SUNDAY, MAY 26: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, MAY 30 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, May 27 with GRSA. SUNDAY, JUNE 2: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, May 28 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track. WORM BURNER PUPS FOR SALE: See “For Sale/Wanted”.
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Locally owned and trained greyhound Galactic Titan soon put paid to a proposed trip to Murray Bridge after an outstanding effort at Tara Raceway last Sunday afternoon.
Raced by his breeder, Robert Chuck of Moorak, and trained at Worrolong by Steve Bartholomew, the 35 kilogram brindle dog went into the Greg Martlew Autos Open Stake (512 metres) with a record of four wins from four starts at the local track.
All told, the 21-month-old Galactic Titan had raced on only five occasions and realistically looked to face a fair task when taking on Tara Raceway’s best greyhounds that collectively had been around on more than 300 occasions for close to 80 wins.
But, it seems, reputations count for nothing when it comes to the Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball litter. After all, Titan’s sister Galactic Athena, raced in the same interests, had already re-written the record books with a win in March’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup when barely out of the whelping box.
As such, Galactic Titan went into last Sunday’s main race as one of the main chances and, despite only an average start from box four, was good enough to have put himself in the race by the first turn before taking over down the back from the speedy front-running Springvale Alysa.
In the end, his 3½ length win in a best if day 29.69 seconds over 93-start veteran Cryer’s Plugger and Wanchai Express, a 2019 Mount Gambier Cup finalist, told the story.
Originally, Galactic Titan was set to contest a heat of a grade six series over 455 metres at Murray Bridge this Sunday night. Now he’s heading in a different direction.
Galactic Athena made her highly anticipated Angle Park race debut last week, looking well placed in a grade six bitches race over 515 metres but having never seen the track.
She was away well from box seven and after a momentary scare on the first turn she cleared the field, eventually running out a 9¾ length winner in a quick 29.66 seconds.
The littermates will likely make their way back to Angle Park in July for the Champion Puppy Classic (515 m), a time-honoured event that will ideally suit the August 2017 whelpings.
Galactic Athena was always going to head to Sandown Park tomorrow night for a heat of the Ron Nestor Memorial (515 m). Galactic Titan will now join her, neither greyhound having seen the track.
Four $5280-to-the-winner memorial heats will be run for greyhounds that are grade five at both Sandown Park and The Meadows – the final to be conducted at Sandown Park next Thursday night with the winner receiving $12,000.
Galactic Athena has drawn box four in the first heat while Galactic Titan will jump from seven in heat two.
It’s a big meeting at Sandown Park tomorrow night, highlighted by the Sandown Cup final (715 m) which carries $175,000 to the winner. Other $100,000-to-the-winner feature events include the Sapphire Crown (515 m) and the Harrison Dawson (515 m).
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley has drawn box six with Dyna Quota in the TAB Cup Night Stayers (715 m), which has a first prize of $15,000.
Meanwhile, Chuck said he would be more than happy if his latest brood bitch, Storm Allen, turns out to be half as successful as Galactic Rumball who is now in the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) after whelping litters to Milldean Panther and Paddy Whacker.
From the Milldean Panther mating came Faster Bolt, Galactic Cat and Galactic Panther, winner of the 2018 Summer Classic at Tara Raceway as well as third placegetter in the 2018 Mount Gambier Cup behind Xtreme Caution and Lektra Stomp.
And as an aside, Azumi Spirit, a best of day 400 metre winner last Sunday in 22.99 seconds, is a daughter of Azumi Touch who is a litter sister to Galactic Rumball.
By Bekim Bale x Horizon Bale, Storm Allen won six races at Geelong, Angle Park and Gawler (643 m) and is from the same litter as Allen Wake, a Victorian city-winning stayer that saw out his racing days at Tara Raceway.
Storm Allen has been mated with Dyna Lachlan and is due to whelp in early July although there was a time when Chuck was despairing of her ever coming on season.
“I had been waiting for something like three years to breed with her and in fact she was booked into GAP not long before she came on season. She’s now seven years old so this will be her only litter,” he said.
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
The family-friendly sport of greyhound racing certainly doesn’t get any friendlier than that of the Mackareth family and their support of Azumi Spirit.
Local electrician Adam Mackareth is a one-dog owner-trainer and whenever Azumi Spirit is engaged at Tara Raceway his wife Kerry, children Coco and Summer, mum Jo and Ian and Val Kenny are at the track to cheer on the daughter of Dyna Tron and Azumi Touch.
And they had plenty to cheer about at last Sunday’s meeting when she led all the way in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 metres) to defeat Five Times Table by 6¼ lengths in a flying 22.99 seconds.
In fact, Azumi Spirit’s time was the fastest run this year over Tara Raceway’s short course since January’s opening meeting when Cryer’s Harper recorded 22.96 seconds.
Looking for a greyhound to race late last year after his previous one had been retired, Mackereth was offered Azumi Spirit by the Bartholomew family of Worrolong, the brindle bitch having now won three races this year – all over 400 metres.
“It was a generous offer on the part of Steve and Lee (Bartholomew) and I really appreciated it,” Mackereth said.
While Azumi Spirit had won two 512 metre races prior to her new trainer taking over, Mackereth said he was of the opinion that perhaps she wasn’t all that comfortable going into the first turn.
“Even though she had run several minor places for me she always seemed to be giving away big starts when coming out of the first turn and heading into the back straight,” he said.
“But it was only after she sustained a minor injury in early March and then trialled well several weeks later over 400 metres, which starts on a bend, that I decided to nominate her for a short-course race.
“So far it’s working well. She has now had four starts over 400 metres in April-May for two wins (22.99, 23.17) and two seconds.”
For the first time in her racing career of 29 starts, Azumi Spirit will now have a change of track when Mackereth heads to Murray Bridge on Sunday for a heat of a grade six series over 455 metres, her trainer hoping the one-bend track will suit her style of racing.
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
While passing pretty well unnoticed, Tara Raceway track manager Tim Manterfield did remind us that it was 21 years ago last weekend that the South East Greyhound Racing Club (as it was then known) was officially opened at Lake Terrace East by Allan Scott.
The official opening on Monday, May 18, 1998 came close to 18 months after the first race meeting had been conducted at the new venue in January 1997 and took place on the Adelaide Cup public holiday.
The opening coincided with the running of the Smokefree Mount Gambier Cup final (512 m). And in what was always a terrific weekend, seven heats (winners received $150 each) were run on the Saturday with the draw for the Monday meeting conducted at a dinner that night.
This was the second Mount Gambier Cup to be run at Lake Terrace East, Warrnambool trainer John Drennan ultimately running the quinella with Manawartoo (top seller at the Calcutta with a bid of $212) and Stilson.
And on hand for the official opening was the committee of the day, led by president Craig Collins, vice-president Dean Fennell and secretary/treasurer Connie Miller who were assisted by Steve Bartholomew, Gwen Burdon, Des and Phil Dowdell, Stuart Gardiner, Allen and David Peckham, Terry Smith, Bob Thomson and Allan Virgo.
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Murtoa greyhound Callanish Sprite, a desperately unlucky second at her first Tara Raceway start last week, should make amends for trainer Heather Baxter at Thursday’s time-graded meeting.
The daughter of Magic Sprite and Infinite Wish, a city-winning stayer in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and WA, last week made a real mess of the 512 metre start before finishing strongly to be beaten a half head by Mount Duke in 30.57 seconds.
Callanish Sprite has drawn box two in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m), with Baxter, who rarely races at Tara Raceway, last successful at the track four years ago with Terra Verde.
And Molly’s Wally looks well placed in box one for Portland trainer Robert Halliday in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) as does Serendipity Gold in the Winningformula.net.au Stake (512 m) for trainer Sandra Elmes of Dunolly.
Monday, May 20, 2019
Run of the day at last Thursday’s meeting at Tara Raceway most certainly came from New Wave, a quick 29.83 seconds winner of the Produce Store Stake (512 m) by 7¾ lengths for Dunolly trainer Richard Boehm, a time-graded regular.
The winner is owned by well-known Victorian greyhound identity Geoff Collins who also bred the black bitch as well as breeding, owning and training her sire and dam – Cutting Edge and Enjoy.
Boehm, who took over the training of New Wave after she had been unplaced at her first four runs, has now won four races with her and was keen on her chances after she had raced up the straight at Healesville on the Monday prior.
“She’s gradually gaining more confidence and when she ran a close-up fourth at Healesville I thought she would be in with a real chance today from box one.”
Occasionally greyhounds such as New Wave, from a fast winning time point of view, slip under the radar at Tara Raceway time-graded meetings – others springing to mind this year including Molly’s Wally, Rose Ali and Ballet Creek.
Boehm said that with New Wave now likely to struggle in the short term to gain a start in a grade six at a Tara Raceway Thursday meeting because of her sub-30 second winning time he was looking at the Sunday meetings.
“I’m thinking of having a crack at next month’s Iron Dog with Blondy Two. The three rounds are all run at Sunday meetings so if everything goes to plan then I’ll bring New Wave over as well to see how she measures up in Category 3 company over 512 metres.”
New Wave’s win was the third leg of a treble for Boehm after Supasonic Saz led all the way for a 4¼ length win in 23.57 seconds in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m) while Lil Black Jess also scored an all the way win in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m).
And David Peckham of Allendale East took Sunday’s training honours at Tara Raceway with a treble – Bourne Birdie, Chilly Kiss and Usain Insane – his third this year and complementing local race meetings where he has also trained seven doubles, as well as four and five winners on two other occasions.
Bourne Birdie, a daughter of Barcia Bale and Thanks Tubby, snuck through along the rails in the home straight to edge out odds-on favourite Our Menace in the Winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m) and in doing so bring up the first leg of a two-State double for the litter.
Later, Mulla Mulla Lad, back on the track after a career-threatening injury, led all the way to win a maiden 318 metre event at Dubbo’s Sunday night meeting for co-owners Peckham and Parkes trainer Jamie O’Malley.
Chilly Kiss appreciated a drop in class when leading all the way in The Border Watch Mixed Stake (400 m), holding out a fast-finishing Cryer’s Jed to win by 1¼ lengths in a personal best 23.07 seconds.
Raced by Clarissa Miller, Chilly Kiss is approaching 100 race starts and has now won 11 races over three distances since being taken over as a giveaway by Peckham in October 2017.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Weekly trips to Mount Gambier by Victorian greyhound trainer Robert Proctor finally paid off at last Thursday’s Tara Raceway time-graded meeting.
For most of this year, Proctor has been making the trip over from Mininera – a town with a population of something like 60 that is situated down the road from Lake Bolac – and last week brought up his first winner at Tara Raceway with Winslow Lodge.
Winslow Lodge, who had raced over the 400 metre journey on seven previous occasions for a third placing, was only fairly away from box two in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake but found a rails opening down the back before running away to a five length win over Flash Marcia in 23.65 seconds.
Bred by her owner-trainer, the daughter of Vee Man Vane and Proctor Rules was whelped in March 2016 but has raced on only 11 occasions, Proctor saying it taken a long time to get her used to racing and all that goes with it.
“She actually broke in pretty well but is a very ‘spooky’ dog and as a result her first win has certainly been a while coming.”
Proctor also bred the dam Proctor Rules, a winner of two races at Bendigo and Warrnambool, and a daughter of the legendary Irish greyhound Late Late Show.
Late Late Show ran in the name of Pat Kenny, at the time the host of Irish talk show the Late Late Show, the greyhound becoming a real favourite with racegoers and raising a huge amount of money for various charities.
A son of Spiral Nikita and Ullid Citrate, it took Late Late Show some time to live up to his potential but when he did he was simply sensational, running up a sequence of 16 wins in 2001 and failing by a head to grab Cool Performance in a memorable Irish Derby final.
With Tara Raceway currently racing twice a week, Proctor has at times been at the track for both the Thursday and Sunday meetings – the 500 kilometre round trip obviously not causing him too many concerns.
“No, I don’t mind travelling over here because Tara Raceway is a great place to race,” he said.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Wins by School Report, Ben Nevis and Joshua Rocks at Tara Raceway last Sunday continued Portland pair Nicole Stanley and Nifty Lenehan’s recent successful run.
For Stanley’s School Report, a son of Barcia Bale and the former versatile bitch Flamin’ Go, the win in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 metres) was his third short-course success from his past four starts.
And she brought up a double with Ben Nevis, back last month with a new lease of life, making it three wins in succession when defeating the Lenehan-trained Lektra Brandy by a neck with a further neck back to Val and David Brodhurst’s Dare To Do.
By Return The King x Tarks Jewel, Ben Nevis is now racing in the form that saw him win last year’s Anniversary Cup at Tara Raceway, Stanley probably looking at back-to-back cups and in doing so emulating Mojito Mayhem’s 2015-2016 effort.
The Winningformula.net.au Stake (512 m) was a terrific race with Dare To Do, attempting to make it four wins in a row but up in class, giving a great sight all the same for a greyhound picked up for $1100 after having won a maiden at Warragul 12 months ago.
The lightly-raced Lenehan bred and trained 3½-year-old Joshua Rocks, having only his 18th start in 13 months of racing, turned in a big effort to win the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m).
Last early, the 37 kilogram son of Cosmic Rumble x Obama’s Girl still had plenty of work to do down the back before storming home to defeat Zambora Club by three lengths in 30.26 seconds.
Not bad for a greyhound with a prognosis a short time ago that suggested he might not race again.
“His whole racing career has been a bit that way,” Lenehan said. “Just when you think he’s down for the count he bounces back with another win.
“The trouble is he’s so slow early. I think basically he’s a finish-on-lure dog at Mount Gambier where’s he’s won three races in pretty good fashion but I am thinking of nominating him for a meeting at Horsham next week.”
Lenehan also bred Obama’s Girl’s previous litter, by Kinloch Brae, and is currently rearing two dogs and two bitches (by Fernando Bale) out of Joshua Rocks’ half-sister Herbilly which are now eight months old.