FRIDAY, JULY 27 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, July 23 with GRSA. SUNDAY, JULY 29: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, July 24 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Sometimes the time-graded meetings at Tara Raceway throw up a greyhound that looks to be so well-graded in the lower class, non-penalty format that, all things being equal, the dog should just win.
Boona Lad was a case in point at last Thursday’s meeting when he lined up in the Williams Crane Hire Stake, a grade six 400 metre sprint, connections appearing to have found the right race for a confidence booster after a couple of tough encounters at Horsham and Ballarat.
The black dog’s only downside was the fact that he had never raced at Tara Raceway and that he had been done no favours with a box six draw. But we’re talking about a dog that a couple of months ago was running a quick 25.08 seconds at Warrnambool over 450 metres.
As things panned out, a new track and a bad box mattered little, Boona Lad quickly finding the front and tearing away to a 6¾ length win in a best of day time of 23.01 seconds for owner Jake Rhode who brought the winner over for Warrnambool trainer Norm McCullagh.
McCullagh’s last runner at Tara Raceway had been a couple of years ago when he was successful with Ella Rhode. Prior to that, in 2004, he had won the Mount Gambier Cup with Bay Rhode.
Boona Lad is a member of the Magic Sprite x So Much Joy litter which was reared by McCullagh and Rhode for Warrnambool greyhound identities Phil Mitchem and Stuart Bishop – Rhode taking a particular liking to a black dog pup.
“He was probably only about four months old at the time but I really liked him so I purchased him from Phil and Stuart. He turned out to be Boona Lad who has now won six races and run seven minor placings for $12,000 in stakemoney,” he said.
Rhode, involved in the sport for four years, is now hoping Boona Lad can add to his record when he jumps from box one in a heat of the GRV Vic Bred Series over 450 metres at Ballarat on Wednesday night.
Training honours for Thursday were shared by Dean Fennell of Glencoe and Kevin Ashton who regularly makes the five-hour trip to Mount Gambier from Charlton.
Fennell has really picked up the pace this month, having trained more winners in July than for the first six months of the year – his double with Hard Call in the Produce Store Stake (400 m) and Allen Unther in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) his second in four days after Hard Call and Ramfied had won at the previous Sunday meeting.
The Ashton-trained Ollie Aztec, who broke an 11-month drought when winning two time-graded races last month, led all the way in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) to defeat kennelmate Mr Agro.
In the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m), Ashton completed a double with China Catch ‘Em, having his first start for his new trainer and his first at the track, taking the lead down the back straight before running out a convincing winner in 30.61 seconds.
The double was Ashton’s first at Tara Raceway since January when he was successful with Spotted Gunn and Dream Edition.
Thursday, July 19, 2018
While it’s now been 31 years since a Connie Miller trained greyhound won an Anniversary Cup, the long-time Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club stalwart looks to hold a strong hand in Sunday’s final at Tara Raceway.
Successful at Glenburnie in 1986 with Kenzel Lad and Durafi the following year, Miller has Kolora Posie, the faster of the two heat winners, and current Greyhound of the Year leader Chilly Kiss lining up from boxes five and two respectively in what will be the 34th running of the Anniversary Cup (512 metres).
By Bekim Bale out of Swift Blaze, Kolora Posie is a younger full sister to 2016 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year Old Jock who ran fourth in last year’s cup behind kennelmate Fiorelli Rose, the pair trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley.
A $16 chance on the back of two 600 metre placings, Kolora Posie showed plenty of early pace in last Sunday’s first heat from box four, taking the lead going out of the first turn and, despite using plenty of the track, finishing strongly to defeat Paraphernalia by 1¼ lengths in 29.85 seconds.
And Chilly Kiss, who will be chasing her second feature win at Tara Raceway this year after success in the Tank Man (600 m) in March, worked home well for a 5¼ length third behind Bereluke in the second heat in 30.01 seconds.
Miller, a life member of the MGGRC since 1994, was also secretary of the club for 20 years and in the early 1990s received an Award of Merit from the SA Greyhound Racing Board for services to greyhound racing.
Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew is another long-time club stalwart, involved since day one at Glenburnie back in 1979 and looking for his first Anniversary Cup win with Azumi Spice who has drawn box one in the final.
A daughter of Cosmic Chief and Azumi Touch, Azumi Spice finished her race off nicely with a strong 1¾ length second to Bereluke and after some injury issues earlier in the year looks ready to make her presence felt on Sunday.
Bartholomew, awarded life membership in 1998, has been the MGGRC president for the past nine years. In 2016 he received a Greyhound Racing SA Outstanding Service to the Industry Award.
Bereluke, at Angle Park and Gawler on the previous three Sundays to contest the paid-up Produce Stake, appreciated her return to Tara Raceway, leading all the way from box eight for Stanley who also has Ben Nevis through to the final.
Bereluke, a daughter of Barcia Bale and Flying Cheryl, was the middle leg of a treble for Stanley who earlier in the day had won with Hit The Runway and later with Jan’s Star who made it two wins in succession when leading all the way in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m).
Jan’s Star’s win on Sunday gave the Spud Regis x Sweet Shine litter a two-state double after Jet Blaster collected $6260 for winning the Winter Cup up the straight at Healesville.
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Zoe and Trent Blacker, of Ballarat, are back at Tara Raceway on Sunday for the Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) with Aeroplane Mo, recent winner of the Koroit 600.
Aeroplane Mo, a son of Collision x Ritza Night, is just one of a strong line-up that will contest the fifth running of the memorial – previous winners being Zipping Basil, Harry Aztec, Supreme Deal and Two Jobs.
The Trent Blacker trained dog turned in a strong effort when clocking 35.40 seconds to defeat Good Yarn by 5¼ lengths in the Koroit 600 prior to being beaten by 4¾ lengths over 595 metres at Sandown Park last Sunday.
Nicole Stanley’s Hit The Runway also defeated Good Yarn by 5¼ lengths in last week’s Mixed Stake (600 m) while Apsley trainer Tom Cryer will be hoping Cryer’s Plugger can recapture the form that saw him win two 600 metre races at Angle Park in May.
The well-bred Cookie Yap (Flying Penske x Goddess Mist) will be having his first start at Tara Raceway for Horsham trainer Jeff Guy although the distance shouldn’t be any problem after a 699 metre win at Cranbourne last month.
Eric Lewis, a devotee of distance racing, was elected to the inaugural committee of the South East Greyhound Racing Club at a public meeting in the Mount Gambier City Hall on September 14, 1972 and between 1973 and 1975 served as president of the club.
One of Lewis’s best greyhounds was Kori Arc (Venetian Court x Baratina), a winner of 12 races, nine of these in Melbourne, including a brilliant 43.89 seconds at Olympic Park. Lewis later stood Kori Arc at stud in Mount Gambier at a fee of $100.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Portland trainer Brian Weis, successful earlier this year with Xtreme Caution in the Group Listed Mount Gambier Cup, will be hoping for further feature race success when Hill Top Hood contests Sunday’s John Reid Memorial Maiden final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
In Weis’s kennels for only a couple of weeks, Hill Top Hood lined up from box one in last Sunday’s first heat of the Reid Memorial on the back of a handful of starts on Victorian tracks which included three minor placings at Sandown Park.
Slowly away, the brindle dog soon worked into second spot behind the wide-running first-starter Azumi Spirit before finishing strongly in the home straight and opening his winning account at his eighth race start.
Raced by the breeder, Shane Fisher of Lara, Hill Top Hood is interestingly bred, being by Above All, a NZ-owned dog who won a Hobart Thousand, Silver Chief and Cranbourne Cup, out of the US-bred Jailbreak Lass (Paddy Whacker x CDN Kat Burglar), a winner of three races at Sandown Park, The Meadows and Geelong.
Sunday’s win continued Weis’s success with the litter after Ginger Road, raced in the same interests, won back to back races at Tara Raceway late last month before finishing third at Horsham on Tuesday night.
Also through to the final from the first heat are Azumi Spirit, Lika Missile – by Nitro Burst x Oh Cee Ya and a full brother to former top chaser Smart Missile – and Little Lina.
The Bartholomew camp will be well represented in the final, Dusty Pearl joining litter sister Azumi Spirit after she defeated Go Saints, Chelsea Champ and Bungaloo Jedda in the second heat.
The family training team will also be chasing their second feature win this year at the track after Galactic Panther was successful in the Peter Rocket Summer Classic in February.
And looking further ahead, Azumi Spirit and Dusty Pearl, along with sister Azumi Ryder, members of the July 2016 Dyna Tron x Azumi Touch litter, should be well suited in next month’s Peter Rocket Winter Classic (512 m), a Special Event for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2016.
From a classic point of view, it was Azumi Ryder, with 16 race starts to her name, really impressing last Sunday when winning a 512 metre grade five. Such is her form that she now sits in equal sixth spot with 27 points on the Greyhound of the Year leader board.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Twelve months ago Jeff Guy was over for Mount Gambier’s Anniversary Cup final at Tara Raceway with Brazen Blue, the daughter of Big Daddy Cool and Scrappy Coco ultimately running a two length third behind Fiorelli Rose and Colden Girl.
The Horsham trainer will be back again on Sunday for the 34th running of the cup, this time with Brazen Blue’s litter brother, the indefatigable Paraphernalia – the only finalist to have also contested the Mount Gambier Cup final earlier this year.
Having his first race in a month, Paraphernalia chased Kolora Posie throughout in the first heat of last Sunday’s Anniversary Cup (512 m), being beaten by 1¼ lengths in an equal best of the day 29.85 seconds.
Whelped in April 2014, the fawn dog has packed a fair bit into his 2½ years of racing – going around on 117 occasions for 29 wins, 28 minor placings and almost $75,000 in stakemoney.
At Tara Raceway, Paraphernalia, on a couple of occasions, held the 600 metre track record, he ran 29.71 seconds when defeating Galactic Panther in a heat of this year’s Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) and has a personal best 400 metre time of 22.83 seconds.
Such is his versatility that he won the 2017 Metal Worx Iron Dog three-distance series and also represented Mount Gambier in last year’s SA Country Cup Championship (515 m) at Angle Park.
Paraphernalia should be better for last Sunday’s heat run and after drawing box three in the final it could be that his glory days are not yet behind him.
Monday, July 16, 2018
The Bartholomew-bred Dyna Tron x Azumi Touch litter kicked off the day well at Tara Raceway on Sunday when first starters Azumi Spirit and Dusty Pearl ran second and first in their respective heats and qualified for this Sunday’s John Reid Memorial Maiden final (512 metres).
Then, later in the afternoon, litter sister Azumi Ryder, trained at Worrolong by Lee Bartholomew, led all the way in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m) to defeat Bushman’s Mate by 2¾ lengths in a personal best 30.12 seconds.
Azumi Spirit, trained by Steve Bartholomew jnr, found the front going out of the first turn and, despite using plenty of the track, led until the home turn where Hill Top Hood took over the running, eventually winning by 1¾ lengths in 30.31 seconds.
The Steve Bartholomew trained Dusty Pearl, who lost a toe at three months of age after a paddock accident, led all the way, defeating Go Saints by 1¾ lengths in 30.55 seconds for owner Elysia Bartholomew.
And later in the day, Azumi Spice, from an earlier Azumi Touch litter by Cosmic Chief, worked home well for a 1¾ length second to Bereluke in the second heat of the Anniversary Cup (512 m) and qualified for a spot in this Sunday’s final.
Monday, July 16, 2018
After a recent Tara Raceway satisfactory 400 metre trial of 23.15 seconds, Wise Stella was always going to be mighty hard to beat in last Friday’s Laser Electrical Maiden Stake – especially after drawing box one.
However, there was a something of a query surrounding her after she had fallen foul of stewards at Sandown Park back in November before eventually finding her way over to Tracie Price’s Compton kennels.
Price was hoping the finish-on-lure at Tara Raceway would help to turn her fortunes around, although, as much as he would have loved to have run Wise Stella in Sunday’s John Reid Memorial heats, he erred on the side of caution and opted for the time-graded meeting.
In the end, it turned out to be pretty tough for her time-graded opposition, the black bitch running out a 12¼ length winner in 22.89 seconds, only a length outside Cryer’s Ricky’s February 2016 track record of 22.78 seconds.
Wise Stella is now the fastest maiden winner at the track, lowering Faster Bolt’s 22.98 seconds run in October 2017.
By Barcia Bale, Wise Stella is out of the top producer Wise Penny with the Brona Lane Racing Syndicate’s ride of a lifetime going back more than eight years ago to when a group of WA country guys got together with the intention of racing a greyhound.
Syndicate manager Justin Wright, of Lake Grace, takes up the story:
“I’d had greyhounds before but the other six syndicate members – from Lake Grace, Narrogin, Darkan, Collie and Wagin – were all newcomers to the sport.
“It was in late 2009 that we purchased a two-year-old bitch by Bombastic Shiraz out of Awesome Berger called Wise Penny from NSW after she had won a maiden at Gosford over 515 metres.
“We then brought her over to WA where she won eight races, all at Cannington over 530 metres and 642 metres.
“In September 2011 Wise Penny whelped to Cosmic Chief with Group 1 Rookie Rebel winner Cosmic Wise being the star performer, racing 100 times for 26 wins and earning more than $230,000 in stakemoney. It was then that the boys started asking the question: ‘How long has this game been going on?’
“Two years later another litter followed, this time by Dyna Tron, all eight racing and winning. Wise Penny in February 2016 then whelped a third litter which, besides Wise Stella, also includes Wise Ricciardo, a winner of five races at Sandown Park, Horsham and Geelong for stakemoney in excess of $21,000.
“Every pup – and there’s been 21 of them – from Wise Penny’s litters has reached the track with Wise Stella’s win on Friday now leaving only one pup from the last litter yet to win.
“I have to say her win at Tara Raceway was a terrific thrill for us after her disappointing start to racing. Hopefully she can now go on to bigger and better things for Tracie.”
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Paul Teuma, based over Warrnambool way at Winslow, has been making the trip to Mount Gambier for Tara Raceway’s time-graded meetings for a while now, although still chasing his first win at the track when Clyde’s Girl lined up from box eight in Friday’s Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 metres).
But this was going to be the 71-year-old trainer’s day, Clyde’s Girl, the $21 rank outsider quickly working into second spot behind Don’s Noisey and then finishing too well in the home straight for a length win over first starter Azumi Twister who worked home well.
After the race, the affable Teuma told fellow trainers, probably marvelling at his resilience, that this had been his first winner in 10 years.
However, by the time he had returned with Clyde’s Girl for a presentation photograph, that winning time-frame had stretched to 15 years and even 20 years, depending on who you were speaking with.
Anyway, whatever the length of time between winners, it’s fair to say that the duration had been long, Teuma believing his last success would have been at Barmera’s now-defunct track where he enjoyed his fair share of success while based at Red Cliffs.
Involved in the sport “off and on” since he was 18, he picked up the nicely-bred 30 kilogram Clyde’s Girl as a giveaway after her first two race starts had resulted in unplaced runs at Young and Temora.
“I have six dogs in work at the moment and they’re all giveaways,” Teuma said. “I took over Clyde’s Girl last October and while she is 3½ years old she’s still had only 10 starts due to seasonal issues.”
By Barcia Bale, Clyde’s Girl is out of Fantastic Rose who raced on only five occasions for a win at Goulburn but is well bred, being by Spiral Nikita x Light Fantastic – Fantastic Rose’s litter brother the city-winning Fantastic Sid who won $82,000 in stakemoney.
Fifteen minutes after Teuma’s first win at the track, he lined up with Fort Santiago who was having her first start at Tara Raceway in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) on the back of well-beaten runs at Gosford, Nowra and Potts Park.
And for much of the race it appeared as though Teuma’s drought had well and truly broken as the SA-bred Fort Santiago (Barcia Bale x Bally Swift) bowled along in front before being beaten into second spot by Miss Premier.
All the same, though, Paul Teuma would have headed back to Winslow well-satisfied with his day and probably wondering why, only a couple of months ago, he had tried unsuccessfully to offload all his greyhounds.