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

SUNDAY, MAY 26: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, MAY 30 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, May 27 with GRSA. SUNDAY, JUNE 2: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, May 28 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

Death of ‘world’s oldest trainer’

Thursday, February 16, 2017

No one really knew whether Ivor Dowdell, of Yahl, was actually the world’s oldest licensed greyhound trainer.

Although, when he trained his last winner, He Gone, back on September 11, 2015 at Tara Raceway at the age of 93 there weren’t too many disputing Mount Gambier’s claim.

Ivor Dowdell was a regular at the Tara Raceway slipping track.

Even Tara Raceway bar manager Dawn Kay had got into the act and set up a race day reserved table “for the world’s oldest greyhound trainer” – Dowdell and his companion Josie Virgo became part of the furniture!

Ivor Dowdell died last week, ending an involvement in greyhound racing that commenced in 1985 when his son Des – Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club president in 1990-91 – gave him a dog to train.

A carpenter by trade, he was born in Mount Gambier and with the exception of service in Borneo during World War II and a short stint in Northam (WA) he spent most of his life in the district.

Dowdell always reckoned his best greyhound had been Regal Gem, a son of Pop Gun x Delphi Dazzle, and bred by his son.

Celebrating a birthday at his reserved table at Tara Raceway.

When trained in Victoria, Regal Gem had run fourth to Enfield in the 1991 Maturity classic final at Olympic Park.

Locally, there had been plenty of winners at the old Glenburnie track – with Dapto Bob winning a Greyhound of the Year – prior to greyhound racing relocating to Lake Terrace East.

In more recent times Dowdell and Virgo had enjoyed success with My History, a winner of nine races at Tara Raceway.

And while he had been absent from the track since the middle of last year in what was one of greyhound racing’s sorrier stories, most will fondly remember Ivor Dowdell as the world’s oldest greyhound trainer and one of the sport’s real gentlemen.

 

TIME GRADING FOR TARA

Greyhound Racing SA’s Racing Department is continuing to investigate options to provide ongoing racing opportunities for greyhounds of all abilities.

According to GRSA Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson the next step in the grading system is to provide a framework that analyses a greyhound’s true ability – speed or time – and places them accordingly.

“All greyhounds nominated for one of these meetings will receive a time rating figure which is based on an average of their actual run time over the past few starts,” Mathieson said.

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is now looking at using time grading at its Tara Raceway Friday meetings on April 7 and 21.

Outlining the conditions this week, Mathieson said the meetings would be graded “worst to best” with grade four or higher not considered.

“Maiden, grade six and grade five, over any distance, will be considered with all races being non-penalty and paying Pathway prizemoney.”

Mathieson said each grade would be graded separately with reserves determined by the grader taking into account the suitability for the fields drawn.

The MGGRC has been allocated extra Sunday meetings on April 9, May 7 and June 4.

 

Young Gunners two pups, Stewie and Lewie, look to be doing well.

TWO PUPS FOR YOUNG GUNNER

David Peckham, of Allendale East, reports that Young Gunner has whelped two black dogs to Shakey Jakey.

By Bombastic Shiraz x Oxley Magic, the durable Young Gunner raced on 116 occasions for 10 wins and 48 minor placings, collecting almost $37,000 in prizemoney along the way.

She wound up her racing career at Tara Raceway where she won over both 400 metres and 512 metres after having previously recorded multiple 595 metre wins at Sandown Park.

Shakey Jakey, a son of Collision and Kiacatoo Pearl, raced only once, running a record 29.07 seconds when winning by 22¼ lengths over the 520 metres at Wentworth Park on April 6, 2014.


It’s a long way from Glenburnie to Gawler

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Steve Bartholomew, of Worrolong, still remembers the first greyhound racing meeting run in Mount Gambier.

That was back on Saturday, July 21, 1979 out at Glenburnie where greyhound meetings would ultimately continue to be conducted inside the racecourse over distances of 289 metres, 476 metres and 667 metres for the next 18 years.

Greyhound Hunnie Eva, Steve Bartholomew, Scott Volbrecht and GRSA Board Director Dr Chris Doyle pictured at last week’s Greyhound of the Year night. Picture: Arclight Photography.

That was also the day that Bartholomew’s wife, Lehanne, was in labour with Elysia.

But he was rostered at the greyhound track for the opening meeting. After all, someone had to run the official results from the judge’s tower to George Kay in the broadcast box.

As it turned out, Bartholomew was back at the hospital in plenty of time as his daughter wasn’t born until just after midnight.

These days he’s not required to run the results to the broadcast box but in the ensuing 37½ years there haven’t been too many roles Bartholomew hasn’t filled at both Glenburnie and later at Lake Terrace East’s Tara Raceway.

And last Friday his commitment to greyhound racing in the South-East was recognised at the glittering 2016 Greyhound of the Year night which was held in the Nixons Function Centre at the Gawler greyhound track.

Accompanied by his wife, along with Elysia and her partner Tim Manterfield, Bartholomew received an Outstanding Achievement Award for services to greyhound racing.

Now 57, the father of three (Debra and Stephen are also involved in the sport) and grandfather of six, is currently the president of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, a position he has held since 2009-10.

Proud daughter Elysia said that there had never been a time in her life that her father had not been helping out with something at the track, often taking time off work to do so.

Steve Bartholomew was back in the real world on Tuesday morning when officiating at Tara Raceway’s trial session.

“I doubt there would be too many people more dedicated to greyhound racing than Dad,” she said.

Awarded MGGRC life membership in 1998, Bartholomew has filled other roles such as track maintenance, race starter, treasurer, long-serving committee member and lure driver.

In addition, he’s also been the local earbrander since 1995 and was a slipper when coursing was conducted at Mil Lel.

And one of the first to offer congratulations at Sunday’s race meeting was Connie Miller, of Allendale East, who received an Award Of Merit for services to greyhound racing from the SA Greyhound Racing Board in the early 1990s.

Bartholomew, who well remembers a time when greyhound racing in Mount Gambier was fighting for survival, said he was very proud to be recognised with the achievement award.

“I certainly feel honoured, but local greyhound racing owes a huge debt to many people. Those of us who have been involved for any length of time can only marvel at the way the sport has gone ahead at Tara Raceway.”

However, it’s not all glamour at the top. In what was a far cry from the glitz and glamour of a few nights earlier, the president was back at Tara Raceway on Tuesday morning, driving the lure for the trials.

 

TEXAS TITAN TO ADD INTEREST TO MEETING

Classy sprinter-stayer Texas Titan will add plenty of interest to Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting when he takes on a field of grade four and five greyhounds from box eight in the ClassicBet Mixed Stake (600 metres).

Although now 4½ years old, Texas Titan continues to race well, having won over 531 metres at Gawler last month in a smart 30.75 seconds.

Classy Parilla owned and trained sprinter-stayer Texas Titan will add interest to Sunday’s meeting at Tara Raceway.

From the incredibly successful Vapour Whirl x Foot Luce litter, the black dog has raced on 93 occasions for 28 wins, 33 minor placings and $146,000 in prizemoney.

Texas Titan has never raced at Tara Raceway although owner-trainer Nathan Wilson, of Parilla, has previously enjoyed feature race success at the track with litter sister Sunday Shoes.

Another member of the litter, Oakvale Destiny who retired with earnings of $280,000, whelped a litter of two dogs and six bitches to High Earner last October for Wilson’s wife Kerri.

Meanwhile, local trainer Tracie Price is dropping Gargle It back to 512 metres with a view to assessing the black dog from a Mount Gambier Cup point of view.

The former WA chaser has been most impressive at his past two starts over 600 metres, comfortably winning both in fast times.

By Spiral Nikita out of West On Bluebird – a litter sister to former super stayer Miata – Gargle It will jump from box six in The Border Watch Stake.

Price will also be hoping for a forward showing from another Mount Gambier Cup contender in Fear The Rascal who will step out for the first time this year in the South Eastern Hotel Free For All (400 m).

The son of Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star will take on a smart field of short-coursers, including Nicole Stanley’s Aston Morris who will be looking for his fourth successive win at Tara Raceway.

However, a plus for Fear The Rascal is that he is ideally drawn in box eight.

Price announced this week that his main cup contender Flying Flutter, a recent 29.66 seconds 512 metre winner at Tara Raceway, had been retired after experiencing further difficulties with post race distress syndrome.


Classic success for long-time trainer

Monday, February 13, 2017

Long-time Portland greyhound owner-trainer Robert Halliday landed one of his biggest wins at Tara Raceway in recent years when the well-bred Hutch proved too good for a classy line-up of youngsters in Sunday’s General Destini Summer Classic (512 metres).

By Premier Fantasy out of Cairnlea Ellie, a winner of 19 races and more than $50,000 in stakemoney, Hutch, as he had done in a heat last week, crossed from a wide draw and took up the running going out of the first turn.

Robert Halliday and Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club president Steve Bartholomew pictured Hutch, winner of the General Destini Summer Classic.

From then on the April 2015 black dog was never going to be beaten, eventually running out a 3¾ length winner over Blitz And Bolt with a further 3¾ lengths back to Quan’s Flash, a daughter of General Destini.

Robert Halliday’s family is one steeped in greyhound tradition with his father Reuben and son Michael also involved in classic success in the past on the coursing fields and on Victorian city tracks – Refur coming quickly to mind as the winner of the 1994 Maturity at Olympic Park in Melbourne.

And while the Summer Classic is certainly no Maturity, Hutch’s win on Sunday was one from which Halliday derived much pleasure. It was also a win tinged with a touch of sadness.

“I picked Hutch up as a pup from breeder Peter Hubbard and it was a great thrill to win today’s race. But my only regret is that Peter is no longer here to see how well some of the litter is going,” Halliday said.

Formerly of Grassmere, Hubbard died much too soon at the age of 56 last November. Cairnlea Kenny and Cairnlea Ollie have both won their past three starts at Angle Park while Hutch has won his past three at Tara Raceway.

Hutch pictured winning a heat of the General Destini Summer Classic.

Sunday’s Summer Classic saw Halliday pick up the $2100 first prize along with a service to Norm and Janis Rinaldi’s General Destini (Where’s Pedro x Greys Destiny), a winner of 23 races and more than $270,000 in stakemoney.

This was the third running of the age-restricted classic for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2015 and was well-supported by owners and trainers.

Tom Cryer’s Cryer’s Ricky won the inaugural event in 2015 while Menzel Boys (Lisa Rasmussen) was successful last year.

Both these greyhounds went on to bigger and better things. And Halliday’s Hutch has started his career off in equally impressive fashion.

 

WALSH WEIGHS UP CUP OPTIONS

Koroit trainer Robert Walsh is weighing up his ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup options after Saint Flynn followed up his Metal Worx Feature Grade Five heat win last week with success in Sunday’s 512 metre final.

Robert Walsh with Saint Flynn, winner of the Metal Worx Feature Grade 5 final.

Saint Flynn jumped well from box two to quickly find the front and was never headed from thereon, eventually running out a three-quarter length winner over the consistent Lyon Rose with Wayne’s Error a further 3¼ lengths back in third spot in 30.35 seconds.

The March 2014 son of Spring Gun x Real Frosty has come a fair way since winning a maiden 400 metre heat and final series at Tara Raceway back in August-September last year.

Since then, Saint Flynn had won two races at Warrnambool and one at Geelong prior to winning upon returning to Tara Raceway last week.

Speaking after Sunday’s win, Walsh said he would now probably look to running his brindle dog in a Mount Gambier Cup heat on Sunday, February 26.

“I enjoy coming over to Tara Raceway,” Walsh said. “I reckon I’ll be back for the cup even though it will be a tough ask but Saint Flynn does race well here and with his early pace he’s always a chance as he showed today.”

The Tom Walsh-bred Kirkstall Jane winning the 2010 Mount Gambier Cup.

Incidentally, Walsh’s father, Tom, bred Kirkstall Jane (Digital x Courtney Sunset), winner of the 2010 Mount Gambier Cup.

The Peter Byrne bred Saint Flynn has been an interesting story. After damaging a shoulder at 12 months of age, and then spending some months on the sidelines, a frustrated Byrne eventually asked Walsh if he wanted the dog.

“To be honest, I reckon the best thing I did was to bring him over to Tara Raceway because he had been a little hesitant on some other tracks and the finish-on-lure seems to have really brightened him up,” Walsh said.

 

EXTRA MEETINGS FOR TARA RACEWAY

Things just continue to get busier out at Tara Raceway.

Commencing in April, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club will be racing every Sunday and alternate Fridays.

The trial period will extend until the end of June when Greyhound Racing SA will assess the success or otherwise of the extra meetings.

If successful, there is a possibility the club could be granted two meetings a week.

Meanwhile, next month will kick off with the Mount Gambier Cup meeting on Sunday, March 5 with further racing on March 10, 19, 24 and 26.


Back to the classroom for local trainers

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Local greyhound trainers were back in the classroom this week as part of Greyhound Racing SA’s Trainer Education Program.

Six three-hour assessment workshops were held at Tara Raceway with all trainers required to attend one of the workshops as part of GRSA’s licensing requirements.

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At Tuesday afternoon’s Tara Raceway Trainers’ Workshop. From left: Gabrielle Passlow, Ralph Patzel, Amanda Darmanin, David Williams, Willie Vossen, Allen Williams, Dr Jane McNicholl and John Little.

Workshops are also being held at Angle Park, Gawler, Strathalbyn and Port Augusta in order to align with a national approach to benchmarking minimum standards of competency for all trainers.

Run in conjunction with Racing Queensland, the skills and knowledge workshops will assess trainers’ knowledge on a range of topics and lead to the Certificate IV in Racing (Greyhound Trainer).

In Mount Gambier to ascertain local trainers’ grasp of the greyhound was veterinarian Dr Jane McNicholl, who is also a successful breeder and trainer. Ably assisting her was trainer assessor Gabrielle Passlow from Queensland.

And so, in what was a relaxed and casual atmosphere, the Tuesday afternoon group of six trainers spent three hours covering both theory and practical skills.

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John Little applies a hock bandage while Ralph Patzel, Willie Vossen and David Williams observe.

Skills such as determining nutritional requirements for racing greyhounds; care, treatment, health and welfare, along with education and training of greyhounds for racing.

Nothing was left to chance. Even parts of empty dog food bags were handed around in order to check the list of ingredients.

Then it was over to the kennel house where mainly retired greyhounds brought to the track by the trainers waited patiently in air-conditioned comfort.

They were then subjected to the application of hock, wrist and track leg bandages along with being administered with imaginary worm tablets.

So, how did the class of Tuesday afternoon fare? Well, according to Gabrielle Passlow, no-one fails.

“Many times we hear people saying that they’ve been a trainer for years and as such can’t learn anything.

“But the workshops are not an education session. What they do is allow GRSA to ascertain what trainers actually know in order that we can show they have a recognised level of competency when working with greyhounds,” she said.

 

TAKING UP THE CHALLENGE

Long-time trainer Kevin Ashton, who regularly makes the “waterbag” trip over to Mount Gambier from Charlton with partner Jan Neil, reckons he likes a challenge.

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Kevin Ashton and Jan Neil pictured with Tipping Woody after his break-through win at Tara Raceway last Friday.

Well, Tipping Woody has probably given him no bigger challenge, although he finally broke through for his first win in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway last Friday.

Mind you, not before giving Ashton – and punters who took the short quote – a few anxious moments when running extremely wide on the first turn and then finding trouble going into the back straight.

But after finding the front, the black dog, on the back of four consecutive minor placings at Tara Raceway, strode away to a 4¼ length win over Cee Jay’s Heart in 30.67 seconds.

By Stagger x Hippy Chic, Tipping Woody is raced by the Rosemont Syndicate who had been having some success with the litter sister Cement Socks but not so Woody who had copped a 28 day suspension for marring back in October at Traralgon.

And it was an advertisement placed by the syndicate looking for a trainer for the wayward hound that caught Ashton’s attention.

“Look, I don’t mind a challenge and, besides, Tipping Woody had run four minor placings on Victorian provincial tracks prior to being advertised so there was a bit to work with.

“I figured he might be worth a try, especially over here behind the finish-on-lure. As it’s turned out, it looks like there’s a little bit of talent there,” he said.

There’s also a bit of winning form in the litter with the standout at the moment being Wot Price Flash who has won 16 races and recorded 19 minor placings for stakemoney of $33,000.


Veteran chaser back for another grade 5 feature

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Even though Horsham greyhound Smart Maxwell’s last win had been in a Veterans event over 410 metres at his home track last September, trainer Helen Hartigan wasn’t looking for a similar type of event for her November 2011 black dog at Tara Raceway last Friday.

As it turned out, there had been a veterans’ race in the form of a Masters Stake (400 metres) on the 12-race card and Smart Maxwell, at five years and three months of age, certainly wouldn’t have had any trouble gaining a start.

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Caitlin Hartigan with veteran chaser Smart Maxwell.

But Hartigan was back for a crack at another feature grade five after Smart Maxwell at his previous visit to Tara Raceway last November had run a close third to Glenville Jester in the Newman McDonnell Memorial final (512 m).

Lining up from box four in the last of four heats of the Metal Worx Feature Grade Five (512 m) on Friday, he found the front going into the back straight before running away to a comfortable four length win over fellow qualifier Lektra Munster in 30.43 seconds.

A son of Mogambo x Off Springer, the winner is raced by his breeder Len Jones, of Woodend, who was at Horsham for its cup meeting back in mid-2015 with Smart Maxwell and his litter brother Echelonic Action.

But when the pair failed to make the Horsham Cup final, Jones opted for the brothers to see out their racing careers with Hartigan and her husband Bill.

And some 18 months later, Smart Maxwell is still going strong – his success last Friday making him the oldest Tara Raceway winner since Malcolm Davis’s Hot Genetics in a Masters in August last year.

He’s now won 22 races and accumulated 45 minor placings from 149 starts for stakemoney close to $80,000 with Helen Hartigan, his fifth trainer, having won seven of those races.

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Master Tron, after his best of day 30.18 seconds win, is pictured with Ralph Patzel and Amanda Darmanin.

Echelonic Action has been as equally durable – 145 starts for 16 wins, 46 minor placings and $91,000 in stakemoney – with a couple of smart 27.08 seconds and 27.15 seconds 480 metre Horsham wins coming since joining the Hartigan kennels.

The brothers are members of an outstanding litter which also includes Go Mobo, a winner of $98,000, Mechatronic ($50,000) and Sweet It Is ($945,000 – and that’s no misprint).

Master Tron continued his outstanding form at Tara Raceway when winning the second heat in a best of day time of 30.18 seconds and took his local record to three wins from four starts.

The son of Dyna Tron x Katie Racoon chased Crackerjack Pete until the home turn before taking over the running and holding out the under-rated Lyon Rose to score by 1¼ lengths with the early leader running an improved race to finish a further three-quarters of a length back in third spot.

Raced by Amanda Darmanin and Ralph Patzel, and trained by the latter in Mount Gambier, Master Tron was having his first Tara Raceway start over 512 metres although this was never really going to be an issue as the widely-travelled greyhound had previously won over 600 metres at The Meadows.

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Wayne Verrall, looking much happier than the last time he was photographed at Tara Raceway, pictured with Wayne’s Error.

A winner of 11 races, along with 16 minor placings, Master Tron is one of the better local greyhounds going around at the moment, prompting the question to connections as to whether the forthcoming ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup was an option.

Not according to Darmanin who reckons the three-state winner isn’t running quick enough to warrant a cup start.

No comment, though, from Patzel who 20 years ago trained Ashanti Gem to win the first Mount Gambier Cup run at the Lake Terrace East venue.

Another impressive heat win was that of Wayne’s Error who railed through down the back before running out a 4¾ length winner over Gemma Eagle in 30.29 seconds.

Owned and trained at Lewiston by Don Turner, the fawn dog was having only his second start at Tara Raceway after running second in a Mount Gambier Cup heat 12 months ago to Mojito Mayhem.

Wayne’s Error, who boasts a pretty handy record of 22 wins from 87 starts and prizemoney of more than $30,000, is by Spring Gun out of Magic Castle, a bitch Turner won five races with at Angle Park along with one at Gawler and one at Port Augusta.

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Saint Flynn turned in another good effort at Tara Raceway for owner-trainer Robert Walsh.

Friday’s win was the start of a couple of successful days for Turner and his travelling companion Wayne Verrall who on Saturday headed in the opposite direction to Port Augusta where they were successful with He’s Innocent and Another Mai.

Also through to Sunday’s final are Saint Flynn, owned and trained at Koroit by Robert Walsh, and Redda – Saint Flynn winning by 5¼ lengths in 30.42 seconds after taking the rails running down the back straight.

And following Tuesday afternoon’s box draw for the excellent 12-race meeting, it was Master Tron who came up with the one, although from 53 starts this will be only the second time he has drawn the inside.

Smart Maxwell has drawn box five, but he has a fair record from the yellow, while Wayne’s Error didn’t fare all that well when drawing box four.


Peckham blitzes ’em at Tara Raceway

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Uptown Man and Blitz And Bolt kicked off a memorable day for Allendale East trainer David Peckham when winning the first two heats of the General Destini Summer Classic (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Friday.

A $20 chance, Uptown Man was slowly away from box four but quickly mustered pace to be well placed in third spot going out of the first turn before taking over the running off the back.

Having his first start over 512 metres, the black dog turned for home in front of former kennelmate Goldie’s Run, now trained by Tracie Price, and finished full of running to score by 1¾ lengths with a further head back to Peter Franklin’s McIvor Neville who was doing his best work at the finish.

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Part-owner Connie Miller with Blitz And Bolt and trainer David Peckham with Uptown Man after winning the first two heats of the General Destini Summer Classic.

Bred and raced by Ben Murphy, of Adelaide, Uptown Man is by El Grand Senor out of Irish Fantasy, also the dam of Peckham’s Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Thanks Tubby.

Uptown Man went into Friday’s race with only six starts to his name and having never been any further than 400 metres, winning a maiden over that distance at the local track in a pretty handy 23.36 seconds at the end of December.

And no one was more surprised than his trainer at the manner in which the 32 kilogram dog, whelped in February 2015, handled the step-up in distance.

“To be honest, I’d always thought he would struggle over 512 metres but with him being a good age for the classic I thought I’d put him in and see what happened. For sure, I was pleasantly surprised with the effort and the time – 30.51 seconds,” Peckham said.

Blitz And Bolt looked well placed from box two in the second classic heat and was always going to win after finding the front going out of the first turn, ultimately running out a 4¼ length winner over Quan’s Flash with Ima Caravan a further 1½ lengths back in third spot in 30.45 seconds.

Breathing a sigh of relief after the race was part-owner Connie Miller who still had recollections of Blitz And Bolt, a January 2015 whelping, taking a tumble on the first turn in a race at Tara Raceway on January 15.

“This was his first run since the fall and I was just hoping that he wouldn’t have any issues going into the first turn. Fortunately, all was good,” she said.

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Hutch, pictured with owner-trainer Robert Halliday, was the fastest General Destini Summer Classic heat winner.

With Cairnlea Olly and Cairnlea Kenny winning at Angle Park on the Monday night, Hutch rounded off a good week for the April 2015 Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie litter with a win in the third and final heat of the Summer Classic.

Owned and trained at Portland by Robert Halliday, Hutch, at only his fourth race start, went straight to the front from box seven and was never headed, running out a 6¼ length winner over the Cap Abbott trained Irka Jakit in 30.21 seconds.

The win was Hutch’s second in succession with Halliday believing he may have been a little hasty with the 32 kilogram black dog.

“I was really keen to have a crack at the Sims Memorial with him early last month but in hindsight I probably rushed things a bit.

“I have fond memories of my many clashes with Col (Sims) on the track and the coursing fields and as such I’m still very keen to win that race at some stage.

“But at the moment the Summer Classic is the priority. I was really pleased with Hutch’s heat win and look forward to what should be a terrific final,” he said.

The three placegetters from the first two heats, along with first and second from heat three, will now clash in the $3000 General Destini Summer Classic final on Sunday afternoon.

This will mark the third running of the Summer Classic – Cryer’s Ricky (Tom Cryer) successful in 2015 in 29.96 seconds and Menzel Boys (Lisa Rasmussen) last year in 30.01 seconds.

Meanwhile, Peckham’s day ended as it had begun – with a running double – Thanks Captain successful in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m) and Sweeney Miss in the ClassicBet Masters (400 m).

Thanks Captain, an enigmatic chaser at the best of times, was looking to make it two wins in a row for a second time in his 48-start career – successful on consecutive Sundays last September – when lining up from box eight in last Friday’s mixed stake.

He quickly put himself in the race before taking over the running down the back from Marcling and then, after tracking wide in the home straight, holding on to defeat that greyhound by a head in 30.42 seconds.

By Fabregas x Zadar Belle, nine-race winner Thanks Captain completed a good day for Happy Valley owner Ross Schurgott who is also a part-owner of Blitz And Bolt.

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Connie Miller, David Peckham and part-owner Smiley Gordon after Sweeney Miss’s Masters win.

A change of kennels seemed to do the trick for Millicent owners Smiley Gordon and Gavin Watts after Sweeney Miss, whose last win had been at Tara Raceway back in October in a Pathway (400 m), landed the final event.

Based at Allendale East for a month, the March 2013 daughter of El Grand Senor x Ren Shen settled in second spot from box two in Friday’s veterans’ race before taking over on the home turn and running out a 1½ length winner over Tank Tank in 23.91 seconds.

Peckham’s four winners gave him his biggest day at the track since Sunday, April 3, 2016 when he was successful with Blazin’ Vicky, Cousin Ann, Dark Nemesis and Any Silvers Bro.

Previously, Dash Dash Dot, Cool And Amazing, Young Gunner and Bourne Again had also given him a bag of four winners on Sunday, September 7, 2014.

And on Sunday, February 12, 2012 Peckham established a then Tara Raceway record of five winners with Many Of Mystery, Baurna Paddy, Hesket Harrier, Flako and Too Good Road.


SA-bred: How times have changed

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Greyhound Racing SA’s SA-bred incentive schemes continue to reward participants who are prepared to invest in the SA product.

Owners and breeders of SA-bred winners at SA TAB tracks currently pick up $50 each on top of the stakemoney as well as receiving a bonus from the $30,000 SA-bred pool – in the case of December something like $70 each.

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Elysia Bartholomew with the SA-bred Azumi Shadow.

Then there’s the SA-bred maiden payments which reward participants who get a greyhound to the track and win a race – and that’s never as easy as it sounds.

At the moment the maiden payment bonus stands at $175 but GRSA has announced that as of July 1 this will increase considerably to $1000 for the owner and breeder to share.

So, in other words, all greyhounds whelped in 2016 and onwards will be eligible for the bonus which will be paid on top of normal stakemoney.

And then there are the SA-bred races that clubs frame, with the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club programming a grade five SA-bred race over 400 metres and one over 512 metres for its meeting on Sunday, February 19.

GRSA’s SA-bred scheme was introduced as an incentive to breed more SA litters and for interested participants to purchase the local product.

But in the 2016 period of June to November only 20 litters were whelped – a far cry from 30 years ago when that many, or more, would be whelped in a month.

In fact, 23 were listed in the whelping notices for December 1986 with one litter – Ben Nerrin x Tara Rua – being bred by the now MGGRC president Steve Bartholomew who back then resided in Howard Street, Mount Gambier.

One of the pups, purchased by former local greyhound man Bert Hogan, raced as Ashanti Silver and at one stage strung together 11 wins in succession at Mount Gambier, Warrnambool and Horsham.

To this day, Bartholomew, now based at Worrolong, continues to breed and race greyhounds in partnership with his wife Lee – Azumi Shadow (Cosmic Chief x Azumi Touch) lining up in a heat of tomorrow’s General Destini Summer Classic.

Going back even further, it’s interesting to note that in the first six months of 1981, 48 SA stud dogs had sired 80 litters with these figures not taking into account litters whelped by SA bitches served by interstate sires.

No SA-bred incentives needed back then!

 

AGRC TO SPONSOR DAY AT TARA RACEWAY

The Adelaide Greyhound Racing Club is to sponsor a race day at Tara Raceway.

The support will follow previous involvement with the Gawler, Strathalbyn and Angle Park clubs.

AGRC secretary/treasurer Gavin Harris said this week it was anticipated that an extra $75 would be added to all but the main race of the day.

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AGRC secretary/treasurer Gavin Harris.

“As far as the main race is concerned – and that can be either a sprint or distance – we will add $150 and donate a presentation rug and trophy,” he said.

The AGRC-sponsored day is likely to be on Sunday, April 30, a week after the club’s ANZAC meeting.

Harris said the AGRC provided sponsorship to SA greyhound racing events and also contributed to the John Gray Memorial each year.

“In addition, we worked with GRSA on a project to provide cooler water to the wash down bays at Angle Park, donated money to the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) and to GRSA to provide matting for dogs in the Angle Park car park during hot weather.”

Harris’s involvement in greyhound racing is not simply confined to secretarial work as he is currently enjoying much success with Worm Burner’s sister Springvale Bryne, a winner of 26 races and $104,000 in stakemoney.

He also enjoyed tremendous success with recently-retired super stayer Luna Jinx who won 29 races and $260,000 in stakemoney.


Litter brothers better served this time around

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Litter brothers Goldie’s Run and Blitz And Bolt will line up in heats of Friday’s General Destini Summer Classic (512 metres) decidedly better served than when they contested the Winter Classic at Tara Raceway last August.

The 2017 Summer Classic is for greyhounds whelped on or after January 1, 2015 and there won’t be too many older or experienced runners in the three-heat series with the sons of Cosmic Rumble x Moonshine Sally having turned two years of age three weeks ago.

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David Peckham pictured with General Destini Summer Classic contender Blitz And Bolt.

The brothers actually made their race debuts in the Winter Classic but with the series being for greyhounds whelped on or after July 1, 2014 they were giving away plenty in age, not to mention experience.

At the time the pair was being trained at Allendale East by David Peckham and, while Goldie’s Run failed to qualify, Blitz And Bolt made it through to the final which was won by Lektra Munster.

Goldie’s Run, who was later sold to Will Kelly and is now trained at Compton by Tracie Price, has since won three races from 19 starts and will go into tomorrow’s first heat well-seasoned and not without a chance from box seven.

This is a pretty fair heat, though, with Lewiston trainer Don Turner back with Roxy Rolla after her impressive win over McIvor Neville and Big Rough at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

A winner of three races from 23 starts, Roxy Rolla doesn’t look badly placed from box eight in a heat that also includes the improving McIvor Neville and I’m A Princess, second in last Sunday’s maiden 512 metre final.

With three wins from 17 starts and a personal best 512 metre time of 30.22 seconds, Blitz And Bolt, now raced by Peckham in partnership with Connie Miller and Ross Schurgott, looks to be the testing material in the second heat from box two.

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Norm and Janis Rinaldi have donated to the winner of the Summer Classic final a service to General Destini (Where’s Pedro x Greys Destiny) who won 23 races and $270,600 in stakemoney.

The black dog has been competitive around fast-class dogs such as Glenville Jester and Fiorelli Rose and with that sort of form he should be able to make his way through to a second classic final at Tara Raceway.

Irka Jakit is ideally drawn in box one in heat three for Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott.

The February 2015 daughter of Fabregas x Another Request, who has a personal best of 30.29 seconds at Tara Raceway, comes into the race on the back of a 515 metre Juvenile win earlier this month over Cairnlea Kenny at Angle Park in 30.02 seconds.

Portland owner-trainer Robert Halliday will be hoping that success for the Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie litter will continue on Friday when Hutch lines up from box seven in the third classic heat.

A winner of the maiden final at Tara Raceway last Sunday, Hutch is a litter brother to Cairnlea Kenny and Cairnlea Ollie who both won at Angle Park on the following night.

The $3000 General Destini Summer Classic final will be run on Sunday, February 12.

 

NEWCOMERS ADD INTEREST TO FEATURE GRADE 5 SERIES

Robert Halliday, currently sitting in third spot on the Tara Raceway leading trainers’ list, has another strong team engaged on Friday with Redda looking one of his best chances.

Redda, who only just misses out on being eligible for the Summer Classic, is ideally drawn in box one in the first of four heats of the Metal Worx Feature Grade Five series (512 m).

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Redda looks a top chance in the first heat of the Metal Worx Feature Grade 5 (512 m) at Tara Raceway on Friday.

By Fabregas x Rookie’s Girl, the black dog has raced on 15 occasions for three wins – all coming from the inside two boxes.

Redda is yet to win this year but with a suitable box draw and back in grade five company he’s a strong chance of winning his way through to Sunday week’s $2100 final.

The popular monthly grade five series has once again attracted a strong line-up with further interest added by the inclusion of several newcomers to the track.

Horsham trainer Bill Hartigan is over with Jayco Bale, a winner of more than $50,000 in stakemoney. He’ll take on Redda from box seven while Cudgee’s Milo, a quick 390 metre Warrnambool winner, will step up to 512 metres and jump from box eight for Cudgee trainer Gary Hunt.

Talanjee Stiff, a winner of nine races at Warrnambool and Horsham, will be having his first run for Tarpeena trainer David Williams when he jumps from box one in the second heat of the feature grade five.

By Cosmic Rumble x Thomeli Diamond, Talanjee Stiff last won at Warrnambool on December 31 over 390 metres in a handy 22.27 seconds.

Jumping from box seven in the same race is Van Gisbergen, a winner of four races at Lismore and Grafton prior to recently joining Barry Shepheard’s Glencoe kennels.

And former Queenslander Blitz ‘Em, a winner of five races at Albion Park and Ipswich, has drawn box seven in the final heat for Lewiston trainer Don Turner.

A son of Barcia Bale x Size It Up, the blue dog made his SA debut at Gawler over 531 metres on Tuesday afternoon when working home quite well to run a 5¾ length third in 31.11 seconds.


Roxy Rolla leads classic charge

Monday, January 30, 2017

Lewiston greyhound Roxy Rolla, according to trainer Don Turner, is likely to return to Mount Gambier on Friday to contest a heat of the General Destini Summer Classic (512 metres).

This follows her win against a smart field of grade six dogs in the winningformula.net.au final over 512 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

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Trainer Don Turner and owner Wayne Verrall with Roxy Rolla after her impressive grade six final win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Obviously benefiting from her first look at the track when running a 2½ length second to Cee Rose Black in a heat at the previous meeting, Roxy Rolla led all the way from box one to defeat fellow classic contenders McIvor Neville and Big Rough by 3¾ lengths and 2½ lengths respectively in 30.25 seconds.

For greyhounds whelped on or after January 1, 2015, the $3000 General Destini Summer Classic final will be run on Sunday, February 12 and also carry a service to General Destini , a winner of 23 races and more than $270,000 in stakemoney.

Picked up by owner Wayne Verrall in the middle of last year from NSW at a time when the future of greyhound racing in that state looked anything but bright, Roxy Rolla is a March 2015 whelping by Cosmic Rumble out of the unraced Enlightment, a daughter of El Grand Senor x Jacinta Bale.

The fawn bitch has now won three races from 23 starts with the other two being over 515 metres at Angle Park in September and October last year.

“From an experience point of view she obviously holds an edge over some of the other classic contenders,” Turner said.

“You only get one crack at these age-restricted races so all being well with Roxy Rolla I reckon we’ll be back on Friday.”

McIvor Neville, recent heat and final winner of the Sims Memorial and Big Rough, the fastest heat winner and finalist in the same series, lost no friends with their efforts in running second and third.

Trained at Moyston by Peter Franklin, McIvor Neville, a May 2015 son of Bella Infrared x Blonde Caviar, worked home strongly at only his fourth race start.

And Franklin’s day ended even better when the four-year-old Future Past returned to racing after a five month break to easily win the ClassicBet Mixed Stake (400 m) by 6¼ lengths over Anti Dentite in 23.34 seconds.

February 2015 whelping Big Rough, trained at Portland by Brian Weis for local couple Heather and Noel Perry, was handy throughout at what was only his fifth race start.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day a couple of other classic hopefuls in Hutch and I’m A Princess fought out the Rock’s Retreat Maiden final (512 m).

Hutch, owned and trained at Portland by Robert Halliday, had been well-backed at his only two starts when running fourth but made amends on Sunday when defeating I’m A Princess by two lengths in 30.59 seconds.

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Future Past returned to racing after a long break to win the final event on Sunday. He is pictured with John Gale and trainer Peter Franklin.

Hutch, named after Halliday’s mate Lance Hutchinson who was on course to enjoy the win, is beautifully bred, being an April 2015 son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie.

Halliday purchased the black dog as a pup from breeder Peter Hubbard with the litter also including the Adelaide-trained Cairnlea Kenny, a winner at Angle Park last Wednesday.

Giving Halliday a clean sweep of the two maiden finals was Wee See (named after another mate in Brian Weis) who settled in third spot early before railing through on the home turn to score a 1¾ length win over Indi’s Fancy in 24.11 seconds for the 400 metre journey.

Wee See, a month too old for the classic, is by Collision out of Kokoda Spirit, a litter sister to Star Doll, a former 400 metre record holder at Tara Raceway.

Koroit trainer Robert Walsh confirmed that I’m A Princess, who has raced on only four occasions for a win and two minor placings, will return for the classic along with several of her littermates from the April 2015 Cape Hawke x Jamaican Ruby litter.

 

SAME BOX, BETTER RESULT

The scratching of Galactic Viper from box one in the final of the Berringa Park Grade Five final (400 m) resulted in the Tracie Price trained Lyon Rose gaining a start as a reserve from the inside draw.

As it was, Lyon Rose had already drawn box one in the next race, the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m), and it’s probably fair to say that Price would probably have gone with that option if he had had a choice.

Lyon Rose’s last win had been back in October when she won the Strathalbyn division of the SA Country Cup (536 m) before ultimately finishing seventh behind Mount Gambier’s representative Berry Bling in the final.

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Old Jock . . . on track for another Mount Gambier Cup campaign.

Sunday’s final boasted a fair line-up of sprinters but Lyon Rose never looked in danger of defeat as she went straight to the front, eventually running out a three length winner in 23.38 seconds.

As it turned out, there wasn’t much between the two races, time-wise, with Dean Fennell’s Gentle Moment winning the following event in 23.40 seconds.

But prizemoney-wise, Price definitely ended up in the right race with Lyon Rose collecting an extra $300 for winning the final.

In the race prior, the Produce Store Pathway final (400 m), Aston Morris drew box one and looked to have a mortgage on the race after a 23.15 seconds heat win.

And after finding himself in a spot of bother early, Aston Morris quickly found the front and ran away to a 4½ length win over the consistent Mega Max in 23.58 seconds.

The win was the final leg of a treble for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley who earlier in the day had been successful with Stylish Pursuit in the Gordon Refrigeration Mixed Stake (600 m) and Old Jock who looks destined for another Mount Gambier Cup campaign after defeating Marcling by 5¼ lengths in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (512 m) in a best of day 30.08 seconds.

Stanley kicked off the 2017 season in fine style, training 15 winners at the six meetings conducted at Tara Raceway in January.


Flying around Tara Raceway

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Compton trainer Tracie Price was in a flutter after the running of the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

Probably not surprising as his 28 kilogram black bitch Flying Flutter had just won by 14¾ lengths in a time of 29.66 seconds – less than a length outside the track record.

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Flying Flutter stops the clock at 29.66 seconds at Tara Raceway last Sunday afternoon. Picture: Todd’s Photographics.

Not a bad effort for a grade six performer having her ninth race start overall, but only her fifth at Tara Raceway for two wins and two seconds.

In fact, Flying Flutter is one of only four greyhounds to have run under 29.70 seconds at the track – the first being Tom Sinnott’s Dub Me In who lowered Half Way Home’s long-standing track record of 29.79 seconds with a flying run of 29.62 seconds on March 14, 2014.

The following month the Brendan Bunworth trained Sir Lenny went around in 29.64 seconds and then on June 1, 2014 Thanks Tubby ran a still-standing record time of 29.60 seconds for Allendale East trainer David Peckham.

Sunday’s time recorded by Flying Flutter is the fastest at Tara Raceway since Peter Franklin’s Mojito Mayhem ran 29.65 seconds on August 14, 2015.

By Mogambo out of city-winning stayer Butterfly Bling, Flying Flutter is owned in Victoria by Nic Beltran who bred the litter which also includes the Nicole Stanley owned and trained sister Stylish Pursuit who has won five races at Tara Raceway.

Actually, it was a good few days for the litter with the Beltran-owned Elusive Jewel winning a heat of the Damsels Dash (525 m) at The Meadows on Wednesday afternoon by 12 lengths in a quick 29.70 seconds.

And, after Flying Flutter displayed signs of Post Race Distress Syndrome (PRDS) before quickly recovering at Tara Raceway on Sunday, Price reported that the bitch had since gained a clean bill of health.

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2016 Mount Gambier leading trainer Tracie Price (centre) with Steve Bartholomew (left) and Allen Williams. Picture: Megan Manterfield.

“She underwent a thorough veterinary examination this week and is good to go,” he said.

Flying Flutter is now likely to tackle the Metal Worx Feature Grade Five series (512 m), heats of which will be run on Friday, February 3, prior to taking on the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup – a race Price is yet to win – later in the month.

Earlier in the day, Price had paid tribute to the team behind his training operation when receiving the award for the 2016 Mount Gambier Leading Trainer.

“My name’s listed in the race book as trainer but there are plenty behind the scenes including my wife Karen, our families, and of course Steve (Patzel) who’s out at Compton every morning at 6 o’clock.”

Price, who has been Tara Raceway’s leading trainer for the past two years, led in 78 winners, 69 seconds and 74 thirds to defeat Nicole Stanley, currently leading the way in 2017, and 2012-2014 leading trainer David Peckham.