SUNDAY, AUGUST 25: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, August 26 with GRSA. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, August 27 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. PATHWAY RACING: All eligible greyhounds will be considered for some Pathway races at Sunday meetings. Trainers must advise NO PATHWAY if they do not wish to be considered. See GRSA website for Pathway conditions. WORK COMMENCES ON KENNELHOUSE UPGRADE: See “Gallery”.
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Monarto South greyhound Balboa Fury wrapped up his preparation for this Sunday’s Winter Classic final (512 m) at Tara Raceway with a big effort up the straight at Murray Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.
Owned and trained by his breeder, Tony Hinrichsen, the November 2017 son of My Bro Fabio and Lethal Fury brought up his first straight track win when finishing strongly over the 350 metre journey.
The win came on the back of an outstanding Winter Classic heat win last Sunday when he overcame a slow start from box seven before running out a 3¼ length winner over Close Your Eyes in 29.83 seconds.
It was also a case of Hinrichsen’s winning run continuing, the Murray Bridge Greyhound Racing Club president having led in a treble with Degas, Stiff Upper Lip and Breemelia Swift at last week’s Tara Raceway time-graded meeting.
As far as this year’s Winter Classic is concerned, Balboa Fury looks to have a bit on his rivals in terms of experience and ability, Hinrichsen saying after last week’s best-of-day win that he was hopeful the black dog would later develop into a top stayer.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley – second in the 2016 Winter Classic with Hay Miss – was more than satisfied with the run of her maiden greyhound Close Your Eyes and also well pleased after drawing box two in Sunday’s $2220-to-the-winner final.
“I believe she’s some chance of leading from the two and then hopefully give them something to catch,” Stanley said. “She’s raced on only two occasions with her appearing to be very nervous when at the race track for the first time the previous week but a lot better last Sunday.”
Whelped in July 2017, Close Your Eyes is by Taylors Sky out of Lady Jasmin and raced by long-time Adelaide owner Barry Stewart who, Stanley said, had been very happy with the blue bitch’s run.
The second of the classic heats was a messy sort of affair as suggested by the race time – 30.90 seconds and something like 16 lengths slower than Balboa Fury’s heat.
Coming out on top was Cruising By, trained at Allendale East by David Peckham. Having her fourth race start, the August 2017 daughter of Kinloch Brae and Midnight News broke through for her first win after three minor placings.
Second-placed Little Queeny, after making a real mess of the start from box six, pleased her Penshurst owner-trainer John Cameron when going down by only a neck at what was her third race start, the September 2017 daughter of KC And All and Lektra Kelly sure to be improved by the run.
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Prizemoney for Mount Gambier’s SA Country Cup heats, to be run over 512 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday, September 22, has been significantly boosted.
This follows an announcement this week from Greyhound Racing SA Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson who said the increase had been made to align Mount Gambier’s heat prizemoney with Gawler and Murray Bridge, the two other clubs involved in this year’s series.
“There will be a maximum of two heats run by each club with the winners qualifying for the 515 metre final on Adelaide Cup night. If there is only one heat run then the first two placegetters will qualify,” he said.
Mathieson said that while the club heats could be run with eight greyhounds the final at Angle Park on Friday, October 11 would be staged as a six-dog race.
“The heats at Mount Gambier, Gawler and Murray Bridge will total $2290 each with a prizemoney breakdown of $1495, $430, $215, unplaced $50 while prizemoney for the Angle Park final is $5000, $1250, $650, unplaced $200.”
While the SA Country Cup is open to all SA greyhounds that are not above grade five at Angle Park (APK City A and APM City B meetings), the Mount Gambier Club is allowed to include non-SA trainers under certain conditions.
The conditions include that the trainer has had starters at Tara Raceway on at least 15 occasions over the past 12 months and he or she must have trained the greyhound nominated for the previous three months.
All greyhounds must have started at least twice in the past 12 months at the track they are attempting to represent.
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
As things turned out, it was Kyneton owner-trainer Adam Wilcock’s biggest day at a greyhound track when he brought over a team of four to race at last Sunday’s meeting at Tara Raceway.
This was his first time at the Mount Gambier track, the end result being a winner with his first runner, a quinella a couple of races later – his first double and first quinella in only 18 months of training – and a second placing in the last race.
It was back in February 2018 that Wilcock took over the training of his first greyhound, Chatterbox Laura, who had previously been trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley.
And while Chatterbox Laura won only the one race at Shepparton a couple of months later, it was enough to convince Wilcock – who says he has no regrets over a “misspent youth” when living in England and taking in plenty of greyhound meetings with his father – that he wanted to become further involved in the sport.
Twelve months ago, the 43-year-old Wilcock, also a manager of professional boxers and a fight promoter, moved to a 12-acre property in Kyneton where he currently has nine greyhounds in work and is rearing four pups.
“Look, it’s still a work in progress but with the help of my children, Eli and Skye, things are starting to come together and we’re all really enjoying the lifestyle,” he said.
Wilcock, who made the 4½-hour journey from Kyneton to Mount Gambier claiming to not really know where he was going but enjoying the scenic drive anyway, said the main purpose of the trip had been to try and get an injury-plagued Zipping Clare into a six-dog race with slightly less pressure.
But earlier in the day it was Zipping Ester who kicked off her trainer’s big day, the brindle bitch finishing strongly in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 metres) to defeat Miss Adelaide by 2½ lengths in 23.80 seconds on a rain-affected track.
Wilcock picked up Zipping Ester – a granddaughter of Al Fresco (also the dam of former Tara Raceway record holder Mantra Miss) – in late December last year after she had run a performance trial at Bathurst, the daughter of Don’t Knocka Him and 14-race winner Zipping Tess having now won four races.
Forty minutes later kennelmates Bush Regis and Flash Fernando quinellaed the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) for Wilcock, the former taking over the running down the back before hanging on in the run to the line to win by a head in 30.67 seconds.
A son of My Bro Fabio and Sooky Suzie, Bush Regis has now won three races for his current trainer who took him over prior to the black dog having won a race. Among his littermates are Our Menace and Pa’s Chance, both winners at Tara Raceway for local trainer Noel Perry.
And Flash Fernando is a litter brother to this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup runner-up, Slingshot Hammer, a winner of 21 races and $140,000 in stakemoney.
By the time the final race, the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 m), came around Wilcock had been shooting for a treble, Zipping Clare well fancied after resuming from a three-month break with a first and second at Ballarat and Horsham.
By My Bro Fabio out of Zipping Summah, Zipping Clare had won four races prior to Wilcock purchasing her almost 12 months ago – five more wins have followed, with her owner-trainer now looking at breeding with her.
“She’d been advertised for sale on one of the greyhound sites for about three months and because I had breeding in mind the longer she remained for sale the keener I became.
“In the end I contacted Martin (Hallinan) at Clergate and took possession of her last September before winning three races in succession at Bendigo, Ballarat and Sandown Park in October-November.”
Zipping Clare gave it her best shot last Sunday when running a half-length second to Shannah’s Gift – Wilcock more than happy with the effort and probably wondering why it had taken him 18 months to make that scenic drive to Mount Gambier.
Monday, August 19, 2019
Black Spring’s success in Sunday’s Winningformula.net.au Open Stake (600 m) saw him take his number of wins at Tara Raceway to nine, the most of any greyhound at the track this year.
It was also his first win since an enforced injury spell saw him off the scene for five weeks prior to resuming a month ago, three fast-finishing minor placings over 512 metres suggesting a win over his favoured 600 metres wasn’t too far away.
Surprisingly, the Edenhope-based Black Spring was sitting in second spot with a lap to go, a position that was always going to make him hard to hold out at the business end of the race.
As it turned out, by the home turn the Cap Abbott owned and trained dog had taken over the running, ultimately posting a strong 2½ length win in 35.35 seconds over Cryer’s Plugger and Spinning Jakit (a kennelmate and litter brother to the winner).
By Spring Gun, Black Spring is out of Lektra Scarlett, currently the leading dam at Tara Raceway for 2019 with 22 wins.
And it was a handy weekend for the litter – Lektra Theory scoring a big win over 531 metres at Gawler on Friday prior to Lektra Spring running second in a 600 metre heat at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Saturday, August 17, 2019
It’s been a while now since Blazing Moment and Bekim Lucy’s – both members of the Bekim Bale x Lucy’s Moment litter – last raced.
Blazing Moment, trained for much of his career by Tracie Price at Compton, retired early this year after having won 17 races at Angle Park, Mandurah, Cannington, Gawler and Mount Gambier, along with reaching the finals of the 2017 Darwin Cup and the 2018 Mount Gambier Cup.
And Bekim Lucy’s, trained throughout her 67-start career by Price, retired more than 12 months ago after winning 11 races – including wins over 731 metres and 732 metres at Angle Park and Mount Gambier – and in April this year whelped a litter of three dogs and four bitches to Spring Gun.
But litter brother Dimora Bekim, now a rising five-year-old, continues to race well at Tara Raceway for his veteran Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton who took over the ownership and training of the black dog in late November 2017.
Dimora Bekim, at this stage of his racing career now well-suited to the time-graded format, brought up his third 400 metre win from his past five starts at the Mount Gambier track when leading all the way in last Thursday’s Laser Electrical Stake to defeat Nix Jakit by 1¾ lengths in 23.51 seconds.
All told, the November 2014 whelping has won 13 races, Ashton having picked up seven wins, although after a win in February this year Dimora Bekim experienced a five-month losing spell, his wily trainer initially at a loss to pinpoint the problem.
“I’d been over him that many times but I couldn’t find anything wrong with him,” Ashton said. “Eventually, though, I found a deep-seated shoulder problem and after working on that he is now racing more consistently.”
One of the reasons for the introduction of time-graded racing was to enable greyhounds to stay in the system longer and extend their racing careers. Ashton once again took advantage of the format with three other runners last Thursday – Mr Agro, Mr Perfect and Ollie Aztec – all five years or older.
Meanwhile, the durable 4½-year-old Big Rough, at start number 123, won his second time-graded race this year for Mount Gambier part-owner and trainer Noel Perry and his wife Heather.
A son of Lochinvar Marlow and Bogie Dawn, Big Rough was purchased as a pup by the Perrys from Nhill breeder Andrea Gurry. Later, Perry, due to circumstances beyond his control, took over the training of the black dog after he had won 10 races at Tara Raceway.
Despite drawing a handy field in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m), Big Rough quickly had the race in his keeping after finding the front going out of the first turn, eventually running out a 2½ length winner over Loroupe in 30.31 seconds.
It was also a good week for Mininera owner-trainer Robert Proctor who was successful up the straight at Healesville on the Monday with Master Winslow and three days’ later at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting with the same dog.
Bred by Proctor, Master Winslow was heavily backed to win the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m) and once finding the rails never really looked in any danger of defeat, on the line having four lengths to spare over Crackerjack Tim in 23.65 seconds.
A son of Vee Man Vane and Proctor Rules, the win was his first at Tara Raceway although he had previously won on six occasions at Healesville, Proctor saying the 35 kilogram black dog probably has never reached his full potential.
“Master Winslow broke in well and I was really excited about his future prospects,” he said. “But a subsequent stopper bone injury has hindered his career to the extent that these days I’m just happy to see him go around safely and win the occasional race.”
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Monarto South owner-trainer Tony Hinrichsen will be chasing his second Tara Raceway classic when he returns to Mount Gambier on Sunday for heats of the Winter Classic (512 metres), an age-restricted series for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2017.
Hinrichsen, who has Balboa Fury, Szubanski Fury and Stiff Upper Lip engaged in the classic, was successful in the 2016 Summer Classic with his former smart chaser Menzel Boys who defeated Cairnlea Lewis and Grimsby Girl in the final.
Unplaced in that final was Menzel Boys’ litter sister Lethal Fury, a subsequent winner of 10 races, including wins at Angle Park (515 m) and Gawler (531 m) in sub-30 seconds and sub-31 seconds respectively.
By Dyna Tron, Lethal Fury is out of Fighting Fury, a finalist in the 2011 Mount Gambier Cup won by Banger Harvey. Later, Hinrichsen mated Lethal Fury with My Bro Fabio, the resultant November 2017 litter including Balboa Fury.
Balboa Fury won his maiden over 400 metres at Tara Raceway back in April, narrowly defeating Talmage in an average 23.63 seconds although since then he has won at Angle Park (515 m) in times of 30.07 seconds and 30.28 seconds.
And at Gawler on Tuesday, Balboa Fury packed too many punches for his grade six opposition over 531 metres when he overcame a slow start before powering home for a three length win in 31.08 seconds – a time that should see him more than competitive at Tara Raceway this weekend.
Stiff Upper Lip, a daughter of Fabregas and Angle Park winner Dee Ivy, is the perfect classic age, whelped in July 2017 and a winner at Tara Raceway in March over 512 metres in 30.41 seconds.
The following month the black bitch ran Flash Jackie – winner of the Tara Trackstar in July – to less than a length when clocking a personal 30.37 seconds, a time that should put her right in the mix when she contests the second of the two heats on Sunday.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, still looking to make amends after Hay Miss ran a 1½ length second to Lektra Munster in the 2016 Winter Classic final, will be pinning her hopes this year on Close Your Eyes.
By Taylors Sky out of the lightly raced Lady Jasmin who won 12 races from 17 starts, the July 2017 blue bitch made her debut over 512 metres last week at Tara Raceway, clocking 30.63 seconds when running fourth behind Pa’s Chance and is sure to be improved by the run.
Penshurst trainer John Cameron also returns to Tara Raceway for the classic, bringing with him Little Queeny who has been unplaced at her only two runs at Horsham and Warrnambool.
Whelped in September 2017, the 25 kilogram Little Queeny is by the US sire KC And All out of Lektra Kelly, the 23½ kilogram pocket rocket that stormed home to grab a memorable victory over Danyo’s Tom in the Fireball, the 600 metre feature that complemented the 2016 Mount Gambier Cup.
Little Queeny, purchased as a pup by Cameron from Toolong breeder Phil Lenehan, is a litter sister to Lektra Desire, a Horsham winner on Tuesday night, as well as other Victorian winners Lektra Bear, Lektra Lyrebird and Lektra Style.
Allendale East trainer David Peckham, second with Blitz And Bolt behind Hutch in the 2017 Summer Classic, will be relying on maidens Silent Jacko and Cruising By, little separating the pair when they finished second and third respectively last week behind Pa’s Chance in a maiden/one win (512 m).
Both greyhounds are by Kinloch Brae, Cruising By serving it up early to Pa’s Chance but in the run home unable to hold off Silent Jacko for second spot, the pair running 30.44 seconds and 30.45 seconds respectively when beaten four lengths by the winner who was ineligible for the classic by virtue of his age.
Litter brothers General Max and Beat Max Bazza, who have done pretty well for trainer Dean Fennell in the short time that they have been racing, will go into the series as the youngest runners, having been whelped in January 2018.
And while the sons of Worm Burner x Miss Hodge will be giving away a bit in age this certainly won’t be the case next February when the pair will be the perfect age for the Summer Classic.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Popular local greyhound man Bernie Bouchier must surely have a reserved sign on that coveted seat close to the log fire in the Tara Raceway clubrooms.
There he was again last Sunday perched comfortably in the best seat in the house as he awaited the running of the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (400 metres), a more than handy race that included Dimora Flash, raced by his son Kevin.
“How’s Dimora Flash going in the Greyhound of the Year?” he asked. He probably knew but we humoured him anyway and told him she was still leading the way by five points over Cryer’s Plugger.
Actually, the four-year-old daughter of Cosmic Rumble and the inaugural Winter Classic winner Stylish Moment has been a model of consistency this year – going into last Sunday’s race with seven wins, eight seconds and three thirds at Tara Raceway.
For all her consistency, though, it had been a couple of months since Dimora Flash had last won, her Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell well aware of just how competitive the top grade short course events are.
But last Sunday was Dimora Flash’s day, the black bitch leading all the way from box three at the nice odds of $7 when defeating Our Man Zed by a length in 23.14 seconds and now eight points clear of Black Spring, who ran second later in the day, in the GOTY.
Commencing racing two years ago, she has now started on 65 occasions for 12 wins and 27 minor placings, a delighted Bouchier saying after last Sunday’s win that he was now seriously considering breeding with Dimora Flash after she had finished racing.
And following events that transpired later in the day, it’s probably fair to say that the Tara Raceway top grade 400 metre events aren’t about to get any easier.
At the previous Sunday meeting, the Ken Gillespie trained Faster Bolt ran a near-record 22.82 seconds in grade five company before lowering his personal best time to 22.81 seconds in last week’s Williams Crane Hire Stake for grade four greyhounds.
Meanwhile, Fennell ended the day with a double – his second in the space of a week – when Shannah’s Gift, in the “wilderness” for most of this year, was successful in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m).
Having his third run back after a six-month break, the son of Fabregas x Shannah’s Star settled in third spot before running down Peek’s Gold in the home straight, winning by a length in 23.21 seconds.
The win was his first since January at Tara Raceway, Shannah’s Gift picked up by Fennell in May as a giveaway but not back on the track until the end of July after overcoming a couple of setbacks.
Rupanyup trainer Kath Brooks, who has enjoyed plenty of success at Tara Raceway time-graded meetings this year, landed a good win last Sunday with Saucy Sav in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m).
Well boxed in the eight, the white and black bitch chased Gold Gem into the home straight before finishing over the top of her for a half length win – her sixth at Tara Raceway – in 23.49 seconds.
By Dyna Double One out of the beautifully bred Honey Boo Boo (Bombastic Shiraz x Leprechaun Chloe), giveaway greyhound Saucy Sav joined Brooks’s kennels in February this year after having won a maiden at Bendigo.
Speaking after the race, handler Doug Blake said Saucy Sav really loved racing at Tara Raceway.
“She seems to be improving with every run here to the extent that she’s now struggling to get a run at the Thursday time-graded fixtures so recently we’ve been making the 3½-hour trip over for both the weekly meetings.”
Saucy Sav’s win was Brooks’s 15th at the track this year and along with 30 seconds and 24 thirds she now sits in sixth spot in the Ian Badger Leading Trainer Award.