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

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, October 28 with GRSA. FREE TRIALS (for members/$10 non-members): Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track. BORDER CHALLENGE: Mount Gambier v. Warrnambool. $4000 to the winner final at Warrnambool (450 m) on Thursday, December 5. Mount Gambier conditions: Trainer must be financial member of club. Greyhound must have been in the trainer’s kennel for the past three months and have raced at least twice in the past 12 months at Tara Raceway. Trainer must have raced on at least 15 occasions in the past 12 months at Tara Raceway. Maximum of two heats (512 m) with the first two from each heat to represent Mount Gambier. First four to represent the club if only one heat.


Mt G Greyhounds

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A win at the dogs for long-time racing mates

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

While local sporting identity Kevin “KD” Douglas and Coleraine Racing Club president Rod Neeson, of Nareen, have been racing mates for more than 30 years it took them until July this year to finally get together to race a greyhound.

Douglas, who had raced greyhounds out at Glenburnie, was last successful 12 months ago at Tara Raceway with a dog called Mordred, purchased as a pup and trained for him by Peter Franklin. Neeson, on the other hand, had previously raced only thoroughbreds.

Missing Mate opens his winning account at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

So when Allendale East trainer David Peckham negotiated a three-dog deal with prominent NSW breeder David Pringle it was a case of Douglas keen to become involved with a greyhound of racing age and keen to involve his long-time mate.

“I’d purchased my previous greyhound as a pup but this time I was looking to cut down the waiting time and purchase a dog that hopefully wouldn’t be too far away from racing,” Douglas said.

Peckham had dealt with Pringle before, three years ago purchasing litter brothers Blitz And Bolt and Goldie’s Run, the former winning at Angle Park and Tara Raceway and the latter locally for him prior to being sold.

The latest package included Cruising By and Silent Jacko, who have now won five races and four races respectively, and Missing Mate, a short-priced favourite from box one in last Sunday’s O’Brien Electrical Stake (512 metres) for Douglas and Neeson.

Missing Mate, a December 2017 son of Kinloch Brae and the unraced Bonnie’s Secret, went into the maiden/one win race still looking for his first win after running four minor placings from his only five starts.

This was going to be Missing Mate’s day, though, the brindle dog never looking like being beaten, eventually running out a 3¼ length winner over Close Your Eyes in what turned out to be a best of day time of 29.90 seconds.

The win was the first in what was another big day for Peckham, Cruising By winning the final race, the JB Irrigation Stake (400 m), and giving him four winners – after Dyna Naitch and Squishy Pea had also been successful – for a total of 94 at Tara Raceway this year.

David Peckham, Christine Yourgules and Rod Neeson pictured with Missing Mate after his best of day 29.90 seconds win.

The “missing mate” last Sunday was Douglas who was in Adelaide. Neeson, however, enjoyed his day at the dogs and being associated with his first winner.

Douglas headed out to Globe Derby Park the following day to watch pacer Wolf Of West Bay, of which he is a part-owner, score a comfortable win over 1800 metres – the bay gelding now in the running for the SA 2 YO Pacing Colt/Gelding Horse of the Year award which will be announced on Friday night.

It had been a couple of good days for Douglas. Tuesday was even better, though. Much better.

In Adelaide to wrap up what had been exhausting chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for prostate and associated cancers – treatment that had commenced early this year – he received a positive result from specialists.

“That was the best win I’ve ever had,” he said. “And I say this to all men – have regular medical check-ups. They can help you stay healthy and pick up early warning signs of disease or illness. Screening tests may also help your doctor to detect some cancers in their early stages.”

Meanwhile, Missing Mate, despite drawing box five, looks well placed to win again this Sunday when he lines up in the Stake, a maiden/one win event over 512 metres which sees him once again clashing with Close Your Eyes.

Tyche Onyx impresses in distance debut

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Mount Moriac trainer Kevin Ward was quietly confident Tyche Onyx could win her first 600 metre race after drawing box one in last Thursday’s Gambier Vets Mixed Stake at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting.

Amanda Darmanin with Kevin Ward’s impressive 600 metre winner Tyche Onyx.

And he was on the money, the black bitch leading all the way for a big 7½ lengths win in a more than handy 35.23 seconds, Ward later saying that he believed a 2¼ length second behind Bush Blossom over 512 metres at her previous start had topped her off nicely for the middle-distance event.

“I’m her sixth trainer so she had done the rounds prior to me picking her up as a giveaway back in May,” he said. “Initially there had been a bit of a hock issue with her so I’d kept her to 400 metre racing before stepping her up to 512 metres last week.

“She worked home well in that race so I thought the time was probably right to step her up to 600 metres. It wasn’t as though she’d never been over the journey before because she had been placed at Sandown Park and Angle Park before I took her over.”

Ward said he wasn’t sure where Tyche Onyx would next run although he was seriously thinking of trying to get her back in another 600 metre event at Tara Raceway before tackling a middle-distance event in the city.

Like A Slug scored a surprise maiden win for Peter Fulton.

She is by Bekim Bale out of Paua To Excite, who traces back to Paua To Burn, a winner of 59 races and $242,000 in stakemoney.

Tyche Onyx is also a litter sister to the smart chaser Got Some Wheels, successful over 525 metres at The Meadows at the end of August in a quick 29.65 seconds and all told a winner of 15 races and $68,000 in stakemoney.

Little wonder that Ward now has his seven-race winner registered for breeding.

Like A Slug scored a shock win in the first race, the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (400 m), for Ecklin South trainer Peter Fulton and his mother Beryl, the pair also breeding the fawn son of Worm Burner and Miss Hodge.

Long odds to open his winning account after his first four race starts had resulted in well-beaten unplaced runs, Like A Slug delighted Fulton when he chased Zeenat until the home turn where he unleashed a powerful run, going right away to a 4¼ lengths win in 23.44 seconds.

“He needs room and a clear run,” he said. “And he hadn’t been able to get that at his first four runs. But he showed today that if things go his way then he can run a bit. The win was our first with the litter and I was certainly very happy with the effort.”

Garry Harding landed his first Tara Raceway winner with Tiggerlong Ring.

The winner is a litter brother to General Max, a winner of four races at Tara Raceway for the locally-based Fennell family who also race his brother Beat Max Bazza, placed on seven occasions from 12 starts at the local track.

Miss Hodge, who was retired due to injury after only three starts, is by Cape Hawke x Jamaican Ruby and a litter sister to I’m A Princess, a winner of eight races and $32,000 in stakemoney.

The Fultons are currently being kept busy with Miss Hodge’s 9-month-old second litter of five dogs and seven bitches which are by Rippin’ Sam (15, $357,000).

Widely-travelled veteran trainer Garry Harding, at Tara Raceway for only the third time, landed his first winner at the track when Tiggerlong Ring led all the way to defeat Yeppy Allen by 3½ lengths in 23.66 seconds in the final event, the Stake (400 m).

These days he’s based at Laharum, down the road from Horsham, where he is helping out his cousin Jeff Guy with some of his young greyhounds. But his interest in the sport goes back to a time when 10 tracks were operating in SA, including Port Lincoln, where he was living.

Brave Hearted broke a long run of outs for Kevin Ashton.

A rising five-year-old, Tiggerlong Ring is by Kinloch Brae out of Wentworth Park winner Tiggerlong Petal, Harding picking up the black dog 10 months ago for $500 and having now also won at Goulburn with him.

Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton resurrected yet another giveaway with Brave Hearted who went into last Thursday’s Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 m) with one win from 42 starts at what was only his second start in five months when lining up from box seven.

Using plenty of the track, the son of Made To Size and Puzzle Magic was mid-race early but finished strongly down the outside in the home straight to defeat his 5¾-year-old kennelmate Mr Agro by a neck in 24.20 seconds and break a 13-month losing streak.

Ashton, who picked up Brave Hearted back in July, said he was surprised that the dog had been able to win over 400 metres and give him his 21st win at the local track this year.

“I’d studied some of his previous runs over a bit more ground and liked the way he had finished his races off. To be honest, I thought that he would probably need to be racing over 512 metres at Tara Raceway before being any chance.”

Keen One claims emotional win at Tara Raceway

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Emotions ran high at Tara Raceway last Sunday after Keen One’s powerful finishing burst in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 metres) resulted in him running down tearaway leader Frankie to win by three-quarters of a length in a smart 23.28 seconds.

Dita Mitchell and Malcolm and Nuran Keenan pictured with Keen One after his win last Sunday.

On track to witness the greyhound’s first win at his fifth start, after three previous minor placings, was an emotional Tarpeena owner Malcolm Keenan and his wife Nuran – Keen One racing in the name of JK the Great, in memory of Keenan’s son John.

The win was also Keenan’s first in six years, a dog called Bahama Sixty One, who he raced in partnership with local greyhound man Ralph Patzel, winning a 512 metre maiden at Tara Raceway in 30.95 seconds.

And it was Patzel who actually picked out Keen One as a pup from an October 2017 litter by Dyna Villa out of Precious Prize, a winner of three races up the straight at Healesville.

“We went over Bendigo way to select a couple of pups from the litter and left them there to be reared and then got Dita (Mitchell) to take over their training after breaking-in,” Keenan said.

“Zeenat, our other one, will have her fourth start in a maiden over 400 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday while Keen One will step up to a grade six event.”

For Mitchell, also of Tarpeena, last Sunday was a good way to celebrate her birthday after Keen One’s win and then Galloping Flash who made it two in a row with a two length win over Cee Me Ignite in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m) in a very quick 22.88 seconds.

The double was Mitchell’s third this year at Tara Raceway after Red Hat Ruby and Bob Square Pants had won on consecutive Thursdays back in July.

The Bunworths are in a rush

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Brendan Bunworth, of Penshurst, back in the game and carrying on from where he left off several years ago, continues to enjoy success at Tara Raceway with his giveaway greyhounds.

Working in conjunction with wife Kayla, the pair has now trained 10 winners this year at the local track, the latest being Stilton Rush in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m) at last Sunday’s meeting.

Having her first start for Bunworth, Stilton Rush, who won her maiden at Horsham back in July, quickly found the front from box one and held out short-priced favourite Jervois Bruit to win by four lengths in a quick 22.95 seconds.

And there’s certainly not much wrong with her breeding, the February 2017 black bitch by Magic Sprite out of Ada Mary, the daughter of High Earner a winner of 18 races, including two Group 3 events over 720 metres at Wentworth Park, for $142,000 in stakemoney.

One-off final for K9 Race Recovery FFA

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Due to insufficient nominations for a minimum of two heats, the G-SIX K9 Race Recovery FFA (600 m) will now be run as a one-off final at Sunday week’s meeting (October 27).

But this Sunday’s G-SIX Rock’s Retreat FFA (600 m) looks likely to be a keenly-contested affair and a good lead-in to the final – the majority of the runners likely to be re-nominated.

Saint David defeats Spring Spinner, Bisenti and Spinning Jakit over 600 metres at Tara Raceway last week. The quartet will clash again on Sunday.

Only 3½ lengths separated Saint David, Spring Spinner, Bisenti and Spinning Jakit who filled the first four placings in last week’s 600 metre Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake, Saint David running a smart 35.16 seconds for Koroit owner-trainer Peter Byrne.

The quartet will clash again on Sunday but will also have to contend with Banjo Fozz who impressed on debut a fortnight ago over 600 metres for Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst when running second to Unique Edition.

On that occasion Banjo Fozz ran Unique Edition to 2¼ lengths, the winner clocking a quick 35.00 seconds and subsequently winning at Angle Park over 600 metres on Adelaide Cup night.

Trainers are reminded that original nominators for the K9 Race Recovery FFA will be given first preference for the one-off final but will have to re-nominate by 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, October 22 with GRSA.

Syndicate takes advantage of ‘offer too good to refuse’

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

As far as the new owners of the unusually-named greyhound Squishy Pea – winner of last Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry grade five final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway – were concerned it was a case of never looking a gift horse in the mouth.

How Squishy Pea found his way down to leading local trainer David Peckham’s Allendale East kennels at the end of August goes back to previous owner Peter Sutcliffe of Devon Meadows who had been looking to move on the black dog in order to make room for some new arrivals.

Squishy Pea wins the Fairthorne Forestry Grade 5 final at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Sutcliffe had rung a contact in Adelaide to see if he was interested in taking Squishy Pea but he too had no empty kennels. What the contact did do, though, was to ring Ross Schurgott, manager of the Nineofus Syndicate, to see if he was looking for another dog, in this case a giveaway.

And Schurgott couldn’t get on the phone quickly enough to run the offer past Peckham, who had won a Fairthorne Forestry heat the previous week with the Nineofus Syndicate owned Silent Jacko.

“It didn’t seem like a bad offer, considering at a bit over three years of age he should still have plenty of racing in him,” Peckham said. “And he’s a beautifully-bred dog, being by Fernando Bale out of Secret Spell, a winner of 23 races and $276,000 in stakemoney.

“Apparently he was a good kennel dog and with 10 wins on Victorian tracks I said to Ross that the syndicate probably couldn’t go far wrong with a deal like this. He should get him down here as quickly as possible, I suggested.

“Later, when I trialled Squishy Pea post to post at Tara Raceway he ran 25.30 seconds which made him the quickest giveaway I’ve ever had.”

Inter Soccer Club members joined Squishy Pea after he had won the Fairthorne Forestry Grade 5 final at Tara Raceway last Sunday. Pictured (from left) are: John Zaccardo, Tom Weedon, Jacqueline Zaccardo, birthday girl Annegret Zaccardo, trainer David Peckham, Marj D’Agostino, Stef D’Agostino and Tony D’Agostino (Senior Coach and Coach of the Year).

As luck would have it, Silent Jacko was scratched from last Sunday’s final due to injury, the Nineofus Syndicate then having to rely on Squishy Pea who had qualified after running fourth in his heat at what had been his first race start on the track.

But he was obviously all the better for the run the previous week, leading all the way from box four in the final to defeat another more than handy giveaway in Lektra Phyliss by 2¾ lengths in a best of day 29.75 seconds.

On track last Sunday and keen to catch up with Squishy Pea after the race were members of the Inter Soccer Club, including Tony D’Agostino, senior coach and Coach of the Year.

“We’ve had a really enjoyable afternoon out here,” he said. “We’ll most certainly be back but next time with considerably more of our club supporters.”

Meanwhile, Squishy Pea will jump from box six on Thursday night in a grade five stake over 450 metres at Warrnambool where one of the toughest to beat looks to be Canya Hurricane.

GRSA seeks support for remote trainer fee

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Greyhound Racing SA is seeking clubs’ support for the introduction of a remote trainer fee, to be funded by trust monies from now defunct clubs such as Whyalla, Port Pirie and Kulpara.

CEO Matt Corby said GRSA was looking to introduce a remote trainer fee to assist active trainers whose registered premises were located more than 150 kilometres from their nearest accessible TAB track.

“From November 1, those trainers would receive an additional $75 payment for every TAB race meeting in which they compete with at least one runner. The fee would be capped at one payment per registered premises per meeting,” he said.

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