SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21: Nominations closed. AGM to follow October 21 race meeting. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Friday, October 19 with GRSA. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, October 23 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
Mt G Greyhounds
Thursday, October 18, 2018
While there is no award this year for the leading local greyhound dam, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club has been listing weekly updates for the dams, along with leading trainers, greyhounds and sires, on its website.
Currently, the Ian Badger Leading Trainer and the Greyhound of the Year are the two awards presented on an annual basis although as from 2019 the Leading Dam will also be part of the presentations.
It is to be hoped that next year’s Leading Dam award is as keenly contested as this year has been so far with only four points separating local brood bitches Azumi Touch, Who’s Doing What and Cryer’s Midget (now re-homed).
The Bartholomew family’s Azumi Touch (Cosmic Rumble x Elite Touch) has produced 25 winners by Cosmic Chief and Dyna Tron at Tara Raceway this year; Tracie and Karen Price’s Who’s Doing What (High Earner x No Recall) 22 by Fabregas and Knocka Norris; Tom and Margaret Cryer’s Cryer’s Midget (Texas Gold x Shady Grove Fox) 21 by Spring Gun and Spud Regis.
Two of Azumi Touch’s progeny in Azumi Ryder and Azumi Spice currently figure in the Greyhound of the Year award as does Cryer’s Midget’s son Cryer’s Plugger.
The days of the leading local stud dog are now long gone, frozen semen insemination resulting in litters being sired by greyhounds from Australia, England, Ireland and the US, as well as the occasional litter appearing by an Australian champion of another era.
A far cry from the early days of greyhound racing at Glenburnie when the race book listed local sires Kori Arc (Eric Lewis), Courtoli (Bill Ward), Forest King (Tom Pearce), Invercoe Snow (Drew McFarlane) and Kevin Jason (John King) all standing at stud at fees ranging from $100 to $120.
Even in the mid-1980s the local Adelaide weekly greyhound publication, The Leash, had its inside back page full of SA stud dog advertisements for Trevenson, Knocklaun Gold, Unique Value, Katandra King, Dingaan Flier and Red Flag – their stud fees ranging from $100 to $250.
They obviously bred them tough back then, Trevenson’s advertisement stating that “a broken hock, fractured pelvis and a broken leg did not stop this fierce chaser.”
Dingaan Flier’s studmaster, Wally Rosmann, of Two Wells, must have been keen to attract bitches for his 1984 SA Greyhound of the Year as he was offering a breeder’s bonus of a “magnificent 4 dog aluminium trailer valued at $2400 to be given to the breeder of the largest litter out of his first 50.”
Whether Dingaan Flier in fact ever sired 50 litters and Rosmann had to come up with the trailer is not known.
And there were plenty of others. Tom Frank of Two Wells was standing Acrimeteus, Crowbar Wonder, Sonny’s Windfall and Swift As Light; Hay Willie was standing at Te Whetu Lodge at Port Lincoln and John Kretschmer had brought out Spectre’s Son and Exact Pride from England to stand at stud at Two Wells.
Incidentally, Tara Raceway’s leading sires are currently Spring Gun (50 wins), Cosmic Rumble 48, Magic Sprite 42, Barcia Bale and Fabregas 41.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Veteran Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton has made a habit in the past of winning races at Tara Raceway with “discard” greyhounds – and generally at good odds.
His latest success came last Sunday at Tara Raceway when $23 chance It’s Magic, having his fourth run for Ashton and his second at the track, ran down Our Bro Pedro to score by a half length in the Produce Store Stake (512 metres) in 30.36 seconds.
In Ashton’s kennels since August, It’s Magic’s win – his sixth from 45 starts – last Sunday was his first since April when he was successful at Shepparton over 450 metres.
It was Ashton’s 16th success at Tara Raceway this year and has him currently sitting in 10th spot in the Ian Badger Leading Trainer award.
Speaking after Sunday’s win, he said it had taken a while to get the Peter Macleod-owned son of Fabregas x Katie Racoon going.
“To be honest, he showed me nothing early but after a run at Tara Raceway behind the finish-on-lure he seemed to gain some confidence,” Ashton said.
The 36 kilogram black dog will now tackle the 600 metre journey for only the second time in his career when he lines up in Sunday’s Winningformula.net.au Mixed Stake at Tara Raceway.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
It’s taken a while, but rising three-year-old greyhound Joshua Rocks finally broke through for his first win when successful in last Sunday’s Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
Not that he had raced on too many occasions, the 37 kilogram dog having only his eighth start last Sunday after kicking off his racing career back in April at a Wednesday meeting at The Meadows, his owner-trainer Nifty Lenehan of Portland later left to lament a frustrating past six months.
“As if it wasn’t bad enough that he was a late developer and never hit the track until he was 2½ years old, I also encountered cramping problems with him,” Lenehan said this week.
“Then, after getting on top of the cramping issue, he suffered a couple of other unrelated injuries which ultimately has made for a pretty lean time with him this year which is disappointing because as he showed on Sunday he can run a bit.
“His biggest problem now is that he’s generally very slow early so I’m now hoping he will be able to run over more ground.”
When Lenehan returned to Tara Raceway with Joshua Rocks last month, after what had been a two-month break, he believed the dog was finally ready to win – his price of $1.75 suggesting as much, anyway!
But it would take him another four runs before he broke his maiden, slowly away from box four last Sunday before finding galloping room down the back straight and quickly rounding up Mulan and Midnight Rage to win in 29.96 seconds.
Punters – forgiving lot that they are – stepped in again, this time at $2.40, race caller Ray Fewings suggesting that the judge had been feeling for Joshua Rocks’s number a fair way from home.
The winning time was quick for a maiden – pretty handy for any grade, actually – and was the fastest maiden win at Tara Raceway since March when recent Adelaide Cup finalist Spring Bridge ran 29.63 seconds in the Produce Store Feature Maiden final.
Also bred by Lenehan, Joshua Rocks is by Cosmic Rumble out of Obama’s Girl, a winner of two 600 metre races at The Meadows and also at Ballarat over 550 metres.
This is her second litter for Lenehan, the first, by Kinloch Brae, producing six individual winners including Herbilly who in July whelped two dogs and two bitches to Fernando Bale.
Joshua Rocks will now head to Sandown Park, where he has trialled well, to contest a heat on Thursday night of the GRV Vic Bred (1-4 wins) over 515 metres, the $10,000-to-the-winner final to be run on Thursday week.
The Richard Clayfield trained Mulan’s effort at only her second start last Sunday to finish a 1¾ length second to Joshua Rocks signalled an early win for the daughter of Taylors Sky and Erza Allen. Her actual time of 30.08 seconds would win the majority of maiden races run at Tara Raceway.
Meanwhile, Springvale Alysa, trained at Kongorong by John Little, will head to Warrnambool on Thursday night to contest the Norfolk Butchers Damsels Dash, a 450 metre event for grade five bitches.
The daughter of Dyna Double One and Springvale Cool continued her outstanding year at Tara Raceway last Sunday when leading all the way in the Winningformula.net.au Stake, a grade five final over 512 metres.
Quickly finding the front from box seven, Springvale Alysa ran out a 4¼ length winner over Wanchai Express in a best of day 29.86 seconds and in doing so brought up her eighth win this year for Little and the Bungaloo Syndicate.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Greyhound Racing SA is committed to establishing three strong regional clubs (Gawler, Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier) which drive the best possible outcomes for industry and the participants whose interests they represent.
This is according to GRSA CEO Matt Corby who said the recently-released Sky weekly schedule for when Murray Bridge commenced racing delivered strongly against the key objectives.
“We now need to move forward with that program and allow it to settle, although we will continue to monitor its success over time. GRSA has a primary obligation to remain open and responsive to any need for change,” he said.
Once the Murray Bridge track is racing (expected to be in January), the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club will race on alternate Wednesdays while continuing to conduct meetings every Sunday.
Mount Gambier’s Wednesday meetings will alternate with straight track racing at Murray Bridge, this giving Tara Raceway trainers the opportunity of racing their greyhounds up the straight as a lead-in to the local Sunday meeting.
However, the initial canvassing of local participants by GRSA in order to ascertain the likelihood of their support for Murray Bridge’s main meeting of the week on its one-turn track is no longer relevant as both clubs are now scheduled to race on Sundays.
Corby said GRSA remained conscious of the fact that the Mount Gambier region would initially have a restricted opportunity to race at the Murray Bridge Sunday meetings.
“It is our hope that this can be addressed in the course of time,” he said.
Monday, October 15, 2018
Mordred’s win at Tara Raceway on Sunday, after a break of more than three months, was local sporting identity Kevin “KD” Douglas’s first win with a greyhound in close to 26 years.
In fact it was on November 14, 1992 when his 26 kilogram fawn bitch called Lichine defeated Charming Gypsy over 479 metres at Glenburnie in a best of day time of 30.15 seconds.
By Wild Conquest out of Mystic Lake, Lichine, trained locally for Douglas by John Reid, won 13 races at the greyhound track situated inside the racecourse.
Fast forward something like 23 years and Douglas, in his much-valued role of handling the major race presentations for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, first encountered Moyston trainer Peter Franklin.
He recalls that Franklin, trainer of former local track record holders Ireland’s Oyster (400 m) and Mojito Mayhem (512 m), as well as current 600 metre record holder McIvor Verna, presented himself as an outstanding person and also presented the multiple cups winner Mojito Mayhem in magnificent order.
“In fact, I was so impressed by Peter and the manner in which he turned out his greyhounds that I asked him if he could find me a couple of pups to race with him,” Douglas said.
“It took him a while but 18 months later Peter came up with two black pups by Kinloch Brae out of Wicked Princess that he then proceeded to rear at his Moyston property. Now my portfolio included shares in three pacers and two greyhounds.”
And there wasn’t too much wrong with the pups’ breeding. The US-bred Kinloch Brae has been an outstanding sire while Wicked Princess, a daughter of Bartrim Bale and Wicked Witch, was unraced but her litter sister Secret Spell won 23 races and more than $276,000 in stakemoney.
Fast forward another couple of years and one of the black pups, now named Mordred, had knocked up a couple of second placings at Tara Raceway. His first win looked imminent, however an injury sustained at Ballarat subsequently kept him off the track for 14 weeks.
Resuming from box three in Sunday’s Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m), Mordred was slowly away but found a rails run to move into third spot down the back before finishing over the top of Red Hat Ruby and Coco Suzy to win by three-quarters of a length in 23.48 seconds.
Now, if only one of those pacers could win a race.
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Compton greyhound Smart Knocka, desperately unlucky not to be running in the $107,500 UBET Adelaide Cup final, provided trainer Tracie Price and his fellow owners Peter and Andrew Haines of WA with a change of luck when winning the $10,710 Adelaide Cup Consolation (515 metres) at Angle Park on Friday night.
Smart Knocka, on the back of a great second in last month’s Group 3 SA Derby (515 m), narrowly missed a spot in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup final after finishing third in a heat last week, running the sixth fastest of the 34 cup runners.
Away well from box seven in the consolation, the blue dog chased Oshkosh Erny Vee for much of the journey before finishing strongly to hold out recent State Of Origin winner Nations in 29.77 seconds, only a length slower than the time Real Simple took to win the cup final two races later.
For the 54-year-old Price, who has been training greyhounds for more than 30 years, this was his biggest win. And Smart Knocka, with six wins and two minor placings from only 10 starts, has already stamped himself as one of the best dogs to come out of Mount Gambier in a long time.
Despite being back in Mount Gambier at some ungodly hour on Saturday morning, Price was still at Tara Raceway by 9 o’clock for the trials, putting a trailer-load of young hopefuls through their paces while at the same time contemplating his next move with Smart Knocka.
“At this stage I’m seriously looking at the $36,000 Gawler Gold Cup (531 m), heats of which will be run on Tuesday, October 30 and the final on the following Sunday night,” he said.
“He’s never been to Gawler so realistically he will have to trial there prior to the heats in order to give him every chance.”
By Knocka Norris, Smart Knocka is out of Who’s Doing What who was a finalist in the 2015 Gawler Gold Cup. Last month she was mated with the boom sire Fernando Bale.
Price said he was also looking at the Silver Chief Classic (525 m), for male greyhounds whelped from June 2016 onwards, the Group 1 $100,000 series being run at The Meadows in December-January.
Meanwhile, Friday night’s SA Country Cup didn’t go quite to plan as far as the Mount Gambier representatives, Hutch and Paraphernalia, were concerned.
Both greyhounds performed well last Sunday at Tara Raceway as a lead-up to the $7375 final over 515 metres but never really got into the event on cup night for trainers Robert Halliday and Jeff Guy, Hutch later found to be suffering from hip soreness.
Portland trainer Brian Weis, after a double at Angle Park last week, continued his good run at the city track on Friday night when Lobster Hill led all the way and Theo’s Thunder turned in a big effort to run second.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
According to Kongorong greyhound trainer John Little the win of $20 chance Bungaloo Thor at Tara Raceway last Sunday didn’t come as any real surprise to him but the winning time in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 metres) certainly did.
By Addis Boy out of Camo’s Prinny and a litter brother to Friday’s winner Gypsy Shane, Bungaloo Thor gave tearaway leader Azumi Striker a fair start down the back but finished over the top of him in the run home to score by 1¼ lengths in 29.93 seconds at his 51st start.
The rising three-year-old black dog, also bred by Little, has come a fair way since October last year when he dead-heated in a time-graded 400 metre maiden in a steady 24.11 seconds.
Four months on he won his second race – over 512 metres – in an even steadier 30.91 seconds although by the time he had brought up win number three some six month later Bungaloo Thor had lowered his personal best to a respectable 30.34 seconds.
Bungaloo Thor’s winning time on Sunday in what was the third and final heat of a grade five series was smart, Little really at a loss to explain where the improvement had come from.
“To be honest, I didn’t really expect him to ever break 30 seconds,” he said. “The only thing I can put it down to is that perhaps he is a late maturer.
“I was told by one of Camo’s Prinny’s former trainers that she had been a late developer, the same trainer saying that her dam, Camo’s Dollars – a winner of a couple of 732 metre races at Tara Raceway – had also taken a while to sort herself out.”
A couple of races earlier, the Little-trained Springvale Alysa had led all the way to defeat Azumi Spice by 3¼ lengths in 29.84 seconds in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (512 m), the first heat of the grade five series.
Springvale Alysa, a daughter of Dyna Double One and Springvale Cool, has proven to be a handy pick-up for Little and his partners Liz Newberry and Kevin Mullan, having now won seven races for the trio after being purchased from Adelaide in April this year.
Last Sunday’s double was Little’s second this year at Tara Raceway, Bungaloo Jedda and Premier Choix successful on August 2. He has now trained 14 winners at the local track in 2018.
And he’ll go into Sunday’s grade five final, the Winningformula.net.au Stake (512 m), holding a strong hand with Bungaloo Thor drawn in box three and Springvale Alysa in the seven.
Last start winner Baurna Sal looked to have the second heat, The Border Watch Stake (512 m), all stitched up when she opened up a handy break over Wanchai Express and Irka Jakit down the back straight.
But former Adelaide chaser Wanchai Express, who found his way into Nicole Stanley’s Portland kennels at the end of August, finished strongly along the rails to grab victory by a head in 30.16 seconds – his second win at the track in the space of a fortnight.
Owned in Adelaide by Les Stewart, Wanchai Express, also a winner at Angle Park, Gawler and Strathalbyn, is by Bit Chili out of Aunty Chopper who raced on 99 occasions for 15 wins and 35 minor placings.
Meanwhile, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. Annual General Meeting will be held in the Tara Raceway Clubrooms at the conclusion of the race meeting on Sunday, October 21.
Participants should also be aware that the club’s next time-graded meeting will be run on Wednesday, October 24 (nominations to close at 9 a.m. on Friday, October 19).
Highlighting November will be the running of the time-honoured Newman McDonnell Memorial (512 m) for grade five greyhounds, won last year by former track record holder Lektra Stomp.