNDS OF ALL ABILITIES
Greyhound Racing SA continues to investigate options to provide ongoing racing opportunities for greyhounds of all abilities.
GRSA racing manager, Shaun Mathieson, said this week that the next step in the evolution of the grading system was to provide a framework that analysed a greyhound’s true ability (speed or time) and placed them accordingly.
“A recent visit by leading Irish trainer Dolores Ruth provided an insight into the benefits of time-based grading which is used in Ireland and the UK and how it can be implemented successfully in Australia.”
On Wednesday, October 19, GRSA will conduct its first ever non-penalty meeting at Angle Park based on time grading with all greyhounds nominated for the meeting receiving a time rating figure which will be calculated on an average of their actual run time over the past few starts.
For example, a greyhound with six or more starts will have the time rating calculated on an average of the four fastest runs from its past six starts.
A time rating allocated to each individual start will be based on a GRSA-compiled SA Time Bands table that rates greyhounds from 1 to 12.
So for the purpose of the exercise let’s look at Fascinated’s past six Tara Raceway runs which were all over 512 metres – 30.52 (time rating 6), 30.87 (8), 30.39 (5), 30.18 (3), 30.49 (5), 30.49 (5).
Drop off the two slowest runs, 30.87 and 30.52, and she ends up with a rating of 4.5 which would see her grouped in a race with greyhounds of a similar time rating, notwithstanding that fields will consist of only maiden, grade 6 and grade 5 events with no mixing of grades.
Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard said the local club would be watching the time-based grading experiment with interest.
“Already, our club has been right behind Pathway racing for greyhounds with recent racing form that falls outside an identified time standard plus we’ve introduced Masters races for older dogs,” he said.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The monthly grade five 400 metre heats and final events continue to be well-supported by owners and trainers with last Sunday’s short-course scampers attracting four heats.
As a result, the first two placegetters from each heat will contest this Sunday’s final – Cheyenne Black taking the time honours with a personal best 23.10 seconds in the final heat, the Gambier Vets Stake.
Raced by Serviceton couple Valerie and David Brodhurst, Cheyenne Black, which had been unplaced at her past two starts over 512 metres, appreciated the drop back in distance when leading all the way from box two to defeat Secret Mantra, which chased the leader throughout, by 3¾ lengths.
Allendale East trainer Connie Miller’s Bushman’s Faith kicked off the heats in dashing style with an all the way 2¼ length win in the Berringa Park Stake over Galactic Dragon in another personal best of 23.20 seconds.
A son of Magic Sprite, Bushman’s Faith relocated from Victoria in mid-August and has really taken to Tara Raceway, having now won three 400 metre races and one over 512 metres from only six starts.
Pintail, back after a three-month injury spell, wrapped up a good day for Compton trainer Tracie Price when successful in the second heat – the Allestree Holiday Units Stake.
The beautifully-bred daughter of Bekim Bale and Flying Machine, after an early tussle with Rosie Bay, found the front and ran away to defeat that greyhound by 3¾ lengths in 23.47 seconds.
The win was the final leg of a treble for Price after Real Moment in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (400 m) made amends for a recent close second behind kennelmate Marlow Moment and Shannah’s Might took full advantage of a drop in class to impressively win the Winningformula.net.au Stake (512 m).
The treble resulted in Price’s seventh win in seven days at Tara Raceway with Grumpy Jim, Fear The Rascal and Marlow Moment successful on Sunday, September 18 and Rose Limes on Friday, September 23.
Kerry Hawker and Michael Robinson’s $500 greyhound Gentle Moment bounced back for another win when successful in the third heat – the Produce Store Stake.
On the pace early, Gentle Moment found the front turning for home and held off Dark Nemesis – a huge run after losing five lengths when stumbling at the start – to win by a neck in 23.65 seconds.
The win was the culmination of a good weekend for Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell who at the Friday meeting was successful with Black Peer in a Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m) Pathway heat.
David Peckham, of Allendale East, was another trainer to enjoy a good weekend after Goldie’s Run won the Trackside Meats Maiden (512 m) on Friday while his litter brother Blitz And Bolt and Thanks Captain were successful on Sunday in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) and Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (512 m).
Meanwhile, carrying over from last week-end’s double meeting will be five finals on Sunday – maidens (400 m, 512 m), grade six (512 m), grade five (400 m) and a Pathway (400 m).
Also adding plenty of interest to the 12-event card will be three higher grade races to be run over Tara Raceway’s three distances.
In the WinningFormula.net.au Mixed Stake (400 m) Galactic Tsunami will be chasing three consecutive wins when he takes on last start winner Real Moment while Thanks Captain will also be looking for a hat-trick in the Produce Store Mixed Stake (512 m).
And in the Trackside Meats Mixed Stake, seasoned middle-distance performers Glenville Jester and Old Jock will take on Julie’s Love, Hay Miss and Ari which fought out last Friday’s 600 metre South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Warracknabeal greyhound Elbow Room impressed with a stylish win in the Gordon Refrigeration Mixed Stake (600 metres) at Tara Raceway last Sunday afternoon.
Having his first run over the middle-distance journey, he quickly found a forward spot from box one before taking over the running down the back straight and then holding out race favourite Old Jock to score by 2¼ lengths.
Elbow Room’s time of 35.38 seconds was the quickest run at the track since Brazen Bomber clocked 35.33 seconds to win the Koroit 600 at the end of June.
The winner is raced by husband and wife team Ian and Jill Bibby under the banner of the Thirteenth Syndicate – so named because both their birthdays are on the 13th (in January and May) while Elbow Room’s birthday is also on January 13.
And in keeping with the number 13 theme, as it happened Sunday’s win was the black dog’s 13th. His first though at Tara Raceway after four previous attempts over 512 metres.
By College Causeway out of Lavana – a winner of 12 races, half of which were over 720 metres at Wentworth Park – Elbow Room was purchased by Bibby from Tatura owner Jim Auld after running a tidy 23.92 seconds for the 425 metre journey at Bendigo’s Ready2Race Sale in 2014.
“He certainly wasn’t a cheap purchase,” Bibby said. “But after kicking off with heat, semi-final and final wins in a GRV Vic. Bred maiden series at Shepparton in early 2015, and prizemoney now of more than $33,000, things have worked out pretty well.”
Meanwhile, in last Friday’s 600 metre event, the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake, Julie’s Love opened her middle-distance account for Sandford trainer Brad Mitchem.
Away fairly from box one, the daughter of Zulu Zeus and Paua Of Love stayed in touch with the leader Hay Miss before finishing too strongly in the home straight for a 1¾ length win in 35.54 seconds.
The win completed a couple of good days for Mitchem after Simply Ready, which is trained for him by Derek Coldstream in WA, won his seventh race when successful at Mandurah the previous night.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Saint Fox’s win in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 metres), the first of two heats for grade six greyhounds, at Tara Raceway last Friday resulted in a quick return for Mortlake owner-trainer Paul Herry.
The brindle bitch, which had won her past two starts at the track for previous trainer Ray Mahony, settled in third spot behind Sense Of Humour and Rico Jakit before moving out on the home turn and finishing strongly to defeat the Peter Hubbard-trained early leader by a head in 30.67 seconds.
Lektra Munster is also through to Sunday’s final after running home well for third spot as is Dream Dazzler which had no luck when running fourth.
The win of Saint Fox, a daughter of Spring Gun x Real Frosty, was Herry’s first at the local track since Cairnlea Red back in February with the purchase taking place only a fortnight ago when he was trialling at the Koroit track.
“I happened to say to Peter (track proprietor Peter Byrne) that I was looking for another dog to race and he mentioned that Saint Fox, which he bred, was for sale.
“So the deal was done and dusted pretty quickly and in no time flat I’m back among the winners,” a delighted Herry said.
And he’s now got a busy week coming up with Saint Fox drawn in box five in a Mixed 6/7 heat (525 metres) at The Meadows tomorrow before returning to Tara Raceway for Sunday’s final.
After a narrow defeat in the first heat, Hubbard regained his “sense of humour” in heat two when Little Showgun led all the way to defeat an improving Blitz And Bolt by a half length with Another Mai and Gemma Eagle not far away in third and fourth spots.
By Tomac Bale x Serial Chiller, Little Showgun (a litter brother to Sense Of Humour) carved out a handy 30.30 seconds and followed on from a maiden win over Azumi Swift at the previous meeting.
Hubbard was also successful at Tara Raceway last week with Cairnlea Lewis which he reported had since been sold and was now with Merrimu trainer Andrew Xerri.
FIRST WINNERS FOR LOCAL LITTERS
Azumi Touch (Comic Rumble x Elite Touch) produced her first winner last Friday when Azumi Swift, after three minor placings, impressed in a heat of the ClassicBet Maiden Stake (512 m).
Drawn awkwardly in box six, Azumi Swift took over the running going into the back straight and on the line had three lengths to spare over the slow-starting Digger Two in a more than handy 30.39 seconds.
The nicely-conformed black bitch is trained at Worrolong by Lee Bartholomew and raced in partnership with husband Steve, with the pair also breeding the litter.
In a 73-start career, Azumi Touch, which has since whelped to Dyna Tron, won 15 races at Tara Raceway and one at Angle Park as well as accumulating 24 minor placings.
Joining Azumi Swift and Digger Two in the final will be Delcorn Potts and Podium Time while in the second heat (Trackside Meats Maiden Stake) the David Peckham trained Goldie’s Run took a first turn opening before going on to a two length win in 30.67 seconds.
Running home well for second behind Goldie’s Run was the Price-trained Lady Shannah which was having her first start as a rising 3½-year-old. By Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star, Lady Shannah is a litter sister to proven performers Fear The Rascal and Shannah’s Might.
And making up the 512 metre maiden final field for Sunday will be Easy Betts which made a real mess of the start and Cudgee’s Myla which should be better for the run.
The Tracie Price trained Rose Limes won on debut for the Bouchier brothers – Bernie and Kevin. The win came after she chased Suspicious Col for much of the journey before lunging on the line for a nose victory in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 m).
The black bitch is the first of the Banjo Boy x Nicky’s Moment litter (bred at Compton by Price) to win after a first litter by Spring Gun produced Winter Classic winner Stylish Moment, Sakanon Moment (18 wins) and Bourne Cheeky.
Suspicious Col continues to race well without winning for Portland couple Rebecca Smith and Callan Ward who, together with their family, will soon relocate to Ballarat.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
There was added interest in Friday’s Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway after caller Jim Jacques announced prior to the running of race eight that there was still one live ticket in the final leg of the Bartholomew Pick 6.
The Pick 6 is a free competition run at the weekly greyhound meeting for on-course patrons who are required to pick the winners of races three through to eight.
The competition had last been won on March 13, 2015 when Chris Johnson of Horsham picked up more than $900 after he successfully selected Brazen Beauty, Marlow Moment, Mi Diablo, Mega Moment, Paranoia and Brazen Bull.
Mind you, it probably helped that Johnson had owned three of the winning six!
Turns out on Friday that Kevin Jones, a Tara Raceway regular and a track volunteer, was the last man standing after Azumi Swift ($2.30), Goldie’s Run ($3.80), Julie’s Love ($2.45), Saint Fox ($4.40) and Little Showgun ($1.90) won the first five legs.
Jones, the first patron to reach the last leg since Johnson 18 months earlier, was hoping for an $820 pay-day with the Don Turner trained He’s Innocent, a $5.50 chance from box six.
Berry Bling quickly found the front from box one and Jacques entered into the spirit of the occasion as the field took the first turn when calling “right behind her is He’s Innocent for Jonesy”.
The race ultimately developed into a two-dog affair but He’s Innocent was unable to run down Berry Bling which on the line had 1½ lengths to spare in a quick 29.99 seconds.
“I certainly got a run for my money,” Jones said. “And it made for a change because usually I bomb out in the first leg.”
For sure, Jonesy had given it his best shot.
It was a successful return to the track for Berry Bling, a daughter of Lochinvar Marlow and Lady Bling, which had been off the track for three months due to a toe injury.
The win was the first leg of a double for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley who wrapped up another good day at the track after Mr Caudo was later successful in the JB Irrigation Masters Stake (400 m).
Mr Caudo’s win saw the veteran chaser move into third spot in the Greyhound of the Year award and also was Stanley’s 50th Tara Raceway win this year.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
It’s been an interesting journey for Allendale East greyhound Thanks Captain since defeating Stampy Longnose in a maiden 512 metre event at Tara Raceway some 14 months ago.
Owned at Happy Valley by Ross Schurgott, who purchased the son of Fabregas and Zadar Belle as a pup, the David Peckham trained black dog has since gone on to win a further five races, all in good style.
His latest win was last Sunday at Tara Raceway when he took the lead down the back in the Gordon Refrigeration Feature Grade Five final (512 m) and then held off strong finishes from He’s Innocent and Fascinated.
The win was a far cry from late last year when connections opted to place him in Adelaide for a stint of racing and where at Gawler he failed to pass a very generous time standard in a 531 metre qualifying trial.
Needless to say, Thanks Captain, often referred to as the “reluctant racer” because of a general attitude problem at times when it came to anything remotely connected to greyhound racing, quickly found himself back in Mount Gambier.
Later, a win over smart type Ireland’s Oyster in April at odds of $35 had Schurgott and Peckham cautiously hoping that perhaps Thanks Captain might have turned the corner.
Maybe he had, but they found themselves having to wait another four months after he sustained an injury.
Thanks Captain, which resumed at the end of August with a 400 metre win, continues to race with what appears to be renewed vigour after a couple of close seconds preceded the feature grade five win in 30.36 seconds.
The Captain will now take on a classy field in Sunday’s Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (512 m). This is the sort of race that should give his owner and trainer a fair idea of whether he’s really come in from the cold.
And whether he’s shrugged off that reluctant racer tag.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Sandford trainer Brad Mitchem will be hoping Julie’s Love can turn the tables on Hay Miss when the pair clashes again on Friday in the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (600 metres) at Tara Raceway.
At last Sunday’s meeting Hay Miss had quickly found a forward spot in the mixed 600 metre event and was able to hold out Julie’s Love to win by a neck with a further head back to the John Cameron trained Jasmine Lilly.
The win came on the back of four consecutive seconds at Tara Raceway and was the second leg of a running double for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley after Travel Ticket also broke an exasperating run of minor placings to win the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m).
Julie’s Love, a granddaughter of the Group 1-winning bitch Paua To Burn, hasn’t won since defeating the Stanley-trained Berry Bling at the end of May although Tara Raceway regulars have witnessed many fast-finishing placings from her since then.
And probably none more impressive than the effort last Sunday – after having raced over 731 metres only three days earlier at Angle Park – when she was standing the leaders up many lengths down the back straight before yet another powerful finish.
Julie’s Love has drawn box one again on Friday and with Hay Miss alongside her it should be another interesting race, even more so with the Cameron-trained runner Fascinated drawn in box five.
The diminutive Fascinated, which tips the scales at around 24 kilograms, is yet to race over 600 metres but the manner in which she stormed home over 512 metres last Sunday would suggest she should be suited to more ground.
CLASSIC WINNER RETURNS
Lektra Munster, winner of last month’s Banjo Boy Winter Classic at Tara Raceway, returns on Friday and looks well drawn in box eight in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m) which is the first heat of a grade six series.
Now in the kennels of Brian Weis, Lektra Munster had little luck at his first start for the Portland trainer when unplaced over 450 metres at Warrnambool last week.
By Fabregas x Supreme Vision, the October 2014 black dog is one of a handy winning litter that also includes Lektra Boss (which picked up a cool $7500 when winning the GRV Vic Bred Series final at Horsham on Tuesday afternoon), Lektra Utah, Lektra Peck, Lektra Lucy, Lektra Boss and Lektra Aly.
Another member of the litter is the David Williams trained Lektra Ash which ran third in the classic final and has drawn box five in Friday’s first heat.
Also back at Tara Raceway in new hands is box one runner Saint Fox which won a maiden final over 512 metres early this month.
Now owned and trained by Paul Herry of Mortlake, Saint Fox led all the way from box six in the final and despite running wide in the home straight was able to hold out subsequent winner Blitz And Bolt in 30.65 seconds.
Adding further interest to the heat are Sense Of Humour and Dream Dazzler which have drawn boxes three and seven respectively. Little separated the pair when they filled the placings behind Marcling in last Sunday’s Produce Store Stake (512 m).
With Grassmere trainer Peter Hubbard for only a couple of weeks, Sense Of Humour looked lost at her first run on the track and should be improved by the outing.
Dream Dazzler, a winner of two races over 515 metres at Angle Park this year, improved at her second start at Tara Raceway and looks a coming winner for Nicole Stanley.
Lewiston trainer Don Turner, after wins with Hotham Flyer and Marcling at the past two meetings, holds a strong hand in the second heat with Another Mai (box two), twice a winner at Gawler over 531 metres this month and third at Angle Park (515 m) on Monday night.
Don Nunn and Tracie Price combine again with box six runner Miss Mostly which is yet to race at Tara Raceway but was a smart 30.09 seconds 515 metre Sandown winner in May.
And further depth to the heat is added by way of Stanley’s Col’s Wallett, a winner of two 410 metre races at Horsham and Hubbard’s Little Showgun, a litter brother to Sense Of Humour, and an impressive 512 metre maiden winner last Sunday.