THURSDAY, AUGUST 6: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, AUGUST 13: Nominations close at 9 a.m. on Monday, August 10 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY TRIAL MORNINGS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512 before 6 p.m. on the day prior. SATISFACTORY TRIALS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512.
OWNERS AND MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC ARE NOW PERMITTED TO ATTEND RACE MEETINGS AT TARA RACEWAY. Catering, bar facilities and TAB now available.
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Jim Collins’s casual perusal of the Tara Raceway noticeboard a couple of years back has ultimately led to the Mount Gambier-based grader driver again becoming involved in greyhound racing after a break of close to 40 years.
“I’d been going to the Sunday afternoon meetings at Tara Raceway on a regular basis for quite a while and it was purely by chance that I happened to see a for sale advertisement for a litter of pups on the noticeboard,” he said.
And there were plenty to pick from, the Jamie Quinlivian bred December 2017 litter by Hostile out of Sweet Savage comprising eight dogs and five bitches.
Hostile, a son of Collision and Restless Style, raced on only 36 occasions for 13 wins and 13 minor placings, accumulating $125,000 in stakemoney before injury ended his racing career.
Sweet Savage (Cape Hawke x Rustic Reeta) won five races over 400 metres at Gawler, including a quick 22.56 seconds win. She’s also from a 100% winning litter that includes Bear’s Gold, Signal Peak, Jacqui Blax and Bessie Belle.
“Jamie was offering a combo deal of a dog and bitch for $2000 and that’s the way I went,” said Collins, first involved in the sport in the mid-1970s through a greyhound called Marungi Flight (Tivoli Chief x Marungi Girl) when based at Chiltern in Victoria.
“Also on the noticeboard was an advertisement for the rearing of pups, posted by Nicole Stanley of Portland. They’ve been there ever since, Nicole’s training partner Nifty Lenehan doing a great job with the pair that now race as Hostile Savage and Hostile Raven.”
Hostile Savage, a 34 kilograms black dog, kicked off his racing career at Tara Raceway late last year when running second to High Fly Dorothy. Since then he was won two races at Warrnambool and two at The Meadows.
Collins enjoyed city success for the first time when Hostile Savage led all the way for a comfortable five lengths 600 metres win at The Meadows on July 15. He then overcame an early check to score impressively over 525 metres at the same track last Wednesday.
Hostile Raven, a 30 kilograms bitch, won a 410 metres maiden at Horsham in June, connections believing she still has plenty of improvement in her.
And on the Monday of last week, litter brother Mr Mufasa, trained at Harkness by Dan Webber, brought up his ninth win when successful at Ballarat.
Collins said negotiations regarding Hostile Savage’s possible temporary transfer to SA in order that he could contest the forthcoming Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup were currently taking place.
“It would be lovely to see him back here at Tara Raceway on a Sunday afternoon running in the cup,” he said. “I have to say, I’ve really missed getting out here for the Sunday meetings. Hopefully it won’t be too long before they return.”
Friday, July 31, 2020
After being hamstrung by SA’s indefinite border closure, Edenhope owner Captain Abbott’s decision to transfer his 2019 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year Black Spring to Tracie Price’s Compton kennels proved to be a winning move.
Back at Tara Raceway for the first time since March 22, Black Spring scored an emphatic win in the JB Irrigation Mixed Stake (512 metres) yesterday after taking the lead down the back straight and then running out a 5½ lengths winner over kennelmate Double Love in 30.02 seconds.
And, according to Price, he was no sooner off the track with the son of Spring Gun x Lektra Scarlett than Abbott had been on the phone, delighted that his dog had been able to win at what was his 100th start.
The win was Black Spring’s first since late April when he was successful at Horsham over 485 metres at odds of $72. All told, he’s now won 20 races (17 at Mount Gambier) and run 35 minor placings.
Abbott is one of a number of Victorian trainers that formerly supported Tara Raceway on a weekly basis. Now, it’s not only their greyhounds that are sadly missed but also the trainers and their supporters who when on track contribute to the wonderful social fabric of Tara Raceway.
Black Spring was the second leg of a treble for Price – Elle Limes kicking off his big day when too strong for Dusseldorp in the Bourne Kennels Stake (400 m) in 23.15 seconds and Tandiki turning in a huge effort to win the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m).
Fantastic Flame looked to have what was a race-winning lead down the back with the long odds-on Tandiki having plenty of work to do. However, she stormed home out wide to grab the leader in the shadows of the post to record a best of day win in 29.83 seconds.
Bred by Price, Tandiki is a daughter of Peter Rocket x Headline and raced by local owners Michael Robinson and Willie Vossen.
And it was a big couple of days for the litter with Lisa Hellmuth’s Burn Time, a 35 kilograms white and black dog, leading all the way to win a Special Event on Wednesday night at Cranbourne over 699 metres by 8½ lengths.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Size-wise, Dyna Virion may well be the biggest ever winner at Tara Raceway.
A winner of four Victorian city races, the brindle dog weighed in at a mammoth 41.9 kilograms when having his first start at the local track last Thursday. He has raced heavier, though, tipping the scales at 43.5 kilograms when racing in Victoria 12 months ago.
While records relating to the size of racing greyhounds are somewhat sketchy, Friend In Me was 44 kilograms when winning at Sale in March last year.
Owned by Tim Aloisi, Damien Bates, Matt Lehman and Mick McSorley, Dyna Virion earlier this month joined the kennels of local trainer David Peckham who said the dog had trialled brilliantly prior to the running of the Produce Store Mixed Stake (512 m).
Later, Peckham was quick to declare Dyna Virion a Mount Gambier Cup contender after he railed through on odds-on favourite Jervois Boy off the back before going on to a 2½ lengths win in a best of day 29.67 seconds.
By KC And All x Darya Bale, Dyna Virion and his litter brother Dyna Smokey (only 37 kilograms!) were purchased by the syndicate in a package deal in April, the pair initially racing without winning in Adelaide.
Subsequently, Dyna Smokey found himself sold to Rockhampton owner-trainer Ken Boody while Dyna Virion was relocated by the syndicate to Allendale East.
And at the other end of the weight scale at last Thursday’s meeting was Shelley Trengove’s brindle bitch Duck Your Head who weighed in at 23.3 kilograms after having previously raced at 22.8 kilograms.
Meanwhile, it was a good few days for Connie’s Entity and Moorak trainer Jason Newman.
Connie’s Entity led all the way in last Thursday’s Winningformula.net.au Stake (512 m), defeating Proud Fernando by 3½ lengths in a personal best time of 29.96 seconds.
Then, on Monday night in a 600 metres mixed stake at Angle Park, the daughter of Token Prince and Marley Girl, after being headed in the home straight, came again to defeat Holy Reign by a head in 35.35 seconds.
It was a case of Newman going out on a winning note, Connie’s Entity now to join Peckham’s kennels.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
While last Thursday’s Eric Lewis Memorial comprised a small field of four, the 732 metres event turned out to be a keenly-contested affair with My Boy Bean and Victa Jess running the quinella for Lewiston trainer Clint Trengove.
My Boy Bean, who went into the race on the back of a dozen 731 metres runs at Angle Park this year, led all the way when defying Victa Jess and Rouse Rocket to run him down.
On the line he had 1½ lengths to spare with a further 1¼ lengths back to the third placegetter in a time of 43.92 seconds, slightly quicker than last year’s winner Candy Chimes who ran 44.15 seconds.
Actually, the time also compared more than favourably to the 43.85 seconds ran by last year’s SA Distance Champion Dyna Quota in the previous 732 metres event conducted at Tara Raceway back in November.
In Trengove’s kennels for most of this year, the four-year-old My Boy Bean is a son of Outa Credit and Big Girl Gerald who won three races over the 600 metres journey at Dapto. Another member of the litter is Waikiki Big Girl, a Tara Raceway winner in January.
A winner of 13 races (including three Angle Park staying races this year) and close to $50,000 in stakemoney, My Boy Bean is back with Trengove after recently spending six weeks with his nephew Jack Trengove in Broken Hill where he ran a couple of seconds over 525 metres.
Involved in greyhound racing for 10 years in Broken Hill, Clint Trengove was president of the Broken Hill Greyhound Racing Club prior to relocating to SA two years ago with his family.
He’s not the first Broken Hill greyhound trainer to find his way to SA. Doug Payne and Des Hockley, both former leading trainers in their home town prior to successfully making the move, are a couple of others to come to mind.
Members of the Lewis family were on-course to acknowledge the seventh running of the Eric Lewis Memorial, son Dale reminiscing with Trengove about the “good old days” when his father’s dog Kori Arc raced in Melbourne and won a stack of staying races at the old Olympic Park track.
And there will be a “re-run” of the memorial at Tara Raceway on Thursday when My Boy Bean, Rouse Rocket, Victa Jess and Close Your Eyes clash again in The Border Watch Mixed Stake.
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Greyhound racing in Mount Gambier returned to some form of normality on Thursday when the Anniversary Cup, John Reid Memorial and Eric Lewis Memorial were conducted at Tara Raceway.
Granted, the meeting still fell well short of some of those Sunday afternoon Anniversary Cup meetings of years gone by. However, at least patrons are now permitted on track and catering was back in the form of a barbecue while canteen renovations continue.
And Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell was finally able to celebrate another winning day with a can from the re-opened bar!
The only thing now missing is the on-course TAB which is likely to be back in operation at Tara Raceway on Thursday, August 6.
And, as Portland trainer Brian Weis rightfully pointed out, the continued absence of Victorian participation.
However, due to the current circumstances, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club couldn’t have hoped for a better Anniversary Cup final, the event first run in 1985 and steeped in a fair amount of tradition.
Compton trainer Tracie Price looked well placed to win his first Anniversary Cup (512 metres). Five finalists, including Nick Papatheodorakis and Ray Prior’s Spring Cuervo sitting up in box one after having recently won a couple of races at the track, strengthening his claim.
This time last year Spring Cuervo had been in Darwin where he won a heat of the Darwin Cup (537 m) before running third in the Group 3 final for then-trainer Troy Murray of Lewiston.
This year’s cup wasn’t run but in different times it’s quite likely Price may have returned to the Northern Territory for another crack with Spring Cuervo, the local trainer reaching the final of the 2017 Darwin Cup with Blazing Moment.
As things turned out, the Anniversary Cup final was a rough-house sort of affair, Spring Cuervo, reserve runner Rough Pearl (who took Rock It Fernando’s place in box three) and Perseverance out in front going around the first turn.
And that was the place to be. Spring Cuervo led all the way to defeat Rough Pearl and Perseverance by three-quarters of a length and a neck respectively in a time of 29.77 seconds, a couple of lengths outside Lektra Brandy’s 29.63 race record of last year.
The lightly-raced February 2018 whelping Rough Pearl finished the race off strongly, lowering his personal best time of 30.59 seconds to 29.82. He shouldn’t be too far away from opening his winning account over 512 metres.
The majority of last Thursday’s finalists are now likely to be set for the Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup (512 m), heats of which will be run at Tara Raceway on Sunday, August 23 with the $14,275 final on Sunday, August 30.
Racing kicked off with the John Reid Memorial Maiden (512 m), Fennell chalking up another win for Koroit owner Peter Byrne, this time with Saint Caitlin, the daughter of Mepunga Blazer x Saint Jane also bred by the owner.
Having only her second start, the black bitch gave tearaway leader Aston Hayato five lengths down the back before finishing powerfully in the home straight to defeat another strong finisher in Dressed Up.
On the line, Saint Caitlin had three-quarters of a length to spare over Dressed Up with first-starter Aston Hayato a further 1¾ lengths back in third spot.
Remarkably, the winning time of 30.22 seconds equalled the race record established by Itza Bee, then trained at Portland by Robert Halliday, when successful in the inaugural Reid Memorial run in 2005.
Itza Bee, a son of Solve The Puzzle x Lilac Time, is still the best dog to have won the memorial after winning 23 races on SA, Victorian and WA tracks for close to $100,000 in stakemoney.
Saint Caitlin’s win on Thursday brought up Fennell’s 24th this year at Tara Raceway and, it’s probably fair to say, one of his most satisfying.
“John (Reid) was a great mate of mine and to win his memorial race was something that I had been chasing for 15 years,” said the laid-back trainer as he lumped a 20 kilogram bag of kibble – donated to the memorial winner by Mount Gambier’s Produce Store – back to the car park.
The Reid family, headed by Cindy, Daryl and Ricky, once again got right behind their father’s memorial race, Daryl promising a bus-load of supporters next year when the Anniversary Cup meeting returned to its traditional Sunday afternoon slot.
The family also donated a presentation rug to the MGGRC for its memorabilia display. Printed on the red rug was “Mt. Gambier Cup Finalist 1984”.
That was the year Count Down won the Mount Gambier Cup out at Glenburnie for John Reid, the family recalling that night the winner shared mum and dad’s bed and joined them in a sip of champagne.
Kevin “KD” Douglas, who handled the presentations on Thursday, also recalled Count Down’s win well. “Yes, I have to say that was a big week.”
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Tandiki, Perseverance and Rocketline all turned in top efforts last week at Tara Raceway to qualify for Thursday’s Anniversary Cup final (512 metres) but according to Mount Gambier greyhound owner Michael Robinson the box draw certainly hasn’t done the trio too many favours.
“The fact that Tandiki, a noted wide runner, has drawn box five is probably going to make it pretty tough for Perseverance and Rocketline who will jump from boxes six and seven respectively,” he said.
“We really needed Tandiki to have drawn on the outside of the other two because she does use plenty of the track. It’s still nice, though, to go into an Anniversary Cup final with three runners.”
Tandiki and Rocketline are raced by him in partnership with fellow local owner Willie Vossen and trained at Compton by Tracie Price while Perseverance is raced outright by Robinson and trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell.
With five finalists, Price does look to hold a strong hand with perhaps Spring Cuervo and Charming Charlie his best chances in what will be the 36th running of the event – first conducted in 1985 when won by the Hazel Lane trained Kenzel Lad.
Price ran a close second with Who’s Doing What to Amadeus Strikes in the 2014 Anniversary Cup, the blue bitch at the end of the year then defeating Bourne Again in the Christmas Cup (512 m).
And it’s now history how, three months later, Who’s Doing What won a heat of the Mount Gambier Cup in sizzling time, drew box one in the final but was then scratched after coming in season.
It’s also now history how Ben Boers’ reserve Lots Of Yap gained a start and won the 2015 Mount Gambier Cup with Bourne Again once again running second.
Thursday’s opening event, the John Reid Memorial Maiden (512 m), was first run in 2005 when won by Robert Halliday’s Itza Bee and continues to be supported by members of the Reid family.
John Reid, who died in 2004, was a greyhound trainer and a dedicated club man. In 2001 he had been awarded life membership of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.
Chasing their second Reid Memorial win will be David Peckham (Dressed Up, Aston Hayato), who was successful in 2006 with Bourne Destiny, and Price (Compton Suzy) in 2015 with My Pal Houston.
Saint Caitlin, recently transferred by Koroit owner-trainer Peter Byrne to Fennell’s kennels, looks one of the hardest to beat in today’s memorial after a first-up second over 512 metres at Tara Raceway last week.
By Mepunga Blaze out of Saint Jane – a 2015 Newman McDonnell Memorial heat winner at Tara Raceway – Saint Caitlin was having her first race start last week and finished the race off well when running second.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, who last year ran the trifecta in the Eric Lewis Memorial (732 m) with Candy Chimes, Ethics and Night Owl, has transferred Close Your Eyes into Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield’s kennels for today’s distance memorial.
The blue bitch looks like being hard to hold out after a 600 metres win at The Meadows last week and prior to that having run third over 725 metres at the same track.
Lewis was elected to the inaugural committee of the South East Greyhound Racing Club at a public meeting in the Mount Gambier City Hall on September 14, 1972. Between 1973 and 1975 he served as president of the club.
A devotee of distance racing, one of his best greyhounds was Kori Arc (Venetian Court x Baratina), a winner of 12 races, nine of those in Melbourne, including a brilliant 43.89 seconds at Olympic Park. Kori Arc later stood at stud in Mount Gambier at a fee of $100.
The inaugural Eric Lewis Memorial was run over 600 metres in 2014 when the Robert Britton trained Zipping Basil was successful. Subsequent winners have been Harry Aztec, Supreme Deal, Two Jobs, Aeroplane Mo and Candy Chimes.
Saturday, July 18, 2020
“I should have had him in a heat of the Anniversary Cup,” lamented Meningie trainer Tim Richards after Jervois Boy led all the way in the Metal Worx Stake (512 metres) on Thursday at Tara Raceway, defeating Rooster by three lengths in a best of day time of 29.82 seconds.
And after the two Anniversary Cup heats (512 m), which included the best greyhounds currently racing at Tara Raceway, were won later in the day in times of 30.28 seconds and 30.25 seconds it was a case of Richards setting his sights even higher.
“Jervois Boy is really motoring at the moment, having won three races on the trot at Gawler and Angle Park last month. As he showed today, he handles Tara Raceway pretty well so I reckon next month’s Mount Gambier Cup could be a good fit for him,” Richards said.
Heats of the Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) will be run on Sunday, August 23 with the $14,275 final and supporting events conducted the following Sunday at Tara Raceway.
The win was the second leg of a running double for Richards, Jervois Boy’s litter brother Jervois Bruit leading all the way in the Progreyhoundtips.com Stake (400 m) to defeat litter sister and kennelmate Contrail by 4½ lengths in 23.07 seconds.
Bred by their trainer, the trio is by Fabregas out of the beautifully bred Spicy Peppa (Cosmic Rumble x Little Looper), a winner of 25 races and $35,000 in stakemoney.
“I picked up Spicy Peppa from Cameron (Butcher), who is also based at Meningie, and bred the litter on a pup deal. We both ended up with four pups which seemed to work out well for both of us considering she is a half-sister to Cameron’s former champion Worm Burner,” Richards said.
All told, the August 2017 litter has now won more than 50 races and also includes multiple winners Corbett, Eye Catcher, Almighty Stripe and Meek And Mild.
Another visiting trainer was Clint Trengove, making the long trip down from Lewiston and also rewarded with a long-price double after Stitch ‘Em Doc and Victa Jess were successful.
Stitch ‘Em Doc, a $13 chance in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Maiden Stake (512 m), opened his winning account at start number three after quickly finding the front from box eight and then holding on to defeat Saint Caitlin by less than a length in 30.60 seconds.
The winner is one of three members of the Moreira x Venetian Mask litter purchased as pups by Trengove from Reynella breeder Wally Harkins, who in recent times has enjoyed tremendous success at Angle Park with Sir Truculent over the staying journey.
Victa Jess, a maiden 400 metres winner at Tara Raceway early in the month, was paying $51 for the win and $14 a place on fixed odds when stepping up to 600 metres in the Bartholomew Pick 6 Mixed Stake.
And in what turned out to be a messy sort of affair, only a nose and a neck separated Victa Jess, Errington and Stitch ‘Em Cilla on the line, the winning time of 36.37 seconds telling the story.