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

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, August 26 with GRSA. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, August 27 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. PATHWAY RACING: All eligible greyhounds will be considered for some Pathway races at Sunday meetings. Trainers must advise NO PATHWAY if they do not wish to be considered. See GRSA website for Pathway conditions. WORK COMMENCES ON KENNELHOUSE UPGRADE: See “Gallery”.


No half measures for Peter

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Warrnambool hobby trainer Peter Rowan, involved in greyhound racing for more than 40 years on an “off and on” basis, reckons he’s always been happy to simply play around with a couple of giveaways and have a bit of fun.

Well, he’s certainly had a bit of fun at Tara Raceway’s past two time-graded meetings, Meet Half Way a big winner of the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 metres) last Thursday while Sanya Bay brought up her sixth win at the local track at the previous meeting.

Meet Half Way was a smart winner of the last race on Thursday for Peter Rowan.

Rowan took over Meet Half Way last September. He’s the black bitch’s seventh trainer, having won with her at Ballarat in December but still chasing his first win with her this year when she lined up from box seven in last Thursday’s grade six non penalty sprint.

And one could have been excused for thinking that the $14 chance Meet Half Way had actually joined in at the half-way mark judging by the manner in which she finished off the race, storming home to defeat the odds-on favourite Chucky Brown by six lengths in 23.69 seconds.

By Turanza Bale, the rising 4½-year old Meet Half Way is out of the well-bred Ritza Flare, a lightly-raced winner of four races at Dubbo and Richmond.

Speaking after the race, Rowan said he believed the six-dog races at Tara Raceway had worked in favour of his dog.

“Actually, she was sidelined earlier this year for three months with split webbing and by the time she returned to racing in July there were six-dog races in place at Tara Raceway which probably suit her because she likes room to move.”

Rowan, who lives in a built-up area of Warrnambool, said the main thing he looked for in a greyhound was that it was quiet.

“Sanya Bay was my first Tara Raceway winner 13 months ago but besides that she’s probably one of the best I’ve had in terms of temperament – she’s quiet, clean and causes no trouble whatsoever.”

A remarkable comeback for Garry

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton pulled off another remarkable comeback win with one of his greyhounds when Chatty Garry virtually led all the way to defeat Master Winslow in last Thursday’s Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m) in 23.36 seconds.

This was the fastest time the four-year-old giveaway had run at the track, the win his first in 13 months and at his first race start in three months, Ashton conceding it had been a frustrating year as far as Chatty Garry had been concerned.

Chatty Garry defeats Master Winslow at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

“We were only two days into the year when he failed to finish in a 500 metre event at Bendigo due to a back muscle problem. Then, three months later he resumed at Tara Raceway where he was beaten by 24 lengths and pulled up sore again,” Ashton recalled.

Ashton, and his partner Jan Neil, then spent the next three months making regular 90-minute trips to gallop Chatty Garry up the Bendigo slipping track.

“In the end he didn’t look to be stretching out too badly so I opted to go straight into last week’s race at Tara Raceway where I thought he would be better suited in a six-dog field because he doesn’t really like crowding in his races.”

And naturally enough Ashton had been delighted with his $26 winner – especially considering it had been at only his third race start in eight months.

By Bekim Bale, Chatty Garry is out of seven-race Victorian provincial winner Harper Seven, whose second litter, to Nitro Burst, has produced 14 winners this year at Tara Raceway including the Scott Feltus trained Targeted Missile in last Thursday’s Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m).

For Ashton, last week’s win was his 16th this year at the local track and has him now sitting in 11th spot in the Ian Badger Leading Trainer award.

Amanda Darmanin with Kirabilli Poppy.

Meanwhile, another greyhound looking to win her first race this year was Kirabilli Poppy, having her first start at Tara Raceway in last Thursday’s Stake (400 m) for Mount Gambier owner-trainer Amanda Darmanin.

Darmanin picked up the daughter of Dyna Double One x Kirabilli Darcy as a giveaway after she had been advertised last month on Facebook.

According to Darmanin, Kirabilli Poppy had never seen the track and had been ‘just chucked in to see how she would go’ after the trainer and her daughter Jas, 15, had put plenty of road walking into her and kennelmate Miss Jacky.

The training strategy seemed to work pretty well, Kirabilli Poppy quickly finding the front from box seven before running away to a 7¾ length win over No Photos in 23.37 seconds.

This was the third first-up winner Darmanin has been able to produce this year after Sure Load and Miss Jacky had previously been successful on May 16 and May 23.

In-tune Sedaka to find further improvement

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Can we expect further improvement from the nicely bred Sedaka in Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry Grade Five final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway?

Well, while his Ballarat trainer Trent Blacker is no stranger to the track – he won last year’s Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) with Aeroplane Mo – Sedaka had been having his first look at Tara Raceway last week.

Dare To Do defeats Sedaka, Black Spring and Renmore in a heat of the grade five series at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Not only that, for the son of High Earner and Oakvale Destiny (a winner of 17 races and $279,000 in stakemoney) it was the first time in more than 12 months that he had raced over a comparable distance.

And David Brodhurst’s Dare To Do needed every centimetre of the 512 metre journey to grab Sedaka who gave a great sight from box five when going down by a neck in 29.97 seconds, the fastest of the three heats.

So yes, it’s probably fair to say that we can expect further improvement from Sedaka when he jumps from box four on Sunday although perhaps also from Dare To Do who has drawn box one.

Brodhurst also continues to do well with Banjo Fozz, a greyhound he picked up last month for $600 after she had run second at Tara Raceway in late June.

Since then, the daughter of Banjo Boy x Fire Stricker has won and been placed over 400 metres prior to stepping up to 512 metres last week and running Cee Me Shine to a length in 29.92 seconds.

Banjo Fozz will now jump from box two in Sunday’s Produce Store Stake (512 m) as the fastest dog going into the race with a best time of 29.99 seconds but taking on a handy line-up of grade six greyhounds.

Ethics to make amends in stayers’ race

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Nicole Stanley trained Ethics, an unlucky second behind kennelmate Candy Chimes in last month’s Eric Lewis Memorial (732 m) returns to Tara Raceway on Sunday and should make amends in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (732 m).

Candy Chimes pictured winning over 732 metres at Tara Raceway last week.

In the Lewis Memorial, Ethics worked home well after suffering early interference to be beaten three-quarters of length before finishing strongly when running second to another kennelmate in Dyna Quota at Angle Park last week.

With strong support from Stanley, as well as regular nominations from Cap Abbott (Spinning Jakit) and Peter Fulton (Noosa Parade), the staying races have recently become an added feature at Tara Raceway’s Sunday meetings.

And complementing the 732 metre Special Event will be the Trackside Meats Mixed Stake over the middle distance of 600 metres with Dyna Naitch and Joshua Rocks adding plenty of interest to the grade 4/5 event.

Border Challenge back on the drawing board

Thursday, August 8, 2019

It’s taken a while, but the Border Challenge between the Warrnambool and Mount Gambier clubs is likely to kick off this year.

Representatives from Warrnambool will meet with members of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club committee at Tara Raceway on Monday to discuss the conditions and format of the challenge.

Basically, it is being proposed that the Border Challenge be run annually with four dogs representing each club and alternate between the two tracks over 450 metres (Warrnambool) and 512 metres (Mount Gambier).

Meanwhile, despite the recent closure of the Port Augusta greyhound track, the SA Country Cup will continue to be run, the $7500 final (515 m) conducted at Angle Park on Adelaide Cup final night, this year the date being Friday, October 11.

Heats will be run at Murray Bridge, Gawler (Prov. 2) and Mount Gambier – a far cry from back in 2008 when greyhounds from eight clubs made up the final at Gawler which, incidentally, was won by the Mount Gambier representative Tickets Please, trained by Robert Halliday.

Mount Gambier heat/s (a maximum of two) will be run at Tara Raceway next month with first and second, or the two winners, representing the club in the final.

The programming of the heat/s on Sunday, September 22 will allow connections of the Mount Gambier finalists sufficient time to trial at Angle Park prior to the final if they so desire.

In more recent times, Mount Gambier has won the SA Country Cup on two occasions – Moorak Hope at Gawler in 2013 for Tracie Price of Compton and in 2016 Berry Bling was successful at Strathalbyn for the Portland-based Nicole Stanley.

They don’t run much faster than this Bolt

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Mount Gambier trainer Ken Gillespie was the first to admit that he had just about given up on his talented chaser Faster Bolt, at one time the fastest-ever 400 metre maiden winner at Tara Raceway with a time of 22.98 seconds.

In fact, the white and fawn dog had been away from the track for such a time that he had been required to run a satisfactory trial – as it turned out, a heartening 23.01 seconds for the 400 metre journey on July 14 – before he could return to racing.

Faster Bolt runs 22.82 secs. for the 400 metre journey at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Faster Bolt’s last race start had actually been back at the beginning of the year, Gillespie saying that illness and injury had plagued the dog since that run and he had pretty well resigned himself to the fact that the fastest dog he had ever been associated with probably wouldn’t race again.

“But more recently he had started to trial well again and after his satisfactory trial I have to admit that I did get a little bit excited at the prospect of getting him back on the race track again especially as he has raced on only 30 occasions,” he said.

At his first race start in seven months, Faster Bolt went down by 1¾ lengths to Verev over 400 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday, July 28. However, a week later it was a totally different story.

Away slowly from box five in the Produce Store Stake (400 m), Faster Bolt quickly proceeded to give his grade five opposition windburn as he swept around the field in the back straight before running out a five length winner over Swift Limes in 22.82 seconds.

Ken Gillespie with Faster Bolt after his near-record run at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

The time was quick – only a half-length outside Cryer’s Ricky’s track record of 22.78 seconds which had been run on February 19, 2016.

By Milldean Panther out of Galactic Rumball, Faster Bolt was bred at Moorak by part-owner Robert Chuck who also sold shares in the dog at eight months of age to Gillespie, Jack Peacock and Steve Bartholomew jnr.

A winner of 11 races at Mount Gambier, Ballarat, Warrnambool, Warragul and Horsham, Faster Bolt is a brother to 2018 Summer Classic winner Galactic Panther and a half-brother to Galactic Athena, winner of this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup.

And part-owner Peacock probably summed it up best as he and Gillespie headed back towards the kennel house after the race with Faster Bolt: “Great training effort, Kenny.”

Raging Rampant improves on first-up effort

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Koroit greyhound Raging Rampant, a handy third behind Cee Me Shine at Tara Raceway’s previous Sunday meeting, found plenty at his second look at the track when returning with trainer Ray Mahony for last Sunday’s meeting.

Ray Mahony with Raging Rampant.

Away well from box seven in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 m), the Duane Dalton-owned black dog led all the way, eventually defeating Saucy Sav by 4½ lengths in a smart 23.15 seconds.

The win was his first in five months, Mahony believing the 2½-year-old Raging Rampant, a winner of three races at Warrnambool, had lost his way in Victoria and was appreciating a change of track.

Based at Koroit since he was 12 months old, Raging Rampant is by Dyna Double One out of Tear Away Moon who was also trained by Mahony for his nephew (Dalton).

Tear Away Moon, a winner of six races including one at Sandown Park, also ran second to Fear The Rascal in the 2015 Christmas Cup at Tara Raceway.

Raging Rampant’s win was Mahony’s first at Tara Raceway since September 4, 2016 when he was successful with Saint Fox in a maiden final.

Keeping it in the family

Monday, August 5, 2019

For Ararat father and son training team, Doug and Paul Hammerstein, it was a case of keeping it in the family at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting last Thursday when they were successful with half-brothers Jacobite Joseph and Jacobite Hammer.

By Al Moran, a winner of 37 races, Jacobite Joseph is out of Moonshine Whippy, a daughter of Kiacatoo Pearl – the dam of Shakey Jakey, retired to stud after one record-breaking start over 520 metres at Wentworth Park.

Doug Hammerstein and son Paul pictured with Jacobite Hammer and Jacobite Joseph.

In Paul Hammerstein’s kennels since April 2018 after winning a maiden at Bathurst the previous October and then spending four months on the sidelines after indiscretions at Bulli and Dubbo, Jacobite Joseph had last won six months ago at Horsham over 410 metres.

And the black dog’s return to Tara Raceway on July 11, his first run at the track since finishing unplaced behind Slingshot Hammer in a heat of the Mount Gambier Cup in March, also wasn’t without incident – stewards ruling that he would have to run a satisfactory trial after a catching pen incident.

But come last Thursday and Jacobite Joseph, after satisfying stewards with a 23.53 seconds 400 metre trial, lined up from box eight in the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m) looking to win his first race at the track since January.

Once he found the fence he was always going to be hard to beat, scraping the paint in the home straight and eventually running out a three-quarter length winner over Chucky Brown in 23.65 seconds.

Younger half-brother Jacobite Hammer (by Swift Fancy), raced by his breeder Joanne Kerr of Forest Reefs in partnership with Doug Hammerstein, was looking to make amends for three costly defeats at Tara Raceway last month.

Andy Graham with Akuma Fireball.

Chasing his first win at Tara Raceway, Jacobite Hammer never looked in any danger of defeat in the Produce Store Stake (512 m), leading all the way from box two to defeat Will Eye Am by 5¼ lengths in a best of day 30.02 seconds.

Portland trainer Andy Graham won his first race with Akuma Fireball – picked up for $1000 after having won a maiden in June – when the black dog led all the way in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) to defeat Kracka Barcia by 1½ lengths in 30.28 seconds.

By Group 1 winning stayer Destini Fireball, a winner of 25 races and $631,000 in stakemoney, Akuma Fireball is out of Lektra Angie, a daughter of Trewly Special x Elektra who won her maiden over 512 metres at Tara Raceway in November 2012 in 29.93 seconds.

The litter also includes Victorian winners Lektra Fireball, Lektra Perry and Lektra Rainbow as well as Rebel Ruth who also won at Tara Raceway on Thursday.

A litter sister to Tara Raceway’s current leading dam, Lektra Scarlett, the Victorian city-winning Lektra Angie is also the dam of former 512 metre track record holder Lektra Stomp (by Walk Hard).

And while on the subject of Lektra greyhounds, a phone call from Mount Gambier owner-trainer Noel Perry to Toolong breeder Phil Lenehan early last month paid dividends at Sunday’s meeting.

Looking for a greyhound to race at Tara Raceway, Perry had rung Lenehan to see if he had any performed stock that he was interested in selling.

“At the time Phil didn’t have any dogs for sale that would suit my requirements but he did have a bitch by Fabregas out of Lektra Stroke that had been returned from Melbourne after being unplaced in her only seven starts.

Heather and Noel Perry with Lektra Phyliss after winning at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

“Her name was Lektra Phyliss and a litter sister to Lektra Zephyr, a winner of nine races and $43,000 in stakemoney. He said if I wanted to have a play around with her at Tara Raceway then I could have her.

“I figured I didn’t have much to lose so I decided to give her a go although I told Phil I was still keen to purchase a performed dog from him when one arose,” Perry said.

Lektra Phyliss, on the back of a first-up second behind Galactic Zeus over 400 metres, lined up from box two in Sunday’s Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m), the first maiden/one win event to be run at Tara Raceway.

And in what looked to be a more than handy field, Lektra Phyliss ran her rivals ragged, defeating Miss Adelaide by 3¾ lengths in the smart time of 30.18 seconds and gave Perry his eighth winner at the track this year.

8-dog racing for Sunday meetings

Monday, August 5, 2019

Further to the introduction last week of the “hybrid model” of G-SIX racing having an 8-dog Quadrella on selected race meetings, Greyhound Racing SA has now decided to make this consistent for Angle Park, Gawler and Mount Gambier fixtures.

This announcement follows positive nomination flow across all meetings, resulting in Mount Gambier, as from this Sunday, running 8-dog races for its Quadrella legs.

Both weekly meetings at Tara Raceway will now include 8-dog races, last Thursday’s time-graded meeting marking the return of eight-dog racing for the Quadrella legs.

A GRSA spokesman said the hybrid model of G-SIX would continue to be monitored.

Leading trainers chasing first classic win

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Allendale East greyhound trainer David Peckham, still riding high after landing his fifth treble for the year at Tara Raceway last Sunday, now has his sights set on the Winter Classic, heats of which are set down for Sunday, August 18.

This will be the sixth running of the 512 metres age-restricted event which this year is for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2017.

And Peckham, currently Tara Raceway’s leading trainer with 62 wins, 51 seconds and 35 thirds, will probably have more idea of where he’s at from a classic point of view after the running of Sunday’s first race, the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m).

Cruising By in action at Tara Raceway.

This is the first of weekly maiden/one win events programmed at Tara Raceway, designed to encourage the running of low-grade greyhounds over 512 metres. Maidens will be given priority except where they have competed at the Thursday meeting several days’ prior.

Peckham has Cruising By and Silent Jacko engaged – second and third to Cimarron Magic in the recent John Reid Memorial Maiden – the former heavily backed to win the memorial and reported to have since trialled quickly.

By Kinloch Brae out of Midnight News, Cruising By is an August 2017 whelping and a litter sister to Roper River Jake, a recent 13 length Sandown Park 515 metres maiden winner in 29.40 seconds.

Peckham has never won a Winter Classic but he did breed Stylish Moment, a daughter of Spring Gun x Nicky’s Moment and winner of the inaugural 2014 event.

Trained by Tracie Price, Stylish Moment was later mated with Cosmic Rumble and is the dam of Dimora Flash, currently the Greyhound of the Year leader. Earlier this year she whelped a second litter, this time to Peter Rocket.

Price won the classic again the following year with the well-bred Cee Me Burst (Nitro Burst x Oh Cee Ya) who is the dam of Cee Me Shine, a winner at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

And in 2016 Phil Lenehan of Toolong was successful with Lektra Munster, a son of Fabregas and Supreme Vision, prior to Solitary Lad (Lonesome Cry x Up And Away), trained at Glenroy by Richard Clayfield, winning the 2017 classic after several starts earlier having won the John Reid Memorial.

Last year, Tracie Price won his third Winter Classic when Smart Knocka (Knocka Norris x Who’s Doing What) turned in an outstanding performance, running a race record of 29.85 seconds.

Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, currently in second spot behind Peckham with 45 wins, 44 seconds and 52 thirds, also has never won a Winter Classic, her closest a second behind Lektra Munster with Hay Miss.

Stanley said this week that she had at least one, possibly two, contenders for the $3000 event.

Peckham and Stanley look to hold a strong hand at Sunday’s meeting, both trainers having 10 runners on the 12-race G-SIX card.

Panda Bale, who recently whelped to Fernando Bale.

Meanwhile, Peckham reports that all is well with his four-week-old Fernando Bale x Panda Bale litter of three dogs and four bitches. He said the owners of Panda Bale were looking at selling two of the bitches.

Panda Bale, a daughter of Radley Bale and Bitten, was a winner of 12 races, including 731 metres at Angle Park and 699 metres at Cranbourne, for stakemoney of more than $30,000.

Youngsters from her first litter, by Barcia Bale and whelped in April 2018, are due to be broken-in later this month.

And while on the subject of greyhound dams, Lektra Scarlett has opened up a handy four-win lead over Cryer’s Midget on the Tara Raceway Leading Dam list.

By Trewly Special x Elektra, Lektra Scarlett won Victorian city staying races prior to litters by Cosmic Chief, KC And All and Spring Gun.

Lektra Scarlett has produced 21 winners at Tara Raceway this year from her litters by KC And All (Lektra Brandy 7 wins) and Spring Gun (Black Spring 8 wins) while Cryer’s Midget’s best performer has been Cryer’s Plugger (7 wins).