Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Husband and wife training team cuts it fine

Saint Eilish (No. 8) defeats Galactic Hera (No. 2) and Compton Amy in last Thursday’s Rock’s Tavern Stake (600 m) at Tara Raceway.

For Glencoe husband and wife training team, Dean and Edna Fennell, Thursday’s double with Saint Eilish and King Smiley had been their first.

Mind you, it was a real heart stopping sort of double with both greyhounds winning by a half head.

Dean Fennell’s Saint Eilish, who was chasing her first win over 600 metres in the Rock’s Tavern 0-2 Wins Stake, defeated Galactic Hera in a time of 35.74 seconds.

Saint Eilish is owned at Koroit by Peter Byrne, who also bred the daughter of Barcia Bale x Miss Lava. An earlier litter, by Peter Rocket, produced Saint Maddie who won 10 races at Tara Raceway for the same owner-trainer team.

Ironically, at Tara Raceway’s meeting a week earlier, Edna Fennell’s King Smiley had defeated Saint Eilish over 512 metres by a half head in 30.47 seconds.

That win, his third, had been King Smiley’s first in six months. It then took only another week to bring up his fourth, albeit just as narrowly, when defeating Flying Fuels in Thursday’s Produce Store Stake (512 m) in 30.66 seconds.

A give away after breaking-in, King Smiley is a son of Spring Gun x Bekim Lucy’s. And there’s plenty of winning form around the breed.

Bred at Compton by Tracie Price, Bekim Lucy’s won 11 races over 512 metres, 600 metres and 732 metres at Tara Raceway. She also won over 731 metres at Angle Park. Litter brother Blazing Moment won 17 races in SA and WA. He was also a finalist in the 2017 Darwin Cup.

Raced locally by Michael Robinson and Willie Vossen, Bekim Lucy’s was the forerunner to further success for the owners through the deeds of Tandiki, Vossy and Rocketline.

Edna Fennell’s involvement in the sport actually goes back to 1997 when local greyhound racing commenced at Tara Raceway on Lake Terrace East and her husband first became interested. However, King Smiley is one of the first dogs she has trained.

Meanwhile, Portland trainer Nifty Lenehan landed a double at Warrnambool on Thursday night with Aston Shintaro and Radioactive.

Earlier in the night, Aston Falcon, a quick winner at Tara Raceway the previous week for Lenehan, ran a length second to Idolize in a heat of the GRV VICBRED series (450 m) and is through to next Thursday’s $4250 to the winner final.

Edna Fennell’s King Smiley defeats Flying Fuels and Five Bucks Down in the Produce Store Stake.

Escape Inn returns with a vengeance

According to Lewiston greyhound trainer Kevin Bewley, Adelaide owner Cledwyn Jones had purchased the nicely-bred Escape Inn after being impressed by the early speed she had shown in races on Victorian tracks.

And connections certainly would have been more than happy with the daughter of Black Magic Opal x Tantrum’s early dash in Thursday’s Commercial Hotel Maiden Stake (400 metres) when she led all the way to defeat Unique Jimmy by seven lengths in 23.49 seconds.

However, Bewley said the win – Escape Inn’s first at start number 13 – was a far cry from earlier in the year when, at her first start at Mount Gambier’s Tara Raceway, she was never out of trouble in the race.

Kevin Bewley pictured at Tara Raceway last Thursday with Escape Inn.

“To be honest, afterwards I was seriously thinking of suggesting to the owner that we retire her. Anyway, I initially put her on hold and she started to recover very quickly from what had been a pretty tough run.

“And as she got better and better, it appeared as though she had lost nothing in ability. She resumed with four races at Gawler over 400 metres – each run a little better than the previous one,” he said.

For Bewley, Thursday’s win had been his first at Tara Raceway since Elsie’s Choice had been successful in early May. Escape Inn’s win had also been his second in two days after Donovan Bale had won over 400 metres at Gawler’s Wednesday meeting.

Bewley’s involvement in greyhound racing goes back to 1987 when he began a 10-year period as Adelaide Greyhound Racing Club (Angle Park) Racing Manager.

“After that I cut ties with the sport and it wasn’t until about six years ago when I was looking for a hobby that I decided to look at getting a greyhound,” he said.

“Together with my wife Carolyn we decided to purchase a property at Lewiston, mainly to cater for her poodles. However, I did have in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t mind a greyhound to train.

“So what started out as a one-dog hobby has now developed into pretty well a full-time job with 15 dogs currently in work.”

Tara Raceway – Sunday, September 12

Tracie Price, of Compton, is yet to be headed in this year’s Ian Badger Leading Trainer Award. Mind you, it came pretty close after Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting last week when he had only a point to spare over Allendale East trainer David Peckham.

But five winners at last Sunday’s Category 2 meeting – Golden Lester, Attuned, Way Out, Urana Meat Loaf and Compton Ruby – saw Price pick himself up off the canvas and shoot 19 points clear.

One of the highlights was Compton Ruby’s win in a handy Commercial Hotel 1-3 Wins final (512 metres). This came as something of a boil over after the daughter of My Redeemer x Headline ran down Midnight Blast in the straight to win by 1¼ lengths in 30.11 seconds.

The win was the second for the week for Headline, Mount Gambier’s leading dam this year, after Lisa Hellmuth’s Earthworm Jim had been successful at Warragul.

The most interesting of Price’s five winners was probably Urana Meat Loaf who, after being heavily supported, had been well beaten at his only two local starts.

Chasing his first win since success at Bathurst over 307 metres back in May, the son of Dalgetty x Zippy’s Me Mum never looked like being beaten when leading all the way from box seven in Todd’s Photographics Stake (400 m).

In Price’s kennels since the end of July, Urana Meat Loaf is raced by Ed Crowther. His son, Mr. Bet racing form analyst Reece, following the win related the story surrounding the black dog.

Karen and Tracie Price with Compton Ruby, winner of the Commercial Hotel 1-3 Wins final (512 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

“There’s actually something like 50 people who take an interest in him. We’d been keen to buy him following a maiden win at Bulli over 400 metres last September but did have second thoughts after he lost a toe.

“Anyway, in the end we decided to take a punt, pushing on with the purchase, and paying $12,000 prior to him winning a couple of races at Bathurst.

“Then, in June, after a couple of second placings at Gunnedah, it was decided to send Urana Meat Loaf to race in Adelaide.

“But that was a short-lived exercise after being informed that the dog was ‘six lengths slower than the slowest maiden currently in the kennels’.

“So it was pleasing to see the dog fire up for Tracie on Sunday when winning by 7½ lengths in a tidy 23.39 seconds. It will now be interesting to see how he backs up at Tara Raceway on Thursday afternoon,” Crowther said.

Incidentally, last Sunday was Price’s biggest day at the track since October 1 last year when he had been successful with Revved Up Rocket, Wan Chai, Falcon Heavy, Black Spring and Elle Limes.

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