WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JANUARY 27: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 29 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Friday, February 1 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
Mt G Greyhounds
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Melbourne greyhound trainer Malcolm Davis is hoping White Spyro will be able to win in all states before she ends her racing career.
The white and black daughter of Disintergrate and the unraced Hanify’s Elite is trained at Barham in the western Riverina district of NSW by Craig Davis, with much of the travelling left to his father.
And Malcolm Davis was able to cross another state off the list after White Spyro won at Mount Gambier’s Tara Raceway last Sunday.
An odds-on favourite in the Produce Store Stake (400 metres), she quickly found the front from box eight before going onto an easy five length victory in 23.68 seconds.
Actually, a fortnight earlier and a thousand kilometres away, Davis had also been able to cross off a territory when White Spyro won over 310 metres in Canberra.
Sunday was his first time at Tara Raceway and the well-travelled, long-time trainer was lavish in his praise of the track, its facilities and its participants.
White Spyro now needs success in WA and Queensland after also having won in Hobart, Temora, Wagga, Warrnambool, Ballarat, Shepparton, Bendigo, The Meadows, Horsham, Healesville and Sale.
Now four years old, she’s been a terrific little money-spinner for the father and son team, having raced on 72 occasions for 22 wins, 28 minor placings and more than $60,000 in stakemoney.
White Spyro, which whelped a litter of four dogs and three bitches to Magic Sprite in January this year, has won three races since returning to the track in May.
“It just goes to show that if the desire is there then they’re able to win races after a litter,” Davis said. “I’m now looking forward to being able to travel the countryside with some of her pups.”
BACK AMONG THE WINNERS
Local owners Geoff Ward, Robert Stafford and Kevin Jones were back among the winners at Tara Raceway last Sunday when Galactic Dragon scored a first-up win in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m).
Having his first run back after a three-month spell, the sizeable 38 kilogram chaser was third early before railing hard and holding out Vee Bee Mee to win by a half length in 23.64 seconds.
For Ward and Stafford, a Tara Raceway regular, the success was their first since Piper’s Pick won at the local track in late 2014 while it had been 12 months since Arbour Sophie won for Jones, a valued track volunteer.
Both Piper’s Pick and Arbour Sophie had been trained at Glencoe by Barry Shepheard who is also a part-owner and the trainer of Galactic Dragon.
By Fabregas out of Magic Elite’s last litter, Galactic Dragon is a half-brother to Galactic Viper which has won five races at Tara Raceway this year for Moorak owner Robert Chuck and Shepheard.
The purchase of Galactic Dragon came about several months ago when Chuck was looking to shift some performed greyhounds in order to make room for younger stock that he had coming on.
The trio, keen to be involved again, teamed up with Shepheard and took over the ownership of the black dog for $1200 – money well spent judging by the owners’ reactions to last Sunday’s win.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
The smart win of Hay Miss in the John Reid Memorial (512 metres) at Tara Raceway last Sunday was Portland greyhound trainer Nicole Stanley’s second success in the time-honoured maiden feature.
Having her third start for Stanley, who took over the black bitch last month from leading Victorian trainer Angela Langton, Hay Miss led all the way from box five to record a four length win over Saint Fox in 30.53 seconds on a rain-affected track.
Saint Fox, trained by Ray Mahony, was having only her second race start and looks to be a coming winner while Paul Teuma’s Ashanti Alinga, which had no luck mid-race, ran home well from a long way back to grab third spot.
Hay Miss, which is by Bekim Bale out of Miss Stackhouse – a winner of 18 races including Sandown Park, The Meadows and Angle Park – was the first leg of a litter double for Stanley with Ashdene Lass later leading all the way in the ClassicBet Stake (512 m).
Stanley, 46, who continues to have her best year ever at Tara Raceway, sits in second spot behind Tracie Price on the leading trainers’ table with 40 winners.
Another litter double followed for her on Tuesday when Col’s Wallett (Nolen x African Wave) scored a seven length win in a maiden heat over 410 metres at Horsham and Rowchester Star won the last.
Hay Miss’s memorial win came two years after Eylandt Princess was successful for Stanley, with members of the Reid family on course to witness Sunday’s 12th running of the event.
Meanwhile, Hay Miss and Ashdene Lass will now be set for the forthcoming Banjo Boy Winter Classic (512 m), heats of which will be run at Tara Raceway on Friday, August 12 as a lead-up to the $3000 final on Sunday, August 21.
Whelped in August 2014, the litter sisters are an ideal age for the classic which is for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2014.
Also likely to tackle the classic is fellow Portland trainer Andy Graham’s Breakwater Bay which led all the way in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 m) last Sunday at his first race start.
An October 2014 whelping, the fawn dog, which clocked 23.50 seconds, is by Cosmic Chief out of Graham’s former smart bitch Cee Anna Rose which won six races from only 18 starts.
After a long absence, Warrnambool owner-trainer Norm McCullagh, of Bold Trease fame, was back at Tara Raceway last weekend.
In fact, the last time McCullagh had been at the local track was back in 2004 when he won the Mount Gambier Cup with Bay Rhode.
Sunday’s winner was Ella Rhode which scored an easy all the way win in the Premier Boloney Stake (400 m) in 23.58 seconds.
By Jarvis Bale out of 20-race winner Ella Allen, the fawn bitch was purchased as a three-month-old pup and has now won four races from 18 starts.
Bold Trease, or the Warrnambool warrior as he was often referred to, won 51 races and recorded 34 minor placings from 104 starts in a career that was highlighted by four consecutive Sandown Cups between 1986-1989.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Mojito Mayhem and Cryer’s Fred, two of the better greyhounds to race at Tara Raceway over the past 18 months, really turned it on for the large crowd who braved ordinary weather conditions at Sunday afternoon’s Anniversary Cup meeting.
Lining up from boxes one and eight respectively in what was a top cup final, the Peter Franklin trained Mojito Mayhem found the front going out of the first turn with Cryer’s Fred having worked into a close-up second and applying the pressure as the field raced into the back straight.
The Tom Cryer trained Cryer’s Fred gave it his all, certainly keeping the leader honest throughout, but Mojito Mayhem was never headed from that point on, eventually recording a history-making win by 1¼ lengths in a best of day 30.38 seconds for the 512 metre journey.
History-making insomuch that he became the first greyhound in 19 years to win back-to-back Anniversary Cups at the Lake Terrace East venue.
For Cryer, it was yet another second placing in the Anniversary Cup after Cryer’s Fred’s dam, Cryer’s Midget, had run second to White Arrow in 2012 and Cryer’s Tiger, after winning the event in 2010, was runner-up in 2011 behind Glenville Maggie.
The 62-year-old Moyston-based Franklin rates Mojito Mayhem, a winner of 18 races from 61 starts, as one of the better greyhounds he has trained in an involvement that spans more than 40 years.
However, like most greyhound trainers, he still has fond memories of his first winner way back in 1969.
“For sure, I still remember my first winner. It was with a give away called Judda’s Girl. She went on to win five races and from then on I was hooked.
“And then in the mid 70s I trained a dog called Fingers Frolic which turned out to be a top drag lure coursing performer as well as winning 10 races in succession at Horsham.”
Following a break from the sport due to family commitments, Franklin would later team up with Bendigo builder Barry Priest and race Blonde Caviar with plenty of success before she later whelped to US sire Bella Infrared.
Then followed Ireland’s Oyster, a former 400 metre Tara Raceway record holder and a dog that Franklin believed could have been his best if not for a series of injuries.
Priest later purchased two three-month-old pups by Fear Zafonic out of Graceful Amy which would ultimately go around as Mojito Mayhem and 12-race winner Future Past.
Sunday’s success was Mojito Mayhem’s second major win at Tara Raceway this year with the beautifully-conformed black dog successful in March in the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup, a race that his trainer now has firmly in his sights for next year.
“We’ll certainly be striving to win back-to-back Mount Gambier Cups as well – and that’s certainly not just a throwaway line,” Franklin said.
“I really enjoy coming over here to race as does John Gale (of Stawell) who generally makes the trip with me. John’s been involved in the sport for as long as I have and as such is a great help when we bring dogs to Mount Gambier.
“As the presentation was cut short due to the inclement weather, I would like to say how proud I was to have again won the Anniversary Cup – it was a great honour.”
That also, was no Franklin throwaway line.
Elbow Room, which finished a further 3¾ lengths back in third position for Warracknabeal trainer Ian Bibby, also ran a top race.
Last early and forced wide on the first turn, Elbow Room displayed plenty of determination when making up many lengths on what was a leader’s track.
THE REAL DEAL
The third running of the Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) resulted in Supreme Deal being the first locally owned and trained winner of the middle-distance event.
And the win was certainly special for first-time owner Bob White who races the fawn son of Where’s Pedro and Supreme Vision in partnership with Amanda Darmanin, Darryl Patzel and Ralph Patzel, who also trains the winner.
One of the outsiders in what was a pretty handy field, Supreme Deal was fairly away from box three but once finding the fence and railing through on Dee Tee to take the lead going into the back straight he was always going to be hard to run down.
Race favourite Old Jock gave chase but was unable to haul in the leader, eventually going down by a neck with Dee Tee hanging on for third in a near race-record time of 35.61 seconds.
A Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club life member, Ralph Patzel described Sunday’s win as one of his most satisfying since winning the 1997 Mount Gambier Cup with Ashanti Gem.
The race is run in honour of Eric Lewis, an inaugural committee member of the South East Greyhound Racing Club back in the early 70s, with Patzel having been involved with him through both pigeon and greyhound racing.
In fact, at the South East Greyhound Racing Club’s gala opening day (non-betting) at Glenburnie on Sunday, June 24, 1979, the Patzel-trained Fairbank Tiger ran second to Lewis’s Kori Amore in the Arnotts Spillers Distance Stake (667 m).
And it was only through an annoying habit that Supreme Deal had developed that saw the dog find his way to Mount Gambier.
“He’d been doing most of his racing in Victoria where they were racing into a catching pen,” Patzel said. “With the lure being shot away from the field once the dogs hit the finish line Supreme Deal had got into the habit of jumping the running rail once the race was over.
“Apparently stewards got a bit sick of this and as a result we were offered the dog as a give away with the theory being that he would be better suited behind the finish-on-lure at Tara Raceway.
“Bob and Darryl had been looking for a greyhound to race and Supreme Deal, which had already won eight races, really made the day something special for us all.”
On course to make the presentation were Eric Lewis’s daughter Karen and her husband Kevin Norman, suitably impressed with his first visit to Tara Raceway, and who recalled that “some years ago” he went to school with Patzel.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
When 600 metre racing was introduced at Tara Raceway a couple of years ago, Coonawarra owner Dale Lewis approached the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club regarding the running of an annual memorial race in honour of his father Eric.
Lewis snr., a great supporter of distance racing, had retired from training in 1986 after enjoying much success with his “Kori” greyhounds.
But his involvement in the sport went back to long before the first race meeting was conducted at Glenburnie 37 years ago.
It was in fact back in September 1972 when a public meeting was held at the Mount Gambier City Hall that Lewis formed part of the initial SE Greyhound Racing Club committee prior to serving as president of the club between 1973 and 1975.
Fast forward to 2014 and the inaugural Eric Lewis Memorial was run and won by the Robert Britton trained Zipping Basil which defeated Group winner Mimicking in 35.60 seconds.
And last year Kevin Ashton’s Harry Aztec scored a three length win over Miss Jacovella (later to hold the 600 metre record) in 35.85 seconds.
As luck (or bad luck) would have it, Glenville Jester, which Dale Lewis races with Richard and Kevin Clayfield, failed last Friday to qualify for the Anniversary Cup final.
Trainer Richard Clayfield had, prior to last week’s meeting, been tossing up whether to tackle the cup or the memorial. Ultimately, though, he’s still able to contest the 600 metre feature after it was programmed as a one-off race for Sunday when there were insufficient nominations for two heats.
The Lewis-Clayfield association goes back to May 1986, after Eric Lewis had hung up the collar and lead, with the pair combining to race Kori Special and Kori Terrace, which was later mated with SA sire Trevenson.
They have now raced “Glenwarra” and “Glenville” greyhounds continuously for 30 years.
And Lewis looks some chance of sharing in the spoils of his own race on Sunday as Glenville Jester, a proven middle-distance performer at Tara Raceway, has won four races over 600 metres with a personal best of 35.32 seconds.
SHOWING HIS MIGHT
Compton trainer Tracie Price will need a scratching for his Christmas Cup winner Fear The Rascal to gain a start in Sunday’s Anniversary Cup final.
The son of Fear Zafonic and Shannah’s Star narrowly missed out on a finals berth after running third in a heat behind Galactic Viper at last Friday’s meeting.
But Mingbool owner Don Nunn and Price would have been more than happy with Fear The Rascal’s brother Shannah’s Might and the effort he put in to win the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m).
After an ordinary start from box five, the 36 kilogram black dog found the front going into the back straight before powering away to an easy win in 30.06 seconds – a time that would have seen him breeze into the Anniversary Cup final.
A winner of 10 races from only 24 starts, due to an injury-interrupted career, Shannah’s Might will add further interest to Sunday’s meeting when he takes on a smart field from box one in the South Eastern Hotel Open Stake (512 m).
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Moyston greyhound Mojito Mayhem has come a fair way since winning a maiden 400 metre event in 23.14 seconds at Tara Raceway back in October 2014.
Now, almost two years later the son of Fear Zafonic and Graceful Amy lines up in Sunday’s Anniversary Cup final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway with the impressive record of 17 wins and 17 minor placings from 60 starts for prizemoney of almost $29,000.
And after defeating Shannah’s Might and Abbey’s Hand in the 2015 cup in race record time of 29.99 seconds, Mojito Mayhem will be out to become the first greyhound to win two Anniversary Cups at the Lake Terrace East venue.
Owned by Barry Priest and trained by Peter Franklin, the black dog will also be attempting to become the first greyhound since Terry Scanlon’s Ripin Ruby in 2005 to win the Mount Gambier Cup and the Anniversary Cup in the same year.
Mojito Mayhem looks to be on track to run another big race in a Mount Gambier feature event after running the quickest of the three heats last Friday – 29.88 seconds.
Drawn in box six, he found the front going into the back straight and after opening up a three length break on the Tom Cryer trained 30-race winner Cryer’s Fred – equal fourth when favourite in last year’s Anniversary Cup – withstood a home straight challenge to win by three-quarters of a length.
Elbow Room, first up in almost two months and having his first run on the track for Warracknabeal trainer Ian Bibby, ran third and also made it through to the final.
The big black son of College Causeway and Lavana has won 11 races and $30,000 in prizemoney and worked home quite well in his heat after looking lost early.
Bibby, who is the Horsham Greyhound Racing Club president, has enjoyed a long and colourful sporting career in the district, playing in the Warracknabeal football team that defeated Stawell in the 1966 premiership.
He also enjoyed a successful involvement in harness racing before switching to the dishlickers with many of them carrying the Crymelon prefix. In 2013 Bibby ran a two length fourth in the Mount Gambier Cup behind Colville with Crymelon Talon.
The Anniversary Cup heats got off to a sensational start when the well-fancied pair Fiorelli Rose and Sunday Shoes failed to make it through to the final after mishaps in running.
Taking advantage of the situation was the Franklin-trained Future Past (Mojito Mayhem’s litter brother), which looked set to win his first race since late January after opening up a big break down the back straight.
But Cryer’s Fred’s brother and kennel mate, Cryer’s Jack, put in the big strides in the home straight before gaining the nod by a nostril in a deceptive finish in a time of 30.05 seconds while Lyon Rose also made it through to the final for trainer Tracie Price.
In 2009, Magic Elite, of which Robert Chuck was a part-owner, ran second in the Anniversary Cup won by Paul Carmichael’s Calm Presence.
Chuck, of Moorak, will now be hoping one of her sons, Galactic Viper, trained for him by Barry Shepheard at Glencoe, can go one better in Sunday’s $3500 final.
The consistent Galactic Viper, which led all the way in the final heat from box four when defeating the Carmichael-trained Howies Flyer by a couple of lengths in 30.15 seconds, has now won two races and run three second-placings from his past five starts.
For Carmichael, it was his first time at Tara Raceway for several years.
“Nothing’s changed,” he said. “Mount Gambier’s still a great place to race. I just haven’t had the right dogs to bring over here.”
Involved in greyhound racing for more than 40 years, the Elliminyt-based trainer has a tremendous record in the Mount Gambier Anniversary Cup, having also won the event in 2006 with Black Presence and all told making the final on six occasions.
Having his first start on the track last Friday, Howies Flyer handled himself pretty well when chasing Galactic Viper with Carmichael happy enough with the effort and hoping the brindle dog will find a bit more after a run on the track.
And following the box draw on Tuesday afternoon, Mojito Mayhem looks to be another step closer to making history after landing the one – the same box he won a Mount Gambier Cup heat from earlier this year in a near-record 29.67 seconds.
Arch-rival Cryer’s Fred also has fared well in the draw and will jump from the eight, a box he has won four races from, while likely improvers Elbow Room and Howies Flyer have drawn boxes three and four respectively.
Sunday’s meeting will celebrate 37 years of greyhound racing in Mount Gambier (at Glenburnie and now Lake Terrace East) with the John Reid Memorial, the Eric Lewis Memorial and the Anniversary Cup highlighting the 12-race card.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
For long-time Warrnambool trainer Kevin Finn the win of Barcelona Beauty in the first heat of the John Reid Memorial Maiden (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Friday was a real family affair.
Having only her third race start, Barcelona Beauty led all the way from box one to hold out short-priced favourite Hay Miss by three-quarters of a length in 30.64 seconds – which turned out to be the faster of the two heats.
It was yet another local win for Finn and the Three Gen Syndicate – managed by his wife Lorraine and also comprising their daughter Marita Byron and grandson Anthony Lang-Smith – who enjoy a pretty handy strike rate at Tara Raceway with give away greyhounds.
The win was certainly a boost for Lang-Smith, 22, who had intended making the trip over on Friday before a foot infection hospitalised him on Thursday night.
And Byron, who works at a Warrnambool hospital, had to request a day of her holidays in order to drive Mum, Dad and Barcelona Beauty over to Mount Gambier.
By Fabregas, Barcelona Beauty boasts a strong US influence on her dam’s side with Cathy Douglas being by American sire Craigie Whistler out of Bo Douglas, a daughter of another American sire in EJ’s Douglas.
Incidentally, Craigie Whistler was whelped on April Fools’ Day in 1998 although he was anything but a practical joke after winning the $85,000 Derby Lane Sprint Classic.
But pedigrees were the furthest thing from Finn’s mind some three months ago when the kennels were empty and he was chasing up another greyhound to walk.
Turns out well known Victorian trainer John Galea had been looking to give away an April 2014 black bitch as she wasn’t up to city class and this is where Finn and the Three Gen Syndicate stepped in.
“I’d been looking at the Reid Memorial for a while,” the trainer of 40 years said. “So it was really pleasing to win a heat and make it through to the final. All we need now is to draw box one again.”
Hay Miss, a second placegetter at Sandown Park and Horsham went into Friday’s heat with pretty handy credentials and should be further improved now that she’s had a look at the track.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley will be hoping for a similar scenario to that of two years ago when Eylandt Princess ran second in a memorial heat to Cosmic Quest before coming out and defeating Rib Eye in the final nine days later.
Also through to Sunday week’s final from the first heat are Robert Chuck’s Galactic Lee and Kylan Brae, trained by Monty Wilson.
Meanwhile, in the second heat, it was a case of the eagle has landed for Tarpeena owner-trainer Allen Williams after Gemma Eagle defeated kennelmate Grand Eagle, the pair also advancing through to the $1500 final.
First starter Grand Eagle, an August 2014 daughter of El Grand Senor and Chilly Patch, showed plenty of early pace from box eight before opening up a handy break down the back straight.
But Gemma Eagle steadily made ground off the back and after railing through on the home turn the daughter of Glen Gallon and Chilly Patch’s half-sister Keep Looking dashed away to score by three lengths in 31.09 seconds.
For Williams, back on track after a health scare early last week, the win was the litter’s third after Penny Eagle and Dark Eagle had dead-heated at Tara Raceway in March.
And Grand Eagle, a litter sister to Paul Herry’s Warrnambool winner To The Choppar, pleased her trainer with the manner in which she handled herself at her first race start.
“Having bred and reared both litters it’s always a thrill when one of them wins and judging by Grand Eagle’s effort today it shouldn’t be long before she also opens her winning account.”
Williams is another trainer chasing further Reid Memorial success after having won the 2010 event with Frosted Opal which defeated Kid Colossus in 31.29 seconds.
Also into the final are Saint Fox, trained at Southern Cross by Ray Mahony, and Ashanti Alinga for Winslow owner-trainer Paul Teuma.
By Spring Gun out of 15-race winner Real Frosty, Saint Fox had no luck early and looked lost at her first race start before working home well in the concluding stages of the race.
And Ashanti Alinga (there’s a well-known prefix from days gone by at Tara Raceway), a rising 3½-year-old daughter of Yahoo Omar and Blu Evening with only 10 starts to her name, also ran home well at her first look at the track.
The memorial is run in honour of John Reid, a Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club life member and club stalwart who died in 2004.
The Reid family has continued to support the memorial which was first run in 2005 when won by the Robert Halliday trained Itza Bee in 30.22 seconds.
Winners to follow have been: 2006 Bourne Destiny (David Peckham) 31.31; 2007 Call Me Princess (Josie Kelly) 31.05; 2008 Ella Rule (Robert Halliday) 30.99; 2009 Pure Cream (Jim Williams) 30.59; 2010 Frost Opal (Allen Williams) 31.29; 2011 Lektra Rocket (David Chandler) 30.66; 2012 Sumo Power (Darren Henderson) 30.91; 2013 Fred Best (David Jones) 30.68; 2014 Eylandt Princess (Nicole Stanley) 30.81; 2015 My Pal Houston (Tracie Price) 30.62.
VETERAN CHASER TURNS BACK THE CLOCK
Rising five-year-old Dee Tee turned back the clock at Tara Raceway on Friday afternoon when an upset winner in the Rock’s Retreat Stake over 600 metres.
Having only her fourth run back after a six-month break, the fawn and white bitch, after pushing Glenville Jester to 3¾ lengths at the previous meeting over 512 metres, found plenty when going straight to the front from box three and defying a strong grade five field to run her down.
A $12 chance, Dee Tee ultimately had 1¾ lengths to spare in 35.45 seconds over short-priced favourite Old Jock as she brought up her 16th win for Bushfield owner-trainer Gary Lane.
Friday’s win was her first since October with Lane retiring the well-bred daughter of El Grand Senor and Mantra Miss in December prior to mating her in January.
“Unfortunately she missed – which in itself wasn’t the end of the world because her litter sister Miss Jacovella (a former 600 metre Tara Raceway record holder) had previously whelped to Pure Octane – but with nothing else to race I decided to put Dee Tee back in work.”
Lane said while he was undecided as to whether Dee Tee would line up in Sunday week’s Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) he had earmarked next month’s Berringa Park Iron Dog three-distance series for her final stint on the race track.
A winner over Tara Raceway’s three distances (400 m, 512 m, 600 m), Dee Tee is well suited to the concept, having won two rounds of last year’s series which ended in sensational circumstances when Boolite Bruiser and Upset Boy dead-heated in the final.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
With a whelping date of December 2012, from an age point of view Mighty Sam only just qualified for last Sunday’s Masters 400 metre event at Tara Raceway.
For greyhounds 3½ years and older, the Masters races have been introduced in order to give dogs the opportunity to race longer – 5½-year-old Black Barron Lad and rising five-year-old Ireland’s Oyster being two of Sunday’s runners.
As it was, with the older greyhounds taking priority, Mighty Sam found himself as a reserve before gaining a start from box six after last month’s Masters winner Alchemist Quest was scratched.
A winner of six races at Warrnambool, Ballarat and Horsham, the brindle and white dog quickly worked to the front after only a fair start and held out Ireland’s Oyster to win by three-quarters of a length in a handy 23.46 seconds.
The win was Mighty Sam’s first since late December – at Ballarat over 450 metres – for the Many Winners Syndicate and long-time trainer Peter Keane.
For Keane, another trainer from Koroit to find success at Tara Raceway, the win was his second in as many meetings after Don’t Say That had been successful on July 1.
By Cosmic Rumble, the well-bred Mighty Sam is out of Last Stress (by US sire Flying Penske) which won nine races and $41,000 in prizemoney.
In fact it was Mighty Sam’s breeding that prompted syndicate members Bev and Peter Keane, Paul Lenehan, Graham Dix, Blue Brookes and Garry Thomson to pay $4000 for him as a three-month-old pup.
The recently-retired Peter Keane, who currently has five greyhounds in work, trained his first winner in 1982 and since then has handled some pretty handy dogs including Carngairn and the locally-bred Miami Mike.
By Tempix out of Kori Spot, Miami Mike won 10 races including one over 732 metres at the old Olympic Park track in Melbourne.
Keane, at one stage, was also caretaker trainer for 1985 Melbourne Cup winner Sydney Dingaan when regular trainer Ned Bryant was indisposed.
But for all the greyhounds that have passed through his kennels over the years, Keane has no hesitation in naming Hoppy’s Girl (a half-sister to Sydney Dingaan) as the best he’s trained.
By Tangairn out of Sydney Gem, Hoppy’s Girl won six races at Olympic Park and Sandown Park, and one over 550 metres at Ballarat, before proving to be a prolific producer.
Meanwhile, Keane and his trusty sidekick Blue will be back at Tara Raceway tomorrow, hoping for the good run to continue when Mighty Sam jumps from box four in the Laser Electrical Stake (400 m).
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Howies Flyer is one of the interesting runners in Friday’s Anniversary Cup heats, which promise to be the highlight of a top day of greyhound racing at Tara Raceway.
Three heats of what will be the 32nd running of the cup means the first and second placegetters and two fastest thirds will advance to Sunday week’s $3500 final over 512 metres.
And after a long absence, Paul Carmichael, who trains Howies Flyer for Tarneit owner Mark Howe, is returning to Mount Gambier in a bid to win his third Anniversary Cup.
Carmichael, based at Elliminyt (south of Colac in western Victoria), won the 2006 Anniversary Cup with Black Presence which defeated the Michael Niele trained Hustling Jake in a time of 30.94 seconds.
Black Presence’s litter sister Miss Baracus, after winning four races including one at Tara Raceway, was later mated with Typhoon Tide and produced Calm Presence which was then successful in the 2009 cup for Carmichael.
Second to Calm Presence was the Steve Bartholomew trained Magic Elite, later a successful local producer and dam of the Group-winning Galactic Viper which will clash with Howies Flyer in tomorrow’s third heat.
As an aside, Miss Baracus was also mated with Where’s Pedro with one of her offspring being Tall Presence, a 40 kilogram giant of a greyhound which won a couple of races at Tara Raceway in April-May 2012 when being trained by Ralph Patzel who has Roarsome – in line for a hat-trick – engaged in heat three.
Howies Flyer’s past three starts have been up the straight over 350 metres at Healesville where he impressed with a win on June 19 before an unlucky fourth a week later and then an excellent third on July 3 behind classy chaser One For Me in a heat of the Winter Cup.
The brindle dog also handles the circle, having won six races, while there wasn’t much wrong with his 25.45 seconds third behind eventual winner Zambora Brockie in a heat of the Warrnambool Cup (450 m) in April.
Howies Flyer, a son of El Grand Senor and the unraced Irish Blossom, hasn’t raced at Tara Raceway but does look well drawn in box two.
Fear The Rascal, trained at Compton by Tracie Price, is also well drawn out in box seven – in fact the son of Fear Zafonic and Shannah’s Star is unbeaten in his five starts from the box.
Winner of the 2015 Mount Gambier Christmas Cup, the white and blue dog cramped when looking a winning chance over 450 metres at Warrnambool on June 30 and has since run 23.50 seconds in a satisfactory 400 metre trial at Tara Raceway.
Fiorelli Rose and Sunday Shoes, drawn in boxes one and two respectively, look two of the main chances in heat one of the cup.
Fiorelli Rose, trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley who is having her best year ever at Tara Raceway, impressed at the track on Sunday afternoon when holding out last year’s Anniversary Cup winner Mojito Mayhem to win by a half length.
The Nathan Wilson trained Sunday Shoes, a dual feature race winner at Tara Raceway last year, made a real mess of box one on July 1 before finishing fourth to Cryer’s Fred and it would pay to forget that run.
And in the second heat, Moyston trainer Peter Franklin will be hoping for things to turn around with his box six runner Mojito Mayhem which hasn’t had much luck at his past two starts when running second-placings over 512 metres.
Glenville Jester, in career-best form for trainer Richard Clayfield, impressed with a best of day 30.11 seconds win last Sunday and is drawn for another bold showing from box eight.
THE EAGLE FLIES ON FRIDAY
The eagle flies on Friday, as the old saying goes in relation to pay day.
Well, Tarpeena owner-trainer Allen Williams will be hoping for a pay day on Friday when he lines up with four eaglets in heats of the John Reid Memorial Maiden (512 m).
The first starters, also bred by Williams, are by El Grand Senor out of Chilly Patch, a winner of four races at Tara Raceway.
Whelped in August 2014, Proud Eagle and Smooth Eagle will jump from boxes four and five respectively in heat one while Major Eagle and Grand Eagle have drawn boxes three and eight in the second heat.
Williams, who previously won the Reid Memorial in 2010 with Frosted Opal, is one of three trainers chasing another win in the time-honoured race.
Tracie Price, who has Cairnlea Moment and Stormy Moment engaged, was successful last year with My Pal Houston while Nicole Stanley won the 2014 memorial with Eyelandt Princess.
Stanley looks to hold a strong hand in this year’s event with Hay Miss which has drawn box seven in the first heat.
Also whelped in August 2014, the daughter of Bekim Bale and Miss Stackhouse was second on debut at Sandown Park over 515 metres in May before turning in a big effort last week at Horsham.
Having only her fourth start, Hay Miss ran Sooty Epsom to 2½ lengths in 27.50 seconds over 480 metres – an effort made even better after the winner came out and won again at Horsham on Tuesday night.
ONE-OFF RACE FOR MIDDLE-DISTANCE MEMORIAL
The Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) will be run as a one-off race in conjunction with the Anniversary Cup and John Reid Memorial finals on Sunday, July 24.
The change was necessitated after insufficient nominations were received to run a minimum of two heats at Friday’s meeting.
Nominations for the grade four/five $1500 memorial will now close with GRSA at 9 a.m. on Monday.
The Rock’s Retreat Stake, a grade five over 600 metres, will be run on Friday with Stanley also holding a strong hand in this event with box eight runner Old Jock.
Old Jock ran a terrific 3¾ length second to Brazen Bomber in last month’s Koroit 600 before following up with a strong 600 metre win over proven middle-distance performer Glenville Jester.
Sunday week’s Eric Lewis Memorial will be the third running of the event, with Zipping Basil (Robert Britton) successful in 2014 and Harry Aztec (Kevin Ashton) last year.