THURSDAY, JANUARY 30 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 28 with GRSA. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6 (T/G): Best to worst grading. Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, February 3 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. NO TRIALS: Please note there will no trials on Tuesday, February 4 due to track maintenance. SATISFACTORY TRIALS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512.
SA-BRED GIVEAWAY – SOUND AND RACE FIT/LIGHTNING FRANK PUPS FOR SALE/TRAINER WANTED FOR A COUPLE OF DOGS CURRENTLY RACING IN VICTORIA – See “For Sale/Wanted”.
Sunday, January 26, 2020
Four winners at Tara Raceway’s Australia Day meeting on Sunday has seen Compton trainer Tracie Price issue an early challenge to David Peckham of Allendale East for 2020 training honours.
With 13 Tara Raceway winners this month, Price, winner of the inaugural Ian Badger Leading Trainer award in 2018, is now only one win behind Peckham who was last year’s Ian Badger winner.
Price landed an early double when Luke Diegmann’s High Fly Dorothy led all the way in the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m), holding out Black Moscato to win by 2¾ lengths in 23.39 seconds.
Then, in the following race, the Produce Store Stake (400 m), Michael Robinson and Willie Vossen’s Vossy, chased Cleansing Ale until the home turn before finishing strongly for a 2½ length win in 23.11 seconds.
Price was also successful in the final race, the Greyhound-Data.com Mixed Stake (400 m), when his wife Karen’s Banjo Bad Boy led all the way to defeat Azumi Stringer by four lengths in 23.05 seconds.
But it was the win of Tandiki, having only her seventh race start, in the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (512 m) that was the highlight of Price’s big day.
Also raced by Robinson and Vossen, Tandiki is a litter sister to High Fly Dorothy, the white and black bitch overcoming early interference before rounding up Clyde Jakit off the back and running away to a 6½ length win in 29.74 seconds, a time bettered only by Spring Value in the Australia Day Open.
By Peter Rocket out of Headline, the May 2018 whelping now looms as one of the major hopes in this year’s Summer Classic (512 m), heats of which will be run on Sunday, February 16.
Friday, January 24, 2020
Coleraine greyhound man Bob Wombwell, training winners in Mount Gambier since the late 1970s when racing was conducted at Glenburnie, made a successful return to the track on Thursday with Serene Rose winning at Tara Raceway.
With Serene Rose not having raced for several months due to her trainer being off the scene with health issues, the wily Wombwell, accompanied by fellow Coleraine trainer Steve Colpoys, recently brought the black bitch over to Tara Raceway for a trial.
“She actually trialled pretty well so I had been reasonably confident that she would run a forward race even though her last race start had been back in October,” he said.
And he was on the money, Serene Rose going straight to the front from box seven in the JB Irrigation Stake (400 metres) before eventually running out a three length winner over Beat Max Bazza in 23.61 seconds.
“It’s certainly good to be back,” enthused Wombwell, his last Tara Raceway winner being in late September when Coffey Road, a litter brother to Serene Rose, had won over 400 metres – the same month his sister defeated Missing Mate to win her maiden over 512 metres.
By Barcia Bale out of Rose Of Tuscany, a winner of six races from only 13 starts, the April 2017 littermates were bred at Tamworth by Ray Aslin and purchased as pups by Wombwell – Coffey Road having also won five 390 metre races at Warrnambool.
Dancing Rose, a maiden winner at the previous Thursday meeting, had no trouble making the step up to novice class (1-4 wins) when quickly finding the front from box five in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) before running away to a 3¾ lengths win over Moraine Pippa in 23.74 seconds.
Trained by Aaron Blake at Woodvale – a rural locality near Bendigo – Dancing Rose is by Dyna Double One out of three-state winner Vegas Secrets.
It was a case of the February 2018 fawn bitch finding winning form at the right time for Blake with him training Dancing Rose since last October but purchasing her for $700 prior to her maiden win on January 16.
Handling the winner on Thursday was Blake’s father, Doug, his son attending the funeral of his former employer Graham Long who passed away last week after a long illness, aged 69.
Long hit the headlines back in 2008 with his superstar Regal Thyme who he bred and trained to win a Silver Chief, Topgun and Silver Bullet.
It took a while, 27 starts in fact, for Karijini Jakit to finally open her winning account for WA owner John Dihm and Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott.
In a race run in driving rain, Karijini Jakit was always going to be hard to hold out in The Border Watch Maiden Stake (400 m), settling in third spot down the back straight before finishing strongly to defeat Bourne Maximum by a half length in 23.92 seconds.
Ironically, as far as connections were concerned it was a timely win, the daughter of My Bro Fabio x Hadley And Jones having now been sold to Adelaide interests.
Later in the day, Clyde Jakit brought up a double for connections and the litter in the O’Brien Electrical Stake (512 m) when taking over the running from Akuma Fireball off the back before finishing two lengths clear in 30.67 seconds.
For Abbott, owner-trainer of Black Spring, the 2019 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, Karijini Jakit and Clyde Jakit were his first winners this year at Tara Raceway and his first double since late October when Spinning Jakit and Giveaway Fury were successful.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Surely, Lots Of Yap’s win in 2015 still has to be one of the best stories to come out of the 39 Mount Gambier Cups run so far.
Here we had a scenario whereby rookie trainer Ben Boers, of Portland, was never going to die wondering when he took on Mount Gambier’s biggest race of the year with his giveaway greyhound Lots Of Yap.
Not that there’s too much wrong with her breeding – by Premier Fantasy out of Have A Yap, a winner of 37 races in New Zealand – Lots Of Yap having won four races at Tara Raceway by the time the cup came around at the beginning of March.
However, the Mount Gambier Cup was a whole new ball game, Lots Of Yap, to her credit, running a game 7¼ length second in a heat to Adelaide greyhound Lobo Loco, trained by Robyn Mackellar who ultimately would have to wait another two years before winning the cup with Fabregal.
Boers had probably done as well as could be expected, his 26-month-old black bitch one of the reserves for the following week’s final. No chance of a run, though, because they just don’t scratch out of those sort of races.
Well, sometimes they do. In the week leading up to the final Boers received a phone call from Compton trainer Tracie Price who had the pre-post favourite Who’s Doing What sitting up in box one.
Price gave Boers the heads-up that Who’s Doing What had come in season and would be scratched from the final. Lots Of Yap was in, and with box one to boot.
So, come Sunday, March 8, Boers, wife Lizzie and a car-full of kids arrive at Tara Raceway with Lots Of Yap who is looking to become the first reserve runner to win the Mount Gambier Cup since Ralph Patzel’s Ashanti Gem in 1997.
And later in the day when Lots Of Yap hit the front down the back in the 2015 Classic Bet Mount Gambier Cup final (512 metres) Boers must have dared to dream that just maybe this was going to be his day.
But turning for home she moved out, Bourne Again taking the rails run and the lead for Allendale East trainer David Peckham, still looking to emulate his father Allen who won the 1994 cup with Argyle Sally at Glenburnie.
In the end, though, it was going to be the Boers’ day, unprecedented scenes to follow after Lots Of Yap dug deep in the home straight to eventually win by a head in 30.04 seconds.
Fast forward three years and Boers mates Lots Of Yap, her first litter resulting in two dogs and five bitches to Nitro Burst, fellow Portland greyhound man Andy Graham rearing the litter from three months of age and receiving three bitches in return.
A couple of those May 2018 bitches were at Tara Raceway for the first time last Sunday, Graham saying that Rose Bay had broken-in reasonably well while Bay Me was probably the quickest of the litter.
Having her first start anywhere, Rose Bay gave Lots Of Yap her first winner as a dam when overcoming a slow start from box eight in the O’Brien Electrical Maiden Stake (400 m) before taking the lead off the back and running out a 2½ length winner in 23.43 seconds.
Bay Me, with one luckless start at Warrnambool early this month, looked to face a fair assignment in the Trackside Meats Maiden/One Win Stake (512 m), Nicole Stanley’s Oscar The Scout striving to improve on a run of five consecutive seconds and the Peckham-trained Fabs You Go chasing his third straight win.
It was Bay Me, though, who flew the start from box one, opening up a more than handy break down the back over Oscar The Scout. Surely he wasn’t going to run another second!
But turning for home, Oscar The Scout looked to have the leader covered, the fawn dog duly finishing a length clear of Bay Me in 30.12 seconds – the runner-up certainly brave in defeat when clocking 30.19 seconds.
This year’s Summer Classic (512 m), for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2018, looks like being one of the best ever, Bay Me – her dam a classic heat winner in 2015 – another one to be added to the ever-growing list of genuine contenders.
Monday, January 20, 2020
For Mount Gambier greyhound owner Michael Robinson, Sunday’s win by Rocketline in the Sims Family Memorial Maiden (512 metres) at Tara Raceway was certainly a far cry from those frustrating trial mornings with the black youngster not all that many weeks ago.
Raced in partnership with Worrolong-based Willie Vossen who had also reared the son of Peter Rocket x Headline, Robinson said he had resorted to trips to the Tara Raceway trials after Rocketline had returned from breaking-in with little to recommend him.
“Initially, he just stood there, showing no inclination whatsoever to chase the lure,” Robinson said. “But with perseverance he gradually came good, to the extent that in the end he was chasing really keenly.”
Headline had been acquired for breeding by Karen and Tracie Price of Compton from Lisa and Keith Hellmuth of Pearcedale, the beautifully bred daughter of Barcia Bale x Raya Riot having won 16 races on Victorian tracks.
Placing their faith in the local breed – in particular pups from Compton – Robinson and Vossen purchased two of the Headline litter (Rocketline and two-race winner Tandiki) as well as another Sunday winner in Vossy (Dyna Double One x Miss Freelove).
Support of the local breed also paid dividends on Sunday when connections of the feature race winner collected an SA-bred $1000 maiden bonus to be shared between the owners and breeder (Tracie Price).
Price took over the training of the trio in late November, Rocketline lining up in the Sims Memorial from box eight and looking to be one of the top chances after an impressive second on debut over 512 metres the previous week.
And he quickly put himself in the race, chasing Confession down the back before once again finishing strongly in the home straight to run down the leader for a 1½ length win in 30.16 seconds, giving Price his first success in the event since 2014 when winning with Benara Cosmic.
“Ours is a real family operation out at Compton as had been the case with Col Sims and his family at Carpenter Rocks,” said Price who last month won the Peter Whitehead Memorial at Tara Raceway with Elle Limes.
A delighted Robinson, who had been associated with the Sims family back in the Glenburnie days of racing when he was Chief Steward, said both Rocketline and Tandiki were now likely contenders for next month’s Summer Classic.
Success in the Sims Memorial continues to elude long-time Portland-based owner-trainer Robert Halliday who went close this year after Confession gave it his best shot.
“This is one race that I would really love to win before hanging up the collar and lead,” he said. “I still have some terrific memories of competitive times with Col at coursing meetings in South Australia and Victoria.”
The Sims name is synonymous with greyhound coursing and track racing in the South East. Col Sims, assisted by his wife Val and son Ian, enjoyed great success on the coursing fields, later adapting to mechanical lure racing when it was introduced in Mount Gambier in 1979.
He was on the South East Greyhound Racing Club committee when racing commenced at Glenburnie, a year prior having become the first life member of what is now known as the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc.
Once again, the family was well represented at Sunday’s meeting – Col Sims’ sister Margaret Lindner on track to celebrate her 85th birthday while the Sims’ daughter, Lorraine Webber, pledged continuing support for the time-honoured event.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
After a successful 2019 at Tara Raceway, time-graded regular Tony Hinrichsen, of Monarto South, started this year off well with a treble at Thursday’s meeting with Stiff Upper Lip, Release The Fury and Bottled Fury.
While Balboa Fury’s win in the 2019 Winter Classic (512 m) in a race record 29.84 seconds was the highlight of Hinrichsen’s year at Tara Raceway he also trained four time-graded trebles – two in March, one in August and another in November.
Stiff Upper Lip, a winner of two races at Tara Raceway last year, was only fairly away from box five in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) but quickly put herself in the race before finishing strongly for a 2½ length win over Kirabilli Poppy in 23.57 seconds.
Bred by Hinrichsen, Stiff Upper Lip is by Fabregas out of Dee Ivy, a sub-30 second 515 metre winner at Angle Park as well a 600 metre winner in a more than handy 35.05 seconds.
Release The Fury, a last start winner over 395 metres at Murray Bridge, quickly settled into second spot behind Blackpool Remi in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (400 m), railing through on the leader turning for home before running out a two length winner in 23.39 seconds.
By Barcia Bale, the winner is out of Destini Firebird who was purchased by Hinrichsen with breeding in mind after having won five races at Sandown Park, The Meadows, Ballarat and Mandurah.
There’s certainly plenty of US blood in Destini Firebird, the black bitch by Kelsos Fusileer out of Miss Abilene, Hinrichsen having since followed up with another two litters – by David Bale (at breaking-in stage) and My Bro Fabio.
And completing the big day was Release The Fury’s litter sister Bottled Fury, always on the pace in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m) before finishing the stronger to defeat Damo’s Pineapple by half a length in 23.44 seconds.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Rough Pearl made an impressive debut in the Williams Crane Hire Maiden Stake (400 m), the black dog leading all the way for an 11¾ length win over Wee Fishin’ in 23.45 seconds.
Purchased as a four-month-old pup by Mount Gambier owner Elysia Bartholomew after Adelaide breeder Rob Harnas had forwarded photographs of the litter through to her phone, the February 2018 whelping is trained by part-owner Lee Bartholomew (her mother) out at Worrolong.
By Dyna Double One, Rough Pearl is out of West On Jorji, a 31 kilogram winner of 12 races over distances ranging from 400 metres to 600 metres – her son also not lacking in size when going around on Thursday at 35 kilograms.
Friday, January 17, 2020
First time on the track proved to be no drawback for Victorian greyhound Go Commando when he tackled the JB Irrigation Stake (512 metres) at Thursday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway.
Owned and trained at Carnegie by Peter Knott, also at the Mount Gambier track for the first time, Go Commando settled in third spot down the back after only a fair start, taking the lead turning for home and then holding out Coco Spectre to win by 1½ lengths in 30.37 seconds.
The win was a real family affair with Knott, a painter and decorator by trade, accompanied by his son Cameron, a paramedic who enjoyed what would have been a considerably less stressful day off, along with Sue and Elley.
Also bred by Knott, Go Commando is by the former outstanding greyhound Bombastic Shiraz, who won 18 races for $355,000 in stakemoney and, in fact, ended his 35-start career with back-to-back Group 1 wins at Sandown Park and The Meadows in late 2003.
A rising four-year-old, Go Commando is out of Especially (Brett Lee x Special Sign), owned and also trained by Knott for much of her 73-start career which saw her win 20 races and close to $90,000 in stakemoney.
Especially now has a second litter, by Primo Uno, just starting to race, with Especially Eager, trained by Cameron Knott, running third at her first start on Thursday behind Rough Pearl in the Williams Crane Hire Maiden Stake (400 m).
Go Commando has raced on 65 occasions for 10 wins and close to $100,000 in stakemoney, Peter Knott describing the 35 kilograms black dog’s win in the 2018 Victorian Great Chase as the one of the highlights of an involvement that spans more than 40 years.
“Winning the $47,000-to-the-winner Group 2 TAB Great Chase (525 m) at The Meadows in 30.15 seconds was certainly a great thrill,” he said.
“He went into the final after gaining a run from box seven as a reserve and starting at double-figure odds. And we couldn’t believe our luck when he jumped straight to the front and led all the way.
“In more recent times Go Commando has been hampered by a few injury issues, but for all that he continues to give us great enjoyment having won at Sandown Park earlier this month prior to today’s win at Tara Raceway.”