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

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JANUARY 27: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 29 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Friday, February 1 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.


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On song at Tara Raceway

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Local owner Troy Casey won his first race at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when No Song, trained by Nicole Stanley, led all the way to bring up her second win in eight starts in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 metres).

No Song was an impressive winner at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Casey is one of four members of the Son Of Vadar Syndicate that races No Song, having her first race start at Tara Raceway after previously racing in Adelaide where she won her maiden over 388 metres at Angle Park early last month.

On track for last Sunday’s win, this is his first involvement in the sport, the syndicate purchasing the May 2017 black bitch as a pup.

Also in the syndicate is Adam Burda, of West Richmond, who bred No Song, a daughter of Fabregas and Kaos Chloe, a 23-race chaser that ran five minor placings.

No Song would have found Sunday’s grade six event somewhat easier than that night back in November at Angle Park when she ran into boom Adelaide youngster Sennachie who carved out a blistering 29.52 seconds for the 515 metre journey.

First-time Mount Gambier owner Troy Casey pictured with No Song.

All the same, No Song’s three length win over a couple of more than handy types in Summer Storm and Moraine Pippa in the second-fastest time of the day – 30.35 seconds – suffice to say, was impressive enough for Stanley to nominate her for The Meadows tomorrow.

Sunday’s winner is also shaping up as another contender for Stanley in next month’s Summer Classic – a fourth placing behind Menzel Boys in the 2016 final with Rowchester Star the closest she’s so far come to winning the event – the Portland trainer looking likely to hold a strong hand in the age-restricted series for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2017.

And while the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club will be conducting an 11-race time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway tomorrow, Stanley will also have Candy Chimes, School Report, Tennessee Rain and Miss Patchouli engaged at The Meadows.

Also at The Meadows are Sims Memorial winning trainer Nifty Lenehan with Oshkosh Nar and Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott who has Black Spring, Nix Jakit, Bab’s Jakit and Bowled Harro engaged.

Miss Consistency shines at Tara Raceway

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Springvale Alysa’s outstanding front-running effort to hold out Paraphernalia and win the JB Irrigation Open Stake (512 m) in a best of day 30.05 seconds at Tara Raceway last Sunday continued the black bitch’s amazing run at Tara Raceway.

Springvale Alysa defeats Paraphernalia and Cryer’s Plugger at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

It’s now been nine months since the daughter of Dyna Double One and Springvale Cool, purchased as a maiden from Adelaide, had her first run at Tara Raceway, resulting in a 512 metre win over Azumi Striker in 30.81 seconds.

Since then Springvale Alysa, trained and part-owned at Kongorong by John Little in partnership with Liz Newberry and Kevin Mullan, has never been out of a place at the Mount Gambier track – racing there a further 17 times for nine wins, four seconds and four thirds.

It’s been a good start to the year for the trio, racing under the banner of the Bungaloo Syndicate, a recent purchase in Yappy Allen also successful at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

John Little and Kevin Mullan pictured with Springvale Alysa after her win.

And speaking of good starts to the year, Compton trainer Tracie Price, the 2018 Ian Badger Leading Trainer at Tara Raceway with 137 winners, has already led in 11 winners, six seconds and six thirds at the four meetings run at the local track in 2019.

While experiencing little joy at Murray Bridge on Sunday, Price shared training honours with Little at Tara Raceway when Dimora Flash brought up two wins in a row with a dashing front-running display in a best of day 23.04 seconds in the Metal Worx Mixed Stake (400 m).

Blazing Moment made it a running double in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m), the widely-travelled sprinter chasing Cosmic Ann early before gaining a rails run and finishing the stronger to win by three-quarters of a length in 23.22 seconds.

Twisted Missile wins an emotional Sims Memorial

Monday, January 21, 2019

Portland greyhound Twisted Missile ran right up to her quick heat win of last week when successful in Sunday’s Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.

Having only her second race start, the Neville “Nifty” Lenehan trained daughter of Nitro Burst x Harper Seven burst out of box eight, cutting down sharply soon after and then chasing School Report into the back straight before taking over the running.

Twisted Missile defeats School Report, Rooster (No. 5) and Oshkosh Nar (6) in the Sims Memorial final at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

From then on the 24.9 kilogram black bitch never looked in any danger of defeat, eventually running out a 3¾ lengths winner in 30.50 seconds over School Report while Rooster and Oshkosh Nar both worked home well for third and fourth respectively.

It was an emotional weekend for the Sims family with the funeral of Ian, a son of Val and Col Sims and also a life member of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc., having been conducted in Mount Gambier on the Saturday.

But on Sunday the family came together at the greyhound track like never before.

Handling the presentation was Kevin “KD” Douglas, who recalled a long-time association with Ian Sims while Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club president John Woodland spoke on behalf of the club.

“We thank you for your attendance today during this difficult time and look forward to seeing you again next year – in happier circumstances – for the Sims Memorial Maiden,” he said.

And Sims Memorial co-ordinator, daughter Lorraine Webber, made the presentation to Twisted Missile’s handler Nicole Stanley who stood in for Lenehan, a name synonymous with greyhound racing in Western Victoria.

The Sims Memorial presentation at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

It was also an emotional day for the winner’s trainer. But Stanley, who won the memorial in 2016 with Rowchester Star and trained this year’s runner-up, did him proud in her acceptance speech.

For Lenehan, Sunday’s win was his second feature race success at Tara Raceway – King Obama successful in the Blue Lake 600, a middle-distance event that complemented the 2017 Mount Gambier Cup carnival.

On that occasion, King Obama, who gained a run in the final off the reserve bench, led all the way to defeat Jasmine Lilly by six lengths in 35.60 seconds.

Lenehan, who still has six unnamed littermates of Twisted Missile – whelped in November 2016 – to put through their paces, is undecided at this stage where Sunday’s front-running winner will head next.

“To be honest, I’m not really sure. We’re heading to The Meadows on Wednesday so I might even give her a trial there and see how she handles the track,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s Sims Memorial final has also thrown up a few contenders for next month’s Summer Classic, a Special Event run over 512 metres for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2017.

Second, third and fourth placegetters in the final – School Report, Rooster and Oshkosh Nar – all fit the bill from age point of view, as do other finalists Cleansing Ale, Candy Chimes and Bourne Thanks.

Heats of the Summer Classic will be run on Sunday, February 17 with the final the following Sunday.

Recent purchases fight out finish

Monday, January 21, 2019

A couple of recent purchases in Yappy Allen and Kermy’s Gem fought out the finish of the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Having their first race starts at Tara Raceway, the pair settled second and third behind Midnight Ruby before Yappy Allen finished the stronger to defeat Kermy’s Gem by three-quarters of a length in 23.46 seconds.

Yappy Allen defeats Kermy’s Gem and Dare To Do at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

By Taylors Sky out of 12-race winner Ferrari Bale, Yappy Allen, now trained at Kongorong by John Little, was purchased by the Bungaloo Syndicate for $2500 after a 1½ length second at Angle Park earlier this month.

Kermy’s Gem won his maiden at Warragul in November, Penola owner-trainer Damien Smith picking up the son of Paw Licking and Hayley’s Gem, who didn’t race, for $2000 after being advertised for sale.

Little will now attempt to “beat the grader” with Yappy Allen when he lines up from box three in the Stake (512 m) at Wednesday’s Tara Raceway time-graded meeting.

Yappy Allen’s clash with Conde could be interesting with the Wade Green trained son of Magic Sprite x Miss Kiss unbeaten in three starts over 512 metres at Tara Raceway and boasting a best time of 30.11 seconds.

Kermy’s Gem will also race on Wednesday, drawing box eight in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) and looking well-placed to open his winning account at Mount Gambier.

Big bonuses for Murray Bridge, Mt. Gambier cups

Thursday, January 17, 2019

It will be a big month of racing in March when Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier conduct their Group Listed cups – both worth $15,000 to the winner.

With the finals of the inaugural Murray Bridge Cup and the 39th Mount Gambier Cup to be run on Sunday, March 17 and Sunday, March 31 respectively, Greyhound Racing SA Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson this week announced the introduction of bonuses that would link the two events.

“The bonuses include $5000 if the same dog can win both the Murray Bridge Cup and the Mount Gambier Cup,” he said.

“In addition there will also be a $5000 trainer bonus if the same trainer is able to win both cups (SA or interstate or different dogs).”

Heats of the Murray Bridge Cup will be run over 455 metres on Friday, March 8 and the Mount Gambier heats (512 m) on Sunday, March 24.

Jenna Halliday pictured with Hutch who has now won 18 races at Tara Raceway.

Meanwhile, despite a top win by Hutch in last Sunday’s Produce Store Open Stake (512 m), Portland trainer Robert Halliday says he has no plans for the cup at this stage and is simply taking it one day at a time with his rising four-year-old son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie.

“I don’t really plan ahead with my dogs. The cup is still a couple of months away but if Hutch is up and about come March then I’ll nominate him although a fair bit can happen in that time,” said Halliday, who has never won a Mount Gambier Cup.

Last Sunday Hutch chased speedy front runner Springvale Alysa until off the back where he took the lead, ultimately running out a 2¼ length winner over Paraphernalia in a quick 29.78 seconds and bringing up a treble for his trainer who earlier in the day had been successful with Koda Blue and Molly’s Wally.

Hutch, a finalist in the 2017 Mount Gambier Cup won by Fabregal, failed to make the final last year but was successful in the Cup Consolation.

A lead-in to the cup for the younger greyhounds will be the Summer Classic, run over 512 metres for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2017 – heats for this series on Sunday, February 17 with the $3000 final a week later.

And it’s fair to say that the Summer Classic, first run in 2015, has unearthed some pretty smart greyhounds with all four previous winners reaching the Mount Gambier Cup final the following month.

Inaugural winner was Cryer’s Ricky who clocked 29.96 seconds for trainer Tom Cryer. Menzel Boys won the 2016 event for Tony Hinrichsen and Lisa Rasmussen in 30.01 seconds while Robert Halliday’s Hutch was successful in 2017 in a time of 30.30 seconds. And Steve Bartholomew’s Galactic Panther scored a stirring victory over Dynamite Danger last year in near race-record time of 29.97 seconds.

Farewell to the guy in the bucket hat

Thursday, January 17, 2019

In recent years, Ian Sims’s involvement in greyhound racing mainly centred on being at Tara Raceway every January – ever-conspicuous in his bucket hat – for the running of his parents’ memorial, the Val and Col Sims Maiden.

Ian, Col and Val Sims pictured at Tara Raceway in 2002.

There was a time, though, when it went much further than that, helping out his father with his large team of dogs at coursing meetings, at Glenburnie when track racing commenced and later at Lake Terrace East where this year’s Val and Col Sims Memorial final will be run on Sunday afternoon.

He also raced greyhounds, no doubt one of his favourites being the aptly named Colin Ian who won the final Mount Gambier Cup run at Glenburnie in 1996.

As president of the Mount Gambier and District Coursing Club, his involvement at Mil Lel meetings was significant and saw him awarded life membership of the club in 1994.

His death last week at the age of 61 came as a shock to all who knew him.

However, while the 2019 Val and Col Sims Memorial final will be tinged in sadness, members of the extended Sims family will congregate at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the running of one of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s time-honoured events.

And that’s what Ian Sims would have wanted.

Missile set to launch in Sims Memorial final

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Portland greyhound trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan looks to hold a strong hand with Twisted Missile and Oshkosh Nar in Sunday’s Val and Col Sims Memorial maiden final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.

Twisted Missile defeats Candy Chimes in the first heat of the Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Having her first start in heat one last Sunday, Twisted Missile held out Candy Chimes to win by 1½ lengths in a smart maiden time of 30.16 seconds – the quicker of the two heats as it turned out.

And Oshkosh Nar, at start number three after two unplaced runs at Warrnambool, chased Bab’s Jakit throughout, eventually going down by 1½ lengths in 30.30 seconds, Lenehan believing the finish-on-lure at Tara Raceway may work in the dog’s favour.

Lenehan, who races Twisted Missile in partnership with Karen Pitt of Botanic Ridge, whelped the Nitro Burst x Harper Seven litter down in November 2016 and still has six more of the litter to put through their paces.

Nifty Lenehan with Twisted Missile, the faster of the two Sims Memorial heat winners.

He said Harper Seven had raced only 14 times for seven wins, all over the short course, but that her dam, Alotta Mojo, had been pretty handy, winning 19 races which included three successive wins at Sandown Park in 2008 and later that year wins at Sandown Park, Cranbourne and The Meadows in succession.

According to Lenehan, Twisted Missile, who is from Harper Seven’s second litter, didn’t really surprise him when winning in quick time last Sunday.

“Lack of field experience is generally an issue with first starters,” he said. “But she had been trialling well and I thought if she kept out of trouble then she would be very hard to beat.”

Oshkosh Nar, a giant of a greyhound that weighed in at 39.3 kilograms last Sunday, found his way over to Portland in early November from Anakie-based Dailly Greyhounds that bred and own the son of Dyna Double One and Oshkosh Fayola.

The US-bred Oshkosh Fayola (Kiowa Mon Manny x Oshkosh City) won 20 races in the US at the Southland track over 533 metres and 603 metres.

Bab’s Jakit led all the way when defeating Oshkosh Nar in the second heat of the Sims Memorial.

Lenehan’s involvement with the Daillys actually goes back to 1998 when Tom Dailly trained Star Of Mine for him, the daughter of Head Honcho x Hoppy’s Star – bred by Brian Lenehan – winning 23 races and more than $74,000 in stakemoney.

Incidentally, the Footy Show dog You Idiot, who created plenty of interest when he raced and won at Tara Raceway in January 1999, was a litter brother to Star Of Mine.

Candy Chimes looked pretty good for fellow Portland trainer Nicole Stanley – who won the Sims Memorial in 2016 with Rowchester Star – when going down by only 1½ lengths to Twisted Missile.

Cap Abbott with Bab’s Jakit.

By Mogambo, Candy Chimes is out of NSW city-winning stayer Blossom Dior and a litter sister to Black Signature, twice a winner at Sandown Park over 515 metres in 29.63 seconds last November.

Last Sunday’s run was only her second in a race for Stanley who was delighted to see the black bitch run up to her trial form.

“It’s taken her a while for her to get used to a field,” she said. “But she had been trialling well so it was very pleasing to see her handle herself so well last Sunday.”

Stanley also has School Report through to the final after his third behind Twisted Missile and a likely improver after only joining the kennel just before Christmas straight from breaking-in.

Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott’s bid to win another Sims Memorial after Arbour Darby in 2013 didn’t start off too well when Nix Jakit fell going out of the first turn in heat one.

But the Captain, in his own inimitable style, quickly picked himself up off the canvas, bouncing back with a win in the second heat with Bab’s Jakit who wrapped up a busy week after running third at Angle Park on the Monday and second at the same track on the Thursday.

Cape Bridgewater trainer Scott Blacksell will be hoping he has something to crow about with Rooster, into the final on the back of a solid third placing behind Bab’s Jakit and Oshkosh Nar.

Purchased by Blacksell as a pup from Abbott, Rooster is by Cosmic Rumble out of Manila Express, winner of the Royal Fashion Feature Maiden at Tara Raceway in December 2013 before going on to win a further 16 races.

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