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Wednesday, June 28, 2017
She might be owned in Bendigo and trained at Moyston – 2½-hours away from Mount Gambier – but the promising McIvor Verna has a special affiliation with the Tara Raceway track.
After all, this is where she defeated a field of open class greyhounds over 600 metres to win her maiden back in April and where she recently ran a track record of 34.84 seconds.
Sandwiched in between the two runs, though, was a win at Bendigo over 660 metres – impressive enough to attract a $20,000 offer which owner Barry Priest refused.
Four days after McIvor Verna had run the record, trainer Peter Franklin, in a change of plans, opted to make the seven-hour trip to Angle Park for a heat of the Stayers Cup (731 m).
The nicely-bred daughter of Bella Infrared and Blonde Caviar had never raced at Adelaide’s city track but after looking totally lost in the early stages of the race she finished the race off in splendid fashion, running a three length fourth and grabbing a spot in tomorrow night’s final.
Franklin was delighted with the first-up city run and while conceding the $7000 final will be the 26-month-old McIvor Verna’s toughest test in 13 runs he’s expecting further improvement now that she’s seen the track and has drawn box one.
Also making the trip to Angle Park last week was Franklin’s “right-hand man” John Gale, of Stawell. This is where Blonde Caviar currently resides, in the care of Gale and his wife Diane, enjoying the run of the house with the couple’s faithful old Labrador.
By Where’s Pedro out of Lemon Cruiser, Blonde Caviar raced on 45 occasions for Priest and Franklin, winning nine – including 525 metre and 600 metre wins at The Meadows – and running 17 minor placings.
And Lemon Cruiser (Awesome Assassin x Empty Schooner), a lightly-raced winner of nine races in Victoria and NSW, traces back to Big Romance, a litter sister to 1982 Australian Cup winner Royal Rumpus.
When it came to Blonde Caviar’s first litter, which Franklin whelped, he’d recommended using the US sire Bella Infrared who dominated America’s top track Southland to the extent that he won 71 races – including 19 in succession – from 100 starts.
So far, though, there has been no second litter.
“The decision on another litter will be up to Barry,” Gale said. “From a breeding point of view, all her relevant paperwork is up-to-date. In the meantime, we still try and treat her like a racing dog in some respects with regular exercise and feed her what could be classed as a racing diet.”
But John and Diane Gale unashamedly concede that Blonde Caviar does spend a fair share of her time in one of the family’s lounge chairs and does come inside to escape the long, cold nights of Stawell.
TRAINER HOPING FOR A BETTER DAY
Horsham trainer Kevin Jakobi will be hoping for a better day at Tara Raceway on Friday when he lines up with the Donald-bred Emily As in the Trackside Meats Stake (600 m).
Earlier this month, Jakobi’s greyhounds, including Emily As, had been late scratchings at Tara Raceway after a mix-up regarding the length of time between race starts.
Prior to that, Emily As had run a promising third behind Col’s Wallett and Cryer’s Plugger in a 600 metre event at Tara Raceway – the winner carving out an outstanding 35.03 seconds.
On that occasion, Jakobi’s daughter of Sure As x Darmilou battled on well to be beaten 7½ lengths and run a personal time of 35.56 seconds.
The black bitch looks well placed in tomorrow’s five-runner time-graded event and could give the veteran trainer a welcome change of luck.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Serviceton greyhound Two Jobs has come a fair way since winning a maiden 447 metre event in slow time at Port Augusta last November.
This is the dog who found her way down to the kennels of David and Valerie Brodhurst soon after that win and who, after failing to win another race by the end of April, had become a sure-fire contender for the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).
As luck would have it, early the next month saw the introduction of time-graded meetings at Tara Raceway and it was this form of low-grade racing that David Brodhurst believes helped to turn around the fortunes of Two Jobs.
“She found herself in a non-penalty time-graded grade six over 512 metres,” he said. “To be honest, I thought I was watching the wrong dog when she led all the way to win by 10 lengths in a best of day 30.21 seconds.”
Brodhurst had said at the time that he was still to be convinced that the daughter of Cosmic Rumble x Englightment had turned the corner.
But after a couple of handy performances behind Miss Legality and Lady Vixyma she was back among the winners, defeating Yaramundi Domino over 512 metres before defeating Bekim Lucy’s in 35.36 seconds in what was an impressive 600 metre effort.
With heats of the Koroit 600 set down for June 18, this 0-4 wins feature – which also carried a four-week breaking-in package at the Koroit Breaking-In Complex, donated by Peter Byrne – looked to be an ideal series for Two Jobs.
However, while she was no longer under GAP consideration, there were still a few greyhounds at Serviceton that were and Brodhurst had been committed to a trip to Bendigo on that week-end in order that those dogs could be assessed.
So, all things being equal, Two Jobs would have missed the Koroit 600 but insufficient support resulted in nominations being recalled for the feature event which was ultimately reduced to a one-off final at Sunday’s meeting.
And while scratchings saw the final reduced to five runners, it was a terrific little race all the same with only four lengths separating the field on the line.
The Cap Abbott trained Panalo, a recent time-graded 512 metre winner and having her first start over the distance, quickly took up the running from Marcado while Two Jobs settled in third spot.
The field bunched approaching the home turn and it was here that Two Jobs took a rails run before finishing the race off nicely to bring up a hat-trick of wins and defeat a gallant Panalo by a length with Cryer’s Plugger, doing his best work at the finish, a further half length back in third spot in 35.67 seconds.
Abbott turned the tables on Brodhurst in the following race, the Trackside Meats Free For All (512 m) when Just Like Fire led all the way from box one to defeat Cheyenne Black, who chased the leader throughout, by 1¼ lengths in 23.21 seconds.
The win was the daughter of Barcia Bale x Dyna Gee’s first in three months after 515 metre success at Angle Park although Abbott said she was better served over shorter distances.
The Brodhursts’ day got even better come race 11, the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m), when Eye Spy Emma won her first Tara Raceway race.
Another one sired by Cosmic Rumble, she’s out of Aston Aditi, a winner of four races at Sandown Park, Albion Park and Ipswich.
Having only her second run at the local track, Eye Spy Emma chased Baron Destini until the home turn where she railed through to take the lead before running out a three length winner in 23.40 seconds.
The white and black bitch, who landed some nice wagers, is another of David Brodhurst’s internet purchases via the greyhound site Greyhound-Data.
“She’d won at Cranbourne and Warragul by the time I received her,” he said. “It looks like she’s only a short-courser but after today’s win she went a fair way towards recouping her purchase price as she was an $1100 pick-up.”
YOU LITTLE RIPPER
After three minor placings in Victoria, Spring Ripper made a solid debut at Tara Raceway on Sunday in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m) for Wagga owner Matt Morris and Portland trainer Brian Weis.
Away slowly from box three, the brindle dog worked into fourth spot down the back, railing through on the home turn to take the lead when leader Kolora Posie ran extremely wide.
Spring Ripper finished the race off nicely to defeat Kolora Posie by a length in 30.31 seconds with a further length back to Vision Of Beauty – both minor placegetters looking to be coming winners.
By Spring Gun out of former handy chaser Chilly Babe, Spring Ripper is a brother to Chilly Kiss, a winner of two Tara Raceway races for Morris and Weis.
Later in the day the Weis-trained Ms Genius followed up on a recent time-graded win to score in a keenly-contested Berringa Park Stake (512 m).
Ms Genius found the front early but surrendered the lead down the back to Trigger Lee before finishing the strongest to defeat Cee Jay’s Heart and Trigger Lee by a neck and head respectively in 30.60 seconds.
Ms Genius is owned locally by Noel and Heather Perry who also own the winner’s litter brother Big Rough, a winner of four races at Tara Raceway and currently racing in Victoria.
The beautifully bred Golden Gown (Head Bound out of Gold Affair Two – 106 starts for 20 wins and 35 minor placings and more than $126,000 in prizemoney) kicked off another good day for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley when leading all the way to win the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m) in 23.48 seconds.
Stanley followed up with another two winners – Hay Miss leading all the way in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m) to defeat Maximum Bella and a fast-finishing Yaramundi Domino in a quick 30.02 seconds while Tiger Bite Turbo, after a spirited battle with Cryer’s Sid, scored in the winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m) in 23.27 seconds.
Supreme Deal, the 97-start veteran, was always going to be hard to beat when he came out running from box two in the Produce Store Mixed Stake (512 m).
And that’s how the race panned out with the March 2013 son of Where’s Pedro and Supreme Vision never looking like being beaten, eventually running out a 4½ length winner in a best of day time of 29.83 seconds.
Supreme Deal has now won seven races since being taken over 12 months ago by a local syndicate comprising Ralph and Darryl Patzel, Amanda Darmanin and first-time owner Bob White.
Trained by Ralph Patzel, the fawn dog was the winner of the 2016 Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m). Heats of the 2017 memorial will be run on Sunday, July 16 with the final on July 23.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
The Big Lebowski is a 1998 Coen brothers American film starring Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski – a Los Angeles slacker – with other Hollywood heavyweights in the comedy including Julianne Moore, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
And there are few cult films revered by its audience more than The Big Lebowski – Portland trainer Nicole Stanley being one of that audience.
So when she purchased, sight unseen, a big gangly 15-month-old unbroken black youngster by Spring Gun out of Ginsue Too for $800 from David Jones of Korumburra she already had a racing name earmarked – Big Lebowski.
Ginsue Too raced on 29 occasions for three wins and seven minor placings, two of her wins – one in 30.02 seconds – being at Tara Raceway over 512 metres.
Her breeding is interesting as she’s by High Earner out of Gorgeous I Daire, a winner of 16 races, including 11 in succession at Warrnambool, Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo during 2007 for Woodford owner-trainer Stuart Bishop who is a part-owner of last Friday’s Tara Raceway maiden winner Kooka Jak.
Stanley said she had been more than happy with her purchase after a promising breaking-in report although at one stage it appeared as if the August 2015 whelping was unlikely to ever see a race track.
“He’d been diagnosed with acidosis and veterinary advice suggested a bleak future for him. But I’d never been convinced that it was acidosis and fortunately for all concerned it turned out to be nothing more than a stress-related setback,” she said.
Big Lebowski made his debut at Tara Raceway last Sunday from box four in the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (400 m). He led all the way, won by eight lengths and ran 23.19 seconds. This Dude’s no slacker.
He was the first leg of a treble for Stanley who followed up with Tiger Bite Turbo in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m) and then rising five-year-old Old Jock continued to stave off retirement with a dashing 400 metre win in The Border Watch Stake.
Stanley may now head towards August’s Destini Fireball Winter Classic (512 m) – for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2015 – with Big Lebowski who is well placed from an age point of view.
The leading trainer will be looking to go one better this year after Hay Miss’s second to Lektra Munster in the 2016 Winter Classic.
BELLA FINALLY OPENS WINNING ACCOUNT
While Maximum Bella had previously won at The Meadows, Cranbourne, Horsham, Geelong, Warrnambool, Ballarat and Traralgon, success at Tara Raceway had been a while coming for Allendale East owner-trainer David Peckham.
But after three months and 14 starts, the black bitch finally broke through last Friday, albeit in the form of a dead-heat with Spider Whitehead’s Goldie’s Run – both greyhounds coming from a fair way back in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m).
By Magic Sprite, Maximum Bella is out of proven producer Lil’s Memory, the dam of Cracker Jack Lil (by Go Wild Teddy) who won 26 races and more than $115,000 in prizemoney.
Lil’s Memory raced on only 10 occasions for two wins at Cannington in WA but it was her success as a dam that prompted Peckham to answer an advertisement placed by Lethbridge breeder Jordan Cooper in regard to the sale of Maximum Bella.
“Lil’s Memory had produced quite a few winners to Go Wild Teddy, Magic Sprite and Mogambo so I figured Maximum Bella mightn’t be a bad buy for $1400 – any win being a bonus – but primarily with a view to later breeding with her,” he said.
Goldie’s Run completed a good week for the Cosmic Rumble x Moonshine Sally litter after Blitz And Bolt had won at Angle Park on the Monday night.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Woodford trainer Jackson Bell landed his first Tara Raceway winner when Kooka Jak put in a big effort to win the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m) at last Friday’s time-graded meeting.
For Bell, 22, it had been a case of second time lucky after the son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie had run an unlucky first-up third at the local track late last month.
Away fairly from box four, Kooka Jak copped a check on the first turn and heading into the back straight had a fair amount of work to do as Outlaw Greg bowled along in front, looking to make every post a winner.
But by the time the field approached the home turn, Kooka Jak had put himself well and truly in the race, railing through as Outlaw Greg moved out to finish strongly along the rails for a two length win in 30.36 seconds.
The winner, who was purchased as a pup, along with litter brother Premier Zed, is raced by the South Pole Syndicate which includes well known Warrnambool greyhound identities Phil Mitchem and Stuart Bishop.
Bell, whose first involvement in the sport was when he was still at school and catching greyhounds at Warrnambool meetings to earn a few dollars, said Friday’s win had been a real team effort – girlfriend Stacey Graham being singled out for special mention.
And on Saturday night Premier Zed lined up in a maiden final over 525 metres at The Meadows although it was Bishop who made the trip to Melbourne as the talented footballer Bell was playing for Warrnambool against Camperdown.
Premier Zed, still yet to win in 13 starts, made the trip worthwhile when running second and picking up $1430 in prizemoney.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
After some recent consistent middle-distance performances at Tara Raceway, Apsley greyhound Cryer’s Plugger, with a 10-start track and distance record of one win and seven minor placings, looks the one to beat from box seven in Sunday’s Koroit 600 (600 metres).
Owned by Margaret Cryer and trained by husband Tom, the January 2015 son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget was a well-beaten third behind McIvor Verna in 600 metre track record time last Sunday but prior to that had run Col’s Wallett to 1¾ lengths in a quick 35.03 seconds.
Tom Cryer will be keen for Cryer’s Plugger to win his first race in close to three months with the Koroit 600 also carrying to the winner a four-week breaking-in package at the Koroit Breaking-In and Trial Track, donated by Peter Byrne.
Cryer has a brindle half-brother and two black half-sisters – by Spud Regis – to follow and at 14 months of age they aren’t far away from being broken-in.
One of the hardest for Cryer’s Plugger to beat in Sunday’s added-money feature will probably be Two Jobs, owned and trained at Serviceton by Valerie and David Brodhurst.
Although awkwardly drawn in box six, the daughter of Cosmic Rumble x Enlightment has won three races from her past five Tara Raceway starts and looked impressive when defeating Bekim Lucy’s by 4¼ lengths in 35.36 seconds – the same day Paraphernalia ran a track record 34.97 seconds.
Of the others, Rowdy Richard, trained at Horsham by Bill Hartigan, doesn’t look badly drawn in box eight and should find this a bit easier than last Sunday when he ran a 12½ length second behind McIvor Verna in 600 metre track record time.
And Peter Franklin’s McIvor Gordon, who has drawn box two, has the pedigree to run a strong 600 metres, being by Bella Infrared x Blonde Caviar and a litter brother to the record holder.
This will be the second year the Koroit 600 has been run, the Jeff Guy trained Brazen Bomber defeating Old Jock last year in an unofficial track record time of 35 seconds.
Byrne, incidentally, had a fair week on the track himself, successful at Tara Raceway last Friday with Black Fields in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m) and, as caretaker trainer, also winning three races in the space of seven days at Sandown Park with Saint Flynn for Robert Walsh of Koroit.
FRIDAY WINNERS TO CLASH
Free Bee, Rumbling Moment and Outlaw Eddie, all winners at last Friday’s meeting, have drawn boxes three, four and six respectively on Sunday and will clash in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m).
There was plenty of interest surrounding Free Bee, having her first start in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m) as she was the first local runner for her sire Fernando Bale, regarded as one of Australia’s best-ever greyhounds and a winner of $1.3m in prizemoney.
And with Free Bee being out of Witch Fantasy, also the dam of Blurred Lines (27 wins and more than $110,000 in prizemoney), she would have been a high-priced pup.
But the white and black bitch, now raced by Deb Hicks and trained at Worrolong by her father Steve Bartholomew, found her way to the South-East as an unraced giveaway after failing to make the grade in Victoria.
Rumbling Moment’s win in the winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m) was full of merit – a 7½ length winning margin in a flying 22.97 seconds says it all.
Taken over last month by Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell, the son of Cosmic Rumble x Stylish Moment is a littermate to Sophie’s Moment, a recent 512 metre sub-30 second winner.
Rumbling Moment now joins a select group of greyhounds to have broken the 23-second barrier over 400 metres at Tara Raceway – Cryer’s Ricky heading the list with a record 22.78, followed by Ireland’s Oyster 22.83, Future Past and Slipper’s Might 22.93 and Colden Star 22.97.
Outlaw Eddie came out all guns blazing from box one for Coleraine owner-trainer Bob Wombwell in the ClassicBet Maiden Stake (400 m).
By Spring Gun out of Coleraine Flame, who five years ago won a 480 metre maiden at Horsham for Wombwell, Outlaw Eddie led all the way to defeat Azumi Chief and What A Buzz in 23.37 seconds.
The win came at his fifth race start with his trainer now confident that the 35 kilogram black dog has fully recovered from a groin operation.
Outlaw Eddie’s win gave the litter, and Wombwell, their second success for the week with Fire Eyes, a nicely-conformed 30 kilogram black bitch, winning at Tara Raceway at the previous Sunday’s meeting and now lining up from box two in this Sunday’s Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m).
Wombwell, whose involvement in South-East greyhound racing goes back to the Glenburnie days, is enjoying a good year with his small team at the local track, having now trained seven winners.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Kylan Brae is the greyhound well known at Tara Raceway as the one who refuses to congregate with the throng around the lure at the end of a race but trots back to the other side of the track where, somewhat begrudgingly, he allows himself to be caught by his trainer.
And at Friday’s meeting, he took full advantage of the lower-grade time-graded format when breaking a long run of outs to win the Gambier Vets Stake (512 metres).
Well drawn in box eight, Kylan Brae used plenty of the track throughout but finished too powerfully to defeat Spotted Gun and Cee Jay’s Heart in a personal best time of 30.21 seconds.
The black dog’s only other win had been back in August last year when he had come from a long way back to defeat the tearaway leader Cee Righty – himself a winner last Thursday night at Warrnambool when successful in a 1-4 wins final over 450 metres.
Owned at Mumbannar by Jen Wilson and trained by her husband Monty, Kylan Brae is by Kinloch Brae out of Sionara Milly who was placed on only three occasions for $420 prizemoney but traces back to top producer Gravel Rash.
According to Monty Wilson, while Kylan Brae is still tricky to catch at the end of his races, his overall temperament is nothing compared to how he was when he first arrived at the kennels some eight months prior to his first race start.
“We were flat out getting him out of his kennel,” he said. “But thanks to a lot of patience and perseverance on the part of Jen we were finally able to win him round.”