SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, November 25 with GRSA. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, November 26 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.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Another Tara Raceway double last Sunday, this time with bargain-buy pair Banjo Fozz and Danyo’s Cally, continued Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst’s best-ever year at the Mount Gambier track.
Since January he’s trained 22 local winners – which include four doubles – Brodhurst heaping plenty of praise on his wife Valerie who races Danyo’s Cally and also spends much of her time assisting with the couple’s small team.
Banjo Fozz, picked up for $600 back at the end of June when still a maiden, went into last Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Mixed Stake having since won four races at the track but still chasing her first win over 600 metres despite having clocked a quick personal time of 35.17 seconds.
By Banjo Boy x Fire Stricker and from a handy litter that also includes Blur, Tat James and Valita, the Brodhurst trained black bitch quickly found the front from box four and in the run home hung on for dear life to defeat Spinning Jakit by a head in 35.47 seconds.
Brodhurst had been following the progress of Danyo’s Cally so when she was advertised for sale for $800 at the end of last year he purchased the daughter of My Bro Fabio x Caviar Noir. He has now won seven races – including one at Murray Bridge – with the black bitch.
Danyo’s Cally was a $20 chance from box four in last Sunday’s The Border Watch Stake (512 m). Not bad odds considering that a month ago she had beaten Azalea Monelli at Tara Raceway in a near best of day 29.78 seconds.
Away well in the pretty handy Open field, Danyo’s Cally led all the way, defeating Hutch by 1½ lengths in a best of day time of 29.95 seconds – both dogs staging good trials for this Sunday’s Border Challenge heats.
Involved in greyhound racing for much of his life, Brodhurst and his wife have been at Serviceton – 200 kilometres from Mount Gambier – for 14 years. Previously they had been six kilometres down the road at Wolseley and before that at Jeparit.
“I reckon we raced dogs at the current Tara Raceway’s second or third meeting back in 1997 and have been racing there ever since,” said the laid-back Brodhurst who, after battling major health issues, reports that he is slowly on the improve.
And Mount Gambier couldn’t have done much better with its two 512 metre Border Challenge heats, the first two from each heat to represent the local club in the $4000-to-the-winner final over 450 metres at Warrnambool on Thursday, December 5.
Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew looks to hold a strong hand with the Robert Chuck-owned Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball littermates Galactic Destiny, Galactic Mojo and Galactic Titan, the latter unbeaten in six starts at Tara Raceway.
The David Peckham trained Usain Insane has now gone from the couch to the Challenge, earning a reprieve from the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) when turning in a sparkling 22.97 seconds win in last Sunday’s Gordon Refrigeration Open Stake (400 m).
Another Peckham-trained dog in Pirate’s Curse, the Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder at 34.79 seconds, returns to racing in the second heat after a six months lay-off due to a back leg muscle issue.
The Robert Halliday trained Hutch, a 4½-year-old winner of 27 races and a Mount Gambier SA Country Cup representative at Angle Park last year, will also line up in the second heat after making an incredible sixth comeback last week.
The Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club will conduct its heats on Thursday, November 28 with the Border Challenge set to alternate on a yearly basis between the two clubs.
Meanwhile, Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott will make the four-hour trip to Bendigo on Friday with litter brothers Black Spring and Spinning Jakit who will contest a $5000-to-the-winner GRV Vic Bred Series over 660 metres.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Many Winners Syndicate members Peter Keane, Lindsay Brookes and Gary Thomson, of Koroit, were back at Tara Raceway for last Sunday’s meeting, no doubt hoping for things to go better than several nights’ earlier at Warrnambool where they had Our Ando engaged.
And Our Ando, lining up from box one over 390 metres, certainly looked set to open his winning account at only his second race start when he established a big lead in the home straight – a flock of seagulls scattering as the lure with the brindle dog hotly in pursuit approached.
Things were going well for the Fernando Bale x Sisco Sizzle litter. The Thursday night prior, litter sister Daisy Doo had won her maiden at Warrnambool over 450 metres for the syndicate and now Our Ando was home for all money.
Well, not quite. In the end he finished second, easing before the finish line and later copping 28 days for failing to chase.
“You don’t get much closer to that without winning,” lamented Thomson.
Long-time trainer Keane, who had seen it all before, said on Sunday that he had considered appealing the suspension on the grounds that the seagulls had distracted Our Ando in the run up the home straight.
“I contacted the powers that be who, while conceding it was a nice try, pointed out that there had been plenty of better excuses offered in the past as far as failing to chase was concerned and most of them had failed. It could be a long drive back to Koroit from Melbourne, they suggested.”
As far as Daisy Doo was concerned, the intrepid trio, leaving no stone unturned, had previously been to Tara Raceway on a trial morning, the brindle bitch handling a rain-soaked track in a manner that had pleased connections.
A well-supported second favourite in Sunday’s Winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m), she quickly found the front and, at the risk of pre-empting the result, was always going to win – by three lengths over Like A Slug in a quick 23.09 seconds.
Sisco Sizzle, a daughter of Barcia Bale x Sisco Power and a half-sister to Sisco Rage, a winner of 29 races and $257,000 in stakemoney, won four races at Warrnambool from only 20 race starts.
With the intention of eventually breeding, the syndicate, which also includes Keane’s sister-in-law Bev Keane and Graham Dix, purchased Sisco Sizzle for $4,500 at the Ready2Race sale at Bendigo in 2016.
“We did pretty well with the Fernando Bale mating because she had six dogs and six bitches. We kept three and then when she was mated to Thirty Talks, whelping two dogs and four bitches in March this year, we held onto four,” said syndicate manager Brookes.
Meanwhile, time-graded greyhound racing returns to Tara Raceway on Thursday with the Metal Worx Mixed Stake over 600 metres the best race on the 12-event card.
Lewiston trainer Kevin Bewley returns after a treble a fortnight ago and looks to hold a strong hand in the middle-distance event with My Boy Bean and Chaddy Whacker.
Both greyhounds have seen the track, My Boy Bean a winner at Angle Park over both 600 metres and 731 metres while Chaddy Whacker is a last start 643 metre winner at Gawler.
And David Peckham of Allendale East has taken over the training of Dyna Carnie for leading SA owners Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman.
A winner over the middle-distance at Sandown Park and The Meadows, Dyna Carnie is by Kelsos Fusileer out of former champion stayer Xylia Allen, a winner of 40 races and $743,000 in stakemoney.
Monday, November 18, 2019
Killarney greyhound Spring Value was always going to be the one to beat in Sunday’s Newman McDonnell Memorial final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway after a cracking 29.56 seconds heat win a week prior.
But according to Kevin Mugavin, the brindle dog’s breeder-owner-trainer, the wide draw in a final that had brought together a classy line-up of grade five greyhounds could well bring about his undoing.
And a lap out the son of Spring Gun and Magic Matese looked anything but a $1.55 chance after a 4.58 seconds first split saw him at the back end of the field which was headed by Bereluke and Scartnamuck Diva.
Actually, down the back straight, Kongorong trainer John Little was probably daring to dream that perhaps his $34 rank outsider Scartnamuck Diva, a giveaway greyhound after copping a failing to chase ticket at Cranbourne in June, could hold them all out and cause one of the biggest upsets in the long history of the race.
Off the back, though, it was Spring Value who pounced on a rails opening and from then on the McDonnell Memorial was done and dusted, the March 2017 whelping running away to a 3¼ length win in 30.08 seconds over Scartnamuck Diva with a similar distance in third spot to Perseverance who came from a long way back.
Representing the McDonnell family at Sunday’s presentation were Rohan Lawrence and Mary Considine, together with Ellis and Margaret Considine, who said the family looked forward to being at Tara Raceway again next year for the 35th running of the memorial.
Saturday, November 16, 2019
For Koroit trainer Robert Walsh, Belfast Dot’s win in last Thursday’s Greyhound-Data.com Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting was his first at the local track in more than 12 months.
Having only her third start, Belfast Dot took full advantage of box one to quickly find the front and from there on the white and black bitch never looked like losing, eventually running out a five length winner over Burner Black in 23.89 seconds.
Walsh’s last winner at Tara Raceway had been Ima Caravan, a son of Cape Hawke and Jamaican Ruby, while last Thursday’s winner is a half-sister, this litter whelped in February 2018 and by Banjo Boy.
Jamaican Ruby, for much of her career had been trained by Walsh, the black bitch winning five races, including Geelong (596 m), Warrnambool (650 m) and The Meadows (600 m) before whelping two dogs and 10 bitches to Cape Hawke.
And this turned out to be a handy litter, I’m A Princess, in particular, winning more than $32,000 in stakemoney for Walsh after being successful on eight occasions over distances ranging from 485 metres to 660 metres.
Belfast Dot was bred at Ecklin South by Beryl Fulton, Walsh also the owner of litter brother My Mate Didgie, a Warrnambool winner at his first start in September after the training had been entrusted to Fulton’s son Peter.
As it turned out, My Mate Didgie was racing at Warrnambool last Thursday night, the big white and black dog ultimately running third over 450 metres.
But back at Tara Raceway, Walsh’s day wasn’t yet over, Saint Beth gaining a start as a reserve in the Rock’s Retreat Maiden Stake (400 m) and finishing the race off strongly to defeat Black Moscato by 4¼ lengths in 23.70 seconds and give her trainer his first double at the track.
By Worm Burner out of Strongbeth, Saint Beth is raced by Koroit owner Peter Byrne who has enjoyed considerable recent success at Tara Raceway with Saint David over the 600 metre journey.
Saint Beth boasts a fair sort of pedigree with Worm Burner winning 48 races and $380,000 in stakemoney while Strongbeth, herself a winner of eight races, is a litter sister to Zambora Brockie (31 wins for earnings of $541,000).
Walsh, who took over the June 2017 black bitch’s training when she was 16 months old, said her preparation had been hampered by seasonal issues which have seen her race on only 15 occasions.
Another trainer to enjoy a winning day was Tony Hinrichsen of Monarto South – Rusty Fury, Spring Leesa and Filthy Phantom giving him his third treble at Tara Raceway this season. Throw in four winners on March 20 and the Winter Classic with Balboa Fury in August and it’s been a pretty good year for the Murray Bridge Greyhound Racing Club president.
Rusty Fury, a beautifully bred daughter of Barcia Bale and Destini Firebird, hopped straight to the front from box seven in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (512 m) but looked to be in some danger when Nitro Missile loomed large approaching the home turn.
However, the brindle bitch dug deep in the home straight, running a tidy 30.20 seconds when defeating Nitro Missile by 1¼ lengths and relegating him to his fourth successive minor placing.
And they don’t come much more durable than Hinrichsen’s other couple of winners.
Spring Leesa led all the way to defeat the well-backed Lady Pippa by 2¾ lengths in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) and Filthy Phantom worked home too strongly for early leader Blackpool Remi in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m), winning by four lengths in 23.50 seconds.
A rising five-year-old, Spring Leesa has now been around on 176 occasions for 21 wins while the 3½-year-old Filthy Phantom has raced 145 times for 17 wins.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
It was back at the end of March that Killarney greyhound trainer Kevin Mugavin looked well-placed to win the Produce Store Maiden final (512 metres), one of the feature events on Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup final day, with Spring Value.
By Spring Gun out of Magic Matese and tracing back to the Mugavin family’s foundation brood bitch Val Matese, Spring Value fronted for the heats at Tara Raceway with only a couple of runs at Warrnambool to his name.
In fact, so impressive was the brindle dog in his 30.06 seconds heat win that he went into the final as an odds-on favourite but finished second to another emerging talent in Galactic Titan, going down by 1¾ lengths in 30.08 seconds.
Mugavin was back at Tara Raceway last Sunday for heats of the Newman McDonnell Memorial (512 m), a time-honoured series that has been run on an annual basis since 1986.
And once again Spring Value couldn’t have been more impressive. In the second of two heats he quickly found the front from box one before going on to a six length win over Cee Me Ignite – trained at Compton by Tracie Price who later that night scored a big win with Smart Knocka at Murray Bridge.
Spring Value’s winning time of 29.56 seconds was the fastest at the track since early July when Lektra Brandy ran the same time, Mugavin believing the run would have been a good confidence-booster for the six-race winner.
“Look, he’s a city class dog but a run back here behind the finish-on-lure certainly won’t do him any harm from a confidence point of view especially as he’s drawn awkwardly out wide in Sunday’s final.”
But Mugavin has enjoyed his share of feature race success at Tara Raceway – Poetic Magic winning the 2006 Mount Gambier Cup and Rich Shiraz following up again in 2012. Then, in 2015 Cheap Currency won the 600 metre Banjo Boy feature at the cup meeting in the record time of 35.11 seconds.
Also, there were those heady days of the nineties when his superstar Golden Currency dead-heated for first with Worth Backing in the 1993 inaugural running of the Topgun at The Meadows and in the 1998 Topgun when Poetic Reward ran a half-length third behind Rapid Journey and Reggemite.
The first heat of the McDonnell Memorial was a keenly contested affair, Right Above It, trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, staving off strong finishing bursts from Lektra Phyliss and Perseverance to win by a half-length in 30.12 seconds.
Perseverance, an April 2018 whelping by Dyna Double One out of Miss Freelove, will go into the final from box one and as the youngest runner for local owner Michael Robinson whose involvement in greyhound racing goes back to Glenburnie where at one time he was the chief steward.
Robinson purchased Perseverance as a pup from the Price kennels at Compton, Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell having now won three races at Tara Raceway with the black bitch in the space of a couple of months.
She looked to be facing her toughest test in last week’s heat and a lap out the chances of her making her way through to the final appeared remote when she found herself well back in the field.
But once again she finished the race off well, so well in fact that Fennell was even talking up her chances over 600 metres. Also, connections should be able to place her to advantage in Juvenile races which will commence in January – not to mention the Summer Classic in February.
And one can only surmise that Robinson’s naming of Perseverance may well have originated from a time back in 2012 when he was racing a Fennell-trained dog called Bar Talk who during one uneventful period of his career went close to 12 months without winning a race!