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

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, October 28 with GRSA. FREE TRIALS (for members/$10 non-members): Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track. BORDER CHALLENGE: Mount Gambier v. Warrnambool. $4000 to the winner final at Warrnambool (450 m) on Thursday, December 5. Mount Gambier conditions: Trainer must be financial member of club. Greyhound must have been in the trainer’s kennel for the past three months and have raced at least twice in the past 12 months at Tara Raceway. Trainer must have raced on at least 15 occasions in the past 12 months at Tara Raceway. Maximum of two heats (512 m) with the first two from each heat to represent Mount Gambier. First four to represent the club if only one heat.



Three in a row for giveaway greyhound

Monday, October 14, 2019

Kongorong trainer John Little’s latest foray into the world of online greyhound classified advertising is once again paying dividends with Scartnamuck Diva having now won three races in succession at Tara Raceway.

This follows earlier success at the local track with greyhounds that had been advertised as giveaways after committing indiscretions on interstate tracks – Scartnamuck Diva copping a 28 day failing to chase suspension back in June at Cranbourne.

John Little with Scartnamuck Diva after her win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

By July the brindle daughter of Barcia Bale x Velocity Breeze was in Little’s kennels although it would be another three months before she was back on the track.

“She had her share of injury issues,” he said. “But in her case I just kept persevering for something like three months because I believed she had a bit of ability.”

Scartnamuck Diva – Scartnamuck a townland in Co. Cork, Ireland – won at her first start at Tara Raceway on Thursday, October 3 before following up with another 400 metre win at last Thursday’s time-graded meeting when defeating No Photos by 3½ lengths in the Gambier Vets Stake in 23.45 seconds.

Little then opted to step her up in distance, Scartnamuck Diva drawing box six in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (512 m) at Sunday’s meeting.

But before that, though, was a trip to Adelaide on Friday to take in the bright lights of Angle Park where Springvale Alysa and Galactic Titan were representing Mount Gambier in the SA Country Cup final (515 m) which was being staged as a supporting event on Adelaide Cup night.

The Little-trained Springvale Alysa, after making a real mess of the start, finished third behind Better Dream (Gawler) and Spring Taylor (Murray Bridge).

Meanwhile, back at Tara Raceway on Sunday and Scartnamuck Diva and Missing Mate staged a real battle from the outset. The former finished slightly the stronger in the run to the line to win by a nose in 30.27 seconds and made for a pretty handy 10 days for John Little.

No close encounters for reserve runner

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Close Encounter, a reserve in last Thursday’s Stake (512 metres) was always going to be hard to beat if she happened to gain a start in the Novice (1-4 wins) time-graded event at Tara Raceway.

After all, the July 2017 black bitch had won at the track early in the month in a best of day 30.00 seconds for the 512 metre journey and had then followed up with a win at Sandown Park (515 m) in a respectable 29.85 seconds.

Close Encounter pictured winning at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

As luck would have it, Close Encounter, trained at Parwan by Debbie White, gained a start from box seven and never looked in any danger of defeat, running out a comfortable four length winner over Delusional Fab in 30.11 seconds, the faster of the two 512 metre events.

By Cosmic Rumble, she’s out of 10-race winner Starlight Blush, who is a daughter of Starlight Delly, a member of the outstanding Bombastic Shiraz x Winsome Bluebird litter that includes former super stayer Miata.

Close Encounter was purchased in July by Brian and Peter Wilson after she had a won a maiden event at Bathurst in NSW, the Victorian-based father and son owners having previously had greyhounds trained by White.

And the laid-back trainer was keen to talk up the 25 kilogram bitch that has now won three races since the purchase.

“She’s the best dog I’ve had for a  while and it will be interesting to see how she handles herself on Sunday when she steps up in class to a Mixed 4/5 (515 m) at Sandown Park.

“Subject to how she goes, I’m also looking at next Friday’s Geelong Cup heats (460 m). I know it’s a long way from a Tara Raceway time-graded meeting to a Group 2 at Geelong but sometimes you have to have a go.”

Close Encounter was the second leg of a double for White – her second this year at Tara Raceway after Crazy Summer and Loroupe had won on July 4 – with Loroupe successful for the first time over 600 metres when she defeated China Catch ‘Em in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake.

Shaun Baulch with Ugo Girl after her first win at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

This was the second consecutive week that a greyhound with more than 100 starts had been able to win over the middle-distance journey, Noosa Parade successful at the previous time-graded meeting.

Rachel Baulch, of Geelong, trained her first winner last Thursday when giveaway greyhound Ugo Girl led all the way to defeat Maximum Lisa by two lengths in 23.57 seconds in The Border Watch Stake (400 m).

But the 32-year-old Baulch, due to work commitments, missed out on witnessing her first win, husband Shaun handling the white and fawn daughter of Fernando Bale x Amercia Bale.

For Shaun Baulch, 36, a Thursday regular at Tara Raceway and involved in the sport for three years, 2019 has been his most successful with four winners.

“It’s certainly an improvement on last year when there were no winners forthcoming,” he said. “But we really love greyhound racing and are now looking at relocating, perhaps to an area such as Mortlake, where we can further our involvement.”

Busy time ahead for Portland breeder

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Local Brew, winner of the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway last Sunday, is one of three recent winners – the others being It’s Poppy and Rotate – from the General Destini x Guru Doll litter which was bred at Portland by Robert Halliday in December 2017.

Spirited Bingle 12 months ago when running 22.92 seconds over 400 metres at Tara Raceway.

And the long-time greyhound breeder-owner-trainer and his wife Shirley are now gearing up for more busy times with three bitches due to whelp in November.

Having her first litter – to Fabregas – will be Spirited Bingle, a winner of 16 races at Shepparton, Angle Park and Mount Gambier where she ran a slick 22.92 seconds over the 400 metre journey.

By Collision, she’s out of Guru Doll’s litter sister Kokoda Spirit, winner of the 2013 Group 3 SA Oaks (515 m) at Angle Park, along with races at Warrnambool, Horsham, Shepparton, Bendigo, Geelong, The Meadows and Sandown Park.

Baurna Sal, who whelped two dogs and three bitches to Farmor Las Vegas in December 2018, has been mated the second time around with Bekim Bale.

Flying Flutter pictured at Tara Raceway in early 2017.

A winner of three races at Tara Raceway, Baurna Sal is by Spring Gun out of Baurna Molly (10 Victorian city wins). Halliday continues to race Baurna Sal’s litter brother Molly’s Wally who has raced only at Tara Raceway, on 90 occasions, for 13 wins and 11 minor placings.

For Flying Flutter, whose first litter of two dogs and five bitches by Worm Burner was whelped in March 2019, Halliday settled on Mepunga Blazer.

Retired after only a handful of starts, Flying Flutter ran a quick 29.66 seconds over the 512 metre journey at Tara Raceway in early 2017.

By Mogambo out of Butterfly Bling, a litter sister to Walk Hard (the sire of former Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Lektra Stomp), Flying Flutter’s litter also includes Elusive Jewel (34.57 The Meadows 600 m, 29.70 The Meadows 525 m and 25.08 Warrnambool 450 m).

Alysa, Titan chasing first Angle Park Country Cup success for Mount Gambier

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club will be hoping one of its representatives in Springvale Alysa and Galactic Titan can win Friday night’s SA Country Cup final (515 m) which will be run in conjunction with the Adelaide Cup final (515 m) at Angle Park.

This will be the third occasion that the Country Cup has been run at Angle Park in its current format, Strathalbyn representative Stick Figure, trained by Tony Rasmussen, winning the event in 2017 when Mount Gambier runners Colden Girl (Bea Bryant) and Paraphernalia (Jeff Guy) finished third and fourth respectively.

Last year it was the Gawler runner Reiko Rocketta (Troy Murray) that was successful. Mount Gambier representatives Paraphernalia and Hutch (Robert Halliday) were unplaced.

Kongorong trainer John Little has drawn box four in the final with Springvale Alysa. He would have preferred her to be closer to the rails although being a G-SIX event she will have a vacant box on her inside.

Galactic Titan, who also has a vacant box on his inside, doesn’t appear to have drawn too badly in box seven for Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew.

The field for the $7500 final is: 1 Better Dream (Ben Rawlings, Gawler), 2 Conner Peruzzi (Yvonne Maxwell, Murray Bridge), 3 vacant, 4 Springvale Alysa (John Little, Mount Gambier), 5 Victa Nash (Michael Giniotis, Gawler), 6 vacant, 7 Galactic Titan (Steve Bartholomew, Mount Gambier), 8 Spring Taylor (Greg Board, Murray Bridge). Res. Cawbourne Clint, Sweet Ella (Murray Bridge).

Following the SA Country Cup will be the $7995-to-the-winner TAB Premier’s Cup (731 m), Dyna Quota looking well placed in box one for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley.

Azalea Monelli leads Trackstar qualifiers

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

With eight wins, four seconds and one third, Azalea Monelli currently leads the 2019 Tara Trackstar No. 2 qualifiers with 41 points.

This Trackstar is for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between the beginning of July and the end of December.

The leading qualifiers (as at October 6) are: 41 Azalea Monelli; 31 Bourne Thanks; 28 Springvale Alysa; 24 Zuberi ; 23 Banjo Fozz, Black Spring, Dyna Naitch, Lektra Phyliss; 22 Cruising By, Silent Jacko.

The top eight point scorers (subject to greyhounds’ availability) will contest the Tara Trackstar No. 2 over 512 metres in early January.

Azalea Monelli is trained by David Peckham who won the Tara Trackstar No. 1 (January to June) with Flash Jackie.

Dita looking to go the distance

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Tarpeena owner-trainer Dita Mitchell is hopeful that in Galloping Flash she could have a greyhound capable of winning beyond 400 metres.

This follows the son of Cosmic Rumble x Select Octane’s all the way win over odds-on favourite Walk On Water in last Sunday’s Gambier Vet Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway in a tidy 23.13 seconds.

The win was Galloping Flash’s first at Tara Raceway for Mitchell, who picked him up as a giveaway from Victoria a couple of months ago, the black dog also breaking a 16-month losing streak.

Dita Mitchell with Galloping Flash after his win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

“Most of my greyhounds in the past had been 400 metre sprinters. I’ve never trained a middle-distance or staying type of dog but Galloping Flash’s three wins in Victoria had all been over a bit of ground,” she said.

Now, it’s fair to say that the majority of giveaway greyhounds come with a few issues – in this case the March 2016 dog missing a toe on a front foot and having previously raced inconsistently at times in his 41 starts on Victorian tracks.

But for all that, his wins prior to re-locating had been at Ballarat 660 m, The Meadows 725 m and Warragul 680 m – suggesting Mitchell could have something to work with, especially with the K9 Race Recovery FFA (600 m) coming up at Tara Raceway later in the month.

Meanwhile, a couple of races later, there was probably no real surprise when odds-on favourite Unique Edition, after taking the lead down the back, ran out a 2½ length winner of the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (600 m).

Purchased from Victoria in late 2018 after having won four provincial races, last Sunday’s win came after some solid Adelaide middle-distance form for Meningie owner-trainer Tim Richards, back at Tara Raceway for the first time since May.

By Collision out of Cheap Chloe, Unique Edition’s winning time of 35.00 seconds was the fastest run at Tara Raceway since April 21 when Pirate’s Curse ran a track record 34.79 seconds.

Actually, the surprise of the race was runner-up Banjo Fozz, rank outsider in the four-dog race at $14 and having her first start over the middle-distance journey for Val and David Brodhurst who later in the day brought up their 19th winner for the year when Dare To Do was successful.

Unique Edition defeats Banjo Fozz over 600 metres at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

The Serviceton couple picked up Banjo Fozz, a daughter of Banjo Boy x Fire Stricker, for $600 after she had run second in a time-graded maiden at Tara Raceway in late June. She has now raced on 11 occasions for her new connections with three wins and eight minor placings resulting.

Her second placing to Unique Edition saw her clock a personal time of 35.17 seconds – and that will win plenty of 600 metre races at Tara Raceway. In fact, such was the effort that the Brodhursts may also give serious thought to the forthcoming K9 Race Recovery FFA.

Disappointingly, one greyhound missing from the K9 will be Black Spring, a winner of nine 600 metre races at Tara Raceway from 13 starts, Edenhope owner-trainer Cap Abbott reporting this week that the son of Spring Gun x Lektra Scarlett would be off the scene for a month due to a back leg injury.

Locally, Black Spring has enjoyed a terrific year, winning 12 races and currently leading Cryer’s Plugger by seven points in the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year.

First treble after 30-year involvement

Monday, October 7, 2019

For Lewis Green, involved in greyhound racing for 30 years and one of a regular contingent of Victorian trainers at Tara Raceway’s weekly Thursday time-graded meetings, last week was his most successful day at a greyhound track.

Accompanied by Lisa Barrett and his grandson Jackson, the Parwan-based trainer brought up his 12th winner at the Mount Gambier track this year when landing a treble with Damo’s Pineapple, Alf Mulwee and Lucy Jetstream.

In Green’s kennels since last October, Damo’s Pineapple, a nicely-bred son of Fernando Bale x Punk Rock Lass, led all the way in the Laser Electrical Stake (400 metres), defeating Honey Eclipse by 1½ lengths in a handy 23.39 seconds.

Lewis and Jackson Green and Lisa Barrett with Lucy Jetstream, the final leg of a treble at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

The winner is the first greyhound raced by the Warren Sidebottom-managed Tulla Johnnies Syndicate, Green saying the win was the first for the March 2016 fawn dog after a lengthy lay-off due to injury.

“Earlier this year he had spent four months on the sidelines and it had then taken him eight runs to get back among the winners. Actually, it had been six months since he had last won and that had been at Geelong.”

Damo’s Pineapple is a litter brother to handy Victorian chaser Undisputed, a winner of 11 races and close to $60,000 in stakemoney and a close-up third when an odds-on favourite at The Meadows last Saturday night.

Alf Mulwee, raced by the Green-managed four-member Love Guru Syndicate, never looked like being beaten in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m), leading all the way from box one to defeat Schiavone by three lengths in 23.63 seconds.

As far as Alf Mulwee – a giveaway greyhound from Tamworth early this year – was concerned it was a case of the son of Cosmic Rumble x Queen’s Boss bouncing back to form after his past three starts had disappointed connections.

Lucy Jetstream, another giveaway, came down from Tamworth with Alf Mulwee and gave Green his treble when chasing Maximum Lisa for much of the 400 metre journey in the Rock’s Retreat Stake before gaining a head win in 23.76 seconds.

Raced in the same interests as Alf Mulwee, the win was the daughter of El Grand Senor and Wentworth Park winner Lucy Lips’ first for Green who said Lucy Jetstream appeared to be coming good again.

“To be honest she had shown very little since her last win which was back in May over 340 metres at Tamworth,” he said. “Hopefully now that she’s found winning form again she might continue to race in a consistent manner.”

Wynonna Earp, the first leg of a double for Kath Brooks at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

Meanwhile, no one was more surprised last Thursday than Doug Blake, handler for Rupanyup trainer Kath Brooks, when Wynonna Earp jumped straight to the front in the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m) and careered away to an 8¾ length win in 23.65 seconds.

“Look, her form since her last win at the end of June had been pretty ordinary. In fact, so ordinary that last month I took her to Healesville for a couple of runs up the straight. She never looked like winning there but maybe the change of venue helped to turn her form around,” he said.

Thumbs up for a highly successful project

Friday, October 4, 2019

Once Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. members had voted overwhelmingly to allocate the majority of its funds – $75,000 – to supplement the Greyhound Racing SA kennel house project at Tara Raceway it didn’t take long for the wheels to be set in motion.

With Tara Raceway race track manager Tim Manterfield assuming control as the kennel house project supervisor, a large marquee was soon erected and the new stainless steel kennels positioned under the “big top”.

The marquee would act as the temporary kennel house for greyhounds racing on Thursdays and Sundays from August 22 through to September 29, ensuring no meetings were lost while the kennel house upgrade was taking place.

Tim Manterfield pictured yesterday inside the completed kennel house.

Throughout the whole process, Manterfield said only one trial morning had been lost and that had been on Tuesday, August 20.

“That was the day the demolishing of the concrete kennels, which had served the track so well since 1997, commenced. And from then on it was all systems go,” he said.

“The next month or so saw outside concreting, internal kennel house carpentry, vinyl on the walls, epoxy flooring, internal cladding and the internal fencing erected to separate each race.”

With the marquee required elsewhere, the kennel house needed to be available for yesterday’s time-graded race meeting. At 7 o’clock on the Wednesday night, Manterfield declared the $250,000 kennel house “ready for racing”.

Matt Corby, CEO of GRSA, said the development of a new kennel house at Mount Gambier demonstrated the commitment GRSA had to supporting greyhound racing in its key regional areas.

“Mount Gambier’s greyhound racing industry is very strong with excellent participation numbers,” he said.

“The investment in the new kennel house reflects the commitment that we have to continuing to improve our regional TAB racing venues.

“GRSA continues to invest in priority infrastructure works on the back of the newly-constructed Murray Bridge facility in the past year at a cost of $8.6 million.”

Manterfield, enjoying a can after the last race yesterday, pulled out his phone. “I’ve just received an email from Matt Corby.”

It read: “Thumbs up. A highly successful project overall. Great credit to all involved.”

Friday night lights for Country Cup representatives

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s SA Country Cup representatives, Springvale Alysa and Galactic Titan, will go into next Friday night’s $7500 final over 515 metres at Angle Park without another run.

Following their Tara Raceway heat wins on Sunday, September 22, the pair both raced over the cup distance last Monday night at the city track in readiness for SA greyhound racing’s biggest night of the year, highlighted by the Group 1 Adelaide Cup (515 m).

Trained by John Little at Kongorong, Springvale Alysa gave plenty of cheek in a grade five bitches-only race over 515 metres, leading everywhere but on the line when going down by neck, finishing second to Minnie Mac in 30.09 seconds.

“For sure, I was happy enough with the run although a win certainly would have been better,” Little said. “She won’t run again until next Friday night so now it will simply be a matter of keeping her fresh and hoping for an inside draw in the final.”

Galactic Titan, a $2 favourite from box one in a Mixed Stake, found trouble on the first turn before finishing unplaced, Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew reporting later in the week that the brindle dog appeared to have pulled up well.

“Looking at him in our long run he appears fine,” he said. “He’ll be checked out for any injury concerns this week and then go into the final without another race. Ideally, both Chuckie (owner Robert Chuck) and I would like to see him draw out wide.”

Meanwhile, Spring Taylor and Conner Peruzzi will represent Murray Bridge in the Country Cup final, the former clocking a best of night 25.64 seconds (455 metres) in the first heat for Murray Bridge trainer Greg Board.

Conner Peruzzi, owned and trained by Yvonne Maxwell of Whyalla Norrie, held out odds-on favourite Cawbourne Clint to win the second heat by a neck in 25.84 seconds.

And Better Dream and Victa Nash make up the field for the G-SIX final after fighting out Gawler’s single heat at the northern club’s Friday, September 27 meeting.

Better Dream, trained at Lewiston by Ben Rawlings, clocked 30.94 seconds when leading all the way over the 531 metre journey to defeat the Two Wells-based Victa Nash who is trained by long-time participant Michael Giniotis.

Club looks to upgrade trial time information

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A trial session trial document for Murray Bridge.

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, working in conjunction with Greyhound Racing SA Strategic Projects Manager, Scott Wuchatsch, is hoping to soon be able to upgrade its trial day timing information to participants.

Currently, greyhounds’ times recorded at trial day sessions on Tuesday and Saturday mornings at Tara Raceway are hand-written, photo-copied and then distributed to participants.

A recent approach to GRSA by the MGGRC committee has seen Wuchatsch, at Tara Raceway this week to oversee the completion of the kennel house upgrade, make contact with racing technical equipment supplier The Brook Group.

“I have asked The Brook Group to provide me with a proposal to install a trial computer and the same system used at Angle Park and Murray Bridge.

“This system broadcasts trial times onto on-course television sets in the kennel house, patron building and starting box televisions. It also allows a printout of each trial session which can then be put onto the GRSA website.”

Wuchatsch said that once he had received this proposal he would move quickly to have the necessary infrastructure installed.