The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4: Nominations closed. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9: Christmas Meeting heats. Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, December 5 with GRSA. See "Racing Calendar" for full details. TUESDAY AND SATURDAY TRIALS: 9 a.m. (SA time).

When you’re on a good thing . . .

Thursday, December 1, 2016

There’s a long-held theory in greyhound folklore that when it comes to repeat matings the odds of the litter resulting in something special is minimal.

So, regardless of how good a first mating may have been, some breeders refuse to take their dam back to the same sire.

Even Paul Wheeler, one of Australia’s most successful breeders, has been quoted as saying that in general he was not a big fan of repeat matings.

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Owner Margaret Cryer with promising youngster Cryer’s Bob after his grade 5 win last week.

But there are enough statistics, and plenty of examples to suggest that repeat matings do indeed work.

Back in November 2014 when Apsley breeder Tom Cryer’s bitch Cryer’s Midget came on season for a second time he didn’t have too many issues about going back to Spring Gun.

After all, February 2013 whelping Cryer’s Fred had kicked off his racing career in fine style, winning seven races by the time his dam was ready to be mated again.

Cryer always reckoned that Cryer’s Bob was the pick of the second litter – whelped in January 2015.

The brindle dog was to make his debut at Tara Raceway on October 14 but in somewhat unusual circumstances was scratched at the track prior to racing due to a nondescript cough.

Cryer’s Bob received a 10-day suspension however a nonplussed Cryer was able to have it reduced to seven days with the dog subsequently winning on debut over 512 metres at the next meeting.

He won again three starts later before really drawing attention to himself in last Friday’s Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m).

Stepping up to grade five company at only his sixth race start, Cryer’s Bob chased early leader Jasmine Lilly down the back straight before finishing too strongly for that greyhound in a best of day time of 30.37 seconds.

Such was the effort that some track regulars have predicted he could well become the next Cryer’s Fred – a fair call considering that the older brother has now won 33 races.

Two other members of the second litter will race at Tara Raceway on Sunday – Cryer’s Plugger in the Gambier Vets Maiden final (512 m) and Cryer’s Sid in the Metal Worx Maiden final (400 m).

Cryer’s Plugger was having only his second start in last Friday’s heat and should be improved on his half length second behind Mummy’s OK while Cryer’s Sid looks well drawn in the eight after having led all the way from that box in a heat last Friday.

And the last word on repeat matings probably has to go to Irishman Declan Murphy who posted on Greyhound-Data: “Anyone who thinks that a repeat mating is not right is either the eldest or an only child.”


Local trainer is enjoying the moment

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A $500 three-pup purchase from a litter by Golden Mike x Leeor Girlie – bred by Claude Merrett of Serviceton – was how Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell initially became involved in greyhound racing.

This was back just before the new track on Lake Terrace East was opened on January 25, 1997.

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John Hawker, Mo Canala, Dean Fennell and Kerry Hawker pictured at Tara Raceway last Friday with John Limes.

As it turned out, one of the pups – Claude’s Mistake – won five races at the new track with Fennell later having plenty of success with Merrett-owned dogs carrying the Leeor tag.

In fact, he still rates Leeor Sid (Kyasha x Janet Jay) and Leeor Sam (Where’s Pedro x Jakaia) as his two best dogs with the former still winning races at five years of age and retiring after 101 starts for 18 wins and 33 minor placings while Leeor Sam won 19 races.

Fennell, 66, reckons he hasn’t made too many purchases since those initial three pups but he’s had his share of success with greyhounds from other kennels.

In fact, it’s been an association with leading local trainer Tracie Price that has helped him enjoy his best year ever – three wins over the weekend with John Limes, Gentle Moment and Whatta Moment taking his tally to 28 wins.

“About three years ago I received a package from work and finished up out at Trackside Meats doing a bit for Tracie. One thing led to another and I took a few of his dogs that he was looking to move on in order to bring in younger stock,” Fennell said.

“It’s just gone on from there but with 14 dogs currently in work it’s a real team effort with wife Edna and young Mo (Canala) making significant contributions.”

Gentle Moment and Whatta Moment, all the way winners in last Sunday’s grade five 400 metre heats, have drawn boxes three and seven respectively in this Sunday’s final at Tara Raceway.

And Fennell looks to hold a strong hand in the final as he will supply half the field after Black Peer and Stampy Longnose also qualified.

John Limes, who finished strongly in a grade six heat last Friday, will be looking to make it three wins in succession when he jumps from box eight in the Trackside Meats Grade Six final (512 m).

It’s an interesting final with Cap Abbott’s box one runner Irka Jakit racing well, the Price-trained Goldie’s Run (box five) also a smart heat winner and Brian Weis’s Baurna Sal, despite drawing box six, expected to improve on her heat fourth placing.

 

RUFUS ON THE RIGHT PATH

It’s taken a while, but Red River Rufus finally broke through for his fourth win when successful in a Pathway heat (400 m) at Tara Raceway last Friday.

Away well from box two, the son of Spring Gun and Wentworth Park winner Carmina led all the way to defeat the fast finishing Crazy Sprite by 1½ lengths in 23.79 seconds.

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Red River Rufus found winning form again for Coleraine trainer Bob Wombwell.

The win was Red River Rufus’s first in 14 months and even back then owner Ray Aslin and Coleraine trainer Bob Wombwell had had to share the prizemoney after a dead-heat was declared with Glenville Abbey.

Wombwell, successful early last month at Tara Raceway with the Aslin-owned Rocksferry Road, said he was starting to wonder whether Red River Rufus would ever win another race.

“He certainly doesn’t win out of turn but with 18 seconds he’s the sort of dog that’s often about the place. Hopefully, now that he’s broken through again he can go on with the job,” he said.

And with his early pace he certainly looks hard to beat in Sunday’s Pathway final after drawing box one.

Also likely to be in the mix on Sunday for Wombwell are Fear Helvetia in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m) and Rocksferry Road in the Gordon Refrigeration Open Stake (400 m).

Fear Helvetia, purchased by Wombwell after a Tara Raceway maiden win, has won a further six races but has been out of the winner’s list since May when successful at Horsham.

However, the son of Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star looks well boxed in the one and get his chance to atone for a second behind Bushman’s Faith at last Sunday’s meeting.

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Odd Boots pictured after his 600 metre win last Friday with owner-trainer Robert Halliday.

Also adding interest to the grade five affair are box two runner Odd Boots, a winner over 600 metres for Portland owner-trainer Robert Halliday at last Friday’s meeting, and the Allen Williams owned and trained Penny Eagle.

By Cosmic Rumble x Guru Doll, a litter sister to former Tara Raceway 400 metre record holder Star Doll, Odd Boots was purchased as a pup (along with Brinza and Guru Doll) by Halliday who now has an eight-month-old litter out of Guru Doll by Fabregas.

Penny Eagle impressed in her best of day 23.34 seconds win over 400 metres in a grade six last Friday with Williams saying after the race that he was now looking at the grade five bitches only Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet (400 m), heats of which will be run on Friday, December 9.

Rocksferry Road has also drawn well in box two in a race that also includes proven speedsters Slipper’s Chance, Cheyenne Black, Scorpion and Colden Star.


First winner for young greyhound owner

Monday, November 28, 2016

Young Kongorong owner Will Kelly – a fourth generation Bouchier – landed his first winner with his first greyhound when Goldie’s Run won Friday’s first heat of the 512 metre grade six series, the Allestree Holiday Units Stake.

Having his fourth run for Compton trainer Tracie Price, Goldie’s Run found the front going out of the first turn and from then on in a rough-house affair never looked like being beaten, eventually running out a four length winner over Spinach in 30.53 seconds.

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Will Kelly, 15, landed his first winner when Goldie’s Run was successful at Tara Raceway last Friday. Also pictured are trainer Tracie Price and Will’s grandfather, Bernie Bouchier. The four hard hats were hung as a mark of respect for the four young forestry workers killed in a car crash near Penola last week.

Kelly, 15, a grandson of well-known local greyhound breeder Bernie Bouchier, had originally been looking for a pup before Price suggested a performed dog might be the way to go.

“I pointed out to Will that it’s a fairly long wait for a pup to hit the track and if something came along ready to race then that could be the way to go,” Price said.

As it happened, Goldie’s Run, which had recently won a 512 metre maiden at Tara Raceway in 30.67 seconds, shortly after came on the market at a reasonable price and that’s the path young Kelly went down.

Whelped in January 2015, the black dog, which is by Cosmic Rumble out of Wentworth Park winner Moonshine Sally, should now give Kelly another great sight in this Sunday’s final.

The South Eastern Hotel Stake, the second of the grade six heats, saw John Limes, after his maiden success at the previous meeting, make it two wins on the trot.

Raced by John Hawker and Dean Fennell, and trained by the latter, John Limes was sitting in fourth spot mid-race before unleashing a big run and accounting for a pretty handy field when defeating Irka Jakit by 2½ lengths in 30.72 seconds.

Making up the final will be Brinza, Marcado, Rose Limes and Baurna Sal.

 

TRAINER CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY WITH A WIN

For Allendale East trainer Connie Miller it was a case of her 70th birthday coming a day early after Bushman’s Faith scored a convincing win in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway’s Sunday meeting.

The black dog quickly found the front from box five before going on to a 3¾ length win over Fear Helvetia in 30.28 seconds which was only marginally slower than Fiorelli Rose’s 30.27 seconds best of day in the Gambier Vets Free For All.

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Bushman’s Faith’s win at Tara Raceway on Sunday was a good 70th birthday present for trainer Connie Miller.

Whelped in June 2014, Bushman’s Faith is by Magic Sprite out of Cin Cin Shiraz, a winner of six races including 720 metre success at Wentworth Park.

Miller, who took over the training of Bushman’s Faith in August for WA owner John Turner, has done well with the dog, Sunday’s win being his sixth at Tara Raceway.

Turner had also been instrumental in Fred Of Lidsdale, a winner of five races at Tara Raceway this year, joining the Bourne Kennels.

For Miller, this birthday marked a successful 40-year involvement in greyhound racing which includes breeding, owning, training and administration.

Awarded life membership of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. in 1994, she was the secretary of the club from 1983 to 1996, missed a year and then held the office again from 1997 to 2003.

To this day she is one of only two women trainers to have won the Mount Gambier Cup (Joan Cruise the other with Tara Topar in 1981) and the only trainer to have won two cups (Durafi 1987, Mitchell Boy 1988).

Adding to Miller’s day on Sunday was the arrival of family members from Adelaide who helped her celebrate the birthday with a night out at a local restaurant.


Everything was OK for the Brouwers

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A couple of three-hour round trips from Branxholme to trial former NSW greyhound Mummy’s OK at Tara Raceway paid dividends at last Friday’s meeting for Janet and Peter Brouwer.

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Peter and Janet Brouwer pictured with Mummy’s OK after her maiden heat win at Tara Raceway on Friday.

Having her first race start for the Brouwers, Mummy’s OK quickly found the front from box six in the Trackside Meats Stake (the first heat of a 512 metre maiden series) and was never headed, eventually holding out Cryer’s Plugger to win by a half length in 30.69 seconds.

Previously trained at Raymond Terrace, just down the road from Newcastle, the diminutive 22½ kilogram black bitch went around for the 21st time on Friday after having registered six minor placings in maiden events on NSW tracks.

Whelped in April 2013, Mummy’s OK is by Bekim Bale x Jacobella Bale (Hallucinate x Dyna Beauty) who won five races at Angle Park.

A give away, she found her way to Branxholme a couple of months ago and, as it turned out, Friday’s win was a real drought-breaker for connections with their last winner being at Tara Raceway 3½ years ago.

And Peter Brouwer had no trouble in remembering the previous win. “It was with a dog called Yap Yap Galo,” he recalled.

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Peter and Janet Brouwer back in July 2013 with maiden 400 metre winner Yap Yap Galo.

That was back on July 14, 2013 when the daughter of El Galo x Slipaway Lil won a maiden over 400 metres in 23.93 seconds.

After the running of the first heat, Mummy’s OK and Cryer’s Plugger will be joined by Azumi Spice and Tabbella in Sunday week’s final.

The second heat of the maiden series, the JB Irrigation Stake, got off to something of a surprise start when $34 rank outsider Another Rouse – renowned for “walking” out of the boxes – for some inexplicable reason came out running from box four.

Long-suffering Penshurst owner Jack Casey stood stunned at the fence as Another Rouse, doing the job well, led Stylish Pursuit down the back straight.

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Stylish Pursuit won the second heat of the maiden for trainer Nicole Stanley.

But in the end, though, it was Stylish Pursuit, having her fourth race start and her first at Tara Raceway, who finished too strongly to defeat Another Rouse by three lengths in 30.41 seconds with Gee She Roks and Bushman’s Shadow also through to the final.

Owned by the breeder Nick Beltran, Stylish Pursuit is a daughter of Mogambo and Butterfly Bling and is now trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley who said the black bitch, after unplaced runs at Healesville, Cranbourne and Dapto, had been trialling well at Tara Raceway prior to Friday’s race.

The win continued the good run Stanley is experiencing with the “Bling” breed – Butterfly Bling being by Bit Chili x Miss Bling while last week’s Country Cup winner Berry Bling is out of Lady Bling (Elite State x Miss Bling).


Berry Bling gives trainer her biggest success

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Portland owner-trainer Nicole Stanley had been pretty guarded as to the merits or otherwise of Berry Bling’s trial a couple of weeks ago at Strathalbyn.

After qualifying, along with Tracie Price’s Fear The Rascal, to represent Mount Gambier in the SA Country Cup final at Strathalbyn last Sunday night, Stanley had undertaken the 1000 kilometre round trip the previous week to give Berry Bling a run around the tricky 536 metre circuit.

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Nicole Stanley’s big year got even bigger after Berry Bling’s Country Cup win last Sunday night. The Portland trainer also looks a strong chance of taking out the Greyhound of the Year with Old Jock (pictured).

“She’s the sort of dog that needs a run on a new track so the trial was ok but ideally I would have liked to have given her another run on the track,” was how she had summed up her first trip to the Southern Raceway at Strathalbyn.

As it turned out, Berry Bling didn’t need another run. Quickly finding the front from box six in Sunday night’s $5000-to-the-winner final, the 27 kilogram bitch led all the way to give Mount Gambier its second SA Country Cup in four years – Price having been successful at Gawler in 2013 with Moorak Hope.

Speaking on Tuesday morning at Tara Raceway where she had a trailer-load of hopefuls to trial, Stanley said the Strathalbyn locals couldn’t believe the improvement in Berry Bling from one week to the next.

“She ran 31.66 seconds to win the cup and that was something like 16 lengths quicker than what she had trialled in. But that’s the way she is – she’s just no good unless she’s seen the track first.”

Stanley, who has been involved in greyhound racing for more than 20 years, rated the Country Cup as her biggest success as a trainer.

However, she still has fond memories of Go Go Ebo who she bred and owned and who won two Group 3 races for her when trained by Jeff Britton.

By Zed Three x Marinka Bale, Go Go Ebo won the 2006 SA Sprint Championship (515 m) at Angle Park by 10 lengths in a race record 29.49 seconds and also the 2006 Sport 927 Silver Bullet (525 m) at The Meadows.

“The Silver Bullet was certainly a big night,” Stanley recalled.

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The Nicole Stanley owned Go Go Ebo wins the 2006 Group 3 Silver Bullet at The Meadows.

Whelped in December 2013, Berry Bling is by Lochinvar Marlow out of Lady Bling who traces back to the highly successful Skullring line.

Stanley took over her training for well-known Victorian greyhound identity John Westerlo in February when at her first Tara Raceway start she was narrowly beaten by her litter sister Let It Bling.

However, after defeating the well-regarded Kryptonian in the Produce Store Feature Maiden final (512 m) at Mount Gambier Cup time, Berry Bling was purchased by Stanley.

Mid-year she suffered a toe injury which saw her out of action for three months but a best of day 29.99 seconds win at Tara Raceway on return was just the start of bigger and better things to come for Berry Bling.

And for Stanley who has enjoyed a terrific year with 60 winners so far at Tara Raceway and looking likely to also clinch the Greyhound of the Year award with Old Jock.

Meanwhile, Stanley confirmed this week that Berry Bling would be transferred to Westerlo’s Clyde kennels for a stint of racing on Victorian tracks.

 

BARGAIN-BASEMENT BEAU

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Ethan, Angela, Allen, Ros and trainer David Williams were pretty happy with Brazen Beau’s winning effort at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Brazen Beau’s win in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday gave Tarpeena father and son team, Allen and David Williams a quick return on what had been a modest investment.

The beautifully bred daughter of Shakey Jakey x Scrappy Coco was having her first run for the Williams team who purchased her primarily to race behind Tara Raceway’s finish-on-lure.

“She had previously copped 28 days in Victoria for failing to chase but the finish-on-lure has helped plenty of greyhounds in the past and we’re hoping for a positive result here with Brazen Beau,” trainer David Williams said.

“She certainly didn’t too much wrong today,” said Williams in regard to her emphatic three length win over Left Moment.

For Shakey Jakey, retired to stud after breaking the Wentworth Park 520 metre track record at his first start, it was his first Tara Raceway winner.

Brazen Beau will now jump from box three in the first heat of a grade five series over 400 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.


‘Second string’ set to land another Masters

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A repeat of veteran greyhound Playmaster’s effort in last Sunday’s Masters (400 metres) should see the 35 kilogram chaser successful again in Friday’s Greyhound-Data.com Masters at Tara Raceway.

Trained locally by former harness racing identity Ken Feltus for long-time friends Michael and Norma Juda, Playmaster’s all the way win last weekend in a class record time of 23.28 seconds was the fawn dog’s first success in more than 15 months.

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Peter Whitehead (left) and Ken Feltus pictured with Playmaster.

The win, by 7¾ lengths, came at his third Tara Raceway start – all in Masters races which are for grade five greyhounds aged 3½ years and older – and after an injury-enforced lay-off of three months.

But according to Feltus, the sixth trainer to have a crack with Playmaster, it was never really his intention to purchase the fawn dog.

“I actually went over to Victoria in early August to pick up Cool Whipp after he had been advertised for sale on an internet site. Turns out Playmaster was also there and in a package deal was offered for sale very cheaply so I returned with two, both of whom have now won at Tara Raceway.

Despite his quick 400 metre time last Sunday, Feltus said the dog was really better suited over more ground rather than the short course scampers.

“Prior to coming to Mount Gambier he’d won six races in NSW at Taree, Gunnedah and Richmond, all over distances of 512 metres and further.

“The biggest problem I have with Playmaster is that I can’t really work him, with most of his exercise confined to long walks in the pines, complemented by much massage.”

Whelped in January 2013, Playmaster is by Spring Gun out of the nicely-bred Torah (Hallucinate x Thai Again) who raced on only one occasion six years ago for an eighth at Dapto.

 

EXTRA DISTANCE TO SUIT YOUNGSTERS

Left Moment and Baurna Sal, two recent maiden winners over 400 metres at Tara Raceway, give the impression that they will be better suited in Friday’s heats of a 512 metre grade six.

Trained at Compton by Tracie Price, Left Moment, a son of Cosmic Rumble x Moorak Hope, finished off last Sunday’s Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) in strong fashion when going down by three lengths to speedy type Brazen Beau in 23.61 seconds.

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John Limes . . . an impressive maiden winner last Sunday for Dean Fennell and John Hawker.

By Spring Gun out of proven producer Baurna Molly, Baurna Sal was a brilliant 400 metre winner on October 23 when going to the line strongly in a best of day 23.34 seconds for Portland owner-trainer Brian Weis.

Left Moment has drawn box three in the first heat (the Allestree Holiday Units Stake) while Spinach, Mr Perfect, Brinza, Kylan Brae and Gemma Eagle should fight out the three remaining spots for Sunday week’s final.

In the second heat (the South Eastern Hotel Stake), box four runner Baurna Sal’s main dangers look to be the Dean Fennell trained John Limes, a tidy maiden 512 metre winner last Sunday, and Cap Abbott’s Irka Jakit which went down narrowly to Amanda Darmanin’s Bogan At Heart at the same meeting.

The Edenhope-based Abbott started the week off well when winning the last race at Angle Park on Monday night with Blazin’ Vicky.

Weis, recently back from a US trip with wife Sally, took in an afternoon greyhound meeting in Florida at the Derby Lane track and had some interesting observations.

“What I found surprising was that the trainers don’t handle their greyhounds on race days,” he said.

“Handlers lead them to the boxes, place them in, and then they all run back down the track in readiness to catch them at the end of the race. And while all this is going on the dogs are in the boxes.

“I’m not sure how long the field was waiting for the lure to start its journey but it seemed a hell of a long time.”

Derby Lane, or the St Petersburg Kennel Club, is said to be the oldest continuously operating greyhound track in the world, conducting its inaugural race meeting on the afternoon of January 3, 1925.

 

WELL-BRED NEWCOMER

An interesting well-bred newcomer in Friday’s Gambier Vets Maiden Stake (the first heat of a 400 metre series) is Satellite Doll which has drawn box six.

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Garry Marshman pictured with Star Doll after her record-breaking 400 metre run at Tara Raceway in April 2013.

Trained at Heathmere by Garry Marshman, the December 2014 white and blue bitch is by the imported Westmead Osprey out of Flaming Doll, a 595 metre Sandown Park winner.

By Ginger Bread Man x Hot Doll, Flaming Doll is also the dam of Shotgun Doll (by Collision) which recently won four on the trot for Marshman at Warrnambool and Ballarat.

And back on April 19, 2013 the Heathmere trainer was at Tara Raceway with Star Doll (Knocka Norris x Flaming Doll) which ran a 400 metre track record of 23.05 seconds before later going on to win over 595 metres at Sandown Park and 600 metres at The Meadows.

On December 26, 2015, Star Doll whelped a litter of three dogs and four bitches to Keybow while the following month Flaming Doll whelped one dog and one bitch to Awesome Project.


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