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

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 28 with GRSA. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6 (T/G): Best to worst grading. Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, February 3 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. NO TRIALS: Please note there will no trials on Tuesday, February 4 due to track maintenance. SATISFACTORY TRIALS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512.

SA-BRED GIVEAWAY – SOUND AND RACE FIT/LIGHTNING FRANK PUPS FOR SALE/TRAINER WANTED FOR A COUPLE OF DOGS CURRENTLY RACING IN VICTORIA – See “For Sale/Wanted”.


News

Plenty of value in this mating

Tuesday, January 14, 2019

Another impressive win by Killarney greyhound Spring Value at Tara Raceway last Sunday now has owner-trainer Kevin Mugavin looking at the forthcoming Group Listed Mount Gambier Cup (512 metres).

Mugavin was at Tara Raceway for last year’s cup carnival, the brindle dog winning a heat of the Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m) before running a 1¾ length second to Galactic Titan in the final.

Spring Value, a best of day winner at Tara Raceway last Sunday, is now a chance of taking on this year’s Mount Gambier Cup.

Later in the year Spring Value won a heat of the time-honoured Newman McDonnell Memorial (512 m) in a quick 29.56 seconds before overcoming a slow start and then storming home to defeat Scartnamuck Diva and Perseverance in the final.

Suited by last Sunday’s small field, Spring Value rounded up early leader Flash Jackie down the back before running away to an 8¼ length win in the Produce Store Stake (512 m) in a best of day 29.54 seconds.

The win was the second leg of a litter double for Mugavin, Cloona Reward impressing in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) with an all-the-way four length win over Azumi Stringer in a quick 22.86 seconds.

The win was Cloona Reward’s first since last September while Spring Value hadn’t won since November, Mugavin saying later that he would now be looking to utilise Tara Raceway on a more regular basis.

“Spring Value, in particular, races really well here behind the finish-on-lure so realistically I should be making an effort to get over here a bit more often, especially with the cup heats coming up in March,” said the two-time cup-winning trainer (Poetic Magic 2006 and Rich Shiraz 2012).

It was a mating of Temlee and Dark Debutante back in 1977 and a resultant fawn bitch, later to be named Val Matese, that started the incredibly successful line for the Mugavin family – last Sunday’s winners by Spring Gun x Magic Matese and tracing back to the foundation brood bitch.

Another winner last Sunday that goes back to Val Matese is 2019 Mount Gambier Cup winner Galactic Athena, successful over 395 metres at Murray Bridge for Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew.

Galactic Athena is by Paddy Whacker out of Galactic Rumball, her dam being Elite Touch, who has had a considerable influence on racing at Tara Raceway, and bred by Mugavin.

Turn To Fab defeats Candy Chimes in last Sunday’s Gambier Vets Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway.

Interestingly, there was only one other pup in that 1977 litter – also a fawn bitch – later named Soextra, who also turned out to be a successful foundation brood bitch – for the Sinnott family of Yambuk.

Last Sunday’s Gambier Vets Stake (512 m) winner, the Tom Sinnott-bred Turn To Fab, trained for the Green Cloth Syndicate at Glenroy by Richard Clayfield, is a son of Fabregas x Mermaid Princess and traces back to Soextra.


Veteran chaser upsets rivals in Trackstar boilover

Monday, January 13, 2020

Outsider Dyna Naitch lowered the colours of his kennelmate and odds-on favourite Squishy Pea in yesterday’s Tara Trackstar No. 2 (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.

Dyna Naitch defeats Squishy Pea, Silent Jacko, Black Spring (No. 8) and Rotate in the Tara Trackstar at Tara Raceway yesterday.

A $20 chance, the rising five-year-old greyhound was slowly away from box three but gained a rails run on the first turn before settling in third spot down the back behind Silent Jacko and Squishy Pea.

And turning for home, Squishy Pea, last month’s Christmas Cup winner, looked set to bring up his fifth successive win at Tara Raceway.

Not to be denied, though, Dyna Naitch found plenty in the run home, defeating Squishy Pea by a half length in 29.91 seconds with a further two lengths back to Silent Jacko – Allendale East trainer David Peckham providing the trifecta.

The Trackstar was for the leading point scorers at Tara Raceway between July and December, Peckham having also won the previous Trackstar – for the leading point scorers between January to June – with Flash Jackie.

With a good second six months of the year, Dyna Naitch was always going to qualify for the Trackstar, although according to Peckham the dog had been in some doubt leading up to the race.

“Initially, I had been reluctant to commit to the race due to some niggly little injuries but fortunately we were able to get on top of them in time.”

David Peckham (right) with his Trackstar trifecta – Dyna Naitch, Squishy Pea (Melissa Freitag) and Silent Jacko (Jason Newman).

By Surf Lorian out of Crystin Bale, Dyna Naitch is raced by Adelaide owner Dwayne Jiggins who purchased the brindle dog after he had won five races from 32 starts on Victorian tracks during 2017.

But for Jiggins it was going to be some time before Dyna Naitch would step out on an Adelaide track.

“Actually, he was off the scene for close to 11 months due to an operation. Needless to say, it was a big thrill when he did finally return to the track and won first-up at Gawler over 400 metres,” he said.

“He seemed to struggle a bit at his next few starts so that was when I thought about relocating him to Mount Gambier in a bid to boost his confidence. David was keen to have a go with him and nine wins later, all’s good.”

Jiggins first became involved in greyhound racing back in November 2016 when he purchased a dog with his sons Rory, Luke and Sean at the Bendigo Ready2Race Sales. Racing as Top Sprite, the black bitch won 10 races in SA and Victoria and the first-time owner was hooked.

Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club committe members Michael Robinson (left), Noel Perry (president) and David Lewis with David Peckham and Trackstar winner Dyna Naitch.

As far as city racing is concerned, Alpha Aion and Allen Oregon have been two of his better performers – collectively winning 24 races on Adelaide tracks after having been purchased from Victoria.

And with a current involvement of something like 20 to 30 racing greyhounds and pups it’s no surprise that Dwayne Jiggins reckons he’s in it for the long haul.

It’s been a good start to the year for Peckham, winner of the 2019 Ian Badger Leading Trainer award – a 400 metre track record on January 5 with Dyna Carnie, another Trackstar win and five winners yesterday when Fabs You Go, Dyna Carnie, Call Me Billy and Missing Mate were also successful.


Finding winning form again

Friday, January 10, 2020

As far as the nicely-bred bitch Zipping Capri is concerned the decision of Woodcroft owner Damien Smith to send her down to Glenroy greyhound trainer Richard Clayfield has paid dividends, the brindle bitch having now won at her only two starts at Tara Raceway.

Zipping Capri made it two wins in succession at Tara Raceway for Richard Clayfield.

By Kinloch Brae, she’s out of Zipping Meg, a winner of eight races including a 29.26 seconds 515 metres Sandown Park win and $46,000 in stakemoney, Zipping Capri hanging on to defeat Close To Carnage by a neck in a handy 23.17 seconds at yesterday’s time-graded meeting.

The win, in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (400 m), came on the back of success a week prior when she had won on debut at Tara Raceway and broken a seven-month losing streak.

Smith purchased her from NSW in May last year after she had won three races over 365 metres at Nowra, Zipping Capri then winning over 400 metres at Gawler and Angle Park (388 m) before injury sidelined her for much of the latter part of the year.

“She suffered an Achilles injury in September and it was full on treatment-wise until December when she ran a couple of 388 metre thirds at Angle Park. It was then that I contacted Richard to see if he would be interested in giving her a go at Tara Raceway,” Smith said.

Smith had previously been based at Penola with partner Lauren, the pair now having their hands full, not only with young son Stefan but also after the recent arrival of twins Allegra and Bentley.

David and Angela Williams with Watsargo.

Watsargo, trained in Mount Gambier by David Williams, found the going a bit easier yesterday in the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 m) after having previously run into the record-breaking Dyna Carnie on a couple of occasions.

Raced by the trainer’s father, Allen, Watsargo always had the odds-on Renmore in his sights, railing through on the home turn before running away to a one length win in 23.49 seconds – the black dog’s first win in 10 months when he was successful at Gawler.

By Barcia Bale, Watsargo is out of Sandown Park winner Big Bang Marjen and, after being advertised on Greyhound-Data, was purchased in June last year as a six-race winner at Angle Park, Gawler and Murray Bridge.

But it would be another four months before he made his debut at Tara Raceway.

“I reckon the best way to put it would be that I needed to be patient and both the dog and I also had to come to terms with each other’s idiosyncrasies,” Williams said.

“Aside from that, though, I really believe that the slipping track at Tara Raceway – a real bonus to the ‘backyard trainer’ – has helped to sort him out.”

Andy Graham was all smiles after Akuma Fireball’s win.

Akuma Fireball was another one to break a losing streak, the black dog last winning at Tara Raceway back in early August over 512 metres for Portland owner-trainer Andy Graham.

Jumping from box five in The Border Watch Stake (400 m), the black dog set himself a fair task after a slow start and even at the home turn he looked little chance of reeling in Black Moscato, Master Moment or Rattle Can You.

But in the run home the son of former champion stayer Destini Fireball swamped the opposition, winning by three-quarters of a length in 23.70 seconds, his nonplussed trainer at a loss to explain the turnaround in form.

“I guess it was a case of him simply being in the right place at the right time. It was a pleasing win, though, because he really is a nice dog and a pleasure to have around the kennels,” said Graham, who purchased Akuma Fireball for $1000 after his Tara Raceway maiden win in June last year.

Killarney training team, Kevin and Raylene Gavin, won their first race at Tara Raceway in 12 months when Narcelle defeated kennelmate Reggie Ryan in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m), the runner-up, in fact, their last winner.

Narcelle (right) and Reggie Ryan ran the quinella in the Rock’s Retreat Stake for Kevin and Raylene Gavin.

Narcelle, having her first look at the track and her first run for Kevin Gavin, led all the way from box three, Reggie Ryan doing the chasing but no match for the giant 33½ kilograms black bitch which bolted in by 8¾ lengths in 23.20 seconds.

A giveaway after winning at Geelong back in November, the Gavins picked up Narcelle from long-time Lara acquaintance Ron McCullagh.

“Look, we only race giveaways and we have a bit a fun with them,” said Kevin Gavin. “In fact, I reckon we’ve only ever purchased one greyhound and it was no good.”

Narcelle is by Barcia Bale, who sired four winners at Tara Raceway yesterday, out of Motorette, a litter sister to Fully Advanced, a winner of 22 races and $169,000 in stakemoney.

And we probably won’t see the David Peckham trained Call Me Billy any time soon at a Tara Raceway Thursday meeting after his blistering 29.58 seconds win in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (512 m).

His win was the first leg of a two-track double for the Barcia Bale x Call Me Gee litter, Dusseldorp winning at Warrnambool on Thursday night.


Trackstar attracts top line-up

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Edenhope chaser Black Spring, the 2019 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, heads the qualifiers for Sunday’s Tara Trackstar No. 2 at Tara Raceway.

This Trackstar, a one-off race over 512 metres, is for the best performed greyhounds at the track between July and December, scoring done on a 4, 2, 1 points basis with the Cap Abbott owned and trained Black Spring accumulating 36 points in the second half of the year.

Close Your Eyes (No. 1) and Rotate (rails), who figured in a tight finish last Sunday, will clash again in the Tara Trackstar. A close-up third was Polar Missile.

Not surprisingly, Allendale East trainer David Peckham, the 2019 Ian Badger Leading Trainer with 128 winners, holds a strong hand in the Trackstar with Dyna Naitch 33, Silent Jacko 32, Squishy Pea 30 and Usain Insane 27.

Also in Sunday’s final are Robert Halliday’s Rotate 27, along with Nicole Stanley’s Close Your Eyes 26 and David Brodhurst’s Danyo’s Cally, also with 26 points.

The inaugural Tara Trackstar, for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between January and June 2019, was run in early July and won by the Peckham trained Flash Jackie who defeated Brodhurst’s Dare To Do and Abbott’s Bab’s Jakit in a time of 30.04 seconds.

Sunday’s meeting is packed full of interest, Dyna Carnie, fresh from a 400 metre track record last week, clashing with the speedy Cryer’s Harper – a half-sister to the former record holder – in the O’Brien Electrical Open Stake.

The Fairthorne Forestry Juvenile (400 m) looks to be a beauty with the Tracie Price trained Tandiki, a litter sister to Burn Time who won on debut over 525 metres at The Meadows on Wednesday, taking on the Dean Fennell trained pair General Max and Perseverance.

Killarney trainer Kevin Mugavin is launching a three-pronged attack on Tara Raceway with Cloona Reward, Spring Value and Nitro Value.

Willie Vossen, Tracie Price and Michael Robinson pictured with Tandiki and Stawell visitors Shane, Joanne and Willow Spriggs.

With quick times over the short courses at Ballarat and Warrnambool at his past four starts, Cloona Reward, a son of Spring Gun x Magic Matese, should be hard to beat from box one in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m).

Litter brother Spring Value, a 29.56 seconds McDonnell Memorial heat winner at Tara Raceway last November before going on to win the final the following week, looks well placed in box seven in the Produce Store Stake (512 m).

And half-brother Nitro Value, who has been running quick times without winning at Ballarat and Warrnambool, should be more than competitive in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m), the son of Nitro Burst a sound chance to win his first race since last October.

With five seconds from five starts at Tara Raceway surely the Nicole Stanley trained Oscar The Scout is ready for a win – Sunday’s South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m) looking a good race for the fawn dog with a personal best time of 29.93 seconds at the track.

By Moreira out of Someday Lady, Oscar The Scout is a litter brother to the smart Victorian chaser Waging War, a winner of 10 races and $65,000 in stakemoney.

Also originally planned to be run at Sunday’s meeting were heats of the Sims Family Memorial Maiden over 512 metres. However, due to insufficient nominations a one-off final will now be run on Sunday, January 19.

The one race per page program.

In keeping with the current Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s heats and final policy of running a minimum of two heats, nominations will now close on Tuesday for a one-off final.

This means greyhounds originally nominated for the heats will receive preference if re-nominated. However, it also means that the winner of this Sunday’s Winmore Greyhound Kennels Maiden Stake (512 m) will be ineligible for the Sims Family Memorial on Sunday week.

And, “The Dogs” has finally come up with an alternative to its bulky two-page per race program, releasing a one-page per race format this week.

Perhaps not quite as comprehensive, however certainly more than adequate, especially for the “sight-impaired” punter who will appreciate the larger type style.

Listing the greyhound’s past three starts, all the essentials are there – owners, trainer (including his or her location which is always handy), breeding and age of the dog, career record and record at Tara Raceway.


Giveaway greyhound stakes classic claim

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Ashby Mayhem, one of a number of greyhounds to have her fortunes turned around by Penshurst husband and wife training team Brendan and Kayla Bunworth, looks to be another likely Summer Classic contender.

Susan Mitchell and Brendan, Eve and Tyler Bunworth pictured with Ashby Mayhem.

This follows her impressive front-running 512 metres debut at Tara Raceway last Sunday in the Trackside Meats Stake for maiden/one win greyhounds when she defeated Oscar The Scout by three-quarters of a length in a more than handy 30.02 seconds.

Heats of the Summer Classic (512 m), for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2018, will be run on Sunday, February 16 with the final a week later.

The win was a good start to the year for the Bunworths, the pair collectively training 16 winners last year at Tara Raceway – most of them being giveaways.

Whelped in April 2018, Ashby Mayhem is another such greyhound, early reports suggesting that she probably wouldn’t make the grade although so far there have been no complaints from the Penshurst couple, the black bitch having raced on nine occasions for two wins and four minor placings.

“We’ve already had a bit of fun with her and hopefully she can now measure up on Thursday night at Warrnambool,” Brendan Bunworth said. “Actually, also making things easier has been that Kayla’s sister Susan is living here at the moment and she’s been a great help with the dogs.”

By Barcia Bale, Ashby Mayhem is out of the beautifully bred Glass Roof, a daughter of Brett Lee and West On Bluebird (a litter sister to former champion stayer Miata, along with Deville and Sure As).

Ashby Mayhem defeats Oscar The Scout at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

A winner of nine Victorian races, Glass Roof’s litter also includes Shared Bonus (45 wins, $158,000 stakemoney) and Shared Equity (31, $291,000).

For Nicole Stanley’s Oscar The Scout it was his fourth consecutive second at Tara Raceway over 512 metres, although the Portland trainer also enjoyed a good start to the year with Jackie Dee and Close Your Eyes successful earlier in the day.

And the following night at Warrnambool Burst The Seam brought up his third successive win at the track for Stanley when clocking a smart 25.12 seconds win over the 450 metres journey.

Meanwhile, back at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon, the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Juvenile Stake (400 m) had attracted a fair line-up of greyhounds all under two years of age – including Sweet On Me who was lining up from box one in an attempt to win five consecutive races at the track.

Ebony Janz and Hayden Fennell and Johnno Janz and Dean Fennell pictured with General Max after his outstanding win last Sunday.

Also taking a keen interest in the race were Millicent couple Hayden Fennell and his partner Ebony Janz, owners of box seven runner General Max, the son of Worm Burner x Miss Hodge trained for them by Fennell’s father, Dean.

“Right or wrong, when I was looking around a couple of years ago all I wanted was a pup by the SA champion sprinter Worm Burner – the dam didn’t matter,” said Fennell as General Max made his way around to Tara Raceway’s 400 metre start.

“In the end I settled for a couple of pups out of Miss Hodge, bred by the Fulton family over at Ecklin South. Fair enough, there would be no SA-bred bonuses but they were by Worm Burner.”

A January 2018 whelping, General Max’s Juvenile status will conclude at the end of the month. His outstanding effort last Sunday to defeat Sweet On Me by six lengths in 23.07 seconds brought up his first win in Juvenile company and allows him one more win in this grade.

However, from a Juvenile point of view, SA-bred greyhounds carry a significant advantage when it comes to age-restricted racing as they are able to win six of this grade at Tara Raceway.


Long-time track record falls

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Tara Raceway’s long-time 400 metre track record was broken at Sunday’s meeting when Dyna Carnie turned in a blistering run to defeat Azumi Stringer by 8¼ lengths in the ProGreyhoundTips.com final in a time of 22.74 seconds.

Dyna Carnie was in record-breaking form at Tara Raceway on Sunday when running 22.74 seconds in the ProGreyhoundTip.com final.

The previous record of 22.78 seconds was established almost four years ago on February 19, 2016 by the Tom Cryer trained Cryer’s Ricky who a fortnight prior to that had equalled Ireland’s Oyster’s record of 22.83 seconds which had been recorded on January 30, 2015 for Peter Franklin.

The first greyhound to break the 23-second barrier at Tara Raceway was the Richard Clayfield trained Slipper’s Might who ran 22.93 seconds on March 28, 2014, the previous record of 23.05 seconds established by Garry Marshman’s Star Doll on April 19, 2013.

The beautifully-bred Dyna Carnie, by the US sire Kelsos Fusileer out of Xylia Allen, a winner of 40 races and more than $700,000 in stakemoney, is raced by leading Adelaide owners Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman and trained at Allendale East by David Peckham.

David Peckham with Dyna Carnie after his record run at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Peckham took over the training of Dyna Carnie in November and has now won four races at Tara Raceway – over 400 metres and 600 metres – with the litter brother to the former NZ champion stayer Dyna Weslyn.

Dyna Carnie is now his second current record holder at Tara Raceway, Pirate’s Curse running 34.79 seconds over 600 metres on April 21, 2019.

On a day dominated by the track’s three leading trainers, Peckham also was successful with Silent Jacko, Squishy Pea and Missing Mate while Tracie Price, of Compton, had cause to get excited by Tandiki’s win in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) prior to Wise Stella winning the last race.

And Jackie Dee’s strong all the way 6½ lengths win over Banjo Lass in 30.07 seconds in the O’Brien Electrical Stake (512 m) was the first leg of a running double for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, Close Your Eyes then grabbing Rotate in the shadows of the post in the Metal Worx Stake (512 m) to score by a neck in 30.10 seconds.


Young trainer lands first winner

Friday, January 3, 2020

It’s taken a couple of years but 22-year-old Matt Basto landed his first winner yesterday when Sky Show was successful in the Gambier Vets Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting.

Based at Manor Lakes – just down the road from Werribee – this was Basto’s third trip to Tara Raceway, Sky Show having put the writing on the wall for her first win when running a promising second at the Boxing Day meeting.

Matt Basto trained his first winner yesterday when Sky Show was successful in the Gambier Vets Maiden Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway.

And while there’s not a lot of her – 24.3 kilograms at her last weigh-in – the white and black bitch quickly put herself in yesterday’s race with a quick get away from box one, losing the lead down the back to Dodgy Digger before running home strongly to score by a length in 23.61 seconds.

For the young media studies student, the win had made for a better start to the year than 2019 when his giveaway greyhound spent the better part of seven months sidelined due to a broken toe.

“To be honest, when she did return to racing she was finding the going pretty tough on Victorian tracks so late last year we decided to have a try at Mount Gambier. I’m certainly glad we did because the win was a tremendous thrill,” Basto said.

A big thrill also for his travelling companions – sister Lauren who turned 20 yesterday and dad Rod, a former marketing manager at the Glenelg Football Club and Greyhound Racing SA Operations Manager in the early 2000s.

By Destini Fireball out of Lektra Angie – a sub-30 second 512 metres maiden winner at Tara Raceway back in 2012 – Sky Show is a litter sister to Lektra Fireball, winner of last month’s Mount Gambier-Warrnambool Border Challenge and also to Lektra Rainbow a Warrnambool winner last week.


Syndicate purchases littermates with view to forthcoming Tara Raceway feature events

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Sweet On Me, unbeaten at her only four Tara Raceway starts, and litter brother Call Me Billy, a first-up winner at Thursday’s time-graded meeting, have been sold in a package deal for an undisclosed sum by Warrnambool owner Noel Mugavin to the Ross Schurgott-managed Nineofus Syndicate.

From the January 2018 litter by Barcia Bale out of Call Me Gee, Sweet On Me won three 512 metre races at Tara Raceway, all in sub-30 seconds, during December.

Call Me Billy opens his winning account at Tara Raceway on Thursday.

And Call Me Billy overcame a slow start from box seven in Thursday’s Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) before taking the lead down the back and ultimately running away to a 2½ length win over Pa’s Chance in 30.28 seconds.

The sale now means that the pair will remain at Allendale East with Mount Gambier’s 2019 Ian Badger Leading Trainer of the Year, David Peckham, also a member of the Nineofus Syndicate and certainly relieved that the future of the pair has been shored up.

“Sometimes when a greyhound starts to perform well and it attracts some outside interest you’re just not sure where it’s all going to end. But in the case of Sweet On Me and Call Me Billy we’ll now be able to move forward and map out a plan for them,” Peckham said.

“Everything going to plan we’ll look at next month’s Summer Classic (512 m), an event for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2018, and then follow up with the Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) in March-April.”


Young guns set to fire in 2020

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Early indications are that 2020 could be a big year for greyhound racing in Mount Gambier.

Already, Sweet On Me, a January 2018 daughter of Barcia Bale and Call Me Gee has set the track alight over 512 metres at Tara Raceway, stringing together three wins in December in times of 29.86, 29.78 and 29.67.

Sweet On Me has set the track alight at Tara Raceway.

The black bitch is raced by Warrnambool breeder-owner Noel Mugavin and trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, the pair having combined 12 months ago to win five races at Tara Raceway with Rose Ali prior to her being sold to Rockhampton.

Sweet On Me is one of a number of locally-based young greyhounds able to take advantage of recently-introduced Juvenile racing, Peckham working the grades well by having her in one such race on Sunday – the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m).

An example as to the definition of a Juvenile greyhound is a January 2018 whelping will remain eligible for that grade until the end of January 2020. However, non-SA bred dogs are permitted to win only two Juveniles while SA bred dogs can win six.

And connections of greyhounds whelped on or after January 1, 2018 are now looking at next month’s Summer Classic (512 m), first run in 2015 and boasting a fair sort of honour roll – Cryer’s Ricky (Tom Cryer), Menzel Boys (Lisa Rasmussen), Hutch (Robert Halliday), Galactic Panther (Steve Bartholomew) and Banjo Bad Boy (Dean Fennell).

Interestingly, Banjo Bad Boy defeated Rose Ali and subsequent Mount Gambier Cup winner Galactic Athena in last year’s final while the previous four classic winners had all reached the Mount Gambier Cup final the following month.

Willie Vossen and Michael Robinson (right) with Tara Raceway Boxing Day winner Tandiki who they purchased as a pup from the Price kennels at Compton. Also pictured are Tracie Price and Jake and Callum.

Local legends Michael Robinson and Willie Vossen have put their faith in the local product and already have reaped some rewards with their purchases of SA bred stock from Tracie and Karen Price of Compton.

Of particular interest is the Price-trained Tandiki, a May 2018 daughter of Peter Rocket and Headline, a bitch with plenty of strength that won over 595 metres at Sandown Park, 600 metres at The Meadows and 660 metres at Ballarat.

Tandiki won her maiden over 400 metres on Boxing Day at Tara Raceway, taking over the running from Banjo Bliss off the back and, despite using plenty of the track, running home strongly to win by 5¾ lengths in a quick 23.10 seconds after posting a first split of 10.86 seconds.

She’ll be back over 400 metres again on Sunday, having drawn box one in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake, while Robinson and Vossen’s Vossy, an April 2018 daughter of Dyna Double One x Miss Freelove, will take on Sweet On Me in the Juvenile.

Vossy’s litter sister Perseverance, owned outright by Robinson and trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell, is another one that looks well placed from a Summer Classic point of view, the black bitch winning in a best of day 29.76 seconds over 512 metres at Tara Raceway last month.

Connections should get some idea of where they’re at when Perseverance lines up from box two in Sunday’s New Year Open Stake (512 m) and takes on Squishy Pea and Smart Knocka who recently ran the quinella in the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup.

General Max . . . a perfect-aged Summer Classic contender.

The Fennell-trained General Max, a January 2018 whelping and another perfectly-aged classic contender, will also take on Sunday’s Juvenile, the brindle dog now well-seasoned after having raced on 23 occasions for six wins.

Raced by Ebony Janz and Hayden Fennell, the Victorian-bred General Max is by Worm Burner out of Miss Hodge. The couple also races litter brother Beat Max Bazza, a Tara Raceway winner last Sunday and another one to contest this Sunday’s Juvenile.


Black Spring is Tara’s top dog

Monday, December 30, 2019

While Cryer’s Harper recently got to within three points of Black Spring in the 2019 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, the award was quickly sorted out at Tara Raceway’s Boxing Day meeting.

It was on this day that Black Spring, owned and trained at Edenhope by Cap Abbott, pulled out a personal best 29.72 seconds when defeating China Catch ‘Em by 6¾ lengths in the Fairthorne Forestry Mixed Stake (512 metres).

Cryer’s Harper didn’t race on Boxing Day so the fact that she would clash with Black Spring at the final meeting of the year on the Sunday had no bearing on the Greyhound of the Year – some interest centring in her step-up in distance.

Black Spring brings up his 13th win for 2019 at Tara Raceway for Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott and in doing so clinches the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award last Thursday.

The daughter of Spud Regis and Cryer’s Midget had never won over 512 metres – all of her 21 wins coming at 400 metres – her last run over the longer distance being back in July last year.

Not surprisingly, Cryer’s Harper had little trouble in finding the front in the five-dog Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake, opening up a big break down the back before eventually running a three length third behind Nitro Missile and Molly’s Wally, with Black Spring in fourth spot.

By Spring Gun out of Lektra Scarlett, Black Spring raced at Tara Raceway on 34 occasions during 2019 for 13 wins, nine seconds and fourth thirds (74 points) over 512 metres, 600 metres and 732 metres.

Previous GOTY winners in recent years have included 2016 Old Jock (Nicole Stanley), 2017 Fiorelli Rose (Nicole Stanley) and 2018 Paraphernalia (Jeff Guy).

Black Spring, who joined Abbott’s kennels prior to commencing racing in September 2018, was a model of consistency at the local track during 2019, leading the GOTY at the end of April and May before regaining the lead in August and never being headed from that point on.

The leading sire at Tara Raceway during 2019 was Barcia Bale (107 wins) while Cryer’s Midget, with 34 wins, was the track’s leading dam for the second consecutive year – her influence at the track now having spread over the past four years.

Meanwhile, Black Spring and Cryer’s Harper may well clash again in the forthcoming Tara Trackstar No. 2 (512 m), a one-off race to be run on Sunday, January 12 for the best performed eight greyhounds at Tara Raceway during July and December 2019.

Obviously, for a variety of reasons, some legitimate contenders have fallen by the wayside while Apsley trainer Tom Cryer has yet to make a decision on Cryer’s Harper in regard to the Trackstar.

But for all that, more than 400 greyhounds have accumulated Trackstar points at Tara Raceway over the past six months and as such there will be no shortage of contenders for the race which rewards connections who have supported the track over the past six months.

Among those also in contention are Dyna Naitch, Banjo Fozz, General Max, Silent Jacko, Squishy Pea, Zuberi, Rotate, Usain Insane, Close Your Eyes, Danyo’s Cally, Loroupe and Missing Mate.

Connections with greyhounds under consideration for the Trackstar will be contacted this weekend in order to ascertain their intentions. Those interested will be required to nominate for the event.