Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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First Victorian distance run for Plugger

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Apsley-owned Cryer’s Plugger will make his distance debut in Victoria tomorrow night when he lines up from box eight in a grade five stayers event over 715 metres at Sandown Park.

Raced by Tara Raceway regular Margaret Cryer and formerly trained by her husband Tom, a decision was made to transfer Cryer’s Plugger to Buln Buln East trainer Steve White after the brindle dog had impressed on debut over 732 metres at the local track in October last year.

Cryer’s Sid had plenty of family support after winning at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

The son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget has now raced on five occasions since joining White’s kennels for two 525 metre seconds at Traralgon.

However, there aren’t too many soft touches at Sandown Park on a Thursday night and Cryer’s Plugger will run into a smart field headed by Fernando Bale youngster Rippin’ Sam who has won his past three starts over the distance at Sandown Park and Bendigo.

Since the re-introduction of 732 metre racing at Tara Raceway at the end of August last year, the Cryers have done well with members of their two litters of the same breed – Cryer’s Jack also successful in 44.53 seconds on November 19 while younger full brother Cryer’s Bob won in 44.00 seconds last month.

Meanwhile, at last Sunday’s meeting the Cryers were under added pressure when members of their extended family – some at a greyhound meeting for the first time – were at Tara Raceway to see first-hand just how good these dogs they’d been hearing so much about really were.

But by the time race 11, the Produce Store Stake (400 m), came around the Cryer extended family must have been wondering what was going on. After all, a couple of fifth placings and an eighth was not what they had been promised.

Box eight runner Cryer’s Sid, a litter brother to Cryer’s Plugger, was the last hope. A winner of three races from 44 starts, he hadn’t won since May last year so the 85-year-old trainer wasn’t expecting much as he wearily trod a path down to the kennel house for the final time on Sunday.

As it turned out, Cryer’s Sid was going to win a long way from home, ranging up to Allen Unther down the back straight before going away to a comfortable 3¾ length win in 23.68 seconds.

The excited family quickly joined Margaret Cryer and Cryer’s Sid – whose win was the 24th for the January 2015 litter – for a celebratory photograph. So this is what winning is all about!

Not so for the camera-shy trainer though. No, he beat a hasty retreat to the kennel house where he could only reflect on a day of ups and downs and be thankful that family members had been on course on Sunday to share in the thrill of what has been the ride of a lifetime over the past 3½ years for Tom and Margaret Cryer.

And now, if only Cryer’s Plugger can win tomorrow night.

First winner of the year

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Mount Gambier owners Noel and Heather Perry won the first race of the 2018 season when Mount Ghost led all the way to win the Greg Martlew Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Coming into the race from box one on the back of three well-beaten unplaced runs over 512 metres, Mount Ghost went to the line strongly to defeat Luca Flyer and gave Cape Bridgewater trainer Scott Blacksell, who rarely misses a Tara Raceway meeting, his first winner since litter sisters Rusty Sprocket and Crikey Creeky in September and October last year.

Heather Perry, Scott Blacksell and Noel Perry with Mount Ghost, Tara Raceway’s first winner for 2018.

The fawn son of high-profile sire Cosmic Rumble was purchased as a three-month-old pup by Noel Perry from his brother-in-law (Heather’s brother) Brian Treloar, well-known in greyhound circles as the breeder and owner of the Group 1-winning champion Spud Regis.

In fact, Mount Ghost’s dam is Sooky Suzie who was a handy bitch on the track, going around 35 times for eight wins and $20,000 in stakemoney.

By Bombastic Shiraz x Phiona, Sooky Suzie is a litter sister to Spud Regis ($461,000 in stakes) and a half-sister to Banger Harvey ($142,000), winner of the 2011 Mount Gambier Cup. Phiona whelped only two litters of eight each, all 16 pups reaching the track and winning races.

Mount Ghost was reared locally with the Perrys then having him educated in Victoria in the hope that he would break-in of a sufficient standard to race in Melbourne.

“As it turned out, he wasn’t rated as a Victorian city dog so we brought him home, with Scott taking over his training in November,” Noel Perry said.

“I’m not sure that we would have got any more of a thrill out of the win if it had been in the city. Anyway, it’s certainly full marks to Scott for his efforts in getting a win out of Mount Ghost. It really made for a great start to the year for us.”

Tears flow after emotional Sims Memorial heat win

Monday, January 8, 2018

Tarpeena owner Dita Mitchell unashamedly shed tears of joy as she proudly walked Kinnky McPhee back after her win in the second heat of Sunday’s Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Kinnky McPhee overcame plenty of setbacks along the way to win a Sims Memorial heat at Tara Raceway on Sunday for emotional owner Dita Mitchell.

Placed in all of her first five starts, the sizeable 30 kilogram bitch opened her winning account for Mitchell and Compton trainer Tracie Price when leading all the way to eventually run out a 10 length winner over Got Some Cheek with a further 6½ lengths back to third-placed Bomber Creek in 30.36 seconds. Also through to the final is Pele’s Entity who finished fourth on debut.

Kinnky McPhee’s win had been a while coming, the daughter of Banjo Boy x Quick And Slick turning three next month and, according to her owner, certainly travelling down a rocky road prior to making her race debut at Tara Raceway only a month ago.

“She was purchased as an eight-month-old pup from Queensland,” Mitchell said. “But straight away she didn’t look to be galloping properly, with a vertebrae issue later being identified.

“There were countless trips to Warrnambool for remedial work on her and later she had to have half of her tail removed. So, while it hasn’t been all plain sailing, today’s emotional win made the effort all worthwhile.”

And as far as Mitchell and Price were concerned it was a case of third time lucky after her previous two greyhounds failed to make the race track and are now pets.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Tracie and the team out at Compton because they’ve done a wonderful job getting Kinnky McPhee to the track and now winning a race,” said Mitchell after her first Tara Raceway win.

Based at Tarpeena for the past 12 months, after a 10-year stint at Crowlands, Mitchell is hopeful of receiving a trainer’s licence next month and then preparing several of her two-year-old Banjo Boy youngsters for a tilt on the track.

Nifty Lenehan and Mo Canala with Joshy Wink Wink after his first up win in heat one of the Sims Memorial for owner-trainer Nicole Stanley.

The dog with the cool name – well, owner-trainer Nicole Stanley of Portland reckons Joshy Wink Wink is a cool name, anyway – won the first heat of the memorial after chasing Dimora Flash into the home straight before finishing the stronger to win by three-quarters of a length in 30.79 seconds.

Drysdale Creek, who finished the race off nicely in third spot, and first starter Sudden Call are also through to the Sims Memorial final which will be run at Tara Raceway this Sunday.

Joshy Wink Wink, also a first starter, is another one that has experienced a few setbacks along the way – perhaps the most telling a distinct lack of desire to chase the lure.

“He just wouldn’t go a yard but I think the finish-on-lure helped to sort him out,” Stanley said. “Then he got into a fight with another dog on my property and that held him up for a bit longer.”

By My Bro Fabio x Lollipop Bling, the December 2015 whelping is a litter brother to Shiney Bling who won her maiden for Stanley back in October.

Stanley and Price, the leading trainer and runner-up at Tara Raceway in 2017, shared the training honours at Sunday’s first meeting of the season when also successful later in the day with Miss Pineapple and Same Scenario.

Time honours to Paraphernalia

Monday, January 8, 2018

Paraphernalia, a former 600 metre Tara Raceway record holder, 2017 Iron Dog and 2017 Mount Gambier Country Cup representative, made a successful return to Mount Gambier on Sunday.

Jeff Guy with Paraphernalia, a best of day 512 metre winner at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Back at Tara Raceway for the first time since early October, the son of Big Daddy Cool x Scrappy Coco led all the way in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) to defeat Brinza by 8¼ lengths in a personal best time of 29.90 seconds.

Now a winner of 23 races, Paraphernalia is trained at Horsham by Jeff Guy who said that the rising four-year-old would probably do much of his racing at Tara Raceway this year with the Mount Gambier Cup being one of his priorities.

And if you’re wondering why kennelmate Frac Geek was scratched from the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m) later in the day then it was simply a matter of Guy inadvertently nominating the wrong dog – Kryptonian being the intended runner.

As Guy pointed out, Frac Geek probably would have struggled a bit as she is currently in pup to Barcia Bale!

Peter Crawley with track specialist Zuma Creek who defeated Hutch in a stirring battle at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a couple of other cup contenders in Zuma Creek and Hutch staged a keen battle in the Stake (512 m).

The Robert Halliday trained Hutch, on the back of a handy third at Warrnambool last Thursday night, quickly found the front from box one while Peter Crawley’s Zuma Creek stalked him from the outset before finishing the stronger to win by a half length in 29.92 seconds.

Zuma Creek, a son of Fabregas x Skye Creek, further enhanced his record at the track with the black dog having now won eight races and run five minor placings from 16 starts with a personal best time of 29.69 seconds.

Newcomers add interest to Sims Memorial

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Well-bred first starters Pele’s Entity, Sudden Call and another one going by the name of Joshy Wink Wink – surely there must be a story surrounding the naming of that greyhound – should add further interest to Sunday’s two Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden heats (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.

Whelped in April 2015, Pele’s Entity is from a repeat mating by Mogambo out of the unraced prolific producer Girl Aloud and trained by Nicole Stanley of Portland for Longwood breeder Maureen Barry.

David Jones and members of the Sims family after Andy Jay had won the 2015 Val & Col Sims Memorial Maiden in a race record time of 30.31 seconds.

The fawn dog is from the same litter as Zara’s Entity, winner of last year’s $25,000-to-the-winner Group 3 Cranbourne Classic and eight other races for $68,000 in prizemoney.

Portland trainer Robert Halliday last year had to settle for a reserve in the Sims final with Hutch. But a month later the black dog won the General Destini Summer Classic and then another month later ran in the final of the Mount Gambier Cup.

This year Halliday will be pinning his hopes on Sudden Call, an April 2016 son of Fabregas x Guru Doll that is owned by his wife Shirley.

And he’ll be hoping that his success with progeny of Guru Doll, a lightly raced winner of five races from 14 starts, continues after his three wins in succession last month with Sudden Call’s half-brother Odd Boots at Tara Raceway.

Joshy Wink Wink, a son of My Bro Fabio and Lollipop Bling (a sister to proven sire Walk Hard) is a litter brother and kennelmate to four-race winner Shiney Bling. Another member of the litter is All Bling who brought an auction high $20,900 at the recent Bendigo Ready 2 Race Sale.

Stanley will be hoping both Pele’s Entity and Joshy Wink Wink can make their way through to Sunday week’s final with one of the pair giving her a second Sims Memorial win after Rowchester Star had been successful in 2016.

Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott, who won the 2013 Sims Memorial with Arbour Darby, will be relying on success this year with For Valour, placed on six occasions from 13 starts and favoured by box one in the first heat.

And Compton trainer Tracie Price, successful the following year with Benara Cosmic, will be represented by Dimora Flash, raced in similar interests to the 2014 winner, and Kinnky McPhee, placed at her only five starts.

The Sims name is synonymous with greyhound coursing and track racing in the South East. Col Sims, ably assisted by his wife Val, had great success with coursing greyhounds and had no trouble in adapting to mechanical lure racing when it was introduced in Mount Gambier in 1979.

He was on the committee of the South East Greyhound Racing Club when racing commenced at Glenburnie and in 1978 became the first life member of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc.

Sims won the first Anniversary Cup conducted at the Lake Terrace East venue in 1997 with Becker McLaren, before winning the event again in 2001 with Meg’s Temptation, then with Tiarni Ball the following year and in 2004 with Amber Rhode.

He also won the final Mount Gambier Cup run at Glenburnie in 1996 with Colin Ian, a dog whose name is emblazoned on Col Sims’ headstone at Carinya Gardens in Mount Gambier.

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