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

THURSDAY, JUNE 27 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JUNE 30: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, June 25 with GRSA. THURSDAY, JULY 4 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, July 1 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.

Mt G Greyhounds

Noosa Parade boosts Iron Dog prospects

Thursday, June 13, 2019

With a 600 metre third placing (and four points) in the first round of the Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog, Ecklin South greyhound Noosa Parade, in order to stay in contention, was always going to have to find plenty in last Sunday’s 732 metre second round at Tara Raceway.

And the 4½-year-old 108 start veteran certainly kept the hopes alive for the Warrnambool-based Geoff Lewis managed Noosa Syndicate and his 25-year-old trainer Peter Fulton when running down the odds-on favourite Cryer’s Plugger in the second heat.

Peter Fulton pictured with Noosa Parade after his Iron Dog heat win over 732 metres last Sunday.

Having only his second start over the staying journey, Noosa Parade gave the front-running favourite a fair start early but down the back started to get busy before finishing the stronger in the run home for a two length win in 43.76 seconds.

The son of Collision and Miss Black Fern has been based at Ecklin South for his entire racing career, Fulton describing the black dog as a real trier.

“He’s been a terrific dog for us although to be honest he would probably now be better placed to see out his racing career in an area such as Mount Gambier. In the meantime, though, we’ll continue to race him but we’re open to all offers.”

Noosa Parade’s win last week took him to 10 points and with two 512 metre heats on Sunday to wrap up the three-distance series he’s right in the mix, now only one point behind the joint leaders Dyna Quota, Black Spring and Cryer’s Plugger.

The Nicole Stanley trained Dyna Quota, winner of this year’s SA Distance Championship (731 m) at Angle Park, was the stand-out stayer of the Iron Dog and she needed a win in the second round in order to be about the place prior to the running of her 512 metre heat on Sunday.

Handler Nifty Lenehan with the Nicole Stanley trained Dyna Quota after her near-record run over 732 metres in last Sunday’s first heat of the Iron Dog.

The clash of Dyna Quota and Cap Abbott’s Black Spring, in what was the first 732 metre race run at Tara Raceway since the end of July last year, didn’t disappoint.

In the end, the daughter of Dyna Double One x Jayney Bale had 1¼ lengths to spare over Black Spring in 43.50 seconds – the second-fastest ever run at the track and only three-quarters of length outside Nellie Noodles’ eight-year-old track record.

And Abbott can lay claim to having the third-fastest greyhound to have gone around over the distance at Tara Raceway with Black Spring running 43.59 seconds.

Dyna Quota is raced by Glen Burns, Scott Brandon and Danny Fraser of the Cheap Buy Syndicate – well-named in view of the fact that they picked up the black bitch for $1000 last November.

The return of distance racing at Tara Raceway certainly added to last week’s meeting. Let’s hope we won’t have to wait another 11 months before seeing the stayers go around again on a Sunday afternoon.

Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog points after round 2: 11 Black Spring, Cryer’s Plugger, Dyna Quota; 10 Noosa Parade; 9 Cryer’s Bob, Spinning Jakit; 7 Kolora Posie; 6 Miss Jacky, Ruby’s Willow; 4 Good Yarn.

Pathway Racing to return to Tara Raceway

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Pathway Racing, introduced three years ago to allow all levels of greyhounds with recent racing form which falls outside an identified time standard the opportunity to compete, is set to return to Tara Raceway next month.

Greyhound Racing SA Racing Manager, Shaun Mathieson, said this week that all eligible greyhounds would be considered for some Pathway races that would be programmed, if required, to top up Sunday meetings.

“However, trainers with eligible Pathway greyhounds will have to advise ‘no Pathway’ on the nomination form if they don’t wish to be considered for the non-penalty events which carry the same prizemoney as time-graded races,” he said.

“As such, trainers should be diligent when nominating for meetings where Pathway races have been advertised.”

Trainers should be aware that Pathway Racing is for maiden (penalty applies), grade 6 and grade 5 greyhounds that must have started in SA on at least four occasions to be eligible.

And greyhounds must not have run faster than the designated time standard, in the case of Tara Raceway – 400 m 23.69 sec., 512 m 30.64 sec., 600 m 35.99 sec. – at their past four starts.

Mathieson said that Pathway Racing aimed to ensure maximum participation.

“As a result, the grader will endeavour to include all trainers entering at least one greyhound prior to including multiple greyhounds from the same trainer.”

Trainers should also be aware that where grade 6 greyhounds compete in grade 5 Pathway events, and are successful, they will become a grade 5 at the track and ineligible for grade 6 events at the track.

Six winners for Portland training team

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

By the time the Portland team of Nicole Stanley and Nifty Lenehan had finished with Sunday afternoon’s race meeting there hadn’t been much left for the remainder of the training ranks at Tara Raceway.

The 10-race program, cut back to nine after race seven was declared a no-race, saw the pair dominate Mount Gambier’s main greyhound meeting of the week with Stanley training five winners.

And Lenehan added to the tally with his striking-looking fawn dog Polar Missile impressing with a 29.96 seconds win in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 metres).

Wanchai Express wins his third race in succession at Tara Raceway for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley.

Back at the track but on light duties after a recent hip operation, Stanley was successful with Bad Driver, Dyna Quota, Wanchai Express, Bereluke and Zambora Club.

This was her second bag of five winners after Evening In Paris, Travel Ticket, Stylish Pursuit, Fiorelli Rose and Old Jock had been successful at Tara Raceway’s 2017 season opener.

Bad Driver, a son of SH Avatar, the highest stakemoney winner in US history, and the well-bred Zipping Rose, led all the way in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) to defeat Flash Jackie by 3¾ lengths in a more than handy 23.14 seconds.

Advertised on Facebook, Bad Driver, who found his way down to Portland for the cost of the freight from NSW, has now raced on four occasions for wins at Warrnambool and Mount Gambier with Stanley also winning locally with litter brother Night Owl.

“Apparently he wasn’t chasing but I’d previously had the same problem with Night Owl who, once the penny dropped, had won his 512 metre maiden at Tara Raceway in 30.16 seconds,” Stanley said.

“Bad Driver turned out to be much the same, also taking a while to catch on to the caper before his Warrnambool win and then his impressive effort at last Sunday’s meeting.”

The litter also includes the NSW-based King Cratos, a winner of eight races from 16 starts for stakemoney close to $39,000. Last month the black dog ran third in the final of the Group 2 Queensland Derby behind the SA-owned Sennachie.

Dyna Quota staged a big effort to win the first heat of the Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog (732 m), first chasing Cryer’s Bob and then finishing over the top of Black Spring for a 1¼ length win in 43.50 seconds – both greyhounds running times bettered only by Nellie Noodles, the track record holder at 43.45 seconds.

The Stanley and Lenehan training team’s six winners pictured at Tara Raceway last Sunday. Bereluke and Bad Driver (Richard Clayfield), Polar Missile and Dyna Quota (Nifty Lenehan), Zambora Club (Nicole Stanley) and Wanchai Express (Mo Canala).

And Wanchai Express continued his recent outstanding form at Tara Raceway when bringing up his third successive win in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Open Stake (512 m).

A 2019 Mount Gambier Cup finalist and with a 29.46 seconds personal best at the track, Wanchai Express chased Hutch until off the back where he railed through to take the lead, eventually going on to record a three length win over Dyna Naitch in a best of day 29.74 seconds.

Owned in Adelaide by Les Stewart, the son of Bit Chili and Aunty Chopper will be set for next month’s Anniversary Cup, Stanley looking for her third consecutive cup after wins with Fiorelli Rose and Ben Nevis.

Bereluke, an unplaced finalist in last year’s Anniversary Cup, won her first race at Tara Raceway since last August when leading all the way in the JB Irrigation Stake (512 m) in what was a dominant display, the black bitch too good for Pure Profit in 30.00 seconds.

Zambora Club defeats Renmore in the final race at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Stanley and Lenehan wrapped up their big day with a win in the final race, The Border Watch Mixed Stake (400 m), Zambora Club, after an ordinary start from box five, barging through the pack to take the lead off the back and hold out Renmore by 1¼ lengths in a best of day 23.07 seconds.

Owned in NSW by Charlie Azzopardi, the boisterous son of Banjo Boy x Bella Mel found his way to Portland via Adelaide, coincidentally winning his fourth race at Tara Raceway on the same day that his litter sister My Girl Court opened her winning account in the Fairthorne Forestry Maiden Stake (400 m).

Raced by Damien Smith, My Girl Court, a strong winner over Buckeye in 23.55 seconds, is trained at Glenroy by Richard Clayfield who joined Peter Fulton and David Peckham as the only other winning trainers on the day.

Purchased as a pup by NSW owner John Clout, My Girl Court broke in with a good report but in the end it was bad box manners that prompted him to advertise the white and black bitch as a give away.

Fireball lights up Tara Raceway

Saturday, June 8, 2019

To be fair, Portland greyhound Akuma Fireball had been really struggling to find his mojo, as borne out by his first four starts all being unplaced at Warrnambool – his last run there on May 30 seeing him go around at the remarkable odds of $107.80.

Ben Boers with maiden winner Akuma Fireball.

It was then that trainer Lizzie Boers, whose last winner had been back in February with Kantilla, opted to try Akuma Fireball at last Thursday’s Tara Raceway time-graded meeting.

This proved to be a winning move with the black dog leading all the way from box seven in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 metres) and not looking too bad when defeating Dappled Light by 2½ lengths in 23.62 seconds.

Ben Boers, standing in for his wife, said Akuma Fireball had improved considerably since being taken over as a giveaway several months ago.

“He certainly didn’t have much luck at his four Warrnambool starts but I reckon he’s found 20 lengths since he first started trialling for us,” he said.

Akuma Fireball is by the Group 1-winning stayer Destini Fireball – a winner of 25 races and $630,000 in stakemoney – out of Lektra Angie who won her maiden over 512 metres at Tara Raceway back in November 2012 in a time of 29.93 seconds.

Lektra Angie, who went on to win middle-distance races at The Meadows and Sandown Park, is also the dam (from a mating to Walk Hard) of Lektra Stomp, former Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder, and has a 15-month-old litter by Barcia Bale to follow.

The origin of the Destini Fireball x Lektra Angie litter goes back to the Mount Gambier Cup carnival of 2016 when the pint-sized Lektra Kelly won the Fireball 600 feature for Toolong breeder-owner-trainer Phil Lenehan.

Part of the prize was a service to Destini Fireball, Lenehan later opting to use Lektra Angie for the mating, no doubt hoping to come up with something to emulate her dam, Elektra, a terrific stayer that won 29 races and $255,000 in stakemoney.

Noel and Heather Perry pictured with Big Rough after he broke a long run of outs.

Meanwhile, Akuma Fireball will be back at Tara Raceway on Thursday afternoon, stepping up in grade but still looking a strong chance from box seven again in the Stake (400 m).

Statistics suggested that Big Rough’s box eight draw in last Thursday’s Produce Store Stake (512 m) would probably have been enough to once again bring about his undoing.

After all, the rising 4½-year-old 113-start veteran had previously raced from the outside draw on 20 occasions without ever winning.

Maybe the G-SIX format (six-dog racing) has helped him but he certainly had no trouble crossing the field and leading all the way, eventually running out a 1¾ length winner over Pinecutter Pete in 30.47 seconds.

By Lochinvar Marlow out of city-winning stayer Bogie Dawn, Big Rough was purchased by local couple Noel and Heather Perry as pup from Nhill breeder Andrea Gurry.

“At the time of the purchase we weren’t really geared for rearing or training greyhounds so Brian Weis of Portland did the rearing for us and later did a great job to win 10 races with him at Tara Raceway,” Noel Perry said.

And it’s been a handy litter with Heading My Way, Kalani Willow and Thumb A Ride also winning their share of races.

Last Thursday’s win had been Big Rough’s first since October last year after which Perry brought the black dog back to Mount Gambier where he now utilises the training facilities at Tara Raceway.

“I’m fortunate to live close-by to the track and as such I’m able to give him plenty of free-galloping on the slipping track,” he said.

Kevin Ashton and Jan Neal with 600 metre winner It’s Magic.

Still on the time-graded meeting and the win of It’s Magic over Ryben Bill in 35.90 seconds in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (600 m) gave Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton his first middle-distance win at Tara Raceway since Harry Aztec won the inaugural Eric Lewis Memorial almost four years ago.

Later in the day, $13 outsider Ollie Aztec, a half-brother to Harry Aztec, brought up his first win this year for Ashton when holding out the well-supported Quick Sensation to win the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) by a neck in 24.18 seconds.

The double was Ashton’s first since the final meeting of 2018 when on December 30 Cement Socks and Bank Rogue won the final two races of the year.

Callanish Sprite made amends for an unlucky second a fortnight ago behind Mount Duke when leading all the way from box one in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) to defeat Cee Bay by 1½ lengths in a best of day 29.97 seconds.

By Magic Sprite, Callanish Sprite is a daughter of Infinite Wish, a city-winning stayer in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, and a granddaughter of Jen Jeannie, a winner in the UK and Australia.

The black bitch is trained at Murtoa by Heather Baxter who believes her dog is benefiting from racing behind the finish-on-lure at Tara Raceway.

Bourne Birdie opts for the grass track while eventual winner Callanish Sprite (No. 1) leads the way on the rails.

Meanwhile, box eight runner Bourne Birdie was in a world of her own as she frolicked along the grass on the outside edge of the track.

She eventually completed the course, trainer David Peckham later reporting that an independent veterinary check had revealed an injury.

Third time lucky for ‘iron dog’?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

With 95 starts to his name for 26 wins and 37 minor placings, the 4½-year-old greyhound Cryer’s Plugger has developed into something of an iron dog in his own right following a career that now spans more than 2½ years.

And Tom Cryer, his 86-year-old trainer from Apsley – the first town to welcome you when driving along the Wimmera Highway and crossing the SA border into Victoria – will be hoping for a case of third time lucky as far as this year’s Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog series is concerned.

Two years ago, when the Iron Dog was run as two rounds over 600 metres and 400 metres with a 512 metre final for the top eight point scorers, Cryer’s Plugger defeated Hay Miss in the first round and ran second to Azumi Swift over the short course before finishing fifth in the final to Paraphernalia.

Black Spring defeats Kolora Posie in the second heat of the Iron Dog (600 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Then last year he defeated Blitz And Bolt in both the 600 metre and 400 metre rounds before once again running fifth in the 512 metre final behind Paraphernalia – the only dog to have won back-to-back Iron Dogs.

Cryer’s Plugger will go into Sunday’s 732 metre second round with maximum points of six after leading all the way in last week’s 600 metre heat to defeat Dyna Quota by 2¾ lengths in 35.25 seconds.

Bred by Cryer’s wife Margaret, the brindle dog is the result of a repeat mating by Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget – the first litter including Cryer’s Fred, Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Jack and proving to be highly successful.

Cryer’s Plugger has drawn box eight in the second of two distance heats and is likely to advance to next week’s third round over 512 metres with the maximum 12 points as he is the only greyhound in his 732 metre heat that has won over the stayers’ journey at Tara Raceway.

Cryer, who has been training greyhounds for 45 years, said he was now past the stage of walking his dogs and these days opted to free-gallop them on his property.

And Tom and Margaret Cryer must be doing something right because Cryer’s Bob, a litter brother to Cryer’s Plugger, also has maximum Iron Dog points after leading all the way in last Sunday’s third heat to defeat Spinning Jakit by 4½ lengths in 35.41 seconds.

Tom and Margaret Cryer and Kerry Hawker with Cryer’s Bob.

Sunday’s first 732 metre heat should be an interesting race with Cryer’s Bob having won three staying races from five starts at Tara Raceway while Dyna Quota earlier this year won the SA Distance Championship (731 m) at Angle Park for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley.

Adding even more interest to the race will be Black Spring – also a 731 metre winner at Angle Park –who came from a long way back last week in the second heat to defeat Kolora Posie by 1¼ lengths in 35.54 seconds.

By Spring Gun out of Victorian city-winning stayer Lektra Scarlett, Black Spring is a litter brother to Spinning Jakit, the pair giving Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott a strong hand in the Iron Dog series.

Black Spring’s win was the third leg of a treble for Abbott, Bab’s Jakit and Bronte Jakit winning earlier in the day and continuing the long-time trainer’s successful year at Tara Raceway where he is currently sitting in second spot behind David Peckham in the Ian Badger Leading Trainer Award.

The treble was the second this year for Abbott who on May 9 trained three consecutive winners in the form of Bowled Harro, Giveaway Fury and Bronte Jakit.

Also running in the first heat on Sunday is the Amanda Darmanin trained Miss Jacky, a winner of four races at Geelong and Mount Gambier.

By Pure Octane out of Miss Jacovella, Miss Jacky is a granddaughter of Mantra Miss who ran a 732 metre track record of 44.20 seconds at Tara Raceway in March 2010 for Bushfield trainer Gary Lane.

Stanley, who still remembers her first 732 metre win at Tara Raceway with Our Torri in the 2002 W. A. Fary & Son Distance Championship in a time of 45.60 seconds, won the 2016 Iron Dog with Old Jock.

And Abbott picked up the 2014 Iron Dog with his more than capable bitch Manila Express.

Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog points after the first round (600 m): 6 Black Spring, Cryer’s Bob, Cryer’s Plugger; 5 Dyna Quota, Kolora Posie, Spinning Jakit; 4 Noosa Parade; 3 Fire Eyes, Ruby’s Willow; 2 Good Yarn, Miss Jacky.

Distance racing returns to Tara Raceway

Thursday, June 6, 2019

It was on July 29, 2018 that the last 732 metre race was run at Tara Raceway. That was when Tom Cryer’s Cryer’s Plugger defeated Ethics – herself a winner of two 731 metre races at Angle Park and currently on the comeback trail – in a time of 44.40 seconds.

Two staying races – the second round of the Iron Dog – will be run on Sunday and once again Plugger will be right in the thick of it after an outstanding first round 600 metre win last week.

Cryer’s Plugger defeats Dyna Quota in an Iron Dog heat over 600 metres at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

The brindle dog has a personal best of 43.64 seconds for the journey, ran in March last year when he defeated Bekim Lucy’s by a half length.

And that time doesn’t stack up too badly against long-standing record holder Nellie Noodles’ 43.45 seconds which was run on Mount Gambier Cup day on March 27, 2011 when she defeated Bowstreet Secret by 17½ lengths.

By US sire Flying Penske out of Gold Coast track record holder Classy Creek (Rapid Journey x Sheza Swifty), Nellie Noodles was trained by Robert Britton who on the same day won the Mount Gambier Cup with Banger Harvey.

Based at Lara, Britton picked up Nellie Noodles mainly as a companion for her litter brother Symmetry who ultimately won 24 races and $253,000 in stakemoney.

But Britton tells the story of how he was staggered at Nellie Noodles’ second trial for him.

“She ran 34.20 seconds at The Meadows and came home in 12.07 seconds,” he said. “Symmetry trialled straight after her and came home in 12.59 seconds.”

He then took her to Geelong where she won a maiden by 19 lengths. Nellie Noodles retired after 35 starts having won 11 races and $80,000 in stakemoney.

Interestingly, Cryer’s Plugger’s dam, Cryer’s Midget, is by Texas Gold, a pretty fair stayer in his own right that raced on 40 occasions for 21 wins and $94,000 in stakemoney. Texas Gold is also by Flying Penske out of Sheza Swifty.

GRSA seeks club support for kennel house upgrade

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A growing need for an upgrade of the existing kennel house facilities at Tara Raceway has seen the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club and the sport’s controlling body, Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA), in talks regarding the project that is expected to cost more than $250,000.

MGGRC president John Woodland said this week that the main concern with the kennel house was the construction type of the individual kennels into which greyhounds are placed for race meetings conducted at the Lake Terrace East venue.

“These days, most kennels are free-standing, and constructed of galvanised or stainless steel – as is the case at Angle Park, Murray Bridge and Gawler. However, at Tara Raceway the kennels are constructed from brick and concrete.”

Proposed layout for kennel house upgrade at Tara Raceway.

Woodland said the stainless steel kennels, similar in quality to that at the other SA tracks, would be included as part of the total cost – the MGGRC  being asked to contribute $75,000 of its own funds towards the project.

He also said that the Tara Raceway kennel house currently had a number of other inherent limitations.

“We’re hampered by the absence of a stewards’ area, along with insufficient space in the swabbing room and compromised logistics in and around the kennel house.”

Woodland pointed out that GRSA was conscious of protecting against the potential financial impact on participants arising from an interruption to racing during the period of the kennel house upgrade.

“The project cost takes into account an allowance for temporary race day kennelling which would ensure that continuity for Tara Raceway meetings was not affected.  The temporary facilities would be hired for approximately a six-week period.”

Some years ago, after a portion of club land had been sold, a commitment was made to members that the committee of the day would consult with them if ever they wished to direct those funds towards a specific project.

As a result, the club is now asking members to indicate their support, or otherwise, for the $75,000 kennel house contribution, letters and voting forms forwarded to members last week with the deadline for returns being Wednesday, June 12.

Meanwhile, following a MGGRC committee meeting on Tuesday, members are advised that a meeting relating to the kennel house will be held at the close of kennelling at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Change of track pays off for Swoosie

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Serviceton couple Valerie and David Brodhurst’s trip to the Murray Bridge track a couple of weeks ago worked out pretty well when Danyo’s Cally led all the way over 455 metres to give them their first win at the new track in a best of day 25.67 seconds.

Swoosie breaks a 12-month losing streak when successful at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

And while kennelmate Swoosie finished well down the line at the same meeting, according to David Brodhurst a change of venue may well have worked in the black bitch’s favour when she returned to Tara Raceway for last Thursday’s time-graded fixture.

Lining up from box two as the rank outsider at $19 in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m), Swoosie led all the way to defeat Quick Sensation by 3¾ lengths in 23.58 seconds – the win ending a 12 month drought for the April 2016 whelping.

“To be honest, I thought she’d become a bit stale just racing at Tara Raceway,” Brodhurst said. “I’d picked her up from Adelaide as a giveaway in January 2018 and prior to going to Murray Bridge she hadn’t raced anywhere but the local track since December 2017.

“Actually, she didn’t have much luck at Murray Bridge but just getting her onto another track seemed to work in her favour when she returned to Mount Gambier and the six-dog field.”

Swoosie is from a handy litter by Oaks Road out of Power Merc, a winner of 14 races at Angle Park and Gawler.

In the following race, the Stake (400 m), 35-year-old Shaun Baulch of Geelong tasted success for the first time at Tara Raceway when $8 chance Nick’s Never virtually led all the way to defeat Patchie Thief in a best of day 23.44 seconds.

A winner at Muswellbrook, Gosford and Maitland prior to being taken over as a giveaway by Baulch early this year, Nick’s Never is by Glen Gallon out of Sandown Park and Wentworth Park winner Nicks Pinch.

Shaun Baulch with Nick’s Never, his first Tara Raceway winner.

Last Thursday’s win was the brindle dog’s second for Baulch who won at Geelong with him in February but readily admitted that he had been on the verge of giving up.

“There hadn’t been a lot happening,” he said. “But I was really pleased with his run today and hopefully he’ll now go on with the job.”

He has been involved in greyhound racing for the past three years, originally becoming interested in order to try and lose some weight.

“At the time I was round about 150 kilograms so I figured walking a couple of greyhounds might help to shed a few kilograms and I’m pleased to say that it has.”

Baulch, who regularly makes the trip over to Mount Gambier with Wade Green – a double on Thursday with Conde and Hahn Road – has Nick’s Never and his only other dog, Pandora’s Glory, engaged at Cranbourne on Monday.

Another greyhound to break a long run of outs last Thursday was Dusty Pearl, who also virtually led all the way in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) to defeat Bab’s Jakit by three lengths in a best of day 29.99 seconds.

A member of the successful Dyna Tron x Azumi Touch litter, Dusty Pearl’s last win for owner Elysia Bartholomew and her father Steve who trains the fawn bitch was back in September at Tara Raceway.

Dusty Pearl, winner of last year’s John Reid Memorial, had been off the scene for close to two months due to niggling injuries although Steve Bartholomew said she had been working well leading into last week’s race.

“She had been solo trialling pretty well so I was reasonably confident she would run a forward race today,” he said.

Dusty Pearl (No. 8) displays plenty of early speed in last Thursday’s Williams Crane Hire Stake.

Bartholomew also reported that his star pair, Galactic Athena and Galactic Titan, after recently running unplaced in heats of the Nestor Memorial at Sandown Park had pulled up with minor injuries.

“We’re now looking at next month’s Champion Puppy (515 m) at Angle Park,” he said. “This is a classic race for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2017 so they are well placed as far as age is concerned because they were whelped in August 2017.”

The Champion Puppy has a long history, first run at Strathalbyn in the early 1970s before being switched to Angle Park once that track commenced racing.

Club gears up for 40-year anniversary

Thursday, May 30, 2019

While three rounds of the Iron Dog are sure to create plenty of interest at Tara Raceway during June, the following month will further highlight the South East Greyhound Racing Club/Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. as it marks 40 years of mechanical lure track racing.

Greyhound racing commenced in the South East at the Glenburnie racecourse on Saturday, July 21, 1979 and continued there until 1996, switching to its current venue on Lake Terrace East in early 1997.

Dimora Flash . . . currently leading the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award and in line for a spot in the Tara Trackstar.

This July’s big month will commence with the Tara Trackstar No. 1, to be run over 512 metres on Sunday, July 7 for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between January 6 and June 30.

A Tara Trackstar No. 2 will be run in early January 2020 for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between July 1 and December 31, 2019.

While connections will be required to nominate for the one-off events, the selection criteria will centre around the MGGRC Greyhound of the Year award points which are published twice-weekly on the club’s website.

So, for example, if the Tara Trackstar was being run this Sunday then the leading contenders (six required) would be Dimora Flash (33 points); Black Spring 32; Cryer’s Plugger, Kolora Posie 30; Molly’s Wally 26; Lone Star 25.

But with Lone Star having already been retired, Dare To Do 24 would come into the six. Two others on the GOTY list are School Report 24 (retired) and Rose Ali 23 (now in Queensland).

In the event of some of the leading contenders not being nominated, greyhounds to come under consideration would be Lektra Brandy and Yappy Allen, both with 22 points.

Currently there are 318 greyhounds that have accumulated points in this year’s GOTY so there will be no shortage of contenders for the Tara Trackstar.

Heats of the time-honoured Anniversary Cup (512 m) will be conducted the following week (July 14), with the final on July 21.

Trainers who continue to race at Tara Raceway and have won the Anniversary Cup(s) at the Lake Terrace East venue include Robert Halliday (2007 Bee Good, 2008 Tickets Please), Tom Cryer (2010 Cryer’s Tiger), Richard Clayfield (2011 Glenville Maggie), Captain Abbott (2012 White Arrow) and Nicole Stanley (2017 Fiorelli Rose, 2018 Ben Nevis in race record time of 29.90 seconds).

Mojito Mayhem is still the only greyhound to have won two Anniversary Cups at Lake Terrace East, trainer Peter Franklin successful with the black dog in 2015 and 2016.

Complementing the Anniversary Cup will be the John Reid Memorial, a maiden series run over 512 metres, and the 600 metre Eric Lewis Memorial.

The Reid Memorial was first run in 2005 when it was won by the Halliday trained Itza Bee in a time of 30.22 seconds. Last year’s winner was the Steve Bartholomew trained Dusty Pearl who scored a nose win over Lika Missile in 30.31 seconds.

Trent Blacker made the trip over from Ballarat last year to win the fifth Lewis Memorial with Aeroplane Mo in race record time of 35.55 seconds after previous winners had been 2014 Zipping Basil (Robert Britton), 2015 Harry Aztec (Kevin Ashton), 2016 Supreme Deal (Ralph Patzel) and 2017 Two Jobs (David Brodhurst).

Meanwhile, Portland trainer Nicole Stanley looks some sort of chance of bringing up three consecutive Anniversary Cup wins after Wanchai Express led all the way in last Sunday’s Mixed Stake (512 m) to defeat Bomber Creek by 5½ lengths in a quick 29.68 seconds.

A finalist in this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) won by Galactic Athena, Wanchai Express ran a flying 29.46 seconds at Tara Raceway earlier this year.

Owned in Adelaide by Les Stewart, Wanchai Express is by Bit Chili out of Aunty Chopper, a winner of 15 races and $26,000 in stakemoney.

Stewart, who also raced Aunty Chopper, leased her out for the litter, taking a pup in return which turned out to be Wanchai Express.

The 36 kilogram black dog will line up from box eight in Sunday’s Rock’s Retreat Free For All (512 m) and should be well suited by the five-dog field.

Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog attracts top line-up

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

In what has been a pleasing response from connections, three 732 metre events will be run at Tara Raceway on Sunday week when the second round of the re-vamped Iron Dog series is conducted.

This follows the framing of three first-round 600 metre heats which will kick off the three-round series on Sunday afternoon. The Iron Dog – which requires the same greyhounds to contest three distances – will conclude on Sunday, June 16 with 512 metre heats.

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, in keeping with the Iron Dog tag, this year opted to replace the 400 metre leg with 732 metres, a distance that has not been run at Tara Raceway since July 29, 2018 when Cryer’s Plugger defeated Ethics and Trademark Jet in 44.40 seconds.

Iron Dog contenders Black Spring, Cryer’s Bob and Cryer’s Plugger in action at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

In previous years, two rounds of the Iron Dog over 600 metres and 400 metres were conducted with the leading eight point scorers then contesting a 512 metre final.

However, this year the club has opted to run three rounds, the Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog winner being the leading point scorer after the three rounds have been completed.

And the series should get off to a good start with Cryer’s Plugger, ideally drawn in box one, and Dyna Quota looking two of the top chances for Apsley trainer Tom Cryer and Nicole Stanley of Portland.

Cryer’s Plugger, now 4½ years old and a winner of 25 races, hasn’t won since March but continues to race pretty well although he’ll probably need to get down to something like his personal best 35.08 seconds over the 600 metre journey if he’s to match it with Dyna Quota.

Dyna Quota has a 35.14 seconds 600 metre personal best at Tara Raceway, has won over 650 metres at Warrnambool and in April won the SA Distance Championship (732 m) at Angle Park so she looks well placed to give Stanley her second Iron Dog after Old Jock was successful in 2016.

Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott won the 2014 Iron Dog with Manila Express and he also holds a strong hand with the slow-starting, strong-finishing Black Spring who will jump from box eight in the second heat.

Black Spring boasts a tremendous 600 metre record at the track, having won six races and run three minor placings from nine starts over the middle-distance. In addition, he is a 732 metre winner at Angle Park and has run sub-30 seconds over 512 metres at Tara Raceway.

The Amanda Darmanin trained Miss Jacky, a daughter of former Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder Miss Jacovella, will contest the third heat of Sunday’s Iron Dog.

Box seven runner Kolora Posie, trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, has been a model of consistency at her past six starts – three of those over 600 metres – for Mount Gambier owner Connie Miller.

Sunday’s distance and the 512 metre final round won’t be an issue for the 13-race winner but Kolora Posie has never raced over 732 metres.

Cryer’s Plugger’s litter brother Cryer’s Bob, who has drawn box seven in the third heat, has probably never been racing better, as evidenced by his one length second to Black Spring last week and wins over 600 metres and 512 metres earlier in the month.

The brindle dog is another one well suited to the Iron Dog format, having won over the three distances for Cryer who holds a strong hand in the series.

Black Spring’s litter brother Spinning Jakit has drawn box one for Abbott and will be attempting to make it four wins in succession while there will be much interest in how Stanley’s 2018 Anniversary Cup (512 m) winner Ben Nevis handles the step-up in distance.