Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Drought breaks for feature heat winners

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

For Spring Ripper and Kolora Posie, impressive winners of the Trackside Meats Feature (512 metres) heats for grade five greyhounds, it was a case of both breaking a long run of outs at Tara Raceway last Sunday afternoon.

Spring Ripper, an impressive Trackside Meats Feature Grade 5 heat winner pictured with trainer Brian Weis at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Even though Spring Ripper, a son of Spring Gun and Chilly Babe, hadn’t won since the end of September at The Meadows, the brindle dog looked well placed from box one and wasn’t missed by punters when jumping at $2.50.

And he always looked to have Cryer’s Jed’s measure as he chased that greyhound down the back before railing through approaching Captain’s Corner and powering away in the home straight for an emphatic 6½ length win over Goldie’s Run and the early leader in a best of day 30.03 seconds.

Owned at Wagga by Matt Morris, Spring Ripper is trained at Portland by Brian Weis, the connections having combined earlier this year to win the Group Listed Mount Gambier Cup with Xtreme Caution.

Weis has now won five races with Spring Ripper, with his 512 metre maiden win actually coming close to 12 months ago when he defeated Kolora Posie by a length at Tara Raceway in 30.31 seconds.

Connie Miller’s good year continued when Kolora Posie won the second heat of the Trackside Meats Feature Grade 5.

By Bekim Bale out of Swift Blaze, Kolora Posie, who last won in October, was formerly raced by her Mortlake breeder Terry Payne who recently signed her over to Connie Miller of the Bourne Kennels at Allendale East.

Having her fourth run back after a lengthy break necessitated through seasonal issues and a kennel mishap, Kolora Posie led all the way from box three to defeat the Weis-trained Big Rough by 5¼ lengths in a personal best time of 30.05 seconds.

The win continued Miller’s good run this year, Chilly Kiss, a litter sister to Spring Ripper, having won four races including The Tankman 600 at the cup carnival.

The unraced Swift Blaze has proven to be a handy producer for Payne, with Kolora Posie’s litter brother Barry Bomber having won 13 races and more than $41,000 in prizemoney, his past three wins being at The Meadows over 600 metres.

And an earlier mating with Bekim Bale produced the grand campaigner Old Jock who won the 2016 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award.

Also through to Sunday’s final, which should be an interesting race, are Turbo Road, Blazin’ Vicky and Big Lebowski.

Another quick 600 metre win

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Horsham greyhound Vectis Seyarda, a quick 35.18 seconds 600 metre winner at Tara Raceway last month when a $31 chance, turned in another top performance over the middle-distance at last Sunday’s meeting.

In career-best form, but once again friendless at $15, the four-year-old daughter of Deville and Maureen Return’s chased well backed favourite Solitary Lad for much of the journey, taking up the running off the back before hitting the line strongly for a 5¼ length win over Cryer’s Bob with a further 1¼ lengths back to Solitary Lad, stepping up in distance for the first time.

The time for the Produce Store Mixed Stake was 34.90 seconds and that’s quick – only a length outside McIvor Verna’s track record of 34.84 seconds – although it should be pointed out that the race had been hand-timed.

Valerie Brodhurst with Cheyenne Black, the second leg of a winning double at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Vectis Seyarda is owned by Judy O’Neill and Conrad Winfield and trained by the former who is still hoping to be able to find a 732 metre race at Tara Raceway for the black bitch.

In the meantime, Vectis Seyarda will return on Sunday to Tara Raceway where she will meet a smart 600 metre field, which includes former record holder Paraphernalia, in the Produce Store Open.

Incidentally, the Peter Franklin trained McIvor Verna, after a three-month break, returned to racing last Sunday at Sandown Park where she worked home well in the concluding stages of a 595 metre grade five event to be beaten by 2¾ lengths.

Another four-year-old that continues to perform well is Cheyenne Black, raced by Tara Raceway regulars David and Valerie Brodhurst of Serviceton.

Lining up from box one in last Sunday’s Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 m), Cheyenne Black was always on the pace, taking over the running off the back and going on to an emphatic 5¼ length win over Brinza in 23.30 seconds.

The win was the second leg of a double for the Brodhursts, Swoosie successful earlier in the day in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m). Swoosie was also part of a double for the couple last month when Two Jobs also won on the same day.

Cheyenne Black, a daughter of Cosmic Chief and Eva’s Flame who went around on 107 occasions, is fast approaching 100 race starts herself, having now won 15 races since relocating to Serviceton shortly after winning the 2015 GRSA/GOTBA Coursing Oaks at Virginia.

And Oh No Beta turned in a top performance in the South Eastern Hotel Open Stake (400 m) when missing the start hopelessly from box eight before quickly rounding up the field and running out a 1¼ length winner in 23.49 seconds.

The son of Lochinvar Marlow x Sometimes Speedy has now won 14 races at the track and distance for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley with last Sunday’s win taking him one point clear of Chilly Kiss in the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year.

Thumbs up for track upgrade

Monday, May 14, 2018

Greyhound racing, which resumed at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon after a three-week upgrade primarily aimed at improving the consistency of the camber around the track, has received a resounding thumbs up.

Speaking after the 10-race meeting, Greyhound Racing SA Strategic Projects Manager, Scott Wuchatsch, said he had been delighted by the manner in which the predominantly interference-free racing had come up on television.

Edenhope trainer Captain Abbott pictured at “Captain’s Corner”.

Steward in charge, Josh Evans, also was full of praise for the upgrade while track work supervisor Tim Manterfield said participants had been more than happy with the way the track played out.

“The response today from participants was very positive,” said a relieved Manterfield, who has effectively managed the works on-site from start to finish and put in numerous extra hours to ensure the project was completed in such a small timeframe.

One trainer, in particular, who is pleased that the home turn camber has been improved, is long-time participant Captain Abbott of Edenhope.

“I’ve been racing here for something like 14 years,” he said. “And I’d been suggesting for most of that time that the home turn needed more camber. It now looks good.”

In fact, in recognition of Abbott’s long-time crusade, Tara Raceway’s home turn is now known as “Captain’s Corner” and carries the appropriate signage.

Nimble Foot was the second of a double for Robert Halliday at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Portland trainer Robert Halliday landed a double with Spirited Bingle and Nimble Foot, both out of Kokoda Spirit, winner of the 2013 SA Oaks at Angle Park.

By Collision, Spirited Bingle, who was an impressive 400 metre winner at Tara Raceway on April 25 in best of day time, went right on with the job when quickly finding the front and then holding off Mount Gambier Cup finalist Verev to win by three-quarters of a length in 23.27 seconds, another best of day time.

Nimble Foot, a son of Barcia Bale, was well supported on debut in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m), settling in third spot down the back straight before finding the rails and racing right away from Bungaloo Thor and Azumi Ryder to win by 5¼ lengths in 30.06 seconds.

Sunday’s double continued a good year for Halliday who has now trained 16 winners at Tara Raceway and currently is in third spot behind Tracie Price and Nicole Stanley on the Leading Trainers’ list.

Locals perform well in classic lead-up

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Local greyhounds Springvale Alyssa and Galactic Panther will line up in Wednesday’s Group 3 Howard Ashton Classic heats (515 metres) at Angle Park after turning in top performances at the city track on Thursday night.

The pair clashed in a grade six event, virtually going over the finish line together when running second and third behind long odds-on favourite and another classic contender in Abuzz who won by three lengths in 30.22 seconds.

Galactic Panther, owned at Moorak by Robert Chuck and trained by Steve Bartholomew of Worrolong, has drawn box seven in the first of four heats and has boom youngster Victa Louise – a winner of 13 of her past 14 starts – sitting on his outside.

Galactic Panther returns to Angle Park on Wednesday for a heat of the Group 3 Howard Ashton Classic.

Chuck will be chasing his second Ashton Classic, Galactic Viper successful in 2015 when trained for him by Dave Geall of Lara.

By Milldean Panther out of Galactic Rumball, Galactic Panther’s granddam is Elite Touch, a litter sister to Galactic Viper’s dam Magic Elite.

The Bungaloo Syndicate, which includes Liz Newberry and trainer John Little of Kongorong, has done well with Springvale Alysa since purchasing her from Adelaide last month – three wins at Tara Raceway and Warrnambool and Thursday night’s second.

She’s also drawn box seven on Wednesday, in the second heat, with box eight runner Tal Lee looking one of the toughest to beat after recently running Abuzz to three-quarters of a length.

By Dyna Double One out of Springvale Cool, Springvale Alysa’s great-granddam is Corrumbene Lass, a winner of eight races from 19 starts, all over the short course at Strathalbyn and up the straight at Kulpara. Interestingly, Corrumbene Lass is also the great-granddam of Victa Louise.

The classic, a paid-up event for SA-bred greyhounds whelped between January 2016 and June 2016, takes its name from Howard Ashton who, at 15 years of age, became honorary secretary of the Adelaide Greyhound Racing Club by default when the person holding that position didn’t turn up one Sunday afternoon for the Waterloo Corner race meeting.

In fact, he was never to be seen again after disappearing with the club funds, Ashton remaining in the job and becoming honorary secretary of the AGRC six years later when the club moved to Bolivar and raced behind the mechanical lure prior to the introduction of legalised wagering on greyhounds.

By December 1971, with the AGRC by then only a few months away from racing at Angle Park, Ashton had been appointed full-time secretary/manager, a position he held until 1996 when he became Racing Operations Manager prior to retirement in 2000.

Semi-finals of the Howard Ashton Classic will be run on Thursday, May 24 with the $37,500 final on Thursday, May 31.

Enjoying a grog and a grumble

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sam McPhail always reckoned people involved in the greyhound game liked nothing better than a grog and a grumble.

In fact, this is where the name for the Grog and Grumble Cup came from, McPhail donating a perpetual trophy for an annual drag lure coursing stake out at Mil Lel.

Allen Williams with the Grog and Grumble perpetual trophy and the cup won by Premier Jatz in 1998.

He believed after listening to all the hard luck stories over a beer at the end of a day’s coursing that an annual event should be run for all the “unlucky losers” at Mil Lel.

Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club life member Allen Williams, himself a winner of the cup, remembers the Grog and Grumble Cup well and reckons McPhail was a man ahead of his time.

“Sam, who had raced a pretty handy dog called Carpe Diem in the early days, lived out Carpenter Rocks way and through his involvement with Col Sims spent plenty of time at the coursing taking in all the hard luck stories.

“I reckon he was ahead of his time because his suggestion of putting on a stake for the ‘lesser lights’ wasn’t much different from today’s time-graded races on the track.

“So, putting it politely, what we had here was a coursing stake for greyhounds with limited ability but good chasing qualities that had competed at Mil Lel but failed to trouble the cashier during the season.

“And like the time-graded races, they came from far and wide to tackle the Grog and Grumble Cup which, to the winning connections, always seemed like they’d won coursing’s biggest prize – the Waterloo Cup.

“I’ve still got the cup Premier Jatz won in 1998. To be honest, he wasn’t worth a Jatz cracker but at the time it was a tremendous thrill to win the Grog and Grumble Cup which, by the way, required a wheelbarrow to carry it home, such was its weight.”

Other winners proudly displayed on the McPhail-donated cup are Always Showtime (Allen Peckham), Tornado Thomas (Col Sims), Star Spell (Bob Thomson), Suntan Boy (Arnie Damhuis), Bourne A Shiraz (David Peckham), Seaview Sandy (Peter Jones), Tiarni’s Golden (Col Sims) and Emmanition (Dean Fennell).

The Grog and Grumble Cup, kindly donated by Dean Fennell, will soon be on show at Tara Raceway in the memorabilia display.

Memorabilia continues to accumulate with one of the latest pieces being a Naracoorte Greyhound Speed Coursing Club program for its inaugural picnic meeting run at the Naracoorte racecourse on Sunday, October 16, 1977.

Trainers came from far and wide for the meeting, including Portland, Penola, Mount Gambier, Port MacDonnell, Lucindale, Edenhope, Horsham, Serviceton, Calgoa, Tarpeena, Nangwarry, Goroke, Coleraine, Kaniva, Millicent, Beachport, Nhill, Strathdownie and, believe it or not, Whyalla.

There were a couple of familiar names listed in the program – Richard Clayfield had Redbank Royal, a son of Corcoran x Tarpeena Star, engaged in the Amoco Speed Stake No. 3 while Lord Dudley, trained by Ralph Patzel, contested the Lions Club Cup Overflow.

We’ll have to check with them to see what their recollections of Redbank Royal and Lord Dudley are although we can tell you that the latter was by a dog called Missight who won the 1973 Mount Gambier Coursing Derby for Patzel.

The inaugural picnic meeting was held two years prior to mechanical hare racing commencing at Glenburnie although during the seven years it took the South East Greyhound Racing Club to run its first meeting there had been talk that Naracoorte would be the headquarters of greyhound racing in the south east.

Naracoorte these days has no racing greyhounds in the area, a far cry from back in the days when the speed coursing club was operational and people such as Jim O’Brien and Noel Allchurch were at the helm.

Just how long the Naracoorte Greyhound Speed Coursing Club conducted drag lure coursing meetings at the racecourse is not clear, however the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, as it continues to piece together the history of greyhound racing and coursing in the south east, would certainly be keen to hear from anyone with further information on speed coursing in Naracoorte.

And a couple of years earlier, on Sunday, October 5, the Edenhope and District Coursing Club ran inaugural exhibition trials at the Edenhope racecourse.

Main stake of the day was the Edenhope Cup, the final of which was won by No Moko who defeated Cryer’s Hope, trained at Apsley by Tom Cryer.

Yes, the Cryer dogs were also making their presence felt more than 40 years ago!

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