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

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, August 26 with GRSA. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, August 27 with GRSA. FREE TRIALS (for members/$10 non-members): Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track. PATHWAY RACING: All eligible greyhounds will be considered for some Pathway races at Sunday meetings. Trainers must advise NO PATHWAY if they do not wish to be considered. See GRSA website for Pathway conditions. WORK COMMENCES ON KENNELHOUSE UPGRADE: See “Gallery”.


Mt G Greyhounds

The day Casey and the Captain joined forces

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The youngster is by one of Australia’s most successful sires and by the time he’s been reared, broken-in, pre-trained – together with everything else that goes with getting a greyhound on the track – it hasn’t been a cheap exercise.

So when Southern Cross owner-trainer Peter Byrne announces prior to the running of the Rock’s Retreat Stake at Tara Raceway last Friday that Saint Ray is for sale for $500 there’s added interest in what looked to be a run-of-the-mill maiden 400 metre event.

Saint Ray heads for Edenhope with Cap Abbott (right) after being purchased by Penshurst owner Jack Casey.

Well, there was added interest as far as Jack Casey was concerned as he’d been looking for a ready-to-race greyhound rather than purchase another pup and then wait something like 18 months for it to hopefully hit the track.

Casey, who regularly makes the trip over to Mount Gambier from Penshurst, borrows a race book – why pay $2.50 – to check out Saint Ray’s credentials.

The black and white dog is by Cosmic Rumble out of Mepunga Kirsty, is only young – whelped in September 2015 – and with only two starts, including a last start Warrnambool second, provided he’s competitive in Friday’s race then he could be a handy pick-up at $500.

After all, the last dog Casey purchased for $500 was Rouse Flyer who ended up winning a Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year.

Saint Ray is away well from box one and then chases Outlaw Dave until the home turn where he rails through, finishing the stronger to win by a length. And in the space of 23.46 seconds Casey has himself another greyhound. All he needs now is a trainer.

Leaning against the fence, close-by, is Edenhope trainer Captain Abbott, still bleary-eyed from a trip the night before to Angle Park in Adelaide where Mo Town Roy had run third and qualified for tonight’s  Shane McQueen Memorial final which carries $6000 to the winner.

Yes, he’ll train the dog and not only that, he’ll nominate Saint Ray at Angle Park for the Thursday night meeting.

“I’ve always wanted a city-class greyhound,” jokes the new owner.

But for this week, at least, Casey will have to settle for a country-class greyhound as Saint Ray failed to gain a start at Angle Park and will now race at Tara Raceway on Sunday in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m).

 

YOUNGSTER DISPLAYS PLENTY OF SPIRIT

For promising youngster Galactic Spirit, last Sunday’s Allestree Holiday Units Mixed Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway was a fair step up in class.

Not that the daughter of Swift Fancy and Which Class hadn’t been racing well. Four wins, all over 400 metres, from only five starts says it all.

Moorak owner-trainer Robert Chuck with Galactic Spirit after her impressive 400 metre win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

However, Galactic Spirit, owned and trained at Moorak by Robert Chuck, hadn’t won above a grade five and Sunday’s mixed 2/3/4 included seasoned performer Colden Star who is one of a relatively few greyhounds to have broken the 23-second barrier at Tara Raceway.

Galactic Spirit quickly found the front from box two while Colden Star was only fairly away from box three before applying the pressure down the back straight.

But the leader just kept finding and was never headed, eventually running out a three-quarter length winner over Colden Star with Bluestone running home well for third in 23.08 seconds.

Galactic Spirit’s splits were 10.80 and 12.28 while Colden Star had run 10.67 and 12.30 when clocking an overall time of 22.97 seconds on February 24 this year. Cryer’s Ricky’s splits for his record-breaking 22.78 seconds run on February 19, 2016 were 10.67 and 12.11.

Chuck said that after his 22-month-old bitch races at Tara Raceway on Sunday in the winningformula.net.au Mixed Stake (400 m) it was likely she would contest heats of a grade five over 390 metres at Warrnambool on Thursday, June 22.


Serving up a rough result in quick time

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton once again was serving up rough results at Tara Raceway last Sunday when Cullquin Nikki took the Klaassens Contractors Feature Grade Five time honours with a dashing display in the first of the two 512 metre heats.

Jan Neil with sub-30 second heat winner Cullquin Nikki.

Away well from box seven, the brindle bitch was in front going into the back straight and from then on never looked in any danger of defeat, eventually running out a 3½ length winner over Southwood Trump while Ernest Bale and Shore’s Last also made their way through to Sunday’s $2175 final when running third and fourth.

Cullquin Nikki’s winning time of 29.97 seconds was a far cry from her last 512 metre win in April when she recorded 30.52 seconds in a time-graded race. And it was a win that came on the back of three middle-distance runs over 600 metres last month.

Her win, at the nice odds of $23, continued Ashton’s run of longshot winners at Tara Raceway this year. In fact, Cullquin Nikki was a $26 chance when winning her first race for the trainer over 400 metres back in early April.

And then last month he was successful on the same day with Lady Vixyma and Carrara Lad who were both around the $50 mark.

Cullquin Nikki heads for home in the first heat.

By Nolen out of seven-race winner Shiraz Monelli, Cullquin Nikki was bred and is owned at Rushworth by Peter Cullie and Shara Quinlan who won with her at Ballarat over 545 metres last October before Ashton took over her training duties in February, in the interim winning three races and taking his Tara Raceway tally this year to nine.

The 37 kilogram Southwood Trump, who last won at Tara Raceway in February for Mortlake trainer Peter Crawley, was always on the pace from box one while Ernest Bale had no luck on the first turn before just holding out Shore’s Last in the run home.

Peter Whitehead with Swift Limes who won a hard-fought second heat.

Swift Limes, now trained locally by Peter “Spider” Whitehead, and Nicole Stanley’s Turbo Road pretty well went stride for stride for much of the second heat, Swift Limes eventually gaining the verdict by a bob of the head in 30.33 seconds.

A son of Swift Fancy x Which Class, Swift Limes has now won three races at Tara Raceway from only seven starts and being a September 2015 whelping should be right in the mix come August’s Winter Classic.

Spring’s Over worked home well to finish a 1¾ length third while Valoshore, an older half-sister to Shore’s Last, made up a stack of ground to grab fourth spot and also qualify for Sunday’s final.

And following Tuesday’s box draw, Ernest Bale looks to have drawn ideally in the one – a box he’s raced from on 11 occasions for four wins and five minor placings.

A short-priced favourite from box eight in last Sunday’s heat, the Barry Shepheard trained winner of more than $100,000 had been racing for the first time in 12 months and as such should be improved by the run.

 

QUICK TIMES RUN OVER 600 METRES

Col’s Wallett and Cryer’s Plugger had last Sunday’s South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (600 m) virtually to themselves a long way from home.

Mind you, after the winning time was posted it probably wasn’t all that surprising considering Col’s Wallett had bowled along in front before stopping the clock in near-record time of 35.03 seconds while Cryer’s Plugger  ran 35.16 seconds – the second-fastest this year – when being beaten by 1¾ lengths.

Nicole Stanley with Col’s Wallett who will clash with record holder Paraphernalia at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley, Col’s Wallett’s time was the fastest run over the middle-distance journey at Tara Raceway since Paraphernalia broke Unsub Andy’s 35.04 seconds record in October last year when clocking 34.99 seconds.

Raced by the Foridds Syndicate, comprising Bluey Forsyth and Brian Riddle, Col’s Wallett was the second leg of a litter double for connections after Rowchester Star earlier in the day won the ClassicBet Mixed Stake (400 m) in 23.19 seconds.

And later Stanley continued on her winning way when Fiorelli Rose scored a quick 29.72 seconds win over the promising Zuma Creek in the Produce Store Free For All (512 m), giving her trainer a treble and taking her number of Tara Raceway wins this year to 55.

The stage is now set for an interesting clash at Tara Raceway on Sunday when Col’s Wallett (box three) and the Jeff Guy trained Paraphernalia (six) meet in the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (600 m).

Paraphernalia raced at Tara Raceway last Friday when he was too strong for kennelmate Frac Geek over 512 metres in a best of day 29.91 seconds.

Guy holds a strong hand in the race as he also has Brazen Blue and You Can Jive engaged in boxes one and seven after they fought out the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (600 m) last Friday with the former winning by 4½ lengths in a handy 35.42 seconds.


Little Aussie battler breaks two-year drought

Sunday, June 4, 2017

As far as Sandford greyhound trainer Brad Mitchem was concerned it had been a long time between drinks for his 24 kilogram brindle bitch She’s All Aussie.

Now 4½ years old, she was lining up for only start number 19 at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting last Friday in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (400 metres).

Birthday girl Emily Mitchem and dad Brad were all smiles after She’s All Aussie was successful at Tara Raceway.

And in what would be only her fourth run back after an 18 month break from the track, She’s All Aussie went straight to the front from box six to easily defeat the grade six field by 8½ lengths in a more than handy 23.33 seconds.

This was her first win since a maiden success over 425 metres at Bendigo almost two years ago. But this was a racing career that was seemingly over before it really got going with injury resulting in a premature retirement by the end of 2015.

She’s All Aussie then found her way over to Mitchem, ostensibly as a brood bitch, albeit a broken-down one, although there’s certainly not much wrong with her breeding.

By high-profile sire Collision, she’s out of city-winning bitch Tifi and is a litter sister to multiple Wentworth Park winners Aisle Tifi, Shady Ace and Twist Me Over while Red Bastien won a couple at Angle Park.

As Mitchem tells it, by March this year She’s All Aussie still hadn’t come on season and was so “full of herself” that he decided to put her back into work.

“And later, when she trialled well at Tara Raceway, I figured it was worth pushing on with her from a racing point of view. In fact, I’m now hopeful of bigger and better things for her and might even look to giving her a run at Angle Park,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mitchem kicked off Sunday’s meeting with a quinella when Spirit Of Pat, at start number 25, led all the way in the Laser Electrical Stake (400 m) to hold out Hong Shen and win in 23.73 seconds.

Both the winner and runner-up are by Fear Zafonic out of litter sisters Dang Shen and Ren Shen with the trainer’s daughter Emily, who turned 18 on Sunday, narrowly missing out on an ideal birthday present when her greyhound Hong Shen went within a half head of winning her first race at start number 59.

And She’s All Aussie, as if to make up for lost time, backed up again to run second to Summer Raine in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m).

 

TREBLE QUINELLA FOR GUY

Horsham trainer Jeff Guy, who has enjoyed some big days at Tara Raceway in the past, was back among the winners on Friday when leading in a treble with Brazen Blue, Imperial Fox and Paraphernalia in races five, six and eight.

And with You Can Jive, Revel and Frac Geek all running second it was a case of Guy also providing the quinella in those races.

Jeff Guy and Amanda Darmanin with Frac Geek and Paraphernalia after running the quinella in the Klaassens Contractors Stake.

Brazen Blue made an impressive middle-distance debut when leading all the way from box seven in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (600 m) and holding out You Can Jive – a Sandown Park 715 metre winner – to score by 4½ lengths in a smart 35.42 seconds.

By Big Daddy Cool out of Scrappy Coco, Brazen Blue is one of a more than handy litter that also includes Brazen Escape, Brazen Fool, Kryptonian, Brazen Bomber (winner of last year’s Koroit 600 at Tara Raceway) and Paraphernalia, the current Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder at 34.99 seconds.

The beautifully bred litter brothers Imperial Fox and Revel fought out the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) with the former leading all the way from box one to score by a half length in a smart grade six time of 30.13 seconds.

The pair is owned by Nick Darragh who also bred the sons of Cosmic Rumble and Proven Impala, a winner of 31 races and more than $360,000 in prizemoney.

The Bob Wombwell owned and trained Fire Eyes, after winning a maiden 512 metres in a steady 30.93 seconds in April, continues to improve and worked home well for a two length third behind the litter brothers.

Paraphernalia opened his 512 metre winning account at the track when taking time honours for the day with a strong effort in the Klaassens Contractors Stake.

The fawn dog was well back early, making up ground down the back straight before finishing over the top of Frac Geek – from Proven Impala’s first litter (by Where’s Pedro) – and Arabella Figg to score by 2¼ lengths in 29.91 seconds.

The Peter Byrne trained Arabella Figg showed more dash on Friday, leading down the back and the Mount Gambier Cup runner-up looks to be slowly getting back to her best form.

 

A COUPLE OF OTHER DROUGHT-BREAKERS

Gun Smoke Stumpy and Financial Bonus were a couple of other greyhounds to reward their connections’ patience and perseverance when successful at Friday’s meeting.

Gun Smoke Stumpy pictured after his first win in two years.

Gun Smoke Stumpy led all the way from box one in the winningformula.net.au Stake (512 m) for Koroit owner-trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan, defeating Takayo Fury and Moth Attack in 30.23 seconds.

For the 4½-year-old son of Magic Sprite x Prancing Uno, it was his first win since June 3, 2015 when he was successful at Ballarat over 545 metres.

The win capped off a frustrating two years for Lenehan who experienced more than his fair share of problems with the black dog as his 24 starts in a career that commenced back in October 2014 would attest to.

Purchased as a four-month-old pup by Lenehan, Gun Smoke Stumpy is a member of a pretty tidy litter, headed by Emrys, a winner of 19 races and more than $120,000 in prizemoney.

Kevin Breen with Financial Bonus.

Financial Bonus is another 4½-year-old to have suffered plenty of setbacks along the way, having raced on only 30 occasions since winning her maiden at Tara Raceway at her first race start in March 2015.

Owned and trained by Kevin Breen, a former schoolteacher from Lake Bolac, Financial Bonus led all the way to score a comfortable three length win over Tank Tank in the Berringa Park Stake (400 m) in a personal best time of 23.27 seconds.

A giveaway greyhound after displaying a reluctance to chase the lure when being broken-in, the 30 kilogram black bitch has now won eight races, her previous win being 18 months ago at Tara Raceway.

By Nitro Burst x Lankan Flash, Financial Bonus has a younger half-brother – by Dyna Tron – called Vancouver Star who has raced in Victoria on 23 occasions for nine wins, 10 minor placings and prizemoney in excess of $37,000.


Former top chaser on the comeback trail

Thursday, June 1, 2017

It’s now been close to 15 months since Ernest Bale strung together two wins over the 595 metre journey at Sandown Park.

Another 17 runs in Victoria were to follow without success before high-profile Adelaide owners Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman stepped in 11 months ago and purchased the son of Turanza Bale x Cara Bale.

Ernest Bale will make his long-awaited comeback at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

But after a frustrating run of injuries resulted in Ernest Bale still being off the track come the end of the year, Aloisi contacted Glencoe trainer Barry Shepheard to see if he was looking for a challenge.

“With a record of 69 starts for 18 wins, 21 minor placings and more than $105,000 in prizemoney I reckoned I didn’t have too much to lose,” Shepheard said this week.

For sure, Ernest Bale had been a seriously good greyhound, racing against the likes of Dyna Double One, Dundee Osprey, Moreira, Buck Forty and Dalgetty.

The rising four-year-old’s first public appearance for Shepheard was on May 14 when running a satisfactory trial over an unsuitable 400 metres in a pretty handy 23.33 seconds.

But it had been a painstaking five months of attention to detail and Tara Raceway trials leading up to that run, with Shepheard obviously having the dog about the mark from a weight point of view – 34.7 kilograms – the same as he had raced at back in July last year.

Ernest Bale’s long-awaited SA debut will take place at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when he lines up from box eight in the first heat of the Klaassens Contractors Feature Grade Five (512 metres).

Main interest in the second heat will be whether the David Peckham owned and trained box five runner Anti Dentite can string together four consecutive wins.

It’s a feat rarely achieved although the Peckham trained Thanks Tubby twice won four races in a row at Tara Raceway during 2014.

Barry Shepheard and Amanda Darmanin with Trademark Jet after his maiden win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Aloisi and Lehman will also be hoping for further success after the Shepheard-trained Trademark Jet won last Sunday’s JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (512 m) in 30.64 seconds.

By Bit Chili out of three-race winner Fredrina Bale (Bartrim Bale x Dyna Beauty), Trademark Jet was bred by Aloisi but found his way down to Glencoe at the end of March after bad box manners had been costing him any chance of winning in Adelaide.

And while his box manners haven’t improved much, the brindle dog did gain a nice rails run going into the first turn last Sunday, settling much closer than normal which allowed him to finish over the top of Vision Of Beauty.

Trademark Jet will step up to 600 metres in Sunday’s South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake and although the distance should suit both Col’s Wallett and Cryer’s Plugger look hard to hold out.

Meanwhile, at tomorrow’s time-graded meeting, Kongorong trainer John Little has an interesting 18-month-old first starter by the name of Bungaloo Ruby in race one, the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (512 m).

Bred by Little, the blue bitch is by Addis Boy, a Group-winning son of Token Prince and 14-race Wentworth Park winner Fantasy Fortune, out of Camo’s Prinny.

By Regal Thyme x Camo’s Dollars, Camo’s Prinny won seven races at Tara Raceway including the 2013 Anniversary Cup (512 m) in 30.19 seconds for Tahara trainer Bernie Rogers.

Camo’s Dollars, who had a stack of trainers during her 59-start racing career, won over the 732 metre journey at Tara Raceway in March 2008 when being trained by John Cameron of Penshurst.


Back to where it all began

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bill Ward has been taking in recent Tara Raceway meetings, no doubt marvelling at the progress the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club has made over the past 20 years.

Now 80, he was president of what was originally known as the South East Greyhound Racing Club from 1991 through to 1997, overseeing, together with a dedicated group of greyhound racing supporters, the switch of racing from Glenburnie to Lake Terrace East.

“The way the complex looks today is a real credit to the club,” Ward said this week. “And the fact that Tara Raceway is now able to run more than 70 race meetings a year speaks volumes for the many people involved.

Bill Ward at Glenburnie on opening day in 1979 with Courtoli who by then was standing at stud at a fee of $120.

“I can remember when we used to be allocated something like 22 non-TAB meetings a year and even then half the time we struggled to get nominations.”

Based at Mil Lel at the time, Ward and his wife Trish relocated to Adelaide 12 months after Tara Raceway commenced racing in January 1997 with Craig Collins subsequently taking over as president.

But Ward’s involvement in greyhound racing goes back to 1975, a time when the South East Greyhound Racing Club committee was still frantically searching for a venue for its first “tin hare” track and a strip of land was being prepared out at Mil Lel for drag lure coursing.

“At the time I’d undergone a knee operation and thought walking a couple of greyhounds might help in the recovery,” he recalled.

“I worked with a chap who was involved in greyhounds and he suggested that if I was walking dogs I might as well try and find a quick one.

“As it turned out, local breeder Bill Herring had a litter by Tivoli Chief out of a bitch called Modesty Court whose mother was a sister to a real flying machine in Bunyip Bint.

“She had a litter of 14 and with 10 to pick from I opted for a black dog and a brindle and white bitch.”

So began Ward and his family’s involvement in greyhounds with the pups being reared at their then place of residence on Jubilee Highway West.

The pups were later named Courtoli and Modesty Lee and with no track racing in Mount Gambier at the time they were sent to Melbourne to be trained.

Ward obviously heeded his workmate’s advice, finding not one but two quick ones.

Courtoli went on to win 22 races from 42 starts including a Young Star Classic at Wangaratta and success at Olympic Park and Sandown Park while Modesty Lee won 13 races from 22 starts.

Bill Ward pictured at home this week in Mount Gambier with the 1987 Sydney Cup and Black Tie Liqueur Cup won by Sonic Wave at Wentworth Park.

“I still reckon Courtoli was the best dog I ever had,” Ward said without any hesitation. “He was a fanatical chaser and always gave his all.”

Five years later the family moved to Mil Lel. Proven producer Main Model came down from Sydney and whelped a litter by Waverly Supreme with Ward rearing the pups until 12 months of age.

One of the pups he received for the whelping and rearing turned out to be a more than handy dog called Rickley who ran fourth in the 1983 Ardath National Derby final at Wentworth Park. Yes, back then cigarette companies were right into greyhound sponsorship and Ardath was a popular brand.

And later, when Model Belinda arrived from NSW for breeding, Ward ended up with a fair sort in return for his whelping and rearing efforts of the litter by Chief Dingaan.

“One of mine raced as Sonic Wave in NSW where she broke the 720 metre Wentworth Park track record and in 1987 won two premier staying races at that track – the Sydney Cup and the Black Tie Liqueur Cup.

“Then, in 1988, she was crowned the Bicentennial NSW Greyhound of the Year and this was a great thrill,” he said.

Perhaps fittingly, one of Ward’s last greyhounds was Toli Gold, by Silver Ball out of Sonic Wave. Trained in Adelaide by John Spoolder, the fawn bitch won the 1994 Gawler Patron’s Cup.

Following the death of Trish earlier this year, Ward recently returned to where it all began and now resides not all that far from Jubilee Highway West.

“When I go out to Tara Raceway and see what has been achieved I feel proud to have played a small part. More importantly, though, it’s great to see that the efforts of many dedicated people certainly weren’t in vain.”


A bad break for young Alex

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

10-year-old Alex was in the wars after tripping on her shoelaces at school and breaking a wrist.

With her left arm in a sling, young race-track regular Alexandra Filliponi of Portland looked like she’d been in the wars at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Alex, 10, is the custodian of the on-track kids’ playground which is officially known as Alexandra’s Playground after the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club took note of her complaints that greyhound racing was boring and the kids on course needed something else to help fill in the day.

But, no, she didn’t fall off one of the swings and break an arm.

Turns out Alex, a grade five student at a Portland primary school, tripped over her shoelaces and broke a wrist.

She’s the granddaughter of Brian and Sally Weis, of Portland, who were at Sandown Park on Sunday with a luckless Big Rough – owned locally by Noel and Heather Perry.

Handling Weis’s three runners at Tara Raceway was his daughter Sam (Alex’s mum).


Record number of meetings for Tara Raceway

Monday, May 29, 2017

SA greyhound racing dates released last week for the 2017-2018 season by Greyhound Racing SA has seen the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club allocated a record 78 meetings.

Sundays will remain the main day at Tara Raceway with 52 meetings to be conducted while 26 will be run on Fridays.

The allocation of the dates for July through to June came after what MGGRC secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard described as a successful two-month trial period when the club ran every Sunday and alternate Fridays.

Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard trained a winning double at Tara Raceway on Sunday. He is pictured with second leg winner Galactic Fox.

“As a club we were more than happy with the support we received from owners and trainers,” he said. “Nominations for the Friday-Sunday meetings held up very well with the time-graded fixtures on Fridays proving to be popular with participants.”

The time-grading concept, likely to be soon introduced in several other states, endeavours to group greyhounds of a similar ability together in races and has given them the opportunity of finding winning form again.

And as Shepheard pointed out, the MGGRC had been keen to introduce innovative forms of racing in order that participants had been able to gain starts with their greyhounds.

“We started with Pathway racing for dogs that were running outside a certain time and also ran Masters events for older greyhounds in order that they could stay on the track longer.”

But, according to Shepheard, it appears likely that the time-graded format will replace Pathway and Masters events.

“We’re now at a stage where not too many greyhounds are missing out on a start and this is good. And participants like the idea of all greyhounds receiving prizemoney in the time-graded races which are framed on a ‘worst to best’ basis for maiden through to grade five greyhounds.

“GRSA is now keen to take time-grading to another level and as a result on June 16 the meeting will be grouped into three categories – maiden, one to four wins and five wins and over.”

December will be the busiest month in the new racing season with eight meetings being run, the main one being Sunday, December 24 which will feature the Christmas Cup, Royal Fashion Maiden and the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet.

The time-honoured Anniversary Cup will be run on Sunday, July 23 and complemented by the John Reid Memorial Maiden and the Eric Lewis Memorial over 600 metres.

And the 2018 $20,000 Listed Mount Gambier Cup is set down to be run in late February and early March although this may change in order to avoid a clash with the Mount Gambier Harness Racing Gold Cup.

The MGGRC is also working in with GRSA in a bid to revamp the SA Country Cup and run the final at Angle Park on the night of the Adelaide Cup.

 

BELATED BIRTHDAY PRESENT

The wins of Cheyenne Black and Two Jobs at Tara Raceway on Sunday gave Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst his first double this year and also a belated birthday present after he turned 65 a few days ago.

For Brodhurst and his wife Valerie, who are popular regulars at Tara Raceway, Cheyenne Black’s win broke an exasperating run of four consecutive seconds when she was successful in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 metres).

Valerie and David Brodhurst with grade six final winner Two Jobs.

But the black bitch’s chances of winning her first race since last December took a hit soon after box rise when she copped a fair sort of check.

Off the back, though, she was back in the race and giving chase after Bob Wombwell’s front-running Red River Rufus who was looking to make it a hat-trick of wins.

And in the home straight it was Cheyenne Black who finished full of running to defeat Ridd’s Flyer by 1¾ lengths with Red River Rufus holding on for third spot in 23.58 seconds.

By Cosmic Chief x Eva’s Flame, a winner of 11 races from 107 starts, Cheyenne Black, who found her way down to Serviceton in November 2015 via Lewiston trainer Don Turner, has now won nine races for Brodhurst.

The easy-going trainer still hasn’t worked out how Two Jobs’ turnaround in form came about after her Tara Raceway efforts earlier in the year had Brodhurst reaching for the phone book and the Greyhound Adoption Program’s number.

“She’s another one that had come down from Don,” Brodhurst said. “But to be honest, her Tara Raceway form for the first four months of this year had been awful.

“He suggested I find someone to give her to or try the GAP. As luck would have it, time-graded racing was about to commence and no one was more surprised than me when she came out and won over 512 metres in a best of day 30.21 seconds.”

By Cosmic Rumble out of the unraced Enlightment, Two Jobs then ran the promising Miss Legality – all at sea at The Meadows last Wednesday – to 4¼ lengths before finishing a strong second behind Lady Vixyma in a grade six heat (512 m) last week.

The fawn bitch, after drawing box one in Sunday’s final, settled in second spot behind odds-on favourite Swift Limes before finding the front off the back and running away to a 2½ length win over Yaramundi Domino in 30.40 seconds.

Sunday’s double continued Brodhurst’s good run at Tara Raceway with his small team. He has now accumulated 43 points and sits in 16th spot on the Leading Trainers’ list.

And Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott, successful at Gawler on Tuesday with Mo Town Roy, ended a rewarding week when the diminutive Panalo was successful in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m) on Sunday afternoon.

By Cosmic Rumble out of Wentworth Park winner Tifia, Panalo, another greyhound earmarked for GAP after some indifferent performances, took the lead off the back and finished strongly to defeat OK Ollie by 3¼ lengths in 30.59 seconds.

Panalo’s win was Abbott’s first with the black bitch who tips the scales at around 24 kilograms. Her last win had been in November last year when successful in a maiden event at Ipswich.


Litter displays a touch of class

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wins by litter brothers Swift Limes and Swift Moment at Tara Raceway last Sunday saw their dam, Which Class, move further ahead on the local leading dams’ list.

And while Swift Limes was impressive enough in winning a heat of the grade six series over 512 metres it was Swift Moment who really set the track alight in the winningformula.net.au Mixed Stake (512 m).

By Swift Fancy, the September 2015 whelping had crossed from box eight by the time the field approached the back straight and from then on he simply powered away for an effortless 4¼ length win over Chilly Kiss and Col’s Wallett.

Handler Steve Patzel with Swift Moment after his quick 29.82 seconds run at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Swift Moment’s time of 29.82 seconds was the fastest run at Tara Raceway since Fabregal’s 29.78 seconds in this year’s Mount Gambier Cup. Not a bad effort for a 35 kilogram pup having only his tenth race start.

Compton owner-trainer Tracie Price was also suitably impressed and said he was now looking at the possibility of placing the black dog in Adelaide with a view to contesting July’s Champion Puppy Classic (515 m) at Angle Park.

The time-honoured classic, which has been conducted continuously for 36 years, is for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2015 and as such Swift Moment would be well placed from an age point of view.

Which Class is by Bombastic Shiraz out of Cosmic Goddess which makes her a half-sister to Cosmic Chief, a former champion on the track and now a leading sire.

Robert Chuck, of Moorak, purchased her late in 2010 after she had won a maiden heat and final over 390 metres at Ballarat and then sent her to race in WA where she won on four occasions at Mandurah before ending her 36-start career with a 400 metre win at Tara Raceway.

He later mated Which Class with Superman, the speedy Scorpion (currently six wins from 25 starts) being one of the litter, along with Tara Raceway winners Galactic Fox, Krypton Queen and Speedy Gonzales.

Due to time and space constraints, Chuck then farmed out Which Class to Price who used Swift Fancy, a prolific producing son of Collision for a second litter.

Three-race winner Baz’s Moment is another member of the litter as is Galactic Spirit who Chuck received as a pup as part of the breeding deal with Price.

Galactic Spirit won her first three races – all over 400 metres – at Tara Raceway in March-April and returns on Sunday after a six-week break from the race track to contest the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m) from box one.

But after only two litters the leading local dam’s breeding days are over with Which Class now leading of life of leisure after being placed into the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).

 

TWO IN A ROW FOR THE TRACKMAN

Tara Raceway trackman Tim Manterfield with Azumi Spice after her win last Sunday.

Worrolong-trained Azumi Spice, after taking 14 runs to open her winning account on May 14, quickly followed up with another impressive short course effort at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Stepping up to grade six company in the Berringa Park Stake (400 m), the black bitch was suited by box eight and quickly worked into second spot behind Summer Raine before finishing powerfully out wide to score by 2½ lengths in a handy time of 23.25 seconds.

By Cosmic Chief out of Azumi Touch, Azumi Spice is raced by Lee and Steve Bartholomew in partnership with their daughter Elysia and her partner Tim Manterfield.

And Manterfield, who is the Tara Raceway trackman, couldn’t jump off the Kubota quick enough in order to greet the winner upon her return and bask in the glory of a second win in as many weeks.

There could be more tractor jump-offs coming up, too, with the Steve Bartholomew trained strong-finishing bitch looking likely to be even better suited once switched to 512 metre racing.

Interestingly, as the trackman pointed out, Azumi Spice’s racing pattern is in direct contrast to that of her dam, Azumi Touch, whose 16 wins were all over the short course at Tara Raceway and Angle Park.

To follow for Azumi Touch is a litter, now 11 months old, by Dyna Tron.


The day Ashton’s circus rolled into town

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

When Charlton greyhound trainer Kevin Ashton and his partner Jan Neil headed off at some ungodly hour last Sunday morning to Tara Raceway – travelling trainers must love 11 a.m. race starts – they certainly wouldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams how the day was ultimately going to pan out.

Jan Neil and Kevin Ashton with Lady Vixyma after her Tara Raceway win last Sunday.

The couple has been making the four hour trip over to Mount Gambier on a regular basis this year with Ashton doing pretty well – eight winners and currently sitting in thirteenth spot on the leading trainers’ list.

The front-running Cullquin Nikki looked Ashton’s best chance on Sunday and after she had finished third behind Big Rough and Cee Jay’s Heart in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (600 metres) that looked to be about his lot.

Fair enough, he still had Lady Vixyma and Carrara Lad to come later in the day although surely they were only in their respective races to make up the numbers.

After all, Lady Vixyma’s record stood at one win from 53 starts and that win had come close to 18 months ago while rising five-year-old Carrara Lad’s last win had been in July last year.

A reserve at Friday’s meeting, Lady Vixyma lined up from box three in Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m), the second heat of a grade six series. But this was no time-graded race and as such the daughter of Kinloch Brae x Abby Shiraz was a $44 chance on the tote.

Jan Neil and Carrara Lad.

Reputations counted for nothing though. She went straight to the front, took advantage of first-turn interference and then never really looked like getting beaten, although Two Jobs finished well for a half-length second in 30.40 seconds.

Then Carrara Lad – a $52 tote chance – came out in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m), on the back of a third placing at Friday’s meeting, to virtually lead all the way from box six and hold out Monster Deeds to win by three-quarters of a length in a personal best time of 23.43 seconds.

Has there ever been a longer-priced training double on a greyhound track than this one? We’ll make the call and say probably not.

For sure, the circus had come to town and ringmaster Kevin Ashton well and truly cracked the whip under the big top at Tara Raceway.

 

BACK TO BACK WINS FOR ANTI DENTITE

While not of lot of greyhounds front up twice at Tara Raceway double-header meetings, even fewer manage to win on both days.

Anti Dentite . . . on a winning streak.

Anti Dentite, successful over 512 metres on the Friday and then over 400 metres on Sunday, became the first to go back to back since Connie Miller’s pair Bushman’s Faith and Lady Vixyma (then trained by Miller) ran the quinella on both August 26 and 28 last year.

The son of Turanza Bale and Sister Ping quickly found the front from box eight in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m) before engaging in a spirited battle with Lektra Ash, eventually winning by a length in 30.35 seconds.

And then two days later he finished strongly over the short course in the ClassicBet Mixed Stake to defeat Aston Morris by 1½ lengths in a quick 23.18 seconds.

Whelped in June 2013, Anti Dentite’s win on Sunday was his thirtieth from 103 starts and took his stake earnings to more than $70,000, the majority of that being won on Queensland tracks.

In fact, he’s a widely-travelled greyhound, having raced at Ipswich, Capalaba, Albion Park, The Meadows, Lismore, Casino, Grafton, Angle Park and Gawler prior to Allendale East trainer David Peckham taking him on as a giveaway early this year.

Anti Dentite, who has now won six races at Tara Raceway, will be attempting a hat-trick when he lines up from box one in the Berringa Park Free For All (400 m) on Sunday afternoon.

 

CHUCK SET TO MAKE AMENDS

Moyston greyhound Chuck McIvor looks well placed in Sunday’s Greyhound-Data.com final and is set to make amends for his defeat as an odds-on favourite in last week’s second heat of the grade six series over 512 metres.

Jumping from box one, the fawn son of Bella Infrared and Blonde Caviar all but came down on his nose in a rough-house run to the first turn before working home well to finish four lengths behind Lady Vixyma and Two Jobs in 30.40 seconds.

The final will see the Peter Franklin trained Chuck McIvor jump from the eight, a box that he has won from at Tara Raceway.

The David Brodhurst trained Two Jobs, who impressed with a 10 length 30.21 seconds time-graded win earlier this month, found herself well back early in last Sunday’s heat but worked home well and looks well suited in box one.

And Swift Limes, winner of the first heat in 30.27 seconds, has also drawn well in box two and should ensure the pace is on from the outset.


Serving up a bit of everything

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A trainer wins his first race at the track. Another trainer sees his greyhound finally run up to the form he knew it was capable of. The “Bear” wins his first race in 12 months. And a giveaway picked up off an internet greyhound site is successful in a best of day time.

Just another Friday meeting at Tara Raceway where 10 of the 11 races were time-graded.

Handler Mo Canala and Brendan McKenna with Oddball Quick, his first Tara Raceway winner.

Ecklin South trainer Brendan McKenna landed his first winner at Tara Raceway when Oddball Quick, on the back of two recent handy second placings, went right on with the job in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 metres).

Raced in the names of his children Olivia, 11, and Cooper, 6, Oddball Quick quickly found a forward spot from box six before taking the lead off the back and then holding out a fast-finishing Flash Deeds to win by a half head in 23.60 seconds.

The win was something of a family affair with the son of Billy The Sid x Troublemaker Bay being bred at Koroit by McKenna’s mother Carolyn who often makes the trip over to Mount Gambier with her husband Gerald.

Billy The Sid, a winner of 12 races and $40,000, boasts a pretty handy brother in Take It All who won 26 races, including the 2013 Darwin Cup, and $130,000 in prizemoney, while Troublemaker Bay was unraced.

Gerald actually had litter brother Cheetah Bay engaged in the same race on Friday but had to be content with a sixth placing behind his son and grandchildren’s dog.

A maiden 390 metre winner at Warrnambool in March, Oddball Quick is the third member of the litter to have won – Rosie Bay winning her maiden over 400 metres at Tara Raceway in January last year prior to Cheetah Bay opening his winning account four months later.

Involved with greyhounds for more than 10 years, McKenna, 40, made special mention of long-time Ecklin South owner-trainer-breeder Sam Bamford whom he said had been a big help in getting Oddball Quick to the track.

Penshurst trainer John Cameron with maiden winner Macarthur Road.

Macarthur Road, who had been beaten by some big margins at her only six unplaced race starts, was a $26 chance in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m) – the only race to carry normal prizemoney.

But Penshurst trainer John Cameron always reckoned that the 24 kilogram bitch, a $700 purchase at five months of age, had ability but just hadn’t had any luck in her races.

“In the end I sent her to the Koroit breaking-in track for a week of confidence-boosting re-education to see whether that would work,” he said.

As it turned out, it could well have been a winning move because she flew the start from box two and was never headed, running out a two length winner over Hong Shen in 30.67 seconds.

By the 2012 National Derby winner Sure As out of former Tara Raceway 400 metre record holder Spin A Yarn, Macarthur Road – the litter’s first winner – was bred at Rupanyup by Kath Brooks and is raced by Cameron’s brother Philip, of Geelong.

Glencoe trainer Barry Shepheard’s good year continued when the four-year-old Arbour Bear led all the way in the Berringa Park Stake (400 m) to easily defeat his rising five-year-old kennelmate Jett Setter by 3½ lengths in 23.40 seconds – another example of how time-grading is keeping older greyhounds in the system for a longer period.

Yaramundi Domino is another giveaway greyhound that has won at Tara Raceway for owner Amanda Darmanin and trainer Ralph Patzel.

By Cosmic Rumble out of Shepheard’s 2010 Mount Gambier Cup winner Kirkstall Jane, the 35½ kilogram Arbour Bear broke a long run of outs with his last win being 12 months ago when he defeated Small Spring in a 400 metre grade five event.

At the end of Friday’s meeting, Shepheard was sitting in fourth spot on the Leading Trainers’ list with 12 wins, 15 seconds and 12 thirds.

And local owner Amanda Darmanin’s passion for scouring internet sites in order to seek out giveaway greyhounds paid off again when Yaramundi Domino – previously a winner of five races on Victorian and Adelaide tracks – won the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m).

Trained in Mount Gambier by Ralph Patzel, Yaramundi Domino was only fairly away from box eight but railed through down the back before finishing too strongly for Rose Limes, winning by three lengths in a best of day 30.28 seconds.

In Patzel’s kennel since early April, the black dog is by sparingly-used sire Uncle Remus who raced on 82 occasions on Adelaide tracks for an impressive record of 26 wins and 28 minor placings.

 

KEV LANDS LONGEST-PRICED TRAINING DOUBLE

It was a day of doubles at Tara Raceway on Sunday with Nicole Stanley, Tracie Price, Monty Wilson and Kevin Ashton dominating the 12-race card.

Doubles are nothing new as far as Stanley and Price are concerned as they continue their battle for Leading Trainer honours at Tara Raceway while for Wilson, even though two winners in one day don’t crop up all that regularly, he’s still having a pretty good year.

But Ashton’s double with Lady Vixyma and Carrara Lad was something else – at tote odds of $44.80 and $55.20 respectively the longest-priced training double ever recorded at Tara Raceway.

 

LOCALS CHASING CITY SUCCESS

Local owner Dion Pannenburg was all smiles at Tara Raceway on Sunday after the run of Don Lesta at Shepparton the previous night.

Raced by the Southern Bar Boys Syndicate, of which Pannenburg is a member, the Victorian-trained Don Lesta ran a terrific race to pick up a cool $7000 when finishing second to Sure To Excite in the Listed Northern Districts Cup final (450 m).

Tarpeena trainer David Williams and Pannenburg will now head to The Meadows on Wednesday with Don Lesta’s litter sister Miss Legality.

By Red Lesta x Rellim Lilly, Miss Legality, who has drawn box five in a grade five event over 525 metres, will go into the race in good form after winning her past three starts in impressive fashion at Tara Raceway.