SUNDAY, AUGUST 25: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, August 26 with GRSA. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, August 27 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. PATHWAY RACING: All eligible greyhounds will be considered for some Pathway races at Sunday meetings. Trainers must advise NO PATHWAY if they do not wish to be considered. See GRSA website for Pathway conditions. WORK COMMENCES ON KENNELHOUSE UPGRADE: See “Gallery”.
Mt G Greyhounds
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Monarto South owner-trainer Tony Hinrichsen will be chasing his second Tara Raceway classic when he returns to Mount Gambier on Sunday for heats of the Winter Classic (512 metres), an age-restricted series for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2017.
Hinrichsen, who has Balboa Fury, Szubanski Fury and Stiff Upper Lip engaged in the classic, was successful in the 2016 Summer Classic with his former smart chaser Menzel Boys who defeated Cairnlea Lewis and Grimsby Girl in the final.
Unplaced in that final was Menzel Boys’ litter sister Lethal Fury, a subsequent winner of 10 races, including wins at Angle Park (515 m) and Gawler (531 m) in sub-30 seconds and sub-31 seconds respectively.
By Dyna Tron, Lethal Fury is out of Fighting Fury, a finalist in the 2011 Mount Gambier Cup won by Banger Harvey. Later, Hinrichsen mated Lethal Fury with My Bro Fabio, the resultant November 2017 litter including Balboa Fury.
Balboa Fury won his maiden over 400 metres at Tara Raceway back in April, narrowly defeating Talmage in an average 23.63 seconds although since then he has won at Angle Park (515 m) in times of 30.07 seconds and 30.28 seconds.
And at Gawler on Tuesday, Balboa Fury packed too many punches for his grade six opposition over 531 metres when he overcame a slow start before powering home for a three length win in 31.08 seconds – a time that should see him more than competitive at Tara Raceway this weekend.
Stiff Upper Lip, a daughter of Fabregas and Angle Park winner Dee Ivy, is the perfect classic age, whelped in July 2017 and a winner at Tara Raceway in March over 512 metres in 30.41 seconds.
The following month the black bitch ran Flash Jackie – winner of the Tara Trackstar in July – to less than a length when clocking a personal 30.37 seconds, a time that should put her right in the mix when she contests the second of the two heats on Sunday.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, still looking to make amends after Hay Miss ran a 1½ length second to Lektra Munster in the 2016 Winter Classic final, will be pinning her hopes this year on Close Your Eyes.
By Taylors Sky out of the lightly raced Lady Jasmin who won 12 races from 17 starts, the July 2017 blue bitch made her debut over 512 metres last week at Tara Raceway, clocking 30.63 seconds when running fourth behind Pa’s Chance and is sure to be improved by the run.
Penshurst trainer John Cameron also returns to Tara Raceway for the classic, bringing with him Little Queeny who has been unplaced at her only two runs at Horsham and Warrnambool.
Whelped in September 2017, the 25 kilogram Little Queeny is by the US sire KC And All out of Lektra Kelly, the 23½ kilogram pocket rocket that stormed home to grab a memorable victory over Danyo’s Tom in the Fireball, the 600 metre feature that complemented the 2016 Mount Gambier Cup.
Little Queeny, purchased as a pup by Cameron from Toolong breeder Phil Lenehan, is a litter sister to Lektra Desire, a Horsham winner on Tuesday night, as well as other Victorian winners Lektra Bear, Lektra Lyrebird and Lektra Style.
Allendale East trainer David Peckham, second with Blitz And Bolt behind Hutch in the 2017 Summer Classic, will be relying on maidens Silent Jacko and Cruising By, little separating the pair when they finished second and third respectively last week behind Pa’s Chance in a maiden/one win (512 m).
Both greyhounds are by Kinloch Brae, Cruising By serving it up early to Pa’s Chance but in the run home unable to hold off Silent Jacko for second spot, the pair running 30.44 seconds and 30.45 seconds respectively when beaten four lengths by the winner who was ineligible for the classic by virtue of his age.
Litter brothers General Max and Beat Max Bazza, who have done pretty well for trainer Dean Fennell in the short time that they have been racing, will go into the series as the youngest runners, having been whelped in January 2018.
And while the sons of Worm Burner x Miss Hodge will be giving away a bit in age this certainly won’t be the case next February when the pair will be the perfect age for the Summer Classic.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Popular local greyhound man Bernie Bouchier must surely have a reserved sign on that coveted seat close to the log fire in the Tara Raceway clubrooms.
There he was again last Sunday perched comfortably in the best seat in the house as he awaited the running of the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (400 metres), a more than handy race that included Dimora Flash, raced by his son Kevin.
“How’s Dimora Flash going in the Greyhound of the Year?” he asked. He probably knew but we humoured him anyway and told him she was still leading the way by five points over Cryer’s Plugger.
Actually, the four-year-old daughter of Cosmic Rumble and the inaugural Winter Classic winner Stylish Moment has been a model of consistency this year – going into last Sunday’s race with seven wins, eight seconds and three thirds at Tara Raceway.
For all her consistency, though, it had been a couple of months since Dimora Flash had last won, her Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell well aware of just how competitive the top grade short course events are.
But last Sunday was Dimora Flash’s day, the black bitch leading all the way from box three at the nice odds of $7 when defeating Our Man Zed by a length in 23.14 seconds and now eight points clear of Black Spring, who ran second later in the day, in the GOTY.
Commencing racing two years ago, she has now started on 65 occasions for 12 wins and 27 minor placings, a delighted Bouchier saying after last Sunday’s win that he was now seriously considering breeding with Dimora Flash after she had finished racing.
And following events that transpired later in the day, it’s probably fair to say that the Tara Raceway top grade 400 metre events aren’t about to get any easier.
At the previous Sunday meeting, the Ken Gillespie trained Faster Bolt ran a near-record 22.82 seconds in grade five company before lowering his personal best time to 22.81 seconds in last week’s Williams Crane Hire Stake for grade four greyhounds.
Meanwhile, Fennell ended the day with a double – his second in the space of a week – when Shannah’s Gift, in the “wilderness” for most of this year, was successful in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m).
Having his third run back after a six-month break, the son of Fabregas x Shannah’s Star settled in third spot before running down Peek’s Gold in the home straight, winning by a length in 23.21 seconds.
The win was his first since January at Tara Raceway, Shannah’s Gift picked up by Fennell in May as a giveaway but not back on the track until the end of July after overcoming a couple of setbacks.
Rupanyup trainer Kath Brooks, who has enjoyed plenty of success at Tara Raceway time-graded meetings this year, landed a good win last Sunday with Saucy Sav in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m).
Well boxed in the eight, the white and black bitch chased Gold Gem into the home straight before finishing over the top of her for a half length win – her sixth at Tara Raceway – in 23.49 seconds.
By Dyna Double One out of the beautifully bred Honey Boo Boo (Bombastic Shiraz x Leprechaun Chloe), giveaway greyhound Saucy Sav joined Brooks’s kennels in February this year after having won a maiden at Bendigo.
Speaking after the race, handler Doug Blake said Saucy Sav really loved racing at Tara Raceway.
“She seems to be improving with every run here to the extent that she’s now struggling to get a run at the Thursday time-graded fixtures so recently we’ve been making the 3½-hour trip over for both the weekly meetings.”
Saucy Sav’s win was Brooks’s 15th at the track this year and along with 30 seconds and 24 thirds she now sits in sixth spot in the Ian Badger Leading Trainer Award.
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Warrnambool hobby trainer Peter Rowan, involved in greyhound racing for more than 40 years on an “off and on” basis, reckons he’s always been happy to simply play around with a couple of giveaways and have a bit of fun.
Well, he’s certainly had a bit of fun at Tara Raceway’s past two time-graded meetings, Meet Half Way a big winner of the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 metres) last Thursday while Sanya Bay brought up her sixth win at the local track at the previous meeting.
Rowan took over Meet Half Way last September. He’s the black bitch’s seventh trainer, having won with her at Ballarat in December but still chasing his first win with her this year when she lined up from box seven in last Thursday’s grade six non penalty sprint.
And one could have been excused for thinking that the $14 chance Meet Half Way had actually joined in at the half-way mark judging by the manner in which she finished off the race, storming home to defeat the odds-on favourite Chucky Brown by six lengths in 23.69 seconds.
By Turanza Bale, the rising 4½-year old Meet Half Way is out of the well-bred Ritza Flare, a lightly-raced winner of four races at Dubbo and Richmond.
Speaking after the race, Rowan said he believed the six-dog races at Tara Raceway had worked in favour of his dog.
“Actually, she was sidelined earlier this year for three months with split webbing and by the time she returned to racing in July there were six-dog races in place at Tara Raceway which probably suit her because she likes room to move.”
Rowan, who lives in a built-up area of Warrnambool, said the main thing he looked for in a greyhound was that it was quiet.
“Sanya Bay was my first Tara Raceway winner 13 months ago but besides that she’s probably one of the best I’ve had in terms of temperament – she’s quiet, clean and causes no trouble whatsoever.”
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton pulled off another remarkable comeback win with one of his greyhounds when Chatty Garry virtually led all the way to defeat Master Winslow in last Thursday’s Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m) in 23.36 seconds.
This was the fastest time the four-year-old giveaway had run at the track, the win his first in 13 months and at his first race start in three months, Ashton conceding it had been a frustrating year as far as Chatty Garry had been concerned.
“We were only two days into the year when he failed to finish in a 500 metre event at Bendigo due to a back muscle problem. Then, three months later he resumed at Tara Raceway where he was beaten by 24 lengths and pulled up sore again,” Ashton recalled.
Ashton, and his partner Jan Neil, then spent the next three months making regular 90-minute trips to gallop Chatty Garry up the Bendigo slipping track.
“In the end he didn’t look to be stretching out too badly so I opted to go straight into last week’s race at Tara Raceway where I thought he would be better suited in a six-dog field because he doesn’t really like crowding in his races.”
And naturally enough Ashton had been delighted with his $26 winner – especially considering it had been at only his third race start in eight months.
By Bekim Bale, Chatty Garry is out of seven-race Victorian provincial winner Harper Seven, whose second litter, to Nitro Burst, has produced 14 winners this year at Tara Raceway including the Scott Feltus trained Targeted Missile in last Thursday’s Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m).
For Ashton, last week’s win was his 16th this year at the local track and has him now sitting in 11th spot in the Ian Badger Leading Trainer award.
Meanwhile, another greyhound looking to win her first race this year was Kirabilli Poppy, having her first start at Tara Raceway in last Thursday’s Winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m) for Mount Gambier owner-trainer Amanda Darmanin.
Darmanin picked up the daughter of Dyna Double One x Kirabilli Darcy as a giveaway after she had been advertised last month on Facebook.
According to Darmanin, Kirabilli Poppy had never seen the track and had been ‘just chucked in to see how she would go’ after the trainer and her daughter Jas, 15, had put plenty of road walking into her and kennelmate Miss Jacky.
The training strategy seemed to work pretty well, Kirabilli Poppy quickly finding the front from box seven before running away to a 7¾ length win over No Photos in 23.37 seconds.
This was the third first-up winner Darmanin has been able to produce this year after Sure Load and Miss Jacky had previously been successful on May 16 and May 23.
Thursday, August 8, 2019
Can we expect further improvement from the nicely bred Sedaka in Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry Grade Five final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway?
Well, while his Ballarat trainer Trent Blacker is no stranger to the track – he won last year’s Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) with Aeroplane Mo – Sedaka had been having his first look at Tara Raceway last week.
Not only that, for the son of High Earner and Oakvale Destiny (a winner of 17 races and $279,000 in stakemoney) it was the first time in more than 12 months that he had raced over a comparable distance.
And David Brodhurst’s Dare To Do needed every centimetre of the 512 metre journey to grab Sedaka who gave a great sight from box five when going down by a neck in 29.97 seconds, the fastest of the three heats.
So yes, it’s probably fair to say that we can expect further improvement from Sedaka when he jumps from box four on Sunday although perhaps also from Dare To Do who has drawn box one.
Brodhurst also continues to do well with Banjo Fozz, a greyhound he picked up last month for $600 after she had run second at Tara Raceway in late June.
Since then, the daughter of Banjo Boy x Fire Stricker has won and been placed over 400 metres prior to stepping up to 512 metres last week and running Cee Me Shine to a length in 29.92 seconds.
Banjo Fozz will now jump from box two in Sunday’s Produce Store Stake (512 m) as the fastest dog going into the race with a best time of 29.99 seconds but taking on a handy line-up of grade six greyhounds.
Thursday, August 8, 2019
The Nicole Stanley trained Ethics, an unlucky second behind kennelmate Candy Chimes in last month’s Eric Lewis Memorial (732 m) returns to Tara Raceway on Sunday and should make amends in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (732 m).
In the Lewis Memorial, Ethics worked home well after suffering early interference to be beaten three-quarters of length before finishing strongly when running second to another kennelmate in Dyna Quota at Angle Park last week.
With strong support from Stanley, as well as regular nominations from Cap Abbott (Spinning Jakit) and Peter Fulton (Noosa Parade), the staying races have recently become an added feature at Tara Raceway’s Sunday meetings.
And complementing the 732 metre Special Event will be the Trackside Meats Mixed Stake over the middle distance of 600 metres with Dyna Naitch and Joshua Rocks adding plenty of interest to the grade 4/5 event.
Thursday, August 8, 2019
It’s taken a while, but the Border Challenge between the Warrnambool and Mount Gambier clubs is likely to kick off this year.
Representatives from Warrnambool will meet with members of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club committee at Tara Raceway on Monday to discuss the conditions and format of the challenge.
Basically, it is being proposed that the Border Challenge be run annually with four dogs representing each club and alternate between the two tracks over 450 metres (Warrnambool) and 512 metres (Mount Gambier).
Meanwhile, despite the recent closure of the Port Augusta greyhound track, the SA Country Cup will continue to be run, the $7500 final (515 m) conducted at Angle Park on Adelaide Cup final night, this year the date being Friday, October 11.
Heats will be run at Murray Bridge, Gawler (Prov. 2) and Mount Gambier – a far cry from back in 2008 when greyhounds from eight clubs made up the final at Gawler which, incidentally, was won by the Mount Gambier representative Tickets Please, trained by Robert Halliday.
Mount Gambier heat/s (a maximum of two) will be run at Tara Raceway next month with first and second, or the two winners, representing the club in the final.
The programming of the heat/s on Sunday, September 22 will allow connections of the Mount Gambier finalists sufficient time to trial at Angle Park prior to the final if they so desire.
In more recent times, Mount Gambier has won the SA Country Cup on two occasions – Moorak Hope at Gawler in 2013 for Tracie Price of Compton and in 2016 Berry Bling was successful at Strathalbyn for the Portland-based Nicole Stanley.