SUNDAY, AUGUST 28: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4: Mixed 5/6 (600 m). Maiden, Grade 6, Grade 5, Pathway finals. Round 2 Iron Dog (400 m). Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, August 29 with GRSA. See "Racing Calendar" for full details. TUESDAY AND SATURDAY TRIALS: 9 a.m. (SA time).
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Secret Mantra is certainly not your average type of Masters greyhound.
Here he was lining up as a four-year-old in the 400 metre Gambier Vets Masters – for grade five dogs that are 3½ years or older – at Tara Raceway on Friday afternoon with only 26 starts to his name.
These races are generally for the likes of Twistex, only three months older than Secret Mantra but going around for a 171st time when contesting Friday’s Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m).
However, being a grade three, Twistex was a fair way off from being eligible for the Masters class. Even further now after leading all the way and bringing up win number 30 and $45,000 in stakemoney for David and Toni Jones of Devon Meadows.
But back to Secret Mantra and his Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton, who landed his fourth Tara Raceway win this month, after the son of Mantra Lad and Dadda Poppa scored a comfortable win against the veterans in what turned out to be a best of day 23.34 seconds.
And according to Ashton, the secret to the white and fawn dog is to run him only at Tara Raceway, hence his limited number of starts.
“The simple fact is that he just won’t go on any other track,” he said. “I’m putting it down to the finish-on-lure. He certainly seems to enjoy chasing the big red lure.
“The only trouble is, of course, being four hours away it is not always convenient to get over here which is disappointing because Jan (Neil) and I really enjoy racing in Mount Gambier.”
Secret Mantra has now won three races – two of those being this month.
Another trainer who reckons the finish-on-lure has worked wonders for his greyhound is Robert Walsh of Koroit.
Walsh was over on Friday for the 400 metre maiden heats and landed his first Tara Raceway winner when Saint Flynn, the only greyhound he is currently training, was successful.
Having only his fourth race start, the well-supported brindle dog looked to be in plenty of bother early before bursting from the pack down the back prior to running out a strong 4¼ length winner in 23.55 seconds.
But, as Walsh explained, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Peter Byrne-bred March 2014 son of Spring Gun and 13-race winner Real Frosty.
“When he was 12 months old he damaged a shoulder and as a result he spent some months getting over the setback before Peter asked me if I would be interested in having a go with him.
“Probably the best thing I did was to bring him over to Tara Raceway because he had been a little hesitant on other tracks and the finish-on-lure seems to have really brightened him up.”
Prior to Saint Flynn, the last greyhound Walsh had raced locally was Ima Harley which concluded his 86-start career at Tara Raceway on September 25, 2015 at 6½ years of age.
Earlier in the day, Saint Flynn’s litter brother, Saint Fox, put in a big performance for Byrne and Southern Cross trainer Ray Mahony to win the first heat of a maiden 512 metre series.
A short-priced favourite at his past three starts at Tara Raceway, the brindle dog looked like proving a costly conveyance once again after jumping slowly and still well back down the back straight.
But Saint Fox loomed large turning for home and finished too strongly to win by three-quarters of a length in 30.90 seconds.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
The versatility of 16 greyhounds will be tested over the next three meetings at Tara Raceway when they line up in the annual Iron Dog series which is once again sponsored by Michael Niele of Berringa Park Kennels.
The first round of the three-distance series kicks off with two heats over 600 metres and will be the highlight of Sunday’s 10-event programme.
At the following Sunday’s meeting (September 4) the same greyhounds will race over 400 metres with the eight highest point scorers from the first two rounds then contesting the 512 metre final on Friday, September 9.
Roarsome and Dee Tee will line up in the first heat having previously won over Tara Raceway’s current three distances.
By Fear Zafonic out of Ren Shen, Roarsome has been a real revelation for Mount Wallace owner Erin McNamara since joining Ralph Patzel’s Mount Gambier kennels in May.
She’s now won seven races in that time, including a 600 metre win over Kirsty’s Me Mum in 35.37 seconds prior to a strong best of day 512 metre performance last Sunday.
Bushfield trainer Gary Lane intimated several weeks ago that the Iron Dog would probably mark the end of Dee Tee’s racing career.
She was actually retired at the end of November last year before being mated and subsequently failing to conceive before returning to racing in May.
And the daughter of El Grand Senor x Mantra Miss, now a rising five-year-old, showed she still had life in her legs when defeating Old Jock last month over 600 metres in 35.45 seconds prior to running third over the same distance behind Supreme Deal.
Lane will now be hoping Dee Tee can go out on a winning note after she went into last year’s Iron Dog final (600 m) as the leading point scorer.
The Nicole Stanley trained Old Jock showed he is ready for the Iron Dog after a solid 600 metre win in the wet last Sunday while runner-up Kirsty’s Me Mum has won over both 512 metres and 600 metres at Tara Raceway for Southern Cross trainer Garry Elliott.
Adding even more interest to the first heat is the Richard Clayfield trained Glenville Jester, also a winner over both 512 metres and 600 metres this year.
Patzel also looks to hold a strong hand in the second heat with Supreme Deal, recent winner of the Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) and successful at Tara Raceway’s three distances.
An older half-brother to last Sunday’s Winter Classic winner Lektra Munster, Supreme Deal defeated Old Jock in the memorial and at his last start chased home Cryer’s Jack in a 512 metre event.
The son of Where’s Pedro and Supreme Vision is raced by Patzel in partnership with Bob White, Darryl Patzel and Amanda Darmanin who is doing well at the moment in her own right as a trainer.
Cryer’s Jack, another Tara Raceway three-distance winner, is racing well for Tom and Margaret Cryer, having won his past two 512 metre starts.
The son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget has won three 600 metre races and knows what the Iron Dog is all about after reaching last year’s final.
The Berringa Park Iron Dog was first run in 2012 although it wasn’t all that testing back then. With 600 metre racing still to be introduced at Tara Raceway, the three-distance series was run over 400 metres, 512 metres and 400 metres.
Winning the inaugural event was the Aaron Blake trained Kiss Me Donkey which defeated the Brendan Bunworth pair of Ten Doeschate and Tanroddy Trina.
There was no Iron Dog staged in 2013 but the following year Cap Abbott’s former smart stayer Manila Express, originally a reserve, gained a start in the 600 metre final and defeated Sir Lenny, another Bunworth-trained chaser.
And then last year, with the 600 metre final run in driving rain, the Monty Wilson trained front-running Boolite Bruiser and Clayfield’s fast finishing Upset Boy couldn’t be split on the line.
This year’s Berringa Park Iron Dog final will carry $1750 prizemoney with the winner to also receive a K9 Winning Formula Kennel Pack (valued at $170), donated by Peter Bryce of Winning Post Supplies. All Iron Dog rounds are non-penalty.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
As far as maiden wins are concerned they don’t come much more impressive than that of Cee Righty’s in last Sunday’s JB Irrigation Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
The fawn dog was in front from box six by the time the field hit the first turn and from then he simply kept extending the lead, eventually winning by 10½ lengths in 30.64 seconds on a rain-affected track.
Only Lektra Peck and Roarsome ran quicker on the day.
Bred, owned and trained at Portland by Andy Graham, Cee Righty is an October 2014 son of Cosmic Chief and Victorian city-winning bitch Cee Anna Rose which raced on only 18 occasions.
Graham also bred Cee Anna Rose (by Bombastic Shiraz) and regards her as the best of his prolific producer Senni Wendy’s stock.
Cee Righty will now line up at Tara Raceway on Friday from box eight in the Produce Store Stake (512 m) which is the second heat of a grade six series.
And Graham is likely to have more idea of where he’s at with his promising pup after the running of what is a pretty fair lower-grade race.
Jumping alongside him will be the Monty Wilson trained Kylan Brae which has little early pace but does finish strongly as demonstrated at Tara Raceway’s August 12 meeting when he came from a long way back to run down Cee Righty in 30.56 seconds – a 512 metre time that held up well on the day.
A son of Kinloch Brae x Sionara Milly, Kylan Brae, whilst unable to overcome the “first run out of a maiden hoodoo” when finishing fifth last Sunday behind Lektra Peck, should be better for the experience.
Cee Righty will run into that same “hoodoo” on Friday but if he can once again find the front then he should be very hard to run down.
Adding further interest to the heat will be the Nicole Stanley trained Hay Miss which has drawn box one and comes into race on the back of some solid form in the Winter Classic.
By Bekim Bale x Miss Stackhouse, Hay Miss ran down Lektra Munster in a heat of the classic before working home well to finish a 1½ length second to the same greyhound in last Sunday’s final.
Local owners Kerry Hawker and Michael Robinson, who picked up Gentle Moment after a handful of starts for $500, will be hoping the son of Spring Gun and Suzy’s Moment can bring up his third win when he jumps from box four in the South Eastern Hotel Stake which is the first heat of the grade six series.
Trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell, Gentle Moment was successful shortly after being purchased but an accident which necessitated the removal of part of his tail then kept him off the scene for six weeks.
The black dog has obviously taken no harm from the ordeal, since winning again. And while he’s yet to win over 512 metres, three recent minor placings would suggest he’s not far away.
One of the hardest to beat looks to be the Tracie Price trained Port Side which chased Lektra Peck home at last Sunday’s meeting.
VETERAN TO GIVE A BIT OF CHEEK
The veterans are back at Tara Raceway on Friday for the Gambier Vets Masters Stake (400 m).
Designed to keep racing greyhounds in the system longer, Masters are non-penalty grade five 400 metre events for dogs 3½ years and upwards with preference given to older dogs.
Friday’s race includes several in the minimum age bracket including the Barry Shepheard trained Galactic Viper which has drawn box eight and looks well placed in an event of this type.
A winner of $40,000, Galactic Viper is, however, yet to win at eight starts at the track and distance.
Punters invariably have found the Connie Miller trained Bourne Cheeky hard to catch in her 61 start career which has included nine wins – eight over 400 metres – but she does look well drawn in box one.
The November 2012 daughter of Spring Gun x Nicky’s Moment also should appreciate a drop in overall class after having run into Fear The Rascal and Future Past at her past two starts.
Black Barron Lad, trained at Bushfield by Gary Lane, is Friday’s oldest runner at 5½ years.
It’s been almost two years since the black dog last won but he was placed after showing early pace in the June Masters race and wasn’t beaten all that far at his last start at Warrnambool earlier this month.
As an aside, one of the oldest greyhounds going around at the moment is Victorian chaser Soldier Spy which was whelped in November 2010.
The son of Trewly Special and Ice Dancer has been kept in the system mainly by veterans’ races up the straight at Healesville where his past 29 starts there have resulted in 17 wins.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Toolong greyhound Lektra Munster’s brilliant mid-race burst in Sunday’s Banjo Boy Winter Classic at Tara Raceway set the scene for an impressive win in the $3000 age-restricted final over 512 metres.
A $7.50 chance from box four, he was the least favoured of three littermates contesting the third running of the classic, with Lektra Lucy and Lektra Ash both well fancied at $3 and $3.60 respectively.
Owned and trained by Phil Lenehan, the Munster had shown similar mid-race dash to find the front in a heat at the previous meeting but had been unable to hold out Nicole Stanley’s Hay Miss in the run to the line, eventually going down by a nostril.
In Sunday’s final, though, despite being in traffic and wide on the first turn, once he let loose down the back he was always going to be hard to run down.
Again it was the Portland trained Hay Miss, winner of last month’s John Reid Memorial, doing the chasing after momentarily hitting the front down the back, and while running home well, this time Lektra Munster had 1½ lengths to spare.
Lektra Ash, now based at Tarpeena with David Williams, finished the race off nicely in third spot and will be a more than handy addition to the local ranks while Lektra Lucy, favourite on the strength of an impressive heat win, found trouble going out of the first turn and never really got into the race for Lenehan.
The “Lektra” finalists were also bred at Toolong and are by Fabregas out of Supreme Vision, a winner at The Meadows, Sandown Park and Cannington.
Supreme Vision’s previous litter (by Where’s Pedro) includes former smart Melbourne chaser Lektra Concord, which has since been sold to New Zealand, and Supreme Deal, recent winner of the Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) for Mount Gambier trainer Ralph Patzel.
The October 2014 Fabregas litter consists of six dogs and three bitches with six having already won.
And it’s been a pretty fair few days for Lenehan and the litter after Lektra Utah was successful at Horsham on Tuesday, Lektra Aly won at Warrnambool on Thursday night before Sunday’s classic success with Lektra Munster and Lektra Peck’s all-the-way win in the ClassicBet Stake (512 m).
The litter and training double continued his good run at Tara Raceway this year and brought up his 24th local win.
While conceding that Lektra Utah is the pick of the litter at this stage, Lenehan said he had been delighted with Lektra Munster’s effort in the Winter Classic.
“I certainly thought he would improve on his heat effort but I was really pleased with his mid-race dash today and it will now be interesting to see how far that takes him.”
With the winner’s time of 30.89 seconds being indicative of the wet conditions, this was certainly a winter classic in the true sense of the word.
STAMPING HIS AUTHORITY IN THE WET
While the past two Tara Raceway meetings have been pretty ordinary from a weather point of view, one greyhound that has really adapted to the conditions is Stampy Longnose.
By Fabregas out of Lemon Cruiser, Stampy Longnose braved atrocious weather conditions from box eight last meeting in a heat of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five (512 m) when defeating litter sister Smirnoff Lass in a surprisingly quick 30.49 seconds.
And box eight and another heavy track were no deterrent on Sunday when the 35 kilogram black dog found the front going into the back straight and once again held out his litter sister, trained by Tracie Price, to win by 1¾ lengths in 30.66 seconds.
The win was his seventh since being taken over by Glencoe-based Dean Fennell in September last year for first-time owner Jack Davies who races Stampy Longnose in partnership with fellow Millicentites Paul Whitford and Fennell’s son Hayden.
The win also continued a good year for Fennell who has now trained 16 winners and been successful with Ticked Off and Stampy Longnose at the past three meetings.
The monthly Feature Grade Five heats and final events over 512 metres, which are funded by a $10,000 Greyhound Racing SA subsidy, have proven to be popular with owners and trainers.
And one of those trainers is certainly Fennell who said after the race that he believed the first prize of $1415 was probably the most he had ever collected from a single race.
Heats of next month’s Gordon Refrigeration Feature Grade Five (512 m) will be run on Friday, September 9 with the $2100 final on Sunday, September 18.
Recently-retired David Brodhurst of Serviceton is another trainer who is having a good year at Tara Raceway.
While working he had been limited to the number of meetings he could take in but with his greyhounds now able to race on a more regular basis he and wife Valerie are reaping the benefits.
Like on Sunday when Miss Murderous and Major Lachy sent the couple home on a happy note after winning the final two races.
Miss Murderous, a $7.50 chance in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m) led early from box five before being head by Fu Ling Shen but finished too strongly for that greyhound in the run home to score by a length in 23.53 seconds.
Another winner for Fabregas, Miss Murderous is out of former Queensland stayer Tango Tapper and is owned by one-time Tara Raceway caller Chris Buttigieg.
And Major Lachy brought up Brodhurst’s 13th Tara Raceway winner this year when leading all the way in the Berringa Park Mixed Stake (400 m) to defeat Marlow Moment in 23.64 seconds.
Starting at the nice odds of $21, the son of Cape Hawke and Gifted Glory has now won four races since relocating to Serviceton in February this year.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
It’s now been almost three years since David and Toni Jones’s Twistex appeared for the first time at Tara Raceway where he finished a close-up second to Explosive Arrow over 400 metres at what was his second race start.
Last Friday, the black dog was back in Mount Gambier for the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m), having raced a further 164 times since that October afternoon back in 2013.
So, with not too many racing greyhounds hitting the 100-start mark, Twistex’s record after race 12 stood at 167 starts for 29 wins and 45 minor placings – a real testament to his tenacity and durability.
By Dyna Lachlan out of Victorian city winner Avery Bale, he’s been at the Jones’s Devon Meadows property since day one.
“We actually whelped the litter for the owners,” David Jones recalled this week. “But it was only by pure chance that we happened to end up with Twistex.
“We had picked out a pup to purchase from the litter but it turned out the owners wanted to keep him so we had to make another choice.”
But the rising 4½-year-old is soon to embark on a different sort of journey.
“We currently have our property on the market and by Christmas we’re hopeful that we’ll be hitting the highway in a motor home and travelling around Australia,” Jones said.
“And yes, Twistex will be making the trip with us.”
CONFUSION OVER TRACK RECORD
Unsub Andy’s 600 metre track record at Tara Raceway will continue to be recognised by the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.
Owned and trained at Southern Cross by Peter Byrne, Unsub Andy lowered Miss Jacovella’s previous record when clocking 35.04 seconds on March 11 this year.
However, confusion has arisen since the running of the Koroit 600 which was conducted on Sunday, June 26 and won by the Jeff Guy trained Brazen Bomber.
Due to a timing malfunction for that race, Brazen Bomber’s winning time was posted as a hand-timed 35.33 seconds.
But Greyhound Racing SA has Brazen Bomber winning the race in a hand-timed 35 seconds and now lists this time on its website and in all official form as the track record.
MGGRC secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard said this week that he was trying to resolve the issue of the two track records for the same distance with GRSA.
“I’ve been in touch with GRSA stewards in regard to the anomaly but I’m still waiting for an explanation as to where this 35 seconds time actually came from.
“We don’t accept any hand times as track records so as far as we are concerned Unsub Andy’s 35.04 seconds is still the 600 metre track record.”
FIRST CITY WIN FOR THE RASCAL
Locally owned and trained fast-class performer Fear The Rascal won his first city race when defeating kennelmate Skatey Perry over 515 metres in a good 29.94 seconds at Angle Park on Monday night.
By Fear Zafonic out of Shannah’s Star, Fear The Rascal has now won 15 races and recorded 16 minor placings from 39 starts for Mingbool breeder-owner Don Nunn and trainer Tracie Price of Compton.
And Price was back at Angle Park for the Wednesday afternoon meeting with boom youngster Blazing Moment which recently won on debut at Tara Raceway.
The 37 kilogram son of Bekim Bale and Lucy’s Moment was slowly away from box six in a grade six 515 metre event but found the front turning into the back straight before running out a 3¾ length winner in a near best of the day 30.15 seconds.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Lektra Ash, the second fastest of the eight qualifiers at Tara Raceway last Friday afternoon, will go into Sunday’s Banjo Boy Winter Classic final (512 metres) in new ownership after being purchased by Team Williams (Allen and David Williams).
The Tarpeena-based father and son team took over the black dog after he had run second to his litter sister Lektra Lucy, owned and trained at Toolong by Phil Lenehan, in the first heat of the age-restricted series.
Having only her second race start, and her first at Tara Raceway, the 28 kilogram Lektra Lucy led all the way to defeat her brother – which had moved into second spot down the back straight – by 1½ lengths in 30.39 seconds.
As far as the final goes, Allen Williams will be hoping for a case of third time lucky with Lektra Ash after Dr Danny had run second to Stylish Moment in the inaugural classic in 2014 and Lika Rockstar third behind Cee Me Burst and Houdini Spell last year – both winners being trained by Tracie Price.
Also through to the final from the first heat are the Nicole Stanley trained Ashdene Lass, a winner of two races at the track, and first starter Blitz And Bolt from David Peckham’s Allendale East kennels.
Ashdene Lass worked home reasonably well after showing early pace while Blitz And Bolt had little luck and should be better for the run.
Hay Miss, recent winner of the John Reid Memorial, was an even money favourite from box eight in the second heat but looked to be in a bit of bother as To The Choppar led the field into the back straight.
By mid-race, though, Lektra Munster had opened up a handy break with the Stanley-trained Hay Miss giving chase and eventually running down the leader to score by the narrowest of margins in 30.78 seconds.
The effort of Lektra Munster, a strapping 34 kilogram black dog and having only his second race start, pleased owner-trainer Lenehan who believed the youngster would be further improved by the run.
To The Choppar’s effort to hang on to third spot and qualify for the $3000 final also pleased Mortlake owner-trainer Paul Herry who purchased the August 2014 daughter of El Grand Senor x Chilly Patch as a pup from breeder Allen Williams at Tarpeena.
Making up the final eight is the Price trained I’m Hearing Ya which was doing her best work at the finish.
Two litters now hold a strong hand in the final with October 2014 whelpings Lektra Lucy, Lektra Ash and Lektra Munster being by Fabregas x Supreme Vision while Hay Miss and Ashdene Lass are from the August 2014 mating of Bekim Bale x Miss Stackhouse.
And following the draw for Sunday’s meeting Stanley fared well with Ashdene Lass and Hay Miss drawing boxes one and eight respectively while Lektra Ash, Lektra Lucy and Lektra Munster will jump from two, three and four.
ASHTON’S GOOD RUN CONTINUES
Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton continued on his winning way at Tara Raceway last Friday when Secret Mantra won his first race in 12 months and Saintly Miss took time honours in the heats of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five (512 metres).
This was his second training double in the space of a fortnight after Johnny Jaffa and Carrara Lad had been successful at Tara Raceway’s extra meeting on July 31.
Saintly Miss’s win was her first at the local track in more than 12 months and only her second this year after winning at Bendigo in late January.
But the black bitch had signalled a return to form the previous week when turning in a good effort to finish third behind Mo Town Roy.
That form subsequently held up in the first heat of the feature as Saintly Miss took over the running down the back straight from Crazy Sprite and then held off a fast finishing Fascinated to win in 30.38 seconds.
The win was the ninth for Saintly Miss, a litter sister to Harry Aztec which Ashton trained to win last year’s Eric Lewis Memorial at Tara Raceway. He’s now looking at breeding with the 3½-year-old daughter of Aston Galilee and Prince’s Faye once her racing days are over.
And there’s certainly not much wrong with the pedigree with a couple of other littermates being Sandown Park and The Meadows winner Hogganaught and Sapphire Crown Group 1 winner Naralee which won 17 races from 34 starts for $145,000 in stakemoney.
Fascinated put in her best run for a while for Penshurst owner-trainer John Cameron when running Saintly Miss to a couple of lengths and qualifying for Sunday’s final.
Purchased as a pup by Cameron from Portland breeder Cass Billington, Fascinated is by Hutmaker out of the ill-fated Spellbound which raced on 115 occasions in three states for 24 wins and 33 minor placings.
Spellbound, which recently lost a battle with cancer, was one of the better greyhounds racing around Tara Raceway in 2013 when trained by Billington who currently is pursuing other interests.
Future Past made it two wins in succession at Tara Raceway for trainer Peter Franklin – but only just.
Jumping from box six in the second heat, Future Past took over the running from Cheyenne Black turning for home and then in a desperate finish held out the fast finishing Homer and Julie’s Love in 30.53 seconds.
The final heat was run in driving rain with Dean Fennell’s Stampy Longnose weathering the storm after getting the better of litter sister Smirnoff Lass and charging home for a four length win in 30.49 seconds.
Fear Helvetia, originally a reserve for the final after running third behind Stampy Longnose, gained a start when Future Past was scratched prior to the draw on Tuesday and now looks well placed in box one for Coleraine owner-trainer Robert Wombwell.
Monday, August 15, 2016
For Mumbannar trainer Monty Wilson it’s now been close on 12 months since he enjoyed his first feature race success on a greyhound track.
That was with Boolite Bruiser which dead-heated in the Berringa Park Iron Dog three-distance series with the Richard Clayfield trained Upset Boy.
The white and black dog had come to Wilson’s kennels via Jason Thomson of Boolite, a small wheat farming town near Warracknabeal.
And now he’s looking at this year’s Iron Dog with the Warracknabeal bred Kylan Brae which continued the successful Thomson-Wilson association with a win in Friday’s Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m).
Kylan Brae turned in a big effort to open his winning account at his eighth start when storming home after being last early to run down tearaway leader Cee Righty and win by two lengths in 30.56 seconds.
According to Wilson, much of the credit for the win has to go to his wife Jen who also now owns the son of Kinloch Brae and Sionara Milly (which raced on only six occasions for three third placings).
“When he first arrived eight months ago he was so timid that we struggled to get him out of his kennel but over time he has responded to Jen’s efforts with him and he is now a different dog.
“Also, he has benefited from frequent gallops on the Tara Raceway slipping track – a terrific innovation on the part of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.”
Kylan Brae does, however, still have an issue with the hurly-burly of the catching area at the end of a race, sometimes taking off from his designated catcher before being rounded-up on the other side of the track.
But Wilson can live with the idiosyncrasy, believing that Kylan Brae has a future as a middle-distance performer.
“I’ve always been of the opinion that he would be better suited over a bit more ground and he certainly finished the race off well today,” he said.
“I reckon the Iron Dog would be good fit for him with the first round being over 600 metres, followed by the 400 metre dash and then a 512 metre final.”
Round one of the Berringa Park Iron Dog will be run on Sunday, August 28, with round two on Sunday, September 4 and the leading point scorers from these two rounds then contesting the final on Friday, September 9.
NEVER KNOCK A WIN, BUT . . .
As far as Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst and his greyhound Rally were concerned it was a case last Friday of what might have been.
Brodhurst had taken over the training of the daughter of Radley Bale and Izzy Mai in June for Lewiston owner Don Turner who had been keen to see Rally tried over the 600 metre journey at Tara Raceway.
An August 2014 whelping, the black bitch had been nominated for a 600 metre event last Friday with Brodhurst believing she would be graded into the Winter Classic if there was no middle-distance race.
Well, there was no 600 metre race but Rally ended up in the Metal Worx Stake, a 512 metre event for grade six greyhounds.
A $20 chance from box seven, Rally chased the leader Gentle Moment until railing through on the home turn and finishing like a middle-distance performer to win by 1¾ lengths in 30.36 seconds – a time quicker than either of the Winter Classic heats.
The win continued Brodhurst’s good run at Tara Raceway this year and took his training tally to 11 wins. It was also an early birthday present for his wife Valerie who turned 66 the following day.
He did admit, however, that he probably could have made his intentions a little clearer on Rally’s nomination form.
Also in the same boat as far as nomination intentions were concerned was Portland trainer Andy Graham who initially had the classic-aged Breakwater Bay engaged in the same race as Rally before he was scratched due to injury.
And litter brother Cee Righty found himself as a reserve in a maiden 512 metre race only to gain a start, leading the field into the home straight before running second in 30.69 seconds, a time that would have had him right in the mix from a classic point of view.
Fair enough, you never knock a win – or a second placing for that matter – but maiden and grade six races are run every week at Tara Raceway.
Greyhounds get only one crack at the Winter Classic.