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

SUNDAY, APRIL 28: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, MAY 2 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, April 29 with GRSA. SUNDAY, MAY 5: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, April 30 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track. WORM BURNER PUPS FOR SALE: See “For Sale/Wanted”.

Mt G Greyhounds

Wilson chasing another Dowdell Memorial win

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Mumbannar trainer Monty Wilson will be hoping Bushman’s Mate can repeat his dashing 23.28 seconds win in Wednesday’s South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m) when he lines up in the first heat of the Ivor Dowdell Memorial (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Bushman’s Mate, pictured winning the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Wednesday, will back up on Sunday in a heat of the Ivor Dowdell Memorial.

Two heats of the memorial, run in memory of Ivor Dowdell, who was still training greyhounds when well into nineties, will culminate with a final on Sunday, April 28.

Wilson, who won the inaugural memorial in 2017 with Lektra Excess, has drawn box two with Bushman’s Mate in a heat that also includes sub-23 second winner George Regis and Banjo Lass who has won over the distance in 23.05 seconds.

Springvale Alysa, a winner of 13 races and $16,000 in stakemoney, appears the one to beat in the second heat, with Cryer’s Jed and Bourne Blackjack looking to be two of the hardest to beat.

In what should be an entertaining Easter Sunday race meeting, the clash of Pirate’s Curse and Black Spring in the Easter Challenge (600 m) should make for an interesting race as should the Easter Gift (512 m) which sees both Lone Star and Big Casey well drawn.

And Galactic Titan, a best of day 512 metre winner last week, should be equal to the task of stepping up to grade five company when tackling the Trackside Meats Stake.

Barking up the right tree

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

It’s now been just over two years since Glencoe greyhound trainer Dean Fennell took over Ramified as a giveaway after the son of Magic Sprite x Hey Sexy Lady had run unplaced at his first three starts over 512 metres at Tara Raceway.

Sometimes referred to as “Deango”, also the name of a dog he won nine races with between 2001-2004, Fennell recalled this week that the unplaced runs weren’t the reason he was offered Ramified but more so because he didn’t mind a bark.

Dean Fennell with his short-course specialist Ramified after his 17th win at Tara Raceway.

“These days he’s not too bad in the kennels at home,” he said. “But at the track he barks the whole time he’s in the kennel house which can be quite a while if he’s in a later race – which is quite often the case.”

And in last Sunday’s race 11, the Greg Martlew Autos Mixed Stake (400 metres), Ramified quickly worked into second spot behind tearaway leader Cryer’s Harper before finishing over the top of her for a three-quarter length win in a best of day 23.11 seconds.

So much for a restless afternoon in the kennel house!

The victory took his overall tally this year to three wins, three seconds and two thirds and now sees him sitting in equal sixth spot on the 2019 Greyhound of the Year award.

While some of Tara Raceway’s history is a bit sketchy, it is believed that the first 400 metre race run at the track was on November 21, 2010 and won by the Fennell-trained Benara Helen in a time of 23.82 seconds.

Another 400 metre winner on that day was Leeor Sam, who ultimately won 19 short-course races, the majority at Tara Raceway, for Fennell.

The introduction of 400 metre racing at the Lake Terrace East venue saw the demise of the 277 metre scamper although the March 2011 Mount Gambier Cup meeting did feature the Super Sprint in which Leeor Sam defeated Ray Keating’s Remo Mako.

Only one more Mount Gambier Cup feature 277 metre event would be run, Kato winning the Cannonball in 2012, and leaving the Tracie Price trained Magic Assassin as the 277 metre record holder at 16.19 seconds – run on May 15, 2010.

As far as Ramified is concerned, since being taken over by Fennell, he has raced on 74 occasions, 72 of those starts being over the 400 metre journey for a record of 17 wins and 26 minor placings.

And he should by now know where’s he’s going, the black barker having only ever raced at Tara Raceway.

Meanwhile, after an impressive win at Tara Raceway last Sunday, on the back of a couple handy efforts at Angle Park, Lektra Brandy will return to the Adelaide city track on Thursday night to contest a grade five event over 515 metres.

Lektra Brandy is off to Angle Park on Thursday after an impressive win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Owned and trained at Portland by Nifty Lenehan, Lektra Brandy chased Ben Nevis until off the back in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m) before taking up the running, eventually winning by 2¼ lengths in a quick 29.94 seconds.

The win was the January 2016 black bitch’s first over 512 metres at Tara Raceway since her maiden success 12 months ago when she clocked 30.51 seconds.

By US sire KC And All out of the stayer Lektra Scarlett, Lektra Brandy is an older half-sister to Black Spring (by Spring Gun) who won the following race last Sunday.

Meanwhile, Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew will head to Warrnambool on Thursday afternoon with his boom sprinter Galactic Athena who will contest the Macey’s Bistro Free For All (450 m) from box five.

This will be a lead-up to next week’s Warrnambool Cup heats and another tough test for the daughter of Paddy Whacker and Galactic Rumball, although so far she’s done everything asked of her – and more.

A winner over 450 metres at Warrnambool last week in 25.10 seconds, Galactic Athena runs into Speed Star who has drawn box one and earlier this month won at the track in 24.90 seconds.

Speed Star is by boom sire Fernando Bale out of White Spyro who won her last race at Tara Raceway in July 2016 when defeating the Bartholomew-trained Penny Blossom.

Local owners enjoy the moment

Monday, April 15, 2019

The win of Penny La Moment in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon saw her back in the winner’s circle for the first time since early October much to the delight of local greyhound owners Michael Robinson and Kerry Hawker.

John Hawker, Michael Robinson, Kevin Ashton and Kerry Hawker with Penny La Plume after her win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Penny La Moment, taken over by Kevin Ashton in February, was having only her second run for the Charlton trainer when she led all the way from box two to defeat Hail A Cab by two lengths in 23.46 seconds.

For Robinson, the win wrapped up a busy week after Bekim Lucy’s, a bitch he owns in partnership with Willie Vossen, whelped a litter of two dogs and five bitches to the highly successful sire Spring Gun.

By Bekim Bale x Lucy’s Moment, and a litter sister to the former top sprinter Blazing Moment, the black bitch won 11 races, nine of those over 600 metres at Tara Raceway and one at Angle Park over 731 metres.

And for Hawker the win completed a good day after Giveaway Fury, who she races in partnership with her husband John, had scored a strong 5¼ length win earlier in the day in the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 m) over Midnight Ruby in 23.56 seconds.

Giveaway Fury, along with Free Fury, had been purchased in a package deal for $1500 by the Hawkers last month after the pair had won at Tara Raceway on March 20 for Monarto South trainer Tony Hinrichsen.

One lap out and Same Scenario leads the JB Irrigation field with Black Spring (No. 8) a clear last.

With Cap Abbott of Edenhope taking over the training, both Fabregas x Flitter litter brothers have now won since the sale, Free Fury successful at Tara Raceway over 400 metres on April 3 in 23.30 seconds.

Abbott’s day also got better after Black Spring, a son of Spring Gun x Lektra Scarlett, turned in an amazing run to win the JB Irrigation Stake (512 m) – the final of a grade five series.

Black Spring storms home to defeat Same Scenario, Bereluke and Molly’s Wally.

Better suited over more ground, Black Spring was last early from box eight and as the field worked its way into the back straight he was still near-last and with a mountain of work ahead of him as Same Scenario looked to make every post a winner.

But off the back, the November 2016 whelping burst from the pack, powering home to run down Same Scenario, Bereluke and Molly’s Wally for a 1¼ length win in a personal best time of 29.99 seconds.

A winner over 600 metres and 731 metres at Angle Park, Black Spring has now won 10 races from 38 starts and is a member of a litter that also includes Lektra Spring, the winner last month of Victoria’s richest maiden race, the $25,000-to-the-winner GRV Vic Bred Maiden final (525 m) at The Meadows.

Robert Chuck with Galactic Titan after his best of day 512 metre win.

Galactic Titan kept the flag flying for the Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball litter when, at only his fourth start, he ran a best of day 29.85 seconds to win the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m).

Only fairly away, the 35½ kilogram brindle dog was challenging for the lead going out of the first turn before taking over down the back straight and eventually running out a seven length winner over Flash Jackie.

The win maintained Galactic Titan’s unbeaten record at Tara Raceway, the August 2017 youngster racing very greenly to win a heat of the recent Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m) before defeating Spring Value in the final a week later.

Raced and trained locally by Robert Chuck and Steve Bartholomew, Galactic Titan’s only defeat has been at Angle Park earlier this month over 515 metres when he ran very wide on the first turn and looked totally lost on the city track.

It was another good week for the litter after Galactic Athena, on the Warrnambool Cup trail, turned in a brilliant effort to win a Mixed Stake last Wednesday night over 450 metres in a best of night 25.10 seconds.

Pirate’s Curse (right) and Usain Insane ran the quinella in the Trackside Meats Mixed Stake for David Peckham.

But despite the brilliant efforts from two of the litter this week, Chuck, when asked if there were any more like these at home, was still keen to talk up one of the unraced littermates.

“This might seem like a big call but there’s a dog named Galactic Zeus who I reckon could be better than either Galactic Athena (the Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup winner) or Galactic Titan,” he said.

Meanwhile, enigmatic staying greyhound Pirate’s Curse put it altogether in the Trackside Meats Mixed Stake (600 m) when scoring an emphatic 8½ length win over kennelmate Usain Insane and maiden runner Tee Tee.

In leading trainer David Peckham’s Allendale East kennels since early last month, Pirate’s Curse quickly barged his way into second spot from box six and while giving Usain Insane a fair start was always going to be hard to hold out.

That’s how the race panned out, Pirate’s Curse, also a winner at Richmond, Wentworth Park, Dapto and Angle Park, clocking 35.03 seconds – the fastest time run at Tara Raceway this year.

Anniversary Cup winner back after lengthy break

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Ben Nevis, who defeated the Connie Miller trained dead-heaters Chilly Kiss and Kolora Posie in last July’s Anniversary Cup (512 metres), returns to racing at Tara Raceway on Sunday after a four-month break.

Ben Nevis defeats George Regis at Tara Raceway last October.

The son of Return The King x Tarks Jewel won his last race in October when defeating George Regis, trainer Nicole Stanley of Portland saying that a torn hip support muscle had kept him off the scene since mid-December.

“It’s taken a while to get him back but he trialled quite well on a couple of occasions at  Warrnambool over 450 metres as a lead-up to Sunday’s race,” she said.

A winner of five races from 22 starts at Tara Raceway, Ben Nevis has also won at Sandown Park, The Meadows and Angle Park and will jump from box four in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake, one of three more-than-handy grade five 512 metre events on the 12-race card.

Richard Clayfield, looking resplendent in his new GRSA wet weather jacket, pictured with Mulan after she found winning form again at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Portland trainer Nifty Lenehan and Cap Abbott of Edenhope, on the back of doubles at last week’s meeting, also look to hold a strong hand in the race with Lektra Brandy, a handy third behind Slingshot Hammer in a Mount Gambier Cup heat, and Pure Profit who was one of Abbott’s winners last week.

And adding further interest will be Mulan, a 400 metre winner last week but whose last win over 512 metres back in November saw her run a quick 29.96 seconds – Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield hoping the black bitch is now back to something like that form.

Bourne Blackjack, back at Allendale East with owner-trainer David Peckham after a disappointing eight-race Adelaide campaign in late December and earlier this year, will be chasing a hat trick of wins when he jumps from box two in the JB Irrigation Stake, a grade five final.

The son of Barcia Bale x Striking Viking looked pretty good when he led all the way to win his heat in 30.00 seconds but this appears to be a race of many chances – Molly’s Wally, Banjo Bad Boy, Cryer’s Jed, Bereluke and Black Spring – also in the mix. And the winner could still have been missed!

Kolora Posie, providing she doesn’t gain a run as a reserve in the grade five final, should be hard to beat from box eight in the South Eastern Hotel Stake, the third of the grade five 512 metre events on Sunday.

Galactic Athena impresses in Warrnambool win

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Galactic Athena, on trial for a start in the forthcoming Group 2 Warrnambool Cup, impressed with a strong win over 450 metres at the track last night for Moorak owner Robert Chuck and Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew.

Having her first run on the Warrnambool track, last month’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup winner was slowly away from box one but quickly railed through to join the leader Mighty Max Gone on the turn before going away to win by 4¼ lengths in a best of night 25.10 seconds.

Heats of the Warrnambool Cup will be run on Wednesday, April 24 with the $47,000-to-the-winner final on Wednesday, May 1.

Club looking to take up the challenge

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is looking to stage a Tara Trackstar Challenge over 512 metres at Tara Raceway in early July.

A Special Event, the Trackstar would be for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between January and June this year.

The selection process would be by way of the Greyhound of the Year list, the local track’s current leading nine greyhounds being Cryer’s Plugger, Dimora Flash, Rose Ali, Molly’s Wally, Azumi Ryder, Black Spring, Lone Star, Whatta Knocka and Galactic Athena.

But if the Trackstar field was being assembled today, Cryer’s Plugger is on the injured list, Rose Ali has been sold and Galactic Athena is unlikely to be back at Tara Raceway any time soon.

However, with more than 270 greyhounds having already accumulated Greyhound of the Year points this year at Tara Raceway there shouldn’t be too much trouble in coming up with enough runners for what will probably be a six-dog race.

If the concept is successful – and there’s probably no reason why it wouldn’t be – then a second Tara Trackstar Challenge would be run at the beginning of next year to cater for the best performed greyhounds between July and December.

‘Less amounts to more’

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Beginning on May 2, Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) will commence a trial of G-SIX racing every Thursday and Sunday at Tara Raceway, along with Angle Park and Gawler.

As the name suggests, G-SIX racing involves six-dog fields being drawn as the norm for the three venues through until the end of July.

The G-SIX format mirrors the traditional approach at some overseas tracks but with the additional appeal of dogs being more generously spaced at box-rise, the change said to reflect willingness by GRSA to explore a new approach to its racing product.

And GRSA chairman Grantley Stevens is just one of those expecting big things from the introduction of the concept.

“In this instance, less really does amount to more,” he said. “The G-SIX initiative will allow us to run more race meetings and more races on each card.

“Participants will race for the same stakes, but more often, and wagering clients will be offered more choice. SA greyhound racing is a proud innovator and one that believes in pushing the boundaries as a driver of positive change.”

GRSA said the innovation was expected to drive a number of immediate benefits for greyhound racing in SA – maximising the racing opportunity for participants in each of the key TAB-track regions in SA.

Also, G-SIX is predicted to drive up participant returns by more than $1m annually, offer cleaner racing with less interference and allow for two weekly meetings at all SA TAB greyhound tracks.

Tabcorp General Manager of Wagering (Vic, Tas, SA, NT), Trevor Parkes, said GRSA was a key partner of TAB and that greyhound racing was an exciting sport within the Australian entertainment landscape.

“We have supported the trial of six-dog races with scheduling on Sky Racing and are looking forward to seeing how participants and punters respond to G-SIX racing,” he said.

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s format will be weekly Thursday time-graded six-dog races and Category 3 racing every Sunday with fields of six dogs.

Trainer on target at Tara Raceway

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Portland trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan was on target at Tara Raceway last Sunday when Targeted Missile won the opening event and litter sister Twisted Missile followed up in the second race.

Targeted Missile opens her winning account at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Targeted Missile, who went into the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 metres) with a record of four seconds and three thirds from seven starts, was finally rewarded for his consistency when leading all the way to defeat School Report by 8¼ lengths in a pretty handy 23.32 seconds.

And Twisted Missile, whose career kicked off in a blaze of glory when she won a heat and then defeated the seemingly luckless School Report in the final of the Sims Memorial Maiden (512 m) at Tara Raceway in January, found winning form again in the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 m).

Twisted Missile was back among the winners last Sunday.

Midfield early, the black bitch gained a rails run down the back before finding the front turning for home and running out a 1¼ length winner over Zipping Melody in 23.71 seconds, Lenehan putting the 2½-month space between wins down to “a few niggling injuries and the fact that she had struggled to come to terms with Warrnambool and Angle Park when tried at those tracks.”

By Nitro Burst, last Sunday’s winners are out of the second of three litters for Harper Seven – a winner of seven races on Victorian provincial tracks – Lenehan whelping down the this particular litter for Botanic Ridge owner Karen Pitt.

Later on Sunday, Bekim Instinct, from Harper Seven’s first litter, by Bekim Bale, ran second to Pure Profit in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (512 m) for Landsborough trainer Kerry Jenner and will line up again this Sunday from box one in the Trackside Meats Mixed Stake (600 m).

Lenehan’s last training double was almost 12 months ago when Boomer Hargen and Tilly Rocks were successful at Tara Raceway. He said both his winners of last week would go around again on Sunday and added that he still had two more of the Nitro Burst litter to put through their paces.

Striking a blow at Tara Raceway

Monday, April 8, 2019

For David Peckham of Allendale East it was his biggest day at a greyhound track in more than seven years after Bourne Birdie, Pirate’s Curse, Bourne Blackjack, Flash Jackie and Bourne Bill were successful for the leading trainer at last Wednesday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway.

Peckham later recalled that it had been on Sunday, February 12, 2012 when he last trained five winners – Hesket Harrier, Baurna Paddy, Flako, Too Good Road and Man Of Mystery winning half of the 10-race card.

David Peckham with Bourne Birdie, the first of five winners at Tara Raceway last Wednesday.

But as far as the Nineofus Syndicate was concerned Flash Jackie’s win in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) had come a few days’ too late, some of the syndicate, including manager Ross Schurgott, on track for the Mount Gambier Cup meeting when their daughter of Dyna Double One had run unplaced.

The syndicate, according to fellow owner Steve Maguire, who was also at the cup meeting, has now stretched out to 11 and is an offshoot of the Viking Syndicate which raced Flash Jackie’s dam Striking Viking, a winner of 15 races and the inaugural 600 metre record holder at Tara Raceway.

In the previous race, the Peckham-owned Bourne Blackjack, a son of Barcia Bale and an older half-brother to Flash Jackie, won his first race since last September when successful in the Produce Store Stake (400 m).

However, he then proceeded to go right on with the job at Sunday’s meeting, leading all the way in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m), which was the first heat of a grade five series, to defeat Same Scenario in 30.00 seconds – a time that ultimately turned out to be the quickest of the three heats.

Bourne Blackjack defeats Same Scenario at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

In Sunday’s final event, the Williams Crane Hire Mixed Stake (400 m), Chilly Kiss held out George Regis to win by a head, giving owner Clarissa Miller, who turned 18 last Friday, a belated birthday present and Peckham a double.

Incidentally, Peckham’s big day at the Wednesday meeting kicked off in the first race, the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m), when Bourne Birdie opened her winning account at start number eight. By Barcia Bale, she is out of Thanks Tubby, the former Tara Raceway 512 m record holder and a full sister to Striking Viking.

All told, with Usain Insane winning for Peckham at the March 31 meeting it was eight winners in eight days and took his number of Tara Raceway winners this year to 29 and sees him currently leading in the Ian Badger Leading Trainer award.