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

THURSDAY, JUNE 27 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JUNE 30: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, June 25 with GRSA. THURSDAY, JULY 4 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, July 1 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.


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Three winners for first-time visiting trainer

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Lewiston trainer Scott Feltus, at Mount Gambier’s Tara Raceway for the first time, took the training honours at last Thursday’s time-graded meeting when Twisted Missile, Nut Allergy and Bambalam Brandy were successful.

Twisted Missile is well-known to local followers after having won a heat and the final of the Sims Memorial Maiden (512 metres) in January this year for Portland trainer Nifty Lenehan.

A member of the handy Nitro Burst x Harper Seven litter, Twisted Missile ran right up to her short-priced quote when leading all the way from box five for a six length win over Loroupe in 30.00 seconds in the Stake (512 m).

Scott Feltus and his winning treble at Tara Raceway last Thursday. From left, Twisted Missile, Nut Allergy and Bambalam Brandy.

The diminutive 24½ kilogram black bitch was purchased last month by the Franco Farr Syndicate, managed by Port Augusta identity Kevin Harris, whose association with Feltus goes back to their footballing days.

Twisted Missile’s success brought up a winning hat-trick for her for the month of June after she had previously been successful at Gawler and Port Augusta – Thursday’s win also the first leg of a double for the syndicate.

A couple of races later, in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m), Nut Allergy completed the double for the 10-member syndicate, quickly finding the front from box five before running out a strong 2¾ length winner over My Mandara in a best of day 23.05 seconds.

And the win continued the good run connections have enjoyed with Nut Allergy since taking him over in late February 2018.

“The syndicate purchased him – after he had won four races at Angle Park and Gawler – from Ashley Furner of Elizabeth,” Feltus said. “He’s basically still a city class dog so he was probably well-graded in the race.”

By Lochinvar Marlow out of Ticket To Mars, Nut Allergy has now raced on 109 occasions for 19 wins and 35 minor placings, the black dog completing a good few days at Tara Raceway for the litter after Kentucky Sun had won impressively on the Sunday prior for Mick Bowerman.

Bambalam Brandy showed plenty of early pace from box seven in the final event, the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 m), before handing up the lead down the back to Lucy Jetstream.

But in the home straight Bambalam Brandy, raced by Feltus in partnership with Robbie Brodhurst, found plenty, eventually scoring by three-quarters of a length in 23.76 seconds and completing a big day for her trainer.

By Kinloch Brae x Mighty Lomar, the 33-start 4½-year-old black bitch last won at Port Augusta in November 2017, Feltus saying that she had all but been retired.

“Actually, Bambalam Brandy went into an enclosed run not long after that win due to a series of injuries and six-month seasonal issues. She then spent close to 18 months free galloping before I decided she might be worth one more try because she is a handy bitch.”

While in Mount Gambier last week Feltus, involved in the sport for five years, also took the opportunity of catching up with his father, Ken, who has followed in his son’s footsteps and is now also involved in greyhound racing at Tara Raceway.

Galactic Destiny wins over 512 metres in best of day time at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

A regular at Chinnery Park, a grass track situated in Port Augusta, Feltus jnr. will make the trip one last time this Saturday when the 1978-established Port Augusta Greyhound Racing Club will run its final meeting, the highlight being the Port Augusta Cup.

Meanwhile, Galactic Destiny, who resumed last week with an excellent third behind Ethics after a three-month break due to a shoulder problem, went right on with the job with a stunning win in the Produce Store Stake (512 m).

Fair enough, she looked well-placed in a time-graded event but the time told the story – 29.91 seconds – Robert Chuck and Steve Bartholomew’s 30 kilogram brindle daughter of Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball in front at the first turn before powering away to a 9¾ length win.

Litter sister Galactic Athena and litter brother Galactic Titan, who both last raced at Sandown Park a month ago, will run at Angle Park on Monday night in preparation for the Champion Puppy classic (515 m), heats of which will be run on Thursday, July 11 and the $10,710 final a week later.

However, staying put at Worrolong will be Galactic Destiny, perhaps feeling a little hard done by and wondering what a dog has to do to earn a trip to Adelaide.

Hutch answers the challenge . . . again!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

That enduring greyhound Hutch was back among the winners last Sunday – for a 26th time. And Iron Dog aside, the win was the feel-good story to come out of Tara Raceway.

The win – his 20th at the track – was his first since April 7 when he had defeated Wanchai Express over 512 metres in a best of day 29.85 seconds. A week later he was on the sidelines with an Achilles tendon injury.

Hutch, who was off the scene for six weeks, came into last Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Mixed Stake (512 m) on the back of three runs in May and early June – no wins, but Portland trainer Robert Halliday more than happy just to see the son of Premier Fantasy and Cairnlea Ellie get around unscathed.

At his fourth run back and lining up from box four for start number 40 at the track and distance, Hutch was always on the pace, rounding up early leader Swift Limes down the back before running out a 1½ length winner over Dyna Naitch in 29.81 seconds.

This was yet another winning comeback, Halliday listing off some of the setbacks that the black dog had encountered during a racing career that kicked off on January 6, 2017 when he ran fourth to McIvor Neville in a heat of the Sims Memorial at Tara Raceway.

“For sure, Hutch has been a very challenging greyhound to train and without the help of my wife Shirley it’s probably fair to say that he wouldn’t be racing now or have won anywhere near as many races,” he said.

“But, as far as Hutch is concerned, the time and effort put into him has certainly been worthwhile.”

Hutch will now be back at Tara Raceway on Sunday, jumping from box one in The Border Watch Free For All (512 m), the race being the highlight of the 12-race program.

This is a fair sort of race with Swift Limes, Kolora Posie, Iron Dog winner Cryer’s Plugger, Wanchai Express and Lektra Brandy, a Horsham winner on Tuesday, making up the remainder of the field.

Meanwhile, in the previous race last Sunday – the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m) – another greyhound to successfully return from an Achilles tendon injury was the Nicole Stanley trained Ethics.

Owned in Adelaide by Michael Groves, Ethics hadn’t raced since running second to Cairnlea Jet over 731 metres at Angle Park in March.

Reported to have been trialling well, the daughter of Dyna Double One and Kalden Blanco was always going to be hard to hold out when in a handy position mid-race.

And in the run home the black bitch was simply too strong, defeating the front-running Danyo’s Cally by a neck with Galactic Destiny, also having her first run since March, running a good race to finish third in 30.25 seconds.

Stanley, who has enjoyed plenty of distance success this year with Dyna Quota, is now hopeful of getting Ethics, a 731 metre winner at Angle Park earlier this year, back to the city track for further staying races.

PICTURED: Top – Hutch returns to the winner’s list when defeating Dyna Naitch at Tara Raceway last Sunday. Ethics (No. 7) also made a successful return to racing with a strong-finishing win over Danyo’s Cally.

Local breeder pinning hopes on little-known sire

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Kongorong breeder John Little reports that his seven-race winner Bungaloo Sunset last week whelped a litter of four dogs and five bitches to the little-known sire Pure Titanium.

John Little with Bungaloo Sunset after her final win at Tara Raceway on May 20, 2016.

By Shiraz Point out of Special Times, the black dog raced on only 15 occasions for six wins and seven seconds – wins over 425 metres at Bendigo in 23.65 seconds and over 515 metres at Sandown Park in 29.38 seconds highlighting just how quick he was.

So far Pure Titanium has only one litter racing – out of five-race winner Cool Springs – seven of the litter having won races including Midnight Titan, successful in eight races, including three over 600 metres at The Meadows.

Bungaloo Sunset is by Fear Zafonic out of Sun’s Up – a well-bred daughter of Droopys Marco x Shannah Widd and a litter sister to Shannah’s Star.

The locally-based Shannah’s Star was also mated with Fear Zafonic, producing the Tracie Price-trained pair Fear The Rascal and Shannah’s Might who won 23 races and 19 races respectively.

Bungaloo Sunset won all her races at Tara Raceway, her last win being in May 2016 when she defeated Cryer’s Fred over 512 metres.

Plugger a deserving Iron Dog winner

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The final 512 metre round of the three-distance Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog at Tara Raceway last Sunday was always going to be interest-packed – Black Spring, Cryer’s Plugger and Dyna Quota sharing the lead with 11 points each after previously performing well over 600 metres and 732 metres.

Tom and Margaret Cryer talk Iron Dog tactics in the kennel house at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

But with two heats to be decided, Cryer’s Bob straight away threw a spanner in the works as far as Black Spring was concerned when leading all the way in the first heat to defeat Kolora Posie by 2¼ lengths in a quick 29.74 seconds.

After the first heat, Cryer’s Bob then found himself in front on the leader board with 15 points from Noosa Parade and Black Spring, both on 14 after running third and fourth respectively.

So, in the end it virtually came down to the clash in the second heat of the well-fancied pair, Cryer’s Plugger and Dyna Quota, either greyhound able to clinch the Iron Dog title with a win.

And it was Cryer’s Plugger, tackling the Iron Dog for a third consecutive year, that led all the way over Dyna Quota for a 3¼ length win in the same time as his litter brother in the previous heat.

Cryer’s Plugger clinches the Iron Dog title at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Previously, the three-distance series had been run as two heats with the leading point scorers then contesting a final – Cryer’s Plugger reaching the final on both occasions before finishing unplaced behind back-to-back Iron Dog Paraphernalia.

This year’s Iron Dog worked out well for 86-year-old Apsley trainer Tom Cryer and his wife Margaret, Cryer’s Bob and Cryer’s Plugger both winning heats over 600 metres and 512 metres.

Sunday’s win saw Cryer’s Plugger, a son of Spring Gun, regain the lead in the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, an award that was also won by his dam Cryer’s Midget in 2011 and full brother Cryer’s Fred, arguably her best offspring, in 2015.

Peter Bryce (Winning Post Supplies), and Margaret and Tom Cryer with Cryer’s Plugger.

This year was the first time a 732 metre leg had been included in the Iron Dog. It was also the first time that three rounds – over 600 metres, 732 metres and 512 metres – had been run, the leading point scorer being the winner.

Some favoured the format, others didn’t. But for all that, no one questioned the winner – Cryer’s Plugger an iron dog in the true sense of the word.

Whelped in January 2015, the brindle dog is one of relatively few greyhounds to have won over the four recognised distances at Tara Raceway. He has now raced on 97 occasions for 27 wins, 24 seconds and 14 thirds.

And Cryer’s Plugger, in a career that spans more than 2½ years, has come a fair way since that Friday afternoon in October 2016 when on debut he ran an 11¼ length fifth to Brinza before a couple of months later winning his maiden, over 400 metres, in 23.94 seconds.

The Sun shines for Mick

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

For Mick Bowerman, from the western Victorian town of Raglan, it was a case of third time lucky when he returned to Tara Raceway last Sunday with Kentucky Sun.

Bowerman had twice previously made the trip to Mount Gambier with the black dog but on both occasions had had to be content with second placings.

Mick Bowerman of Raglan trained his first Tara Raceway winner when Kentucky Sun scored an impressive win last Sunday.

Kentucky Sun, a Bendigo 425 metre winner last month in a more than handy 24.10 seconds, looked well placed in the Produce Store Stake (400 m).

But after only a fair start from box four, he found himself in traffic down the back straight as Another Scenario opened up a handy break, Kentucky Sun, however, finding plenty in the home straight when running down Pure Profit and the early leader.

For Bowerman, involved in the sport since 1971 when based in Hobart, Kentucky Sun’s win last Sunday was his first at Tara Raceway and his tenth in a career spanning 65 starts.

By Lochinvar Marlow out of Ticket To Mars, the SA-bred Kentucky Sun was purchased as a four-month-old pup by Bowerman who reared and later broke the dog in prior to him winning at his third start at Ballarat in December 2016.

“I purchased him because I liked the match-up of the Irish and Australian bloodlines. I was hoping the natural chase tendency would come out in him and as he showed today he just keeps coming in his races,” Bowerman said.

“I also reckon he races better on the Victorian tracks after he’s had a run here at Tara Raceway behind the finish-on-lure so we’ll see how that goes when he runs at Ballarat tomorrow night.”

An eye for a winner

Monday, June 17, 2019

With nine winners at Tara Raceway this year, Mumbannar couple Jen and Monty Wilson had done pretty well with their team of giveaway greyhounds.

Their tenth winner came up at last Thursday’s time-graded meeting – knocked around by late scratchings due to transport issues – Cougar Icon at her first start at the track leading all the way from box one to defeat a fast-finishing Akuma Fireball in the Stake (400 metres) in 23.52 seconds.

Jen and Monty Wilson with Cougar Icon.

The only difference with this winner was that Jen Wilson had actually done a bit of homework on the dog and purchased her – something the pair had never done previously – after she had been advertised for sale on Greyhound-Data.

“This one really took my fancy when I saw her advertised,” a beaming Wilson said after the win. “I came across the advertisement on-line one night last month, slept on it, and when I was still keen the next morning decided to contact the seller in Geelong.

“She turned two in January so she was a good age, I liked her sire Kinloch Brae, and I liked the fact that her dam, Luzaka Icon, had won 10 races, many of them over 720 metres at Wentworth Park. Besides, she was within my price range.”

Monty Wilson, who is Cougar Icon’s fourth trainer, said the brindle bitch – a winner at Geelong and Ballarat prior to the sale – was a great kennel dog and a pleasure to have around the place.

As it turned out, it was a good day for the litter, WA-based First Rule some hours later bringing up her fourth win at Mandurah.

Flash Jackie scores an impressive win over 600 metres at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

Meanwhile, back at Tara Raceway, Flash Jackie, outsider of the 600 metre Gordon Refrigeration Stake field, proved much too good for her three rivals with a four length win in 35.65 seconds for Ross Schurgott and the Nineofus Syndicate.

Trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, the 31 kilogram Flash Jackie is a daughter of Dyna Double One and Striking Viking, a maiden winner at Angle Park prior to winning 14 races at Tara Raceway for the same connections.

Thursday’s win was the first middle-distance winner Striking Viking has produced, the well-bred daughter of Superman and Irish Fantasy herself the inaugural 600 metre record holder at Tara Raceway with a run of 35.38 seconds recorded on November 30, 2014.

Shane Flink and trainer Tony Harding with Billy Deeds.

And at Tara Raceway on Sunday, Hamilton trainer Tony Harding received a reception matching that of Cryer’s Plugger’s win later in the day in the Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog when Billy Deeds was successful in the Swallow Drive Meats Mixed Stake (400 m).

Having his first start for Harding, Billy Deeds took over the running off the back from Peek’s Gold before hitting the finish line with 1¾ lengths to spare in 23.31 seconds.

A chance phone call a couple of weeks ago from Koroit trainer Garry Anders – looking to make room for one of his pre-trainers – resulted in Harding taking over as owner-trainer of the son of Oaks Road x Mepunga Lana.

“Garry reckoned I should have a bit of fun with him and it’s certainly started out that way,” a delighted Harding said of his $7.50 winner.

Members vote in favour of kennel house funding

Monday, June 17, 2019

Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. members have voted overwhelming in favour of partial funding for refurbishment of the Tara Raceway kennel house.

This follows a recent Greyhound Racing SA mail out to members proposing “that the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. contribute $75,000 towards the proposed upgrade of the kennel house facilities at Tara Raceway”.

MGGRC president John Woodland said the GRSA proposal had come about as a result of a portion of club land that had been sold some years ago.

“At the time a commitment was made to club members that the committee of the day would consult with them if ever they wished to direct the funds from the sale of the land towards a specific project.”

Following the close of voting last Wednesday, the total number of responses received had been 47 with 42 in favour of the funding support.

GRSA Strategic Projects Manager, Scott Wuchatsch, said the complete kennel house refurbishment, expected to cost more than $250,000, should be completed in August or September this year although this was still subject to GRSA Board approval.

“The project will involve removing the existing concrete/brick kennels as well as adding internal cladding to the entire building and applying an epoxy floor coating,” he said.

“There will also be revised kennel house configuration to incorporate a stewards’ room plus stainless steel kennels and the replacement of some old cooling units.”

Wuchatsch said the refurbishment would bring the kennel house building into line with the existing modern facilities at the Angle Park, Gawler and Murray Bridge tracks.

“We are applying a long term focus to the quality of finishes on the refurbishment. This hopefully will limit future expenditure on the building.

“And hopefully the focus on quality will be apparent to local participants upon completion of the project.”

One of the key elements of the refurbishment will be the requirement to continue to race throughout the period of the works.

“We are confident that the planning for a temporary kennel building will be more than adequate for the six-week construction period,” Wuchatsch said.

Steve Bartholomew (top) with Galactic Destiny and kennel steward John Woodland and David Peckham with Iron Dog contender Kolora Posie pictured yesterday by Bronny Nicholson in the soon to be demolished kennels at Tara Raceway.

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