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

SUNDAY, MARCH 31: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, March 26 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Friday, March 29 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.


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Hammer slingshots to cup favouritism

Monday, March 25, 2019

Lara greyhound Slingshot Hammer took time honours for owner Deborah Coleman and trainer Rob Camilleri when leading all the way from box one in the fourth heat of the Group Listed Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

Having his first look at the track, the son of Fernando Bale x Little Hammer clocked 29.45 seconds, the fastest run at the track this year, when defeating Cap Abbott’s Big Casey by 4½ lengths.

Owner Deborah Coleman gives Slingshot Hammer a well-deserved drink after his 29.45 seconds Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup heat win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Later, the widely-travelled Slingshot Hammer, who last raced 10 days ago at Maitland in NSW, rocketed to favouritism for Sunday’s Group Listed $15,000-to-the-winner final after once again drawing box one.

The cup heats kicked off in sensational fashion when boom local youngster Galactic Athena, at only her fifth race start, set herself a task early when only fairly away from box six before ranging up three wide on the first turn.

The Robert Chuck owned, Steve Bartholomew trained brindle daughter of Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball, who turned 19 months on Sunday, took over the running going into the back straight before finishing powerfully for a 5½ length win over Nirimba Pirate in a personal best time of 29.58 seconds.

Portland trainer Nicole Stanley’s Wanchai Express, until Sunday the fastest dog to go around Tara Raceway this year in a time of 29.46 seconds, was always going to be hard to beat in heat two of the cup when settling in second spot behind the speedy Dimora Flash.

The sizeable 36 kilogram son of Bit Chili and Aunty Chopper then had no trouble barging his way through on the rails off the back, running away to a 1¾ length win over a fast-finishing Waterloo Monelli, trained by Tony Rasmussen of Gifford Hill.

Cranbourne South trainer Andrew Paraskevas remains in line for a $5000 Greyhound Racing SA bonus after Pure White Evil won his way through to the final with an emphatic six length win in heat three over Azumi Ryder in 29.66 seconds.

From a tremendous litter by Barcia Bale x Father Of Mine, Pure White Evil, back at Tara Raceway after an impressive 29.65 seconds win a month ago, took the lead going into the back straight,  Paraskevas now looking to also land the Mount Gambier Cup after litter brother Eye Got It was successful in the recent Murray Bridge Cup. A win by Pure White Evil in Sunday’s final would see his trainer collect the bonus for winning both cups.

Parwan trainer Paul Abela will have two runners in the final after Cavatron and Aston It Is were successful in the final two heats – the former midfield early before railing through off the back to take the lead from Matriculate and then holding off a fast finishing Shima Mart.

Recent Horsham Cup finalist Aston It Is, who was sold for a record $920 at Saturday night’s Cup Calcutta, chased Wilbur Deeds into the home straight before finishing the stronger to win by 1¾ lengths in 29.78 seconds over the early leader and Hutch who ran a terrific race to clock the same time as Wilbur Deeds.

Greyhound Racing SA Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson pencils Slingshot Hammer into box one for Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup final. Also pictured are GRSA stewards Lindy Thomson and Barry Shepheard.

Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup draw – 1 Slingshot Hammer, 2 Galactic Athena, 3 Pure White Evil, 4 Cavatron, 5 Waterloo Monelli, 6 Big Casey, 7 Wanchai Express, 8 Aston It Is. Res. Wilbur Deeds, Nirimba Pirate.

Meanwhile, the two heats of Sunday’s Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m) look to have unearthed a couple of handy types in the form of Galactic Titan and Spring Value.

In the first heat, Galactic Titan, a litter brother to Galactic Athena and owned and trained by Robert Chuck of Moorak, looked lost at his first race start on the back of some quick trials but in the end was good enough to hold out Nifty Lenehan’s Nitro Missile by 1¾ lengths in 30.42 seconds.

Killarney trainer Kevin Mugavin’s Spring Value, at only his third start, led all the way from box six in a four-dog field, eventually winning by six lengths in 30.06 seconds.

And in the first heat of the Formula 400 Open  (400 m), Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell’s short-course specialist Ramfied brought up his 16th win when leading all the way to defeat Diesel’s A Rebel by a half head in 23.16 seconds.

Having his first run at Tara Raceway, Diesel’s A Rebel, trained at Melton by Simon Payne, despite using plenty of the track finished powerfully and should be better for the run this Sunday.

Payne went one better in the second heat, though, litter brother Schultz’s A Rebel, a $23 outsider, running down Maunganui Magic and Swift Limes to win by three-quarters of a length in 23.53 seconds.

Aston It Is attracts record bid at Calcutta

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A section of the large crowd at last night’s Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta at Tara Raceway.

Victorian chaser Aston It Is attracted the most interest at last night’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta which was attended by a large crowd at Tara Raceway.

Trained at Parwan by Paul Abela, Aston It Is, a $2 chance from box one to win today’s final cup heat, was sold for a record-breaking $920.

Owned by Ray Borda, the son of Turanza Bale and Sweet It Is, a winner of 23 races and close to $1m in stakemoney, is a recent Horsham Cup finalist.

Other greyhounds to attract plenty of interest last night included Slingshot Hammer ($780), Pure White Evil ($710) and Waterloo Monelli and Shima Mart (both $610).

All told, the prize pool will result in payouts of $3416, $1366 and $683 to the purchasers of next Sunday’s Mount Gambier Cup placegetters.

Order of auction for Calcutta

Friday, March 22, 2019

The following is the order of auction at tomorrow night’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta:

Group 1: Twisted Missile (Nifty Lenehan), Cilla Brown (David Williams), Dimora Flash (Dean Fennell), Banjo Bad Boy (Dean Fennell), Verev (Nicole Stanley), Mr Uggboot (Ivan Chircop), Lektra Brandy (Nifty Lenehan), Pirate’s Curse (David Peckham), Same Scenario (Dean Fennell), Pool Hall (Captain Abbott), Nix Jakit (Captain Abbott), Lektra Viki (Nifty Lenehan), Blazing Moment (Dean Fennell). Reserves: Unique Quality (Heath McAdam), Yappy Allen (John Little), Dusty Pearl (Steve Bartholomew).

Group 2: Pure Profit (Captain Abbott), Xtreme Purpose (Robert Duncan), Usain Insane (David Peckham), Black Spring (Captain Abbott), Kolora Posie (David Peckham), Azumi Ryder (Steve Bartholomew), Jacobite Joseph (Paul Hammerstein), Big Casey (Captain Abbott), Billy Moran (Doug Hammerstein), Matriculate (Kevin Murnane), Molly’s Wally (Robert Halliday), Counting Pennies (Heath McAdam).

Group 3: South Of Eden (Dylan Bate), Print The Money (David Williams), Wanchai Express (Nicole Stanley), Bomber Creek (Peter Crawley), Cryer’s Plugger (Tom Cryer), Saint David (Peter Byrne), Westside Nippa (Kevin Murnane), Nitro Value (Kevin Mugavin), Wilbur Deeds (Garry Anders), Galactic Mojo (Robert Chuck).

Group 4: Nirimba Pirate (Liasa Rasmussen), No Excuse (Heath McAdam), Quara’s Flick (Deborah Coleman), Molly Coaster (Simon Payne), Springvale Alysa (John Little), Cavatron (Paul Abela), Hutch (Robert Halliday).

Group 5: Galactic Athena (Steve Bartholomew), Waterloo Monelli (Tony Rasmussen), Pure White Evil (Andrew Paraskevas), Slingshot Hammer (Robert Camilleri), Shima Mart (Tony Rasmussen), Aston It Is (Paul Abela).

Mount Gambier Cup ‘one of the best ever’

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club would be delighted with the support it has received for its Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup heats (512 metres) that will be run at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

With connections from far and wide getting right behind the Group Listed series, six heats of eight greyhounds each will be run, meaning the two fastest second placegetters will make up the final field for Sunday week (March 31).

Arguably, this would be the best line-up ever for a Mount Gambier Cup, first run in 1981 at Glenburnie when won by Tara Topar, his winning prizemoney a far cry from this year’s first prize of $15,000.

Slingshot Hammer . . . one of the top chances in this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup.

The cup heats will kick off in race six with local youngster Galactic Athena – only 19 months old and giving away plenty in race experience with only four starts to her name – attracting plenty of attention after a Summer Classic heat win in 29.61 seconds and reports of some recent quick trials at Tara Raceway.

The brindle bitch, which has drawn box six, is by Paddy Whacker out of Galactic Rumball and is owned by Robert Chuck and trained by Steve Bartholomew, the long-time associates combining last year to run third behind Xtreme Caution in the Mount Gambier Cup with Galactic Athena’s half-brother Galactic Panther.

Jumping from box seven is Print The Money, back for a second crack at the cup for local syndicate the Southern Bar Boys after finishing unplaced in last year’s final as a $2.60 favourite. The black dog has been in the Mount Gambier kennels of David Williams since early January.

Leading Adelaide trainer Tony Rasmussen, who is based at Gifford Hill, is yet to win a Mount Gambier Cup but looks to hold a strong hand with Waterloo Monelli who has drawn box two in the second heat.

A winner of $77,000 in stakemoney, the son of boom sire Fernando Bale looks to be in top form judging by his 29.64 seconds win over 515 metres at Angle Park on Monday night.

Victorian trainer Heath McAdam is back with No Excuse (box three) who impressed at Tara Raceway earlier this month when defeating Lone Star by 7 ¾ lengths in a best of day 30.17 seconds on a track that didn’t appear conducive to quick times.

And the Nicole Stanley trained Wanchai Express, the fastest greyhound to go around Tara Raceway this year with a gallop of 29.46 seconds, will jump from box six.

The third heat should be a cracker with Koroit trainer Peter Byrne back again, this time with Saint David, a 29.30 seconds winner over 515 metres at Sandown Park and a last start second at that track over 595 metres.

Byrne, who ran second in the 2017 Mount Gambier Cup with Arabella Figg behind Fabregal in race record time, has had his share of injury problems with Saint David, who has drawn box three, but the lightly-raced son of Cosmic Rumble x Mepunga Kirsty is a very quick greyhound.

Andrew Paraskevas will be in line for a $5000 bonus if Pure White Evil can win the Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup.

The Deborah Coleman trained Quara’s Flick (box five) is a recent winner at The Meadows and Bendigo, Simon Payne’s Molly Coaster (box six) impressed when winning in 29.70 seconds at Tara Raceway last Sunday as did Pure White Evil who clocked 29.65 seconds on February 24.

Pure White Evil (box seven) is a litter brother to Eye Got It, winner of last Sunday night’s Murray Bridge Cup with Cranbourne South trainer Andrew Paraskevas now chasing the Greyhound Racing SA March Cup bonus – $5000 if the same trainer can win both cups with either the same or different dogs.

The Robert Camilleri trained Slingshot Hammer looks the one to beat from box one in the fourth heat. A winner of 16 races and $103,000 in stakemoney, the white and blue dog ran third in a heat of the Maitland Gold Cup at his last start.

Rasmussen also looks to hold a strong hand in heat five of the cup with box seven runner Shima Mart, a recent winner at The Meadows over 525 metres in a quick 29.99 seconds while the Paul Abela trained Cavatron (box three) boasts a recent 29.66 seconds win at Sandown Park (515 m).

And Abela looks well placed to wrap up the cup heats with a win with Aston It Is who has drawn box one and comes into the race on the back of a recent Horsham Cup heat win (485 m).

Back among the winners

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Retired dairy farmer Gerald McKenna opened his winning account for this year when Zipping Melody scored a hard-fought win in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Away only fairly from box five, she found the front down the back, eventually running out a head winner over Covfefe in 23.84 seconds.

Gerald McKenna pictured at Tara Raceway on Wednesday with Zipping Melody.

For McKenna, whose last winner had been in early December with Mongolian Bay, the win came at Zipping Melody’s third start for him after the white and fawn bitch had previously raced in NSW where she had won a maiden at Nowra.

She’s now been with McKenna for about a month, finding her way to Koroit after having been with Ambarvale couple Garry and Janel Erwin who have trained greyhounds for McKenna for a number of years.

“Garry and Janel live in some pretty hilly country so his greyhounds are trained on walking machines,” McKenna said. “However, after about three months with Zipping Melody he was unable to get her to adapt to the walking machine so he asked me if I wanted to have a go with her.

“As it turned out, I have been able to get her going on my walking machine but really the main reason for her coming down here was as a brood bitch, my wife Carolyn and I now looking to breed a litter with her.”

Zipping Melody is by Fernando Bale out of Cho Chang, a winner of 11 races and $25,000 in stakemoney.

Meanwhile, Monarto South trainer Tony Hinrichsen, following three winners on March 6, wrapped up a big time-graded month at Tara Raceway when Giveaway Fury, Free Fury, Stiff Upper Lip and Spring Leesa were successful on Wednesday.

Maiden greyhounds have plenty to live up to

Thursday, March 21, 2019

If any credence can be given to recent trial morning reports then Galactic Titan and Spring Value should be the ones to beat in the heats of Sunday’s Produce Store Feature Maiden heats (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.

By Paddy Whacker out of Galactic Rumball, Galactic Titan is from a litter that keeps on coming up with winners, litter sisters Galactic Athena and Galactic Mojo set to contest Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup heats later on Sunday.

Owned and trained at Moorak by Robert Chuck, Galactic Titan, a 19-month-old first-starter, will probably face most opposition from the seasoned maiden performer Tee Tee.

A litter sister to the Go Commando, winner of last October’s Group 2 $47,000-to-the-winner TAB Great Chase final (525 m) at The Meadows, Tee Tee is trained at Landsborough by Nathan Jenner.

Tee Tee, a daughter of Bombastic Shiraz x Especially, is still trying to win a race after 27 starts that have resulted in seven minor placings but does finish off her races strongly.

Spring Value, owned and trained at Killarney by Kevin Mugavin, looks well placed in the second heat after running third over 390 metres at Warrambool earlier this month.

Whelped in March 2017, the brindle dog is by Spring Gun out of Magic Matese and traces back, as in fact does Galactic Titan, to the September 1977 Temlee x Dark Debutante litter that included the Mugavin-owned Val Matese.

Mugavin has enjoyed previous success at Mount Gambier Cup carnivals, Poetic Magic winning the 2006 cup while Rich Shiraz was successful in 2012 in race record time of 29.81 seconds – both greyhounds also going back to Val Matese.

And in 2015 Cheap Currency, a son of Poetic Magic, won the Banjo Boy Feature 600 metre final in track record time of 35.11 seconds.

It’s now going to be interesting to see whether this year’s Produce Store Feature Maiden series can go close to matching that of 2018 when the Greg Board trained Spring Bridge scored an amazing 16 length win in the final in 29.63 seconds.

Long-time tradition to continue on Saturday night

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Worrolong greyhound trainer Steve Bartholomew still remembers the first Mount Gambier Cup run – back in 1981 at Glenburnie when he handled the winner, Tara Topar, trained by his mother-in-law Joan Cruise.

And he still remembers the first Calcutta that was conducted as a lead-in to the inaugural cup that was run over 479 metres.

“Yes, I still recall that first Calcutta. It was held in a farmer’s woolshed on Jubilee Highway and I reckon one of the bookmakers purchased Tara Topar at the auction for something like $100 which would have been a handy sum back then.”

The year was 2016 and Michael Robinson (left) and Willie Vossen are pictured at Tara Raceway reflecting on their Calcutta success after Mojito Mayhem had won the Mount Gambier Cup.

Since then, 37 Mount Gambier Cups have been run, all preceded by a Calcutta conducted at a variety of venues over the years, these days at the Tara Raceway track on Lake Terrace East where the $15,000-to-the-winner Group Listed final over 512 metres will be decided on Sunday, March 31.

Tim Holmes and Amy Widdicombe, who took the Calcutta into the computer age last year, promise an even bigger and better production on Saturday night.

“Chris (Klaassens) has come up with an excellent buffet style menu with meals being available between 6 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. prior to the Calcutta draw,” said Holmes.

“Following the draw, Chris Manser, of Green Triangle Real Estate, will auction Sunday’s cup heat runners in his own inimitable style, ably assisted by well-known local identity Kevin “KD” Douglas whose presentation work for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is outstanding.”

Also in attendance to further add to the Calcutta presentation on the night will be well-known Adelaide media identity Ray Fewings, also a successful greyhound trainer in his own right.

And complementing all this will be live music in between the settling of the auction purchases which will probably run into four groups, those greyhounds assessed as the best chances to win the cup auctioned last.

Holmes said there would also be a general raffle conducted on the night with plenty of prizes including two framed watercolour originals donated by Macca’s Mum – Macca being owner-trainer Adam Mackareth and his Mum, local watercolour and acrylic artist Jo.

Pre-paid tickets for Saturday night’s Calcutta can be purchased at tomorrow’s Tara Raceway meeting for $25 (adults) and $10 for children 12 and under or by phoning Holmes on 0400 060 435.

Last year, 40 cup heat runners were auctioned with the three greyhounds attracting the most interest being Henry $425, Print The Money $420 and Lektra Stomp $400, the final payouts being $4180, $1194 and $597 after Xtreme Caution, Lektra Stomp and Galactic Panther eventually filled the final placings.

Meanwhile, Cryer’s Plugger brought up his tenth 600 metre win at Tara Raceway when leading all the way in Sunday’s Trackside Meats Stake, the son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget defeating his litter brother Cryer’s Bob by 3¾ lengths in 35.33 seconds.

Cryer’s Plugger pictured defeating litter brother Cryer’s Bob and Pirate’s Curse over 600 metres at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Cryer’s Plugger will now line up in a heat of Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup (512 m), Apsley trainer Tom Cryer hoping the brindle dog can improve on his effort of last year when he failed to qualify for the final after running unplaced in a heat behind Megellas Fairy.

“Hopefully he will go better this year but I do have the Tankman 600 to fall back on if he fails to get through on Sunday,” he said.

The Tankman 600 is a $2500 one-off middle-distance feature for the best eight greyhounds and will be run on cup final day (March 31).

Cryer has also nominated Cryer’s Harper for Sunday’s Formula 400 Open heats, the $2500 final also to be run on cup final day.

Last year’s Tankman 600, run as a grade five feature, was won by Connie Miller’s Chilly Kiss and the Formula 400 by the Tracie Price trained Baz’s Moment.

Molly coasts to easy win at first Tara Raceway run

Monday, March 18, 2019

As far as this week’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier heats are concerned, Melton-based greyhound trainer Simon Payne couldn’t have hoped for a better trial for Molly Coaster at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

This was long-time participant Payne’s first trip to the Mount Gambier track and he liked what he saw – even more so after the running of the Produce Store Stake (512 metres).

Molly Coaster turned in a nice Mount Gambier Cup trial for Simon Payne at Tara Raceway on Sunday when winning in 29.70 seconds.

Lining up from box four on the back of a handy effort at The Meadows on March 8 when running fourth behind Fabwik in a grade five final (525 m) in a personal time of 30.12 seconds, the only query regarding Molly Coaster was probably her lack of early pace.

But for a greyhound that has raced on Victorian city tracks in all but one of her 29 starts, Sunday’s five-dog field was a decided drop in class, so much so that the black bitch was in front at the first turn.

And despite running wide rounding the first bend she soon found her bearings, eventually running away to an 8¾ length win over Pool Hall in a best of day 29.70 seconds, Payne confirming soon after that Molly Coaster would be back for Sunday’s cup heats and he for the Saturday night Calcutta at the Tara Raceway clubrooms.

Later, when her trainer brought her out from the kennel house for a swab, Molly Coaster looked a “million dollars”, on her toes and giving steward Stan Bright the real run around as he sought, ladle in hand,  to secure a urine sample.

There’s been a buzz around the track in recent weeks surrounding the “Galactic” youngsters, all members of the Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball litter and raced locally by Robert Chuck and Steve Bartholomew.

August 2017 whelping Galactic Mojo, having only her fifth race start in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m), after a maiden win last week made the step up to grade six class – something not a lot of greyhounds are able to do – when leading all the way to defeat a gallant Candy Chimes by 4¼ lengths in 29.92 seconds.

The brindle bitch is owned and trained at Moorak by Chuck who said Galactic Mojo, after her sub-30 second win, would now be nominated for Sunday’s cup heats as would Galactic Athena, trained for him at Worrolong by Bartholomew.

Galactic Athena, who has raced on only four occasions, won a heat of last month’s Summer Classic (512 m) in a brilliant 29.61 seconds before running third in the final behind Banjo Bad Boy and Rose Ali. She is reported to be trialling well.

Usain Insane, unplaced in a heat of last year’s Mount Gambier Cup behind Print The Money in 29.68 seconds, will be back on Sunday for another crack for Allendale East trainer David Peckham after a solid win in the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (512 m).

Chasing his first win this year, the son of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze barged his way to the front going out of the first turn, eventually running out a two length winner over another cup contender in Big Casey in a time of 30.03 seconds.

Robert Chuck with his promising youngster Galactic Mojo who will tackle a heat of the Mount Gambier Cup on Sunday.

Big Casey, trained at Edenhope by Cap Abbott, was having his first run at Tara Raceway since December 21 when he defeated Azumi Striker in a quick 29.84 seconds. His last win was in early January over 515 metres at Angle Park.

Hutch, trained at Portland by Robert Halliday, looks likely to be back for his third Mount Gambier Cup after an impressive official trial at Tara Raceway prior to last Sunday’s race meeting.

Returning after a two-month injury break, the four-year-old son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie solo trialled over 512 metres, looking good when stopping the clock at 29.91 seconds and pleasing Halliday who declared Hutch a cup starter provided all goes well this week.

Hutch first contested the cup in 2017 on the back of winning the Summer Classic, defeating Paraphernalia in a cup heat before finishing unplaced in the final behind Fabregal in race record time.

And last year, the black dog was unplaced in Print The Money’s heat before defeating Henry in the Mount Gambier Cup Consolation in a best of day 29.56 seconds.

Last Sunday didn’t turn out to be a bad day for Halliday, Molly’s Wally appreciating box one in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) when leading all the way to defeat a fast-finishing Dusty Pearl by 2½ lengths in 30.15 seconds.

Then, in the following race, the Swallow Drive Meats Open Stake (400 m), Spirited Bingle, back after a two-month break, led all the way to defeat Speedy Scar by 6 ¾ lengths in a best of day 23.13 seconds.

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