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

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17: Nominations closed. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Thursday, December 21 with GRSA. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Wednesday, December 27 with GRSA. See “Racing Calendar” for full details. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time).

Mt G Greyhounds

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Trainer hooked on greyhound racing

Saturday, December 16, 2017

It hasn’t taken Tim Richards long to become well and truly hooked on greyhound racing.

Meningie trainer Tim Richards pictured on Friday with Allen Paul, his first Tara Raceway winner.

A professional fisherman based at Meningie, situated on the shores of Lake Albert at the northern end of the Coorong, Richards first became involved as a hobby trainer only two years ago and has now built his team up to eight.

He made the 3½-hour trip to Tara Raceway’s Friday time-graded meeting with five runners, his second visit to the Mount Gambier track after an unsuccessful first-time try some 15 months ago.

And Richards picked up his first win at the track when Allen Paul was successful in the South Eastern Hotel Stake, a grade six event over 400 metres.

Away well from box one, the son of Dyna Nalin x Ferrari Bale quickly shook off kennelmate Asa Demeo before racing away to an impressive eight length 23.53 seconds win over his litter sister Oemi Allen who is trained at Winslow in Victoria by Paul Teuma.

The win was the third for the January 2015 whelping Allen Paul who was purchased by Richards and his Kalgoorlie-based sister Sheree Hayes for $500 from NSW breeder Paul Wheeler in April this year.

Richards, who hopes to become further involved through breeding his own stock, rates another Wheeler-bred greyhound in Allen Jersey as his best in his two-year involvement.

Morris Peer, who won his third race this year when successful at Tara Raceway last Friday, is pictured with Dean Fennell and Ray Keating.

Taken over in September 2016, the half-brother to million dollar greyhound Fanta Bale has won five races at Angle Park since relocating to Meningie.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the Richards trained short-priced favourite Sketchy Kathy had been beaten a length when finishing second behind rank outsider Morris Peer in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m).

Raced by Ray Keating and trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell, the son of Deville x Nubian Princess brought up his third win this year at Tara Raceway when leading all the way to score in 23.80 seconds.

These days the 82-year-old Keating – who it must be said was looking pretty good on Friday – doesn’t get to the track on a regular basis although he was quick to point out that he always seemed to be on-course when Morris Peer, who has now three from 29, was successful.

Christmas to come early for Crawley

Thursday, December 14, 2017

If times count for anything then Zuma Creek should be mighty hard to beat in the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final (512 metres), one of the highlights of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s Christmas meeting at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Raced by Danny Kelly, the son of Fabregas x Skye Creek is trained at Mortlake by Peter Crawley who certainly liked what he saw when the race time of 29.73 seconds was posted for Zuma Creek’s win in the second of two cup heats at last Sunday’s meeting.

Peter Crawley pictured with Zuma Creek, one of the top fancies for Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final at Tara Raceway.

Twenty minutes earlier Fiorelli Rose had won her way through to the final, and taken the lead in the Greyhound of the Year award, with a run of 30.24 seconds – which would turn out to be something like seven lengths slower than Crawley’s dog.

Zuma Creek hasn’t drawn all that well in Sunday’s final – box five – but it’s the same box he jumped from in his heat when he overcame his customary average start to find the front going into the back straight before holding out a pretty handy type in Lektra Stomp in the run to the line.

The win once again confirmed Zuma Creek’s track specialist status with his Tara Raceway record now standing at 14 starts for seven wins and five minor placings.

Crawley, who has been involved in greyhound racing for more than 40 years, is still chasing feature race success at Tara Raceway, his last cup finalist being Fluke Of Fantasy in the 2016 Mount Gambier Cup.

Team Lenehan’s Lektra Stomp, who suffered a minor setback after winning last month’s Newman McDonnell Memorial, had not raced for three weeks and should be better for the run, although box eight in Sunday’s final could be the query.

From a Christmas Cup point of view the story of the day will come if Compton trainer Tracie Price, who two years ago won the cup with Fear The Rascal, can land this year’s prize with his now veteran litter brother Shannah’s Might.

Leading trainer Nicole Stanley with Christmas Cup finalist and Greyhound of the Year front runner Fiorelli Rose.

Leading trainer Nicole Stanley, of Portland, looks to hold a strong hand in three of Sunday’s feature events – Fiorelli Rose chasing her second cup this year after Anniversary Cup success in July while Hit The Runway will join her in the Christmas Cup from an ideal box one after finishing strongly for third in last week’s heat behind Zuma Creek and Lektra Stomp.

Stanley has three genuine chances – Rising Girl, Hay Miss and Stylish Pursuit – in the bitches-only Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet, this year being run over 600 metres, and another top chance with Oh No Beta who has drawn box one in the Christmas Challenge (400 m) final.

Price, who will finish runner-up to Stanley in this year’s Leading Trainer award, is a strong chance in the Royal Fashion Maiden final (512 m) with Shannah’s Might’s younger half-sister Shine On Shannah who won a heat on debut last Sunday.

Lektra Menzel, a kennelmate to Lektra Stomp and trained at Toolong by Phil Lenehan, looks the main danger in the Royal Fashion after winning the other heat last week and likely to be improved by the run on the track.

Price also has three finalists in the Christmas Challenge, Baz’s Moment probably his best chance from a favourable box two draw.

The Peter Franklin trained Future Past, another veteran chaser, has drawn well in box eight in the Christmas Challenge final after running a good second behind Scorpion in a heat last week.

Oh No Beta has drawn box one in the Christmas Challenge final (400 metres).

It will be a busy weekend for the Moyston trainer who will be at The Meadows on Saturday night with his last start Ballarat winner McIvor Verna for a 725 metre event.

The re-introduction of 732 metre racing at Tara Raceway was always going to be a tough ask but it’s probably fair to say that since the first stayers’ race in more than three years was run at the end of August the exercise has been reasonably successful.

A five-dog Back To Distance Racing will kick off Sunday’s meeting with Emily As and Bekim Lucy’s, who clashed over 731 metres at Angle Park on Monday night when finishing third and fifth respectively, looking to be the main chances.

Cup finalist back after long break

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Portland greyhound Hutch, who kicked off the year in a blaze of glory with wins in the General Destini Summer Classic and a heat of the Mount Gambier Cup, will return to racing on Friday at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting.

Trained by Robert Halliday, Hutch – a litter brother to top Adelaide chaser Cairnlea Kenny – has been off the scene since September, his last win being on July 14 over 450 metres at Warrnambool in a best of night 25.47 seconds.

Hutch defeats Paraphernalia in a heat of this year’s Mount Gambier Cup.

The beautifully bred son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie will line up from box two in Friday’s Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 metres) with an imposing record of 19 starts for six wins, three minor placings and a best time at the track of 29.91 seconds.

This was the time the black dog ran when defeating seasoned performer and former track record holder Paraphernalia in a cup heat on Sunday, February 26 before going into the following week’s final with only six starts to his name and running unplaced behind Fabregal.

While Hutch’s return to racing on Friday is in a non-penalty time-graded event, Halliday will be hoping this will simply be the first step of a journey that leads him to another Mount Gambier Cup, this time a Listed $22,000 series, heats of which will be run on Sunday, March 11, 2018.

Ecklin South trainer Peter Fulton, who has had recent success at Tara Raceway with Noosa Parade, has drawn box one in Friday’s Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m) with first starter Like A Dyson, a daughter of My Bro Fabio x Irish Malt.

Irish Malt’s racing career was cut short after only seven starts which resulted in three wins and three minor placings. However, from her second litter, by Go Wild Teddy, she produced the smart bitch Mendes who ultimately won 19 races.

Early in her career, Mendes created a huge impression at Tara Raceway when defeating Mojito Mayhem in a heat of the 2015 Summer Classic although she had no luck in the final when as a short-priced favourite she run unplaced behind Cryer’s Ricky.

And another first starter in this race is the Nifty Lenehan owned Chatterbox Laura, trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley.

By Cosmic Rumble out of Obama’s Girl, the November 2015 Chatterbox Laura was bred by Lenehan who has enjoyed a bit of success this year at Tara Raceway with Obama’s Girl’s previous litter (by Kinloch Brae) which has won 11 races.

Coincidentally, Lenehan has a daughter called Laura.

Shannah shines in debut win

Monday, December 11, 2017

Locally-owned Shine On Shannah made an impressive start to her racing career when running the faster of the two 512 metre Royal Fashion Maiden heats at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

Weighing in at 31.5 kilograms, the sizeable bitch was away fairly from box six before taking over the running entering the back straight and eventually winning by 3¾ lengths in 30.49 seconds.

Karen Price (left) and Don, Alex and Mary Nunn pictured with Shine On Shannah after her Royal Fashion Maiden heat win on Sunday.

Whelped in January 2016, the daughter of Fabregas x Shannah’s Star is owned by Don Nunn – who also bred the black bitch – and trained at Compton by Tracie Price who has enjoyed plenty of success with Shannah’s Star’s stock.

For Nunn, it was a win that had come after a foot injury had threatened to put an end to Shine On Shannah’s racing career before it even started.

“In the end we opted to have a toe removed,” he said. “This certainly wasn’t a cheap procedure but today’s win certainly helps in some small way to vindicate our decision.”

The win was the culmination of a good weekend for Nunn after Shine On Shannah’s litter brother Shannah’s Gift – trained for him by Gary Hunt of Cudgee – opened his winning account at his second race start in a 400 metre event at Geelong on Friday night.

The weekend winners are out of Shannah’s Star’s second and final litter, her first – by Fear Zafonic – producing the Price-trained 2015 Christmas Cup winner Fear The Rascal as well as another of his prolific winners in Shannah’s Might who qualified for this year’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final when running third to Fiorelli Rose and Homer in a heat on Sunday.

Shannah’s Star, who won on debut over 400 metres at Tara Raceway six years ago, recently died of a spider bite.

Lektra Menzel, winner of heat one of the Royal Fashion Maiden for Phil Lenehan.

The 36 kilogram Lektra Menzel ran right up to his handy recent form at Horsham when leading all the way from box five to win the first heat of the Royal Fashion by six lengths in 30.56 seconds for Toolong trainer Phil Lenehan.

Also bred by Lenehan, the son of My Bro Fabio x Lektra Bianca had performed well in a Horsham maiden series when placed behind smart youngsters Emerald Rainbow and Fernando Drums.

Whelped in November 2015, the black dog was having only his sixth race start on Sunday after suffering a setback at breaking-in.

“He copped a bit of a setback at breaking-in so he’s a bit behind a couple of his littermates in Lektra Elsa and Lektra Guiseppe,” Lenehan said. “Actually, I didn’t think the run was too bad today because it was his first time over the 512 metre journey and his first look at the track. I reckon there should some improvement in him for the final.”

Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott has Garnet, Shaniqua and Sheza Renegade through to the final and will be looking to add to his list of Royal Fashion Maiden winners – Mundurra Express successful in 2009 and Manila Express in 2013.

Scorpion equal to the challenge

Monday, December 11, 2017

Scorpion’s all the way win in the second heat of the Christmas Challenge (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday not only brought up a hat-trick of wins but also kept in him contention for the Greyhound of the Year as well as rounding off a successful day for Worrolong husband and wife training team Steve and Lee Bartholomew.

Earlier in the day, Steve Bartholomew had been successful with Bluestone, who led all the way in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m) much to the delight of local part-owner Jeff Cranage who doesn’t miss too many of the blue dog’s runs at Tara Raceway.

Part-owner Jeff Cranage and trainer Steve Bartholomew pictured with Bluestone after his win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

By Kalden Komoto x Frantic Fusion, Bluestone – racing consistently but out of the winner’s list since May – never gave Cranage too many worries, running out a 6¾ length winner over Dean Fennell’s pair of Stampy Longnose and Surfing Moment in 23.29 seconds.

Bartholomew landed his first double this year when promising January 2016 youngster Galactic Panther, beautifully boxed in the eight, was in front going out of the first turn before powering away to a seven length win in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m) in a quick 30.01 seconds.

Owned by Robert Chuck of Moorak, Galactic Panther, a son of Milldean Panther x Galactic Rumball, was having his first run over the distance since late September with connections now setting their sights on February’s Peter Rocket Summer Classic (512 m).

Lee Bartholomew, who trained Just Humphrey, the 2013 Greyhound of the Year, has just three meetings left for Scorpion to peg back Fiorelli Rose and Baz’s Moment in this year’s award.

Scorpion, a son of Superman and this year’s leading brood bitch Which Class, has now won 11 races at Tara Raceway this year – no greyhound has won more.

However, he’s still giving the leaders six points and three points respectively with Fiorelli Rose to tackle the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final this Sunday while Scorpion and Baz’s Moment are set to clash in the Christmas Challenge final.

Veteran chaser Future Past, trained at Moyston by Peter Franklin who turned up at Tara Raceway on Sunday with a spring in his step, made his way through to the Christmas Challenge final when running a top race to finish second to Scorpion in a quick 23.07 seconds.

Franklin had been at Ballarat the night before with his star stayer McIvor Verna who stormed home to grab victory in the last bound in a feature 660 metre event, picking up a cool $6000 for connections.

Strong line-up for Christmas Cup heats

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The clash of Lektra Stomp and Zuma Creek, two of the fastest greyhounds to have raced at Tara Raceway this year, will be one of the highlights of Sunday’s meeting when they contest the second of two six-dog heats of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 metres).

Lektra Stomp defeats Cryer’s Bob, Greenback Boogie and Noosa Parade in last month’s Newman McDonnell Memorial.

From the Toolong kennels of Team Lenehan, Lektra Stomp, a member of the successful July 2015 Walk Hard x Lektra Angie litter, comes into the race after a 29.67 seconds run in August and a brilliant Newman McDonnell Memorial win last month.

By Fabregas x Skye Creek, Zuma Creek, a 29.69 seconds Tara Raceway winner in October, has an impressive record of six wins and five minor placings from 13 starts at the track for owner Danny Kelly and Mortlake trainer Peter Crawley.

Lektra Stomp and Zuma Creek, who have drawn boxes two and five respectively, also look to be well-suited by the smaller field.

Fiorelli Rose has drawn well in the first heat of the Christmas Cup.

Adding further interest to this heat will be box one runner Solitary Lad, owned by Ann Sinnott and trained at Glenroy by Richard Clayfield who won last year’s Christmas Cup with Glenville Jester.

A son of Lonesome Cry x Up And Away, Solitary Lad, who used the inside draw to advantage last week when defeating Shannah’s Might in a best of day 30.13 seconds, will be chasing his third feature race this year after success in the John Reid Memorial and the Destini Fireball Winter Classic.

Fiorelli Rose, a serious contender for this year’s Greyhound of the Year, won over 400 metres last week but looks better suited on Sunday over 512 metres for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley who was runner-up in last year’s Christmas Cup with 2016 Greyhound of the Year Old Jock.

Winner of this year’s Anniversary Cup in July, Fiorelli Rose looks well drawn in box two in heat one of the Christmas Cup and comes into the race having beaten Zuma Creek three starts ago.

Portland trainer Robert Halliday, off the scene for several months, bounced back with a time-graded double at Tara Raceway last Friday with box one runners Homer and Brinza.

Robert Halliday pictured with Homer who will jump from box one in heat one of the Christmas Cup.

Homer, while stepping up in grade, will be well suited by box one again in heat one of the cup and will also be well suited by the smaller field.

The 4½-year-old Shannah’s Might, trained at Compton by Tracie Price for local owner Don Nunn, has been placed at his past five starts and did beat Fiorelli Rose over 512 metres back in September.

By Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star, Shannah’s Might’s litter brother, Fear The Rascal, won the Christmas Cup for the same connections two years ago. In fact, Price will be chasing his third cup, Who’s Doing What successful in race record time in 2014.

Sunday’s meeting will kick off with two heats of the Milla Laddrak-sponsored Royal Fashion Maiden (512 m), first run in 2007 when won by Leeor Trev, trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell who won the event again in 2014 with Pumped Rule.

The Royal Fashion has unearthed a few smart types, not the least being the Price-trained Moorak Hope (2012), Cap Abbott’s Manila Express (2013) and Peter Hubbard’s Cairnlea Lewis (2015).

Steve Bartholomew and Karen and Tracie Price with Who’s Doing What after her race-record win in the 2014 Christmas Cup.

Interesting runner in the first heat is first starter Wendouree Witch, who has drawn box eight for Heathmere trainer Garry Marshman.

Whelped in December 2015, the white and black bitch is bred to go fast, being by Keybow out of Star Doll, a former 400 metre track record holder at Tara Raceway before going on to win over the middle distance at Sandown Park and The Meadows.

And in the second heat, January 2016 whelping Shine On Shannah, by Fabregas x Shannah’s Star, and raced in the same interests as Shannah’s Might, will make her debut from box six.

Finals of the Christmas Cup, the Royal Fashion Maiden and the Christmas Challenge (400 m) will be run at Sunday week’s Christmas meeting (December 17), along with one-off finals of the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet for grade five bitches (600 m) and the Back To Distance Racing (732 m).

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