SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26: Nominations closed. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, November 27 with GRSA. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, November 28 with GRSA. See “Racing Calendar” for full details. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: Sunday, November 26 at Tara Raceway following the race meeting. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time).
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
In the 32 years that the Newman McDonnell Memorial has been run at the two Tara Raceway greyhound tracks it’s probably fair to say there wouldn’t have been too many better finals than the one decided last Sunday.
And, it’s also probably fair to say that there haven’t been too many better winners than Lektra Stomp, trained at Toolong by Brian Lenehan but handled by his son Phil.
After an impressive heat win from box one the previous week in a quick 29.95 seconds, the drawing of box one again in the final had the white and black dog looking well placed to give Lenehan another feature race win.
However, well before the race was run, there was drama at Sunday morning’s kennelling when Signal Peak – second to Lektra Stomp in a previous week’s heat and expected to find plenty on his first look at the track – was a late scratching due to non-arrival.
With a best time of 29.67 seconds for the 512 metre journey, Lektra Stomp was going into the final as one of the fastest dogs to have gone around Tara Raceway this year. Throw in box one, together with a vacant box now next to him, and his $1.70 quote wasn’t all that surprising.
But the race still had to be won.
A couple of the sport’s younger brigade of trainers in Trent Blacker of Ballarat and Peter Fulton of Ecklin South hadn’t drawn as well with Greenback Boogie and Noosa Parade although both had been impressive heat winners – Noosa Parade actually running the fastest of the three heats and Greenback Boogie likely to improve at his second look at the track.
So, when Greenback Boogie charged out from box five and shared the lead with Glenville Phil going around the first turn it looked like it was going to be game on.
“I really thought Lektra Stomp would lead around the first turn but after he had been a little slow out and was sitting in third spot on the rails I started to have a few reservations,” said Lenehan after the race.
Down the back straight, though, the rails run came and from then on he could relax as Lektra Stomp powered away to an eventual six length win in a race record 29.69 seconds over Cryer’s Bob – his best run for a while – and Greenback Boogie who battled on well to hold down third spot.
This was the first McDonnell Memorial win for the Lenehan family with Phil Lenehan thanking members of the McDonnell family – Margaret Considine and Les McDonnell – for their continued support of the time-honoured race.
“When it comes to greyhound racing we certainly shouldn’t take for granted what we have today,” he said. “It was people such as Newman McDonnell who pioneered the sport in this region and I’m sure he’d be very proud at the progress that has been made since the early days of racing at Glenburnie.
“I’d also like to thank Mrs Considine and Mr McDonnell for their continued interest and support of the race and for the lovely trophy they have donated.”
By Walk Hard out of Lektra Angie, Lektra Stomp is from a line that just keeps on keeping on – all the Lektra-named dogs tracing back to Brian Lenehan’s Hall of Fame brood bitch Sydney Gem.
Whelped in March 1978, Sydney Gem would later produce five litters – to Chief Dingaan (two), World Acclaim, Tangaloa and Tangairn.
Lektra Angie goes back to Hoppy’s Girl, from the Tangairn x Sydney Gem litter, while at Sandown Park last Friday night Rockoon was a brilliant Bold Trease heat winner.
The connection here is that Rockoon, a son of Peter Rocket and Raya Riot, traces back to Emma’s Gem, a litter sister to Hoppy’s Girl.
Phil Lenehan is undecided as to Lektra Stomp’s immediate plans although with the dog’s good record at Tara Raceway behind the finish-on-lure the $22,000 Listed Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) to be run in March wouldn’t have escaped his notice.
It’s been 25 years since the Lenehan family won a Mount Gambier Cup, Immortal Flash – by Shining Chariot x Sydney Dingaan, and a grandson of Sydney Gem – successful for Brian at Glenburnie in 1993.
From the archives this week comes a Warrnambool Plumpton Coursing Club programme for a “speed coursing meeting run under electric lights on the club’s ground at the rear of Botanical Gardens on Saturday, December 26, 1936”.
Even back then, the Lenehan family was racing greyhounds, with Phil’s grandfather Pat lining up with Flash Cliff in the No. 1 Hurdle.
And from the back page of the race book came the warning that any person or persons making loud comment on the judge’s decision would be liable to immediate expulsion from the ground.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Rupanyup trainer Kath Brooks landed her first treble at Tara Raceway last Friday when Annie Belle, Call Me Crazy and One Moore Page were successful.
The trio is raced by Brooks and Kris Blake’s Broke As Syndicate, with the number of winners now totalling eight since August when the pair started returning to Tara Raceway on a regular basis to take in the time-graded meetings.
Giveaway greyhound Annie Bell, at start number six for Brooks, made short work of the opposition in the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (400 metres), leading all the way from box six and winning by 9¾ lengths in a handy 23.60 seconds.
A daughter of Fabregas x Katie Racoon, and a litter sister to Victorian city winner Handpass, the black bitch is also a half-sister to Wentworth Park winner Master Tron who finished off his racing career with three wins at Tara Raceway for Ralph Patzel.
The lightly-raced Call Me Crazy, by Nitro Burst x Typhoon Mahte, and bred by the Broke As Syndicate, brought up her third win at Tara Raceway in the space of six weeks when leading all the way in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (400 m) to defeat Special Case in 23.64 seconds.
And bringing up the treble was another giveaway greyhound in One Moore Page who led all the way from box three in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake, holding on in the run home to defeat Money Monster by a neck in 30.87 seconds.
For One Moore Page, a beautifully bred bitch by Premier Fantasy x Back Page Lead, the win was her first for Brooks, who took her over at the end of August, and her third overall from 43 starts.
Back Page Lead, a daughter of Brett Lee x Wave To Tammy, raced on 69 occasions for 21 wins and more than $73,000 in prizemoney.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Chasing Gold Greyhound Syndicate members from around Australia shared in the thrill of Tequila Chaser’s maiden win at last Friday’s Tara Raceway time-graded meeting.
A recent addition to the Mount Gambier kennels of long-time trainer Ralph Patzel, she was having only her third race start after running a promising second on debut earlier in the month.
Jumping from box two in Friday’s Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 metres), Tequila Chaser never gave syndicate members any real cause for concern, leading all the way and holding out Gerald McKenna’s Bin Bon Bay – now 10 minor placings from 25 starts – to win by three-quarters of a length in a handy 23.70 seconds.
By Barcia Bale, the October 2015 black bitch is out of the lightly-raced Estrela Escura who won at Ballarat and Bendigo and is a litter sister to a couple of handy chasers in Summer Wages and Bottom Dollar.
Geelong-based Craig Trickett, who formed Chasing Gold Syndicates two years ago, said the venture was all about introducing new people to greyhound racing and for them to enjoy the thrill of winning races.
“We have men and women of varying ages from all over Australia involved in our 10-20 member syndicates,” he said.
“We generally look to purchase greyhounds after they have been broken-in or have commenced racing and then endeavour to place them where we believe they will be best suited from a racing point of view.”
Trickett said that currently 16 greyhounds were placed with trainers around Australia, five of these were based in SA while city success had been achieved at The Meadows, Sandown Park, Angle Park and Hobart.
And on Saturday he was in Bendigo for the Ready To Race auction, looking to purchase several lots with a view to syndicating them out.
Another greyhound to meet with success at Tara Raceway for the Chasing Gold Syndicate has been Just Like Fire who has also won at Angle Park and Strathalbyn since being taken over early in the year by Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott.
Later on Friday, Patzel was successful with his handy little bitch Problem Solved who has now won four 400 metre races from nine starts at Tara Raceway.
The daughter of Nolen x Solved Moment had stumbled when jumping from box one at her previous start but in Friday’s The Border Watch Stake she came out running from the same box, leading all the way to defeat Stampy Longnose by three lengths in 23.52 seconds.
The win gave Patzel his second training double this year – Master Tron and Supreme Deal successful on January 15 – and took his number of winners at Tara Raceway in 2017 to 15.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Garku Bale, the well-bred greyhound picked up a couple of months ago for $500 by Mortlake owner-trainer Paul Herry, has maintained his unbeaten record over the recently re-introduced 732 metre journey at Tara Raceway.
And not only that, he also ran quick time into the bargain last weekend when winning the JB Irrigation Mixed Stake – taking his earnings to $2095.
A winner at his first start over the stayers’ course last month, Garku Bale was in front at the 512 metre boxes the first time around in Sunday’s distance event, eventually defeating Trademark Jet by three-quarters of a length in 43.84 seconds – a time bettered only by Nellie Noodles’ 43.45 seconds, run on March 27, 2011.
So Herry left Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon on a high, pretty well convinced that he would return this week for the Back To Distance Racing feature and take on a field probably similar to that he had just beaten.
Come Monday, though, and Friday night’s Bold Trease Group 1 heats over 715 metres at Sandown Park were still one runner short a half-hour prior to nomination closing time.
“They were looking for 32 greyhounds for the four heats so I thought, why not, and put in a nomination although I didn’t really expect to gain a start with him,” Herry said.
Not only did Garku Bale, a son of David Bale x Ucme Typhoon, take the last spot but he drew alongside his litter sister Fanta Bale, a winner of 33 races and $986,170.
But the family reunion is not going to take place after Garku Bale, a couple of days ago, was found to have a non-career-threatening injury and will be confined to the lead for a couple of weeks.
“It was really disappointing,” Herry said. “Once he gained a start I was really looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere at Sandown on Friday night when eight heats of the Melbourne Cup (515 m) will also be run.”
Trainer Peter Franklin, who has Chuck McIvor and Future Past engaged at Tara Raceway on Sunday, has drawn box three with McIvor Verna in the third heat of the Bold Trease.
She’ll clash with the boom dog Rockoon, trained at Pearcedale by Keith Hellmuth who has donated a service to Rockoon’s sire Peter Rocket for February’s Summer Classic at Tara Raceway.
And while McIvor Verna is owned at Bendigo by Barry Priest and trained at Moyston, local greyhound racing followers will be taking a keen interest in the fawn bitch, well known at Tara Raceway through an outstanding maiden win, a 600 metre track record and two wins over 732 metres.
Meanwhile, Barry Shepheard’s Trademark Jet and the Tracie Price trained Bekim Lucy’s look to be the two to beat in the Back To Distance Racing (732 m) on Sunday after the pair clocked 43.90 seconds and 44.03 seconds respectively last week when filling the minor placings behind Garku Bale.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Peter Fulton, a 24-year-old trainer from Ecklin South, will be chasing his first feature win at Tara Raceway when Noosa Parade lines up from box eight in Sunday’s Newman McDonnell Memorial final (512 m).
Noosa Parade, who hadn’t raced at Tara Raceway until late September, has now had five starts at the track for three wins and two seconds and looked impressive when running a best of day 29.94 seconds from box one in his heat win last week.
And the son of Collision x Miss Black Fern shouldn’t be too disadvantaged when switching to the other side of the track for the final after displaying plenty of early pace from box eight to defeat Lone Star at Tara Raceway last month.
From a time point of view, Lektra Stomp wasn’t far behind Noosa Parade when comfortably winning his heat in 29.95 seconds from box one – and he’ll jump from the same box in the final, much to the delight of Team Lenehan.
Part of a litter treble last Sunday, the white and black dog is a son of Walk Hard and Lektra Angie, herself a 29.93 seconds maiden winner at Tara Raceway on November 4, 2012, the same day Camo’s Lucky won the McDonnell Memorial.
Signal Peak, second to Lektra Stomp in his heat, is well drawn in box two and should give Merbein South owner-trainer Jamie Quinlivian a great sight after having now seen the track.
The son of Cape Hawke x Rustic Reeta will line up in the $2175 final after racing in an Open Stake (515 m) at Angle Park tonight.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Another treble for Compton greyhound trainer Tracie Price at last Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting saw him bring up 80 local winners for 2017 – two more than last year when he accumulated 524 points over 61 race meetings to defeat Nicole Stanley (66 winners) by 96.5 points for Leading Trainer honours.
Portland-based Stanley, who has the led the Leading Trainers’ list for most of this year, currently has 96 winners. She is on track to become the first trainer to lead in 100 winners in a season at the Mount Gambier track in a year when a record number of race meetings – 76 – will have been run by the time the season concludes on Sunday, December 31.
Second-placed Price, who has trained five trebles along with a bag of four since the end of July, has pulled ground off Stanley and is now mounting a last-ditch attempt in the final 10 meetings of the year to claw back her still seemingly unbeatable 110.5 points lead.
Baz’s Moment was the final leg of Price’s treble on Sunday – Banjo Bonito and Goldie’s Run successful earlier in the day – with the win giving the son of Swift Fancy x Which Class an outright lead over Big Rough, Galactic Viper and Fiorelli Rose in the Greyhound of the Year award.
The September 2015 black dog, which has made a successful return to the track for part-owners Baz Bruce and Price after spending two months earlier this year on the sidelines due to injury, has now won 10 races at Tara Raceway.
Meanwhile, on a day when Baz’s Moment led all the way to win the Trackside Meats Stake (400 metres) and register his third successive win at start number 31, his litter sister Galactic Shiraz lined up for her first race start in the Greg Martlew Autos Maiden Stake (400 m).
Owned and trained at Moorak by Robert Chuck, Galactic Shiraz quickly found the front from box three and, despite using plenty of the track in the home straight, did a good job to hold out the consistent Wilbur Deeds when winning by 1¼ lengths in a very good maiden time of 23.27 seconds.
For a relieved Chuck the win came after months of frustration with Galactic Shiraz slow to recover from a troublesome foot injury.
“She’d come into the race after pulling up well in four trials and it looks like all’s good after the win so hopefully we can now make up for lost time,” he said.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
It’s been more than 12 months since Cee Righty won a maiden 512 metre event at Tara Raceway for Portland owner-trainer Andy Graham.
Actually, the son of Cosmic Chief x Cee Anna Rose hasn’t raced locally since April, Graham preferring to race the fawn dog at Warrnambool where he has been racing consistently throughout the year.
So consistently, in fact, that Cee Righty has won five races and run seven seconds to take the lead in the Warrnambool Greyhound of the Year by two points from Destroy I Said who he defeated last week.
He will now jump from box five over 450 metres at Warrnambool tomorrow night in an attempt to further increase his lead.
Graham has also been enjoying success at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meetings with Cee Righty’s litter sisters Cee Hannah Rose and Cee Sunrise both winning at the October 20 and November 3 meetings.
Cee Hannah Rose was no match for Nicole Stanley’s Shiney Bling at Warrnambool on Tuesday afternoon but should find Friday’s Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m) more to her liking.