SUNDAY, APRIL 22 (T/G): Nominations closed. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25: Nominations closed. See “Racing Calendar” for full details. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track. TRACK CLOSURE: For the purpose of a race track upgrade, Tara Raceway will be closed from April 26 and resume racing on Sunday, May 13. Trialling details will be announced closer to the completion of the upgrade.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Lektra Stomp became the first Tara Raceway record holder to break his own record when running a sizzling 29.35 seconds in the Klaassens Contractors Open Stake (512 metres) this afternoon.
The time was 1½ lengths quicker than his previous record of 29.45 seconds which he ran in a heat of the Mount Gambier Cup on March 11 when defeating Verev by seven lengths prior to running second to Xtreme Caution in the final a week later.
By Walk Hard out of Lektra Angie – a 13 length maiden winner at Tara Raceway in November 2012 – the white and black dog is trained at Toolong by Phil Lenehan who opted to return to Mount Gambier with Lektra Stomp after four disappointing runs at The Meadows and Warrnambool.
Well suited in today’s small field, he quickly found the front from box four and was always low flying, eventually running out a 12 length winner over Hit The Runway.
The win further enhanced his outstanding record at Tara Raceway – 15 starts for nine wins, four seconds and three thirds – with Lenehan believing Lektra Stomp is better suited to tracks which run with a finish-on-lure (FOL) system as is the case here.
“The trouble is there’s not many other FOL tracks around although the trial of the FOL on the outside track at Geelong apparently has been a great success,” he said.
The Geelong Greyhound Racing Club is now extending the FOL to its inside track on Tuesday. This track comprises 520 metres and 596 metres, with Lenehan believing both distances would suit Lektra Stomp and give him another option.
Lektra Stomp was the second leg of a running double for Lenehan, Lektra Lucy bringing up her second 600 metre win in the space of a month when defeating Big Rough and Shiney Bling in the Produce Store Mixed Stake in 35.47 seconds.
Both greyhounds will back up again at Wednesday’s ANZAC meeting, Lektra Stomp from box eight in the Legacy Open (512 m) and Lektra Jenny in the ANZAC Open (600 m).
Thursday, April 19, 2018
A comfortable win in last Sunday’s Gambier Vets Stake (600 metres) by giveaway greyhound Two Jobs completed a good day for Tara Raceway regulars David and Valerie Brodhurst of Serviceton.
Away fairly from box six in the bitches-only grade five event, Two Jobs gave a great display of railing, staying in touch with Cilla Brown, Boomer Hargen and Cee Jay’s Heart down the back before pushing through on the paint off the back and then racing away to a 5½ length win over a fast-finishing Lektra Destiny in 36.14 seconds.
By Cosmic Rumble out of Enlightment, this was her first success since September, David Brodhurst attributing seasonal issues as part of the reason that she had taken so long to win her seventh race for the couple.
Two Jobs is the dog that arrived in Serviceton early last year after having won a maiden at Port Augusta but then found herself on the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) waiting list soon after when struggling for form.
As luck would have it, though, a run in a Pathway prior to the GAP call-up turned her fortunes around, with the 25 kilogram fawn bitch appreciating the low-grade format with a confidence-boosting win in a best of day time.
Earlier on Sunday, Swoosie, having her fourth start at Tara Raceway, opened her winning account for the Brodhursts when leading all the way to defeat Teacup Toni by a neck in the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m).
By Oaks Road out of Power Merc, a winner of 14 races at Angle Park and Gawler, Swoosie was picked up by the Brodhursts by pure chance.
“Lewiston trainer Rob Harnas had been selling off all his dogs and I contacted him regarding a couple that I thought could be worth purchasing for down here,” David Brodhurst said.
“But by the time I spoke with him the only dog he had left was a giveaway called Swoosie who had finished down the line at her only start at Gawler. We figured we didn’t have much to lose so we went with her.”
Sunday’s double was the Brodhursts’ first since June 25 last year when Two Jobs defeated Panalo and Cryer’s Plugger in the Koroit 600 feature and Eye Spy Emma was successful over 400 metres.
Two Jobs and Swoosie, who will now line up again at Sunday’s time-graded meeting, have both drawn box one – in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) and the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m).
Thursday, April 19, 2018
With Ivor Dowdell being born on ANZAC Day and serving in Borneo during World War II, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s annual ANZAC meeting at Tara Raceway seems an appropriate day to run the Ivor Dowdell Memorial final (400 metres).
Dowdell died in early 2017 in his 95th year, having only hung up the collar and lead a couple of years prior, his last winner at Tara Raceway being He Gone on September 11, 2015.
An article in The Border Watch in April 2012 when he turned 90 suggested that not only was he Australia’s oldest licensed greyhound trainer but probably the oldest in the world.
He embraced the suggestion good-heartedly because being the world’s oldest greyhound trainer did come with a few perks – not the least being his own reserved table at Tara Raceway on race days and a birthday cake on or about April 25 each year.
Mumbannar trainer Monty Wilson has the distinction of winning the inaugural Dowdell Memorial last year with Lektra Excess defeating Galactic Dragon and Still We Believe. It was a good result, with Wilson, like Dowell, being a hobby trainer and simply enjoying the sport.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Glencoe greyhound Galactic Viper showed there is still plenty of life left in his 62-month-old legs when taking the time honours in last Sunday’s Ivor Dowdell Memorial heats (400 metres) at Tara Raceway.
Quite possibly the oldest greyhound to be currently racing – and winning – in SA, the son of Velocette x Magic Elite led all the way from box one in the first of three heats, eventually defeating Mahlo Blackhawk by 6¾ lengths in 23.45 seconds.
The win took Galactic Viper’s record to 120 starts for 25 wins, 26 seconds and 12 thirds, with Barry Shepheard taking over the ownership and training of the black dog in early 2016.
Five-year-old winners at Tara Raceway – or any other track for that matter – are not all that common, one of the last being back at the end of 2014 when another Shepheard-trained greyhound in Rouse Flyer won on his fifth birthday and clinched Greyhound of the Year honours.
But there have been some wonderful stories surrounding the longevity of racing greyhounds, perhaps none better than that of Green Lizard who raced on 223 occasions before being retired at the age of 86 months.
Named after a poker machine, Green Lizard was by Colonial Warrior, a winner of 24 races on SA tracks, out of Dixie Land who won her last race at Port Lincoln over 306 metres.
Whelped in March 1997, the Lizard was trained in SA’s north at Crystal Brook by local legend Trevor “Swami” Hendry whose association with the dog from a racing point of view commenced in May 1999 and concluded five years later with a record of 64 wins, 44 seconds and 31 thirds at Angle Park, Gawler, Strathalbyn, Barmera, Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla.
And speaking of local legends. Allendale East trainer Connie Miller’s terrific run this year with Chilly Kiss continued in the second heat of Sunday’s memorial when the daughter of Spring Gun x Chilly Babe quickly found the front from box one and then held out Eily West, a good run considering she was having her first run at the track for Geelong owner-trainer Mick Vaughan.
Chilly Kiss, who currently leads Hopalong by two points in the Greyhound of the Year, has now become one of a relatively few greyhounds to have won over 400 metres, 512 metres and 600 metres at Tara Raceway.
Azumi Swift, having only her second race start this year, kept out of trouble from box eight before finding the front and then never really looking like being beaten in the third heat of the memorial.
Trained at Worrolong by Lee Bartholomew, the daughter of Cosmic Chief x Azumi Touch defeated Mount Gambier Cup finalist Verev and the speedy Dimora Flash – all three through to next Wednesday’s ANZAC Day final along with Galactic Viper, Mahlo Blackhawk, Chilly Kiss, Eily West and Cheyenne Black.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
The weeks when the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club conducts meetings on Friday and Sunday at Tara Raceway obviously need some fine tuning if this week’s double-header is any indication.
Eight races – one of the smallest meetings in years – will be run on Friday while Sunday’s time-graded fixture comprises 12 races.
Although, before going into panic mode, it’s probably fair to say that 20 races for the weekend is still more than acceptable. Not acceptable though, after eight races had been graded for Friday, is the fact that there were some greyhounds that missed out on gaining a start at Sunday’s meeting.
The time-graded meetings are intended for lower-grade greyhounds with a view to keeping them in the system. And while the first prizemoney is considerably less than a normal race meeting, the fact that all runners receive at least $70 for going around has found favour with many trainers.
The main meeting on double-header weekends has always struggled up to a point because there are always going to be some of the better greyhounds that slip through the cracks and find themselves in time-graded races.
For something different, maybe it’s time to revisit the Pathway system and add a couple of these races to the main meeting program (if required). These races are where every player still wins a prize but time standards apply which require dogs to have run outside a designated time at their past four starts.
And where possible, the time-graded meeting needs to be run on a Friday.
Monday, April 16, 2018
A decision in August last year by local owners Willie Vossen and Michael Robinson to entrust their greyhound Bekim Lucy’s with leading trainer Tracie Price of Compton paid dividends at Angle Park’s City A meeting last Thursday night.
Making the trip to Adelaide on the back of two Tara Raceway 600 metre wins and a last start success over 732 metres, Bekim Lucy’s was one of the outsiders at $21 despite drawing box one in the Only At The Dogs Free For All over 731 metres.
While the black bitch quickly settled in second place she was still spotting the pacemaker Ashom Monelli many lengths down the back straight although by the time the leader turned for home Bekim Lucy’s was poised to make a race of it.
And make a race of it she did, eventually wearing down the leader to win by a nose in 43.42 seconds, giving her ecstatic owners their first city success and the first prize of $2940.
By Bekim Bale x Lucy’s Moment, Bekim Lucy’s was purchased as a three-month-old pup from Price, who had bred the litter, and then reared at Vossen’s Mil Lel property.
“We actually started off training her,” Robinson recalled this morning. “And while she won a couple of races for us at Tara Raceway we were pretty keen to get her into Tracie’s hands because we knew she could run a bit and also he was in a position to travel with her.”
Bekim Lucy’s will now return to Angle Park on Thursday night for the $4990 heats of the SA Distance Championship, with connections hoping to qualify for the $14,500 final which will be run on April 26.
Also making the trip to Angle Park for the Distance Championship will be Cryer’s Plugger, a brilliant all the way winner of the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (600 m) in 35.45 seconds at Tara Raceway on Sunday.
Cryer’s Plugger, who defeated Bekim Lucy’s over 732 metres in a quick 43.64 seconds last month, is trained at Apsley by Tom Cryer, the veteran mentor opting to place the son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget in the hands of Price for the Adelaide series.
Meanwhile, Solitary Lad, one of the better higher-grade greyhounds going around Tara Raceway but struggling to find a race at the local track at the moment, lined up from box two in a 485 metre grade five event at Horsham last Thursday afternoon.
Trained for Ann Sinnott by Richard Clayfield of Glenroy, the son of Lonesome Cry x Up And Away quickly found the front and never really looked in any danger, eventually running out a 1½ length winner over Arcup Usain in 27.60 seconds.
Clayfield’s last win at Horsham was back in June 2015 when the Sinnott-owned Upset Boy, also out of Up And Away but by Velocette, won over 570 metres.
And Springvale Alysa wrapped up a couple of good days for Kongorong trainer John Little when winning the opening race at Tara Raceway on Sunday, the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m).
On Friday, Little had been at Strathalbyn where Bungaloo Ruby quickly found the front in a grade six 319 metre dash and then held out Tarwyn Park to win in 18.78 seconds.
Both greyhounds are raced by Little in partnership with Liz Newberry and Kevin Mullan, Springvale Alysa, after recently being purchased from Adelaide, having her first start for the new connections.
The black bitch never really looked in any danger of defeat, jumping well from box one and leading all the way to defeat Azumi Striker by three lengths in 30.81 seconds on a weather-beaten track that was certainly anything but conducive to quick times.
The trio’s purchase came about after they had acquired Xtreme Caution in the recent Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta and then collected more than $4000 when he ultimately won the cup.
Whelped in March 2016, the nicely-bred Springvale Alysa is by Dyna Double One out of 18-race winner Springvale Cool although, according to Little, she hadn’t been their original choice.
“Late last month she had raced against Dyna Quail who comfortably defeated her in a maiden 515 metre race at Angle Park,” he said. “Dyna Quail was the dog we were chasing but when the sale failed to eventuate we were able to pick up the second placegetter Springvale Alysa and still have change from our Calcutta windfall.”
Little said he was now considering running Springvale Alysa at Warrnambool on Thursday in heats of a mixed 6/7 over 450 metres – the final on the following Wednesday carrying $1650 to the winner.
And the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club did its bit on Sunday for Operation Flinders. With Greyhound Racing SA donating $250 for every box one greyhound winning across South Australia during April it was good result for the charity with Springvale Alysa, Cryer’s Plugger, Redda, Galactic Viper and Chilly Kiss all carrying the red rug to victory.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Leading local greyhound trainers Tracie Price and Nicole Stanley look set to continue their short-course battle at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when they will provide six of the eight runners in the Williams Crane Hire Open Stake (400 metres).
The race will once again feature the clash of Oh No Beta, trained at Portland by Stanley, and the Compton-based Price’s Hopalong, the fastest greyhound to go around the Tara Raceway 400 metre journey this year.
By the Australian bred Irish sire Crash, Hopalong ran times of 22.93 seconds and 22.96 seconds earlier this year, defeating Oh No Beta on both occasions.
But Oh No Beta turned the tables in last Sunday’s Produce Store Open Stake (400 m), leading all the way from box five to defeat Hopalong by a length in 22.97 seconds, the third fastest time run at the track this year.
Raced by the breeder, Jason Caddy of Adelaide suburb Surrey Downs, Oh No Beta has now won 12 races since being taken over by Stanley in July last year. Prior to that, he had won 10 races on Adelaide tracks.
By Lochinvar Marlow, the black dog is out of Caddy’s former top bitch Sometimes Speedy who traces back to George and Irene Rehmann’s successful “Gemtrea” line.
Sometimes Speedy, a daughter of Collision and Gemstone Supreme, raced on 54 occasions for 25 wins, 16 minor placings and $150,000 in prizemoney, the highlight of her career being a win in the 2013 Group 1 National Futurity final in NSW.
And with the Greyhound of the Year award now slowly starting to sort itself out, both Hopalong and Oh No Beta figure in the top 10 which is currently headed by Connie Miller’s Chilly Kiss.
As far as the Leading Trainer award is concerned, Price (285 points) holds a commanding lead over Stanley (139) who was last year’s leading trainer. At the corresponding time last year, Stanley led Price 185 points to 147.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Cee Righty, who kicked off his career at Tara Raceway back in July 2016, continued his recent winning run for owner-trainer Andy Graham when successful at Horsham at Tuesday.
Also bred by Graham, the fawn dog’s win at the nice odds of $8.70 followed on from two previous wins at Warrnambool, also at nice odds of $13.10 and $29.90.
By Cosmic Chief out of Victorian city winner Cee Anna Rose, Cee Righty has now won nine races and more than $15,000 in prizemoney for the Portland plasterer.
He’ll now go around again on Saturday at Warrnambool with Graham then venturing to Tara Raceway on Sunday with litter sister Cee Hannah Rose who looks well placed from box one in the Produce Store Stake (512 m).
Cee Anna Rose, a daughter of Bombastic Shiraz x Senni Wendy, has another litter to follow – whelped in February 2017 by Magic Sprite – with Graham more than satisfied with initial breaking-in reports.