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

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, February 19 with GRSA. SUNDAY, MARCH 3: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, February 26 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.

Mt G Greyhounds

Success for local breed at Tara Raceway

Monday, February 11, 2019

Ten days ago it was local dam Azumi Touch, after finishing third last year behind Cryer’s Midget and Who’s Doing What on the leading dams’ list with 27 wins, who took an early lead in 2019 with two members of her Dyna Tron litter successful at Tara Raceway’s Sunday meeting.

Azumi Ryder defeats Cryer’s Plugger at Tara Raceway last week.

Highlighting the litter’s performance at that meeting was the effort of Lee and Steve Bartholomew’s Azumi Ryder who led all the way to defeat Cryer’s Plugger in the Paraphernalia Mixed Stake (512 metres), clocking a then year’s best 29.78 seconds which matched Hutch’s run on January 13.

Azumi Ryder’s win was her third this year and puts her among the top local contenders for next month’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup (512 m), heats of which will be run on Sunday, March 24 and the $22,000 final a week later.

Adam and Kerry Mackereth were all smiles after Azumi Spirit broke a long run of outs when winning at last week’s time-graded meeting.

By Cosmic Rumble x Elite Touch, 16-race winner Azumi Touch contested the 2013 Mount Gambier Cup – ultimately won by Colville – running second in a heat to Spellbound.

Last year, the Steve Bartholomew-trained Galactic Panther, a son of Galactic Rumball (a litter sister to Azumi Touch), finished third in the inaugural Listed Mount Gambier Cup final behind Xtreme Caution and Lektra Stomp.

Earlier in the day, Azumi Stringer had been the first leg of the litter double, the Bart Bartholomew trained black dog quickly rounding up early leader Viking Storm before going on to win his first race in 10 months in 23.26 seconds – a stopper bone injury sidelining him for seven months last year.

And at last Wednesday’s time-graded meeting Mount Gambier owner-trainer Adam Mackereth trained his first winner since My Dad’s Dream back on September 3, 2017 when litter sister Azumi Spirit was successful in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m).

Margaret Cryer with Cryer’s Plugger after his quick 29.58 seconds win on Sunday afternoon.

Away well from box one, Azumi Spirit settled in second spot before finishing powerfully in the home straight to defeat Dynamic Ross in 23.61 seconds and bring up her first win since last September.

Picked up by Mackareth last November as a giveaway, the brindle bitch had shown little in four runs for her new trainer, the win coming at her first race start in two months, after some niggling injuries, and on the back of a recent handy 400 metre trial at Tara Raceway.

That win took Azumi Touch to five winners this year and had her holding a one-win lead over Cryer’s Midget and Who’s Doing What in the Leading Dams award.

Then at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon leading trainer Tracie Price of Compton landed his second treble of the year when Dimora Flash, Same Scenario and Smart Marty were successful in consecutive races.

Ben Price pictured with Same Scenario after her win in the grade 5 final on Sunday.

By Fabregas out of Who’s Doing What, Same Scenario led all the way in a keenly-contested Grade 5 final (512 m), eventually holding out Lone Star who finished hard along the rails to win by a length with Maunganui Magic 1½ lengths back in third spot in 30.04 seconds.

In the following event, the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m), Smart Marty, by Knocka Norris and a half-brother to the previous winner, turned in an outstanding performance when winning by 8¾ lengths in a quick 23.01 seconds.

Earlier, Tom Cryer’s four-year-old Cryer’s Plugger, a son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget, led all the way to win the Gambier Vets Open Stake (512 m) in 29.58 seconds, the fastest time run at Tara Raceway since Rockoon’s 29.28 seconds track record on July 1 last year.

And how about the run of another four-year-old in Blazing Moment, gallant in defeat with a 2½ length second to Cryer’s Plugger in 29.76 seconds.

So, at the end of Sunday’s racing, once again little separates last year’s leading dams – Who’s Doing What with six winners leading Azumi Touch and Cryer’s Midget by only one win.

Rose Ali maintains unbeaten record at Tara Raceway

Monday, February 11, 2019

Last Wednesday’s time-graded meeting saw the David Peckham trained Rose Ali run what is now the year’s second-fastest 512 metre time at Tara Raceway – 29.72 seconds – when she scored a dominant 9¼ length win over Conde in the Stake.

Connie Miller and David Peckham with Bourne Thanks after her maiden win at Tara Raceway last week.

The daughter of My Bro Fabio and Born Ali remains unbeaten in her three race starts, connections of the March 2017 black bitch now likely to look long and hard at the forthcoming Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup.

It was a good day for the Allendale East-based Peckham who earlier in the day had won the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m) with Bourne Thanks, a five length winner over Rooster in 30.56 seconds, and raced in partnership with Connie Miller.

By Barcia Bale, Bourne Thanks is the first winner for Thanks Tubby (Superman x Irish Fantasy), successful in 21 races and placed 23 times from 64 starts as well as holding the Tara Raceway 512 metre track record at 29.60 seconds for three years between 2014 and 2017.

Thanks Tubby, a Tara Raceway winner over three distances, has a second litter – by Worm Burner – due at the end of the month.

Peckham also reports that Maximum Bella, by Magic Sprite x Lil’s Memory and a winner of 13 races – four at Tara Raceway and nine on Victorian provincial tracks – last week whelped three dogs and two bitches to Worm Burner.

This follows a previous litter, by Barcia Bale, which is now close to breaking-in stage.

No bright lights, but still a satisfying win

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Pinnaroo trainer Nathan Wilson and his father Bill snuck unobtrusively into Mount Gambier on Wednesday for Tara Raceway’s fortnightly time-graded meeting, bringing with them only one greyhound – the beautifully bred Lose Your Blues.

According to Wilson, the daughter of High Earner and his former top race bitch and now proven producer Oakvale Destiny (stake earnings of $279,000) was down to try and derive some confidence from a 600 metre time-graded event.

Lose Your Blues pictured winning at Tara Raceway on Wednesday.

“She had won two races at Angle Park over 515 metres but her last win had been back in July last year and it seemed as though she was lacking confidence,” he said.

“I’ve always thought that she had a bit of ability so I was hoping that she might benefit from being able to get into a time-graded middle-distance race behind the finish-on-lure and, hopefully, in a small field.”

Well, it couldn’t have worked out better for Wilson and Lose Your Blues, the Metal Worx Stake (600 m) being reduced to four runners after scratchings – and box one thrown in for good measure.

Having her first look at Tara Raceway, Lose Your Blues, who jumped at $1.28, settled in second spot behind It’s Magic, taking over the front running in the back straight, eventually winning by five lengths over the early leader in 35.68 seconds.

Now it’s fair to say that Wednesday’s race meeting was a far cry from the bright lights of a few nights’ earlier at NSW’s premier track Wentworth Park where the National Derby (520 m) and National Futurity (520 m) were decided.

Wilson was at the track on the Saturday night specifically for the Group 1 Futurity final which included Lose Your Blues’ litter sister Oakvale Magic who he races in partnership with his wife Kerri.

Bill and Nathan Wilson pictured with Lose Your Blues after her win in the Metal Worx Stake (600 m).

Trained by Jeff Britton at Anakie, Oakvale Magic ultimately ran third in the final, taking the 24 kilogram bitch’s record to nine wins, two seconds and seven thirds from 29 starts for $41,000 in stakemoney.

Another littermate is Oakvale Warrior, a winner of 10 races from 24 starts and $26,000 in stakemoney.

Wilson is also currently pre-training four unnamed youngsters by Kinloch Brae out of Oakvale Destiny’s second litter. A third, by boom sire Fernando Bale, was whelped in September 2018.

Later on Saturday night, the Group 1 Derby turned out to be a triumph for Wilson’s sister Melissa and her husband Ken Trowbridge when the Jeff Britton trained Axel Footluce gave the Park Holme pair their biggest success in greyhound racing.

The significance of the Derby win, from a breeding point of view, wouldn’t have been lost on Wilson, Axel Footluce, now a winner of $113,000 in stakemoney, being by Kinloch Brae out of Footluce Diva, herself a winner of 17 races and $61,000 and a litter sister to Oakvale Destiny.

And while there were no bright lights shining at Tara Raceway on Wednesday it’s a fair bet that Nathan Wilson, as he made the 320 kilometre trip back to Pinnaroo, would have been well satisfied with Lose Your Blues’ confidence-boosting effort.

A lone star looking to shine brightly

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Leading trainer Tracie Price, of Compton, celebrated last Sunday’s 2018 Ian Badger Trainer of the Year presentation with a treble – Same Scenario, Dimora Flash and Another Scenario – as well as also ending up with five runners in this Sunday’s Grade 5 final (512 m).

Lone Star has drawn box one again in Sunday’s grade 5 final for Richard Clayfield.

Cee Me Holly, Shannah’s Gift, Sophie’s Moment, Same Scenario and Maunganui Magic give Price a pretty strong hand in the final, the three “outsiders” being Lone Star (Richard Clayfield), Big Rough (Noel Perry) and Bereluke (Nicole Stanley).

Lone Star, raced by Ann Sinnott, appreciated box one in a heat last week, never leaving the rails when finishing too strongly for Maunganui Magic in 30.30 seconds and winning his first race since July last year.

The Glenroy-based Clayfield said the son of Lonesome Cry and Up And Away was a lengths better dog when drawn inside.

“Box one worked in his favour last week and for sure I’m more than happy that he’s drawn the same box again on Sunday,” he said.

“The win last week certainly was satisfying as he spent the first six months of last year sidelined with a torn hamstring and, to be honest, at one stage it appeared as if he wouldn’t race again.”

Local syndicate ‘in the money’

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Members of local syndicate the Southern Bar Boys added to the atmosphere at Tara Raceway on Sunday – even more so after their greyhound Print The Money made a winning return to the Mount Gambier track.

A long odds-on favourite in the Swallow Drive Meats Mixed Stake (600 metres), Print The Money led all the way from box one for his first middle-distance success over Tee Tee and the fast-finishing Jimary Siesta in 35.53 seconds.

Print The Money defeats Tee Tee and Jimary Siesta in the Swallow Drive Meats Mixed Stake (600 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

The win was his first since a heat of the 2018 Listed Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) on March 11 when he defeated Swift Limes in 29.68 seconds prior to running a three-length fifth in the final a week later behind Xtreme Caution as a $2.60 favourite.

And Mount Gambier trainer David Williams, back in the sport after a nine-month break, reckons he’s been given a ‘free kick’ on his return, also picking up the consistent performer Cilla Brown who makes up his two-dog team.

“I took over both dogs about a month ago and I have to say my job has been made somewhat easier because of the condition the pair arrived in from Michelle Mallia-Magri (Print The Money) and Tracie Price,” Williams said.

Print The Money . . . a popular winner at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

“Print The Money had raced on only 12 occasions since running in last year’s cup final and with a view to the forthcoming Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier Cups I’m hoping he can now get back to something like his best form.

“The main focus, though, is on the Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup although at this stage his next start could be at Murray Bridge in order to ascertain whether that track’s cup in early March is a realistic option.”

By Red Lesta – a winner of 22 races for the Southern Bar Boys – out of Rellim Lilly, Print The Money’s 60th start on Sunday brought up win number 16 and took his stakemoney earnings to just over $60,000.

Mind you, it could have been much more but for a nostril defeat in the 2017 Group 1 Hobart Thousand.

Cilla Brown, owned by Williams’ daughter Angela, ran a creditable third in Sunday’s Paraphernalia Mixed Stake (512 m) behind two of Tara Raceway’s best in Azumi Ryder and Cryer’s Plugger, the winner’s time of 29.78 seconds telling the story.

Locals through to Murray Bridge final

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Local chasers Springvale Alysa and Bob Square Pants have qualified for the $4000 TAB Grade 6 final (455 m) which will be run at Murray Bridge this Sunday night.

Heats of the event were run at last Sunday night’s official opening of the $8m complex, Springvale Alysa, one of the best dogs going around Tara Raceway at the moment, looking well placed in the grade 6 event even though she was having her first run on the one-turn track.

Rose Ali . . . chasing her third straight Tara Raceway win tomorrow afternoon.

Trained at Kongorong by John Little, the daughter of Dyna Double One x Springvale Cool led all the way from box four to defeat the odds-on favourite Spring Taylor by a length in 26.13 seconds.

In the previous heat, Bob Square Pants, trained at Tarpeena by Dita Mitchell, put in a big effort when chasing Victa Max throughout before going down by a neck in 26.13 seconds.

By Banjo Boy x Jeanie’s Wish, Bob Square Pants was having only his fourth race start despite turning three years of age in November 2018, a lengthy injury threatening to derail his racing career.

Meanwhile, Allendale East trainer David Peckham looks set for a big day at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting today.

Bourne Thanks, a daughter of former Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Thanks Tubby, worked home well in her half head defeat in 30.40 seconds in last Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry Maiden (512 m) and looks well placed in today’s Laser Electrical Maiden from box two.

Dyna Naitch makes his Tara Raceway debut today but solid Angle Park form late last year should put him right in the mix in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m).

And Rose Ali, after a powerful 29.95 seconds win in last Sunday’s Metal Worx Stake (512 m) looks set to make it three wins from three starts at the local track when jumping from box two in the Stake (512 m).

Discovery of long-lost trophy leads to introduction of trainer award

Monday, February 4, 2019

It was the discovery in the green shed at the rear of the Tara Raceway complex by Kevin Jones and Monty Wilson of a long-lost trophy that eventually led to the presentation of the Ian Badger Trainer of the Year award on Sunday to Tracie Price, of Compton.

“Hey, you might be able to do something with this trophy,” said the droll Wilson one morning several years ago as he wiped off the dust and cobwebs – the engraving confirming that it was close to 40 years old.

Bill Downes and Judy Sellen pictured with Tracie Price who received the inaugural Ian Badger Trainer of the Year award at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

As it turns out, the trophy was for the 1979-1980 Leading Trainer, and had been won by Ian Badger at what was the inaugural racing season at the Glenburnie track. The trophy now stands in the memorabilia section at Tara Raceway.

Badger, a local high school teacher at the time, later became one of the driving forces behind greyhound racing in Mount Gambier. In 1996 he was awarded posthumous life membership of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. after his sudden death on March 31, 1995 at the age of 46.

In 2017, after the Wilson and Jones treasure hunt unearthed the sizeable trophy, the MGGRC committee had unanimously agreed to a recommendation that as from 2018 the trainer’s award would be known as the Ian Badger Trainer of the Year.

These days, Kevin “KD” Douglas, who taught in Mount Gambier with Badger, is an outstanding ambassador for the local greyhound club, professionalism personified at feature race presentations and the Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta.

He thought the leading trainer concept was a sound idea and as such at a race meeting some time later took on the task of tracking down Judy Badger who had left the region soon after her husband’s death.

Within an hour he was talking to her on the phone. And later, Douglas arranged for other teachers who had taught with Badger to attend Tara Raceway with Judy Badger (now Sellen) for the presentation of the inaugural Ian Badger Trainer of the Year award.

For Price, 2018 was a record-breaking year at his home track with 137 wins, 124 seconds and 102 thirds – 16 doubles, 11 trebles, four winners on six occasions and four bags of five winners certainly contributing to his overall tally.

His highlight at Tara Raceway during 2018? Surely Rockoon’s 512 metre 29.28 seconds track record on July 1. No greyhound has come close to running that time since.

And his highlight away from Tara Raceway? The home-grown Smart Knocka’s Adelaide Cup Consolation win at Angle Park in October.

Paraphernalia, winner of the 2018 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award, is pictured with Joanne and Jeff Guy. Also pictured is Ralph Patzel, trainer of Ashanti Gem, the 1997 GOTY.

The 2018 Greyhound of the Year went down to the wire. Both Paraphernalia and Oh No Beta had their chances in the concluding stages of the year but in the end it was the former prevailing with 63 points after stringing together 13 wins, four seconds and three thirds.

Oh No Beta’s 61 points were accumulated through nine wins, 10 seconds and five thirds.

Whelped in April 2014, Paraphernalia is a son of Big Daddy Cool and prolific producer Scrappy Coco. He’s owned by Chris Johnson and was trained until the end of 2018 by Jeff Guy of Horsham.

The now rising five-year-old fawn dog first raced at Tara Raceway on March 6, 2016 when he ran second to Lektra Jewel in a grade six 512 metre event.

By October he was breaking track records over 600 metres, running 34.99 seconds when defeating Stan’s Choice. Eight months later he lowered the record to 34.97 seconds before winning the 2017 Iron Dog three-distance series.

Come 2018 and his award-winning year, Paraphernalia was the only greyhound to reach both the Mount Gambier Cup and Anniversary Cup finals at Tara Raceway. He also made it back-to-back Iron Dog wins and, together with Hutch, represented Mount Gambier in the SA Country Cup final at Angle Park.

By the end of 2018 the then 138-start veteran had raced at Tara Raceway on 35 occasions for 19 wins and 10 minor placings.

Placing the presentation rug on Paraphernalia was Ralph Patzel, trainer of Ashanti Gem, winner of the first Greyhound of the Year award at the Lake Terrace East venue in 1997.

Two-state double for trainer

Monday, February 4, 2019

Portland trainer Nicole Stanley landed a two-state double on Thursday night when Zambora Cash led all the way to win over 390 metres at Warrnambool and Ethics scored a great win over 731 metres at Angle Park in Adelaide.

Ethics wins at Angle Park last Thursday night.

The rank outsider at $12 in the four-dog Only at the Dogs Stake, Ethics was always on the pace before finishing too strongly for the odds-on Cairnlea Jet, running out a 1¼ length winner in 43.44 seconds and giving her trainer her first Angle Park winner.

By Dyna Double One out of three-state winner Kalden Blanco, Ethics joined Stanley’s kennels in April last year, winning two races at Tara Raceway prior to last week’s win.

It’s been a good comeback for the black bitch, her racing career looking to be in some doubt after sustaining a severe Achilles tendon injury in August last year which kept her off the track until November.

Maiden winners impress in lead-up to Summer Classic

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Candy Chimes and Rose Ali, both impressive 512 metre maiden winners at Tara Raceway last Sunday, look to be on track for a tilt at this month’s Summer Classic, a non-penalty event for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2017.

Candy Chimes, a March 2017 daughter of Mogambo and Blossom Dior – a winner of 19 races including three over 720 metres at Wentworth Park and two at The Gardens over 715 metres – is trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley for the Champagne Partners Syndicate.

How sweet it is. Candy Chimes opens her winning account at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

And the black bitch looks to have inherited some of her dam’s strength, judging by the manner in which she went to the line in the Laser Electrical Stake when defeating Tee Tee by two lengths in 30.31 seconds and bringing up her first win in nine starts.

Rose Ali, another March 2017 whelping, lined up from box four in the Metal Worx Stake for her first race start after joining David Peckham’s Allendale East kennels only a fortnight ago.

The black bitch found a bit of trouble early before working into second spot behind tearaway leader Tennessee Rain down the back straight and, despite using plenty of the track, finishing powerfully for a 3¾ length win in 30.20 seconds.

David Peckham with first-up winner Rose Ali.

Raced by the breeder, Noel Mugavin of Warrnambool, Rose Ali is by My Bro Fabio out of the Group 1 winning Born Ali’s second litter which has already produced city winners in Victoria and Queensland.

Her first litter, by Barcia Bale, includes Barcali, a winner of 15 races and $229,000 in stakemoney, and Benali who has won 20 races and $148,000 while a third mating, to boom sire Fernando Bale, resulted in three dogs and five bitches last August.

Candy Chimes and Rose Ali will now clash in Sunday’s Metal Worx Stake (512 m), the latter looking well drawn in box eight but having to contend with a step up in grade after only one previous race start.

Neither Stanley nor Peckham have previously won a Summer Classic, first run in 2015, Peckham coming the closer in 2017 when running second to Hutch with Blitz And Bolt.

And with Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry Maiden (512 m) including seven classic-age runners, this year’s Summer Classic looks to be on track to hopefully attract the required number of greyhounds to run a minimum of two heats on Sunday, February 17.

Looking to break the drought

Thursday, January 31, 2019

It seems quite remarkable that Print The Money, a $2.60 unplaced favourite in last March’s Listed Mount Gambier Cup final after a 29.68 seconds heat win, has not won a race since then.

At the time, the son of Red Lesta and Rellim Lilly was being trained in Victoria for local owners, the Southern Bar Boys, and created plenty of interest on cup day.

But Print The Money is now based in Mount Gambier, being trained by David Williams who previously had won races with a couple of the big black dog’s littermates in Miss Legality and Rellim Diesel.

Print The Money will be back at the track on Sunday, albeit in far different circumstances to that of close to 12 months ago, when he jumps from box one in the five-dog Swallow Drive Meats Mixed Stake (600 m).

Even though he’s never run over 600 metres, this looks a good race for him to find winning form again. And who knows after that. Maybe we’ll see him fronting up in another Mount Gambier Cup.