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

SUNDAY, MAY 27: Nominations closed. FRIDAY, JUNE 1 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, May 28 with GRSA. SUNDAY, JUNE 3: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, May 29 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.


Pete cuts opposition down to size

Monday, May 21, 2018

Cape Bridgewater trainer Scott Blacksell, who started the year off in a blaze of glory when Mount Ghost won at Tara Raceway’s first two meetings, was back among the winners on Friday with Pinecutter Pete.

With his first four starts resulting in unplaced efforts, the black dog was a $23 chance when lining up from box four in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m).

Jude Tait and Scott Blacksell pictured at Tara Raceway last Friday with Pinecutter Pete.

However, he looked anything but an outsider as he quickly found the front, never really looking like getting beaten when defeating Wok Djay by a length in a personal best time of 30.67 seconds and bringing up the first win for the litter.

Named after harvest operator Pete Leonard, Pinecutter Pete is nicely bred, being by Magic Sprite out of Miss Shirleen, a winner of three provincial Victorian races and a litter sister to former more-than-handy chasers Old Jock, Temalor and Bekim Vapour.

Whelped in September 2016, which makes him well placed for the forthcoming Winter Classic, especially if he keeps improving, Pinecutter Pete was also reared and educated by Blacksell.

Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott’s good year continued when he landed his third double, this time with giveaway greyhound Rugged and Blonde Barbados.

Rugged, in Abbott’s kennels for only a month, was only fairly away from box eight in the Maiden Stake (400 m) but somehow quickly found the rails and from then on was always travelling like a winner.

By High Earner x Miss Bel Air – a 15-race winner for $42,000 in prizemoney – Rugged’s first win came at his 14th start with all 10 of the litter having now been successful.

Miss Bel Air, who has also produced plenty of winners from three other litters, is beautifully bred, being by Brett Lee out of Casey’s Angel.

Blonde Barbados, out of the winner’s list since last September, brought up her third win for Abbott when leading all the way in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m).

Dark Vader completed a good two days of racing for Cap Abbott when successful at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

By Cosmic Rumble out of New Year’s Punch, a winner of $53,000 in prizemoney, the white and fawn bitch’s win continued her trainer’s successful run with the dam’s progeny – Mo Town Roy and Blazin’ Vicky (by Razldazl Jayfkay) both city winners.

Blonde Barbados is from a repeat mating, the first litter by Cosmic Rumble producing Bruce Tycoon, who raced on 130 occasions for 36 wins, 39 minor placings and more than $271,000 in prizemoney.

And Abbott’s winning run continued on into Sunday’s meeting when another recent giveaway in Dark Vader, a winner of 12 races and more than $24,000 in prizemoney, opened his Tara Raceway winning account.

Slowly away from box seven in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m), the son of Spring Gun x Allez Bijoux quickly ranged up to share the lead with Brinza, the pair matching strides until the home turn (Captain’s Corner) where Dark Vader pulled away to eventually win by 1½ lengths in 23.63 seconds.

Trainer wraps up big week with Tara treble

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Tony Hinrichsen’s treble with San Tan Sam, Filthy Phantom and Focused Fury at Friday’s Tara Raceway time-graded meeting wrapped up a successful week on the track for the Monarto South trainer.

President of the Southern Greyhound Raceway at Strathalbyn, Hinrichsen’s winning run commenced last Sunday at Gawler after the recently-acquired San Tan Sam came from last early to score a big win over 531 metres.

Barry Shepheard (left) with Filthy Phantom, Gary Gamble (Focused Fury) and Tony Hinrichsen (San Tan Sam) after his treble at Tara Raceway on Friday.

And Breemelia Swift’s all the way boilover win at $31 in a heat of the Howard Ashton Classic at Angle Park on Wednesday afternoon took him a step closer to lining up with a finalist in Thursday week’s $37,500 feature for SA-bred greyhounds.

San Tan Sam, who had created a fair sort of impression with a smart 29.92 seconds win over 512 metres a month ago at the local track, returned on Friday to take on the Mixed Stake (600 m).

The son of Collision and San Tan Maid – a daughter of the US-bred San Tan Scruffy – had previously raced on only one occasion over the middle-distance, unplaced at Angle Park last October, but he once again impressed at Tara Raceway with an all the way 10 length win in a smart 35.20 seconds.

Filthy Phantom, by Lochinvar Marlow x Ruby Swift and a litter brother to Breemelia Swift, had to work hard in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m) after Crickey Creeky opened up a handy lead and still led the field into the home straight.

A winner last month on the grass at Port Augusta, Filthy Phantom dug deep in the concluding stages of the race to eventually defeat the early leader by three-quarters of a length in 30.47 seconds.

And Focused Fury – by Lochinvar Marlow out of Fighting Fury, a finalist in the 2011 Mount Gambier Cup won by Banger Harvey – led all the way in the JB Irrigation Stake (400 m), giving Hinrichsen his third treble after previous bags of three winners at Port Augusta and Strathalbyn.

Leading trainer’s headline act

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

While leading local trainer Tracie Price’s weekly trips to Angle Park look set to continue after Andrew’s Gift, Cryer’s Plugger and Bekim Lucy’s all ran second at the city track earlier this week, there’s also plenty happening on the home front out at Compton.

The kennel’s extensive breeding program continues unabated with the latest litter whelped being four dogs and four bitches by Peter Rocket out of the beautifully bred city-winning Headline.

Headline checks out her Peter Rocket pups.

By Barcia Bale out of Raya Riot, Headline was a winner of 16 races in Victoria over distances ranging from 440 metres to 660 metres, Price no doubt hoping for the match-up to come up with something similar to that of top stayer Rockoon, a white and black dog by Peter Rocket x Raya Riot.

This litter is the third to be whelped at the kennels this year and follows Spring Gun x Grimsby Girl and Dyna Double One x Miss Freelove litters of seven and six respectively.

Grimsby Girl, a daughter of Kinloch Brae x Oh Cee Ya, was a finalist in the 2016 Mount Gambier Cup won by Mojito Mayhem while Miss Freelove, whose racing career was severely curtailed through injury, is by Smooth Fancy out of the prolific producer Casey’s Angel.

Price also has his sights set on the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s annual Winter Classic, run over 512 metres in August for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2016, with youngsters from well-bred litters by Knocka Norris x Who’s Doing What, Nitro Burst x Oh Cee Ya and Cosmic Rumble x Cee Me Burst (winner of the 2015 Winter Classic).

Meanwhile, Price said this week that Cryer’s Plugger was likely to be set for the Shane McQueen Feature, heats of which will be run at Angle Park on Thursday, May 31. For the best greyhounds nominated, the $8565 McQueen final will be run on Thursday, June 7.

Owned at Apsley by Margaret Cryer, Cryer’s Plugger chased top Adelaide performer High Eden Snow throughout on Monday night over 600 metres and was doing his best work at the finish when going down by only 1¾ lengths in 34.95 seconds.

In the meantime, Cryer’s Plugger and Bekim Lucy’s will once again clash at Angle Park on Monday night over 600 metres in a race that the pair looks well placed in.

A lovely gesture

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Finn family – Kevin, Lorraine and daughter Marita Byron – were over from Warrnambool for last Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting with Destini Montana.

And Lorraine Finn also brought with her a giant get well card, already signed by Warrnambool participants and, once signed by their local counterparts, to be forwarded to Phil Lenehan, a popular supporter of both tracks.

With Lenehan in hospital in Melbourne after recently being involved in a car accident, Mrs Finn’s get well card was a lovely gesture from a lovely lady.

Panther through to semi-finals

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Locally owned and trained Galactic Panther advanced to the semi-finals of the Group 3 Howard Ashton Classic (515 metres) when running third in the first heat at Angle Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Raced by Moorak owner Robert Chuck and trained at Worrolong by Steve Bartholomew, the son of Milldean Panther and Galactic Rumball was beaten 6½ lengths by boom youngster Victa Louise who clocked the quickest of the four heats when running 29.72 seconds.

Victa Louise, a $1.15 favourite, was the only heat winner to break the 30 second barrier although $18 second placegetter Springvale Choix surprised when running her to 1½ lengths and clocking 29.82 seconds.

And after Fabwik ran 30.01 seconds to win the final heat, it was Galactic Panther who was the fourth fastest of the qualifiers with a time of 30.18 seconds.

Breemelia Swift, who ran unplaced behind Galactic Panther earlier this year in the Peter Rocket Summer Classic final at Tara Raceway, caused a boilover when winning heat three at $31 in 30.24 seconds.

Springvale Alysa, the other locally owned and trained classic contender, disappointed for Kongorong trainer John Little when failing to qualify in the second heat, won by Tal Lee in 30.49 seconds.

Semi-finals of the SA-bred paid up series will be run at Angle Park on Thursday, May 24 with the $37,500 final on Thursday, May 31, coinciding with heats of the McQueen feature.

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!