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

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, December 24 with GRSA. SUNDAY, JANUARY 6: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, December 31 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track. No trials December 25, January 1.


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First local double for Meningie trainer

Monday, December 17, 2018

Meningie trainer Tim Richards landed his first Tara Raceway double after Sketchy Gun won his way through to the Christmas Challenge final (600 m) and Blue Blaze won his first race for his new trainer in the Produce Store Stake (512 m) at Sunday afternoon’s meeting.

Sketchy Gun defeats Pool Hall in the second heat of the Christmas Challenge (600 m).

Sketchy Gun, a warm $2.15 favourite in the second heat on the back of an Angle Park 600 metre win last month, tracked Lady Pippa until the home turn where he unleashed a strong finishing burst to hold out Pool Hall by 1½ lengths in 35.63 seconds.

By Brett Lee out of Motown Girl, the black dog was purchased by Richards back in May 2016 for $1000 from Allan Ivers of Newcastle after two unplaced runs at Muswellbrook and Tamworth.

Tim (left) and Brad Richards pictured with Blue Blaze.

Ninety starts later and Sketchy Gun has now won 15 races, run 33 minor placings and picked up more than $27,000 in stakemoney, the switch to middle-distance racing in June this year resulting in four Angle Park wins and two at Mount Gambier.

Former WA chaser Blue Blaze, after two unplaced runs at Angle Park last month for Richards, was always on the pace in Sunday’s grade five event, taking over the running into the home straight and holding out Azumi Striker to win by three-quarters of a length in 30.25 seconds.

A winner at Cannington, Mandurah and Northam, Blue Blaze was purchased by Richards off an internet greyhound site early last month after the son of Banjo Boy and Unquestionably had found his way to Victoria.

And according to Richards, the win had been completely unexpected.

“He was very slow away in the two runs he had at Angle Park so I figured I had nothing to lose by giving him some box work leading up to Sunday’s race. Maybe it worked, I don’t really know, but he did come out a bit better and that certainly didn’t do him any harm,” he said.

Bob makes up for lost time

Saturday, December 15, 2018

First starter Bob Square Pants kicked off last Wednesday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway in blistering fashion for Tarpeena owner-trainer Dita Mitchell.

Bob Square Pants runs quick time to win the Produce Store Maiden Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway last Wednesday.

Leading all the way from box six in the Produce Store Maiden Stake (400 metres), Bob Square Pants became only the third short-course maiden winner at Tara Raceway to break 23 seconds when running out a 10¼ length winner over Serendipity Star in 22.96 seconds.

He is now the second-fastest maiden 400 metre winner at the track, the Tracie Price trained Wise Stella running 22.89 seconds in July after Faster Bolt had run the previous fastest time of 22.98 seconds in October last year.

Making last week’s effort even more remarkable was the fact that Bob Square Pants had only ever trialled solo over 277 metres prior to his first start, Mitchell saying that at one stage she was of the opinion that the sizeable 36 kilogram black dog would never race.

Dita Mitchell was all smiles after Bob Square Pants’ big win.

“He was off the scene due to injury for something like six months,” she said. “I really didn’t think he would race because he was a real mess so it was a terrific thrill to see him finally hit the track at three years of age.”

Bob Square Pants is by Banjo Boy out of four-race Victorian provincial winner Jeanie’s Wish, a daughter of Go Wild Jack x Groupie that was picked up as a five-month-old pup for $100 by Mitchell.

Go Wild Jack, a winner of 23 races and close to $90,000 in stakemoney, was owned by Kevin Ward, of Mount Moriac, who landed a double at Tara Raceway last Wednesday with Deflection and Sandy Lagoon. Groupie, on the other hand, retired a maiden after 39 starts.

Mitchell, who relocated from Victoria to Tarpeena two years ago, has done well with the litter in the six months that she has been training – Bob Square Pants the last of her four to win at Tara Raceway this year, following on from Jeanie’s Gem, One Mad Wish and Red Hat Ruby.

Meanwhile, Standing Bear, at start number 130, won his first race in 16 months when successful in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m) for Donna Beasley of Mount Cottrell who trains the brindle dog in partnership with Paul Cusack.

Standing Bear (No. 5) wins a keenly-contested Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m).

Having his first start at the track, Standing Bear overcame a slow start from box five to finish strongly in the run to the line, defeating Serendipity Man and Alouette Jack by the narrowest of margins in 23.34 seconds.

A winner of a total of six races, the son of Cosmic Chief and nine-race Victorian provincial winner Mandy Shiraz has now won twice since relocating to Mount Cottrell.

But despite being kept busy on the track, Standing Bear also contested 11 coursing stakes this year, a winner and runner-up at Lang Lang and also a winner at Longwood.

Big litter for Majestic Tale

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Majestic Tale with her three dogs and seven bitches by Aston Dee Bee.

Penola breeder Damien Smith reports that his brood bitch Majestic Tale last week whelped a litter of three dogs and seven bitches to the Group 1-winning Aston Dee Bee, a son of Barcia Bale x Aston Elle, and without doubt one of the best sprinters of his time.

By Collision out of the Victorian city-winning Crystal’s Voice, Majestic Bale raced on 49 occasions for 16 wins at Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, Angle Park, Gawler and Strathalbyn.

From a racing point of view, Smith continues to enjoy success with Lektra Guiseppe, the son of My Bro Fabio x Lektra Bianca being purchased from Victoria in September and having now won four races for his new connections, the most recent at Horsham last week.

Oh no, GOTY slip up for Paraphernalia!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The twists and turns of the 2018 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year continued this week.

Coming into last Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting, Paraphernalia and Oh No Beta shared the lead on 60 points, the former taking a one point lead after running third behind Hutch and Swift Limes in race five, the JB Irrigation Open Stake (512 metres).

Shirley Halliday with Christmas Cup contender Hutch.

And with the Nicole Stanley trained Oh No Beta lining up in race nine, the Greg Martlew Autos Free For All (400 m), there was a strong chance that the son of Lochinvar Marlow x Sometimes Speedy could be back in front by the end of the day.

But he also ran third, behind Usain Insane and Ramified in a quick 22.95 seconds, the pair still sharing the lead – on 61 points apiece – and only two Category 3 meetings remaining to sort out the winner.

As expected, Oh No Beta will contest a heat of this Sunday’s The Santa Sprint (400 m), drawing box three in a pretty handy field that includes Blazing Moment, Faster Bolt and Cryer’s Harper.

On the other hand, Paraphernalia, already a finalist in this year’s premier 512 metre events, the Mount Gambier Cup and Anniversary Cup, as well as a Mount Gambier SA Country Cup representative and Iron Dog winner, will not be running on Sunday.

Horsham trainer Jeff Guy accepts full responsibility for what can only be described as an “error of judgement”.

“To be honest, I was keen to switch distances with him so the 512 metre Christmas Cup was never really an option, my first choice being over 600 metres,” he said.

“I really thought that I had listed the 400 metre distance as a second preference on Paraphernalia’s nomination form but it turns out, after speaking with the Greyhound Racing SA grader, that this had not been the case.

“However, all is not lost. Even if Oh No Beta wins on Sunday, Paraphernalia’s still in with a chance providing there’s a race for him at the Christmas meeting on Friday, December 21.”

Two consecutive wins for Cryer’s Plugger sees him now sitting in third spot on 53 points in the GOTY. In an unlikely turn of events, wins in a heat and final of the Christmas Cup for the Tom Cryer trained dog while Oh No Beta and Paraphernalia fail to collect points at the final two Category 3 meetings and all of a sudden we have a triple dead-heat in the GOTY.

Besides Cryer’s Plugger, two other sub-30 second 512 metre winners from Tara Raceway last Sunday in Hutch and Dynamo Jezz will contest Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup heats.

Hutch, having his second run back after injury for Portland trainer Robert Halliday, looked good when defeating Swift Limes by 5¼ lengths in 29.92 seconds while Dynamo Jezz, trained at Lewiston by Don Turner, scored an easy win in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m) at his first look at the track in 29.91 seconds.

Usain Insane, a quick 400 metre winner last Sunday, will contest the second heat of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup for trainer David Peckham.

In what should be a terrific battle, Hutch and Dynamo Jezz will clash in the first heat of the Christmas Cup from boxes seven and four respectively.

John Little’s Springvale Alysa has drawn well in box one in the second heat although Peter Crawley’s Bomber Creek and Cryer’s Plugger will apply plenty of pressure from boxes two and four respectively.

Also engaged in this heat are the Tracie Price trained Swift Limes and David Peckham’s Usain Insane – both trainers chasing their third Christmas Cup – Price successful with Who’s Doing What and Fear The Rascal in 2014 and 2015 and Peckham with Napoleon Wiz and Bourne Again in 2011 and 2013.

Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott looks to hold a strong hand in the Christmas Challenge (600 m), Spinning Jakit likely to appreciate the drop back to grade five company when he jumps from box three in the first heat and Pool Hall, well boxed in the eight in the second heat, and a winner over 600 metres at Angle Park on Monday night.

Jezz enjoys a change of scenery

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

After recently taking on some pretty fair fields at Angle Park, Lewiston trainer Don Turner reckoned it was time for a change of scenery for Dynamo Jezz, a greyhound that he had won eight races with at Angle Park, Gawler and Strathalbyn.

Dynamo Jezz scores an easy win in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Down for a recent time-graded meeting, Turner returned on Sunday with the dog that he had purchased from Victoria earlier this year after wins at Shepparton, Warragul and Bendigo.

“To be honest, even though he was still racing well in Adelaide, Dynamo Jezz was on a tough mark so I was hoping that by bringing him down here he might encounter a drop in class although you never know what you might run into when nominating for Mount Gambier,” Turner said.

But if he was looking for a confidence-booster for his dog then that’s what he got. Away well from box eight in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 metres), Dynamo Jezz quickly crossed the grade five field, eventually running out an 8¾ length winner in a near best of the day 29.91 seconds.

Don Turner with Dynamo Jezz.

By the iron dog Stagger – 137 starts for 64 wins – Dynamo Jezz is out of Tinted Power, a winner of 11 races including Sandown Park and The Meadows.

Sunday’s win was Turner’s first at Tara Raceway since February 3, 2017 when Wayne’s Error was successful although four years prior to that he had won the Mount Gambier Cup with Colville, trained for him locally by Allen Williams.

And the following year he reached the cup final with Stew’s Mistake and Poetic Mover, the former running third to Veetee Express.

Dynamo Jezz will next go around tomorrow afternoon over 455 metres at Murray Bridge’s 16-race “picnic” meeting (fields limited to between two to four dogs) which is a dress rehearsal for next Wednesday’s opening meeting.

Trainer cuts it fine

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Last week wasn’t without its share of drama as far as Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott was concerned. First, a trip to Angle Park on the Monday night turned out to be in vain when lure problems prior to the first race resulted in the meeting being abandoned.

Black Spring was in the money at Sandown Park last week.

Then, on the Thursday night, Abbott, after giving himself what he thought was plenty of time, looked like missing out again when he was caught up in peak hour, bumper-to-bumper traffic on his way to Sandown Park.

“I was no chance of making kennelling in time,” he said. “So I rang the track to let them know of my predicament. It turns out there were other trainers in the same boat so fortunately commonsense prevailed and all our greyhounds were able to race.”

In the end, though, the week didn’t end too badly for Abbott. The Monday night prizemoney for all races at Angle Park was divided between the trainers while Black Spring ran second to Spectre Style over 595 metres at Sandown on Thursday and picked up $1645 in stakemoney.

Former record holder to be mated

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Thanks Tubby defeats litters Miss Jacovella and Dee Tee over 600 metres at Tara Raceway in November 2015.

Allendale East breeder David Peckham reports that one-time Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Thanks Tubby, a winner of 21 races from 64 starts, is to be mated with former SA champion sprinter Worm Burner.

Thanks Tubby, a daughter of Superman x Irish Fantasy, ran a record 29.60 seconds at Tara Raceway on June 1, 2014, a time that stood for three years until the Jeff Guy trained Brazen Bomber recorded 29.55 seconds.

This will be the former long-time record holder’s second litter, youngsters from her first mating to high profile sire Barcia Bale not far away from making their racetrack debut.

Owned by Cameron and Yvonne Butcher of Meningie, the Group 1-winning Worm Burner raced on 84 occasions for 48 wins and more than $380,000 in stakemoney.

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