Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Peckham chalks up another milestone

A big effort from Midnight Bandit to win Sunday’s Exchange Printers (1-3 wins) Grade 6 final (400 metres) resulted in Allendale East trainer David Peckham bringing up his 100th winner this year at Tara Raceway.

David Peckham pictured at Tara Raceway on Sunday with Midnight Bandit, his 100th local winner this year.

Midnight Bandit, a son of Collision x Midnight Starlet, was relentless in his pursuit of the lure after an ordinary getaway from box eight. But a strong finish along the rails in the home straight saw him edge out his litter brother (and kennelmate) Midnight Blast to win by a neck in 23.42 seconds.

And in the last race, the Bartholomew Pick 6 Mixed Stake (400 m), the Peckham-trained Out Of Gas led all the way to bring up win number 101 when defeating Aston Dijon by 1¾ lengths in a best of day 23.01 seconds.

Fittingly, both winners are owned by the Nineofus Syndicate, the involvement of some of its members, including manager Ross Schurgott, going back to a time when Peckham was training for their Viking Syndicate.

In what was his third successive year of more than 100 winners, Peckham so far in 2021 has trained four winners on four separate occasions, 12 trebles and 13 doubles.

Charley Davidson brings up win number 99 at Tara Raceway this year for Tracie Price.

All told, as far as the Mount Gambier Ian Badger Leading Trainer award is concerned, his 101 wins, 80 seconds and 74 thirds has him placed second, 16 points behind Compton trainer Tracie Price who trained 137 winners in 2018 and 100 last year.

Price’s four winners – Attuned, Amorphous Fire, Compton Amy and Charley Davidson – at Sunday’s 12-race program took his local total this year to 99.

Country Cup win for Mount Gambier representative

He’s All Purpose defeats Barbados Express (No. 8) and Sudden Force (No. 1) in Friday night’s SA TAB Country Cup final (530 m) at Angle Park.

Promising youngster He’s All Purpose upstaged his older rivals on the big stage at Angle Park on Friday night when taking out the final of the SA TAB Country Cup (530 metres).

Fairly away from box seven, the black dog had to work hard to cross over on the first turn before taking the lead off the back from Gawler representative It’s Smudgy.

And in the run home, He’s All Purpose just kept finding, eventually defeating the Murray Bridge candidates Barbados Express (Ben Rawlings) and Sudden Force (Lauren Harris) by a length and two lengths respectively in 30.76 seconds.

Owned and trained at Meningie by Tim Richards, the February 2020 son of Aston Dee Bee x Purpose Driven had qualified for the $5000-to-the-winner final with an outstanding 29.69 seconds Mount Gambier heat win over 512 metres last month.

Then, as a lead-in to the Country Cup final – the meeting highlighted by the running of the $100,000-to-the-winner Adelaide Cup – Richards ran He’s All Purpose in a Juvenile (530 m) at Angle Park 11 days out.

“He won that well, running a best of night 30.74 seconds,” he said. “I then had to decide whether to give him another run before the final. In the end I decided to go into the race without another run.

“As it turned out, he had to do it the hard way but he’s got a big heart and in running I always thought he would be able to get the job done.

“Needless to say, I was very happy with his effort. He’s really starting to mature now and I reckon he has the potential to develop into a pretty handy greyhound.”

Richards said He’s All Purpose had been a timid sort of pup in the backyard but his girlfriend Tanya Bialek – flying the flag on Friday night for Mount Gambier in her club top – had never lost faith in him.

“To be honest, there were times when I had a few doubts about the dog but Tanya always reckoned he was going to be ok. As it’s turned out, he’s given me my biggest win so far.”

From a Mount Gambier point of view, 2021 has been a big year for Richards and his greyhounds at Tara Raceway.

He’s trained 34 winners at the track which includes Summer Classic winner Justice For all, a 400 metres track record of 22.55 seconds with Almighty Stripe and He’s All Purpose’s Country Cup heat win.

“I’m of the opinion that my dogs have benefited from racing at Tara Raceway. With a finish-on-lure and one that generates plenty of noise it offers something different. A change from time to time certainly doesn’t do the dogs any harm,” he said.

Tim Richards gives He’s All Purpose an appreciative hug after Friday night’s Country Cup win.

As far as He’s All Purpose is concerned, Richards will now look at picking up his grade six races with him. He is also paid up for the SA bred Breeders 2022 races which will culminate with the Group 3 Howard Ashton next year.

So for the former Australian Rules premiership coach, now with 16 dogs in work and these days classing himself as a full-time hobby trainer, how does the Country Cup win shape up against winning a flag?

“Look, don’t get me wrong, Friday night’s win was a terrific thrill and it was great to do the Mount Gambier club proud. But I’m a competitive person and I reckon it would take an Adelaide Cup to upstage another premiership win.

“Greyhound racing is certainly filling the void but I still harbour the urge to coach again.”

Mount Gambier’s other representative was Rough Pearl, part-owned and trained at Worrolong by Lee Bartholomew in partnership with her daughter Elysia.

A winner of nine races at Tara Raceway this year, the son of Dyna Double One and West On Jorji was never far away. In the end he was two lengths behind the winner, a photo costing connections third place.

With Gawler, Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier represented on Friday night, the SA Country Cup is a far cry from when clubs at Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Kulpara, Barmera, Strathalbyn and Mount Gambier were all involved.

In 2013 the Country Cup was re-introduced and included Gawler, Strathalbyn, Mount Gambier and Port Augusta. The final was shared between Gawler and Strathalbyn and coincided with those clubs’ cup nights.

Mount Gambier won the 2013 cup when the Tracie Price trained Moorak Hope was successful at Gawler. In 2016 Nicole Stanley followed up for Mount Gambier at Strathalbyn with Berry Bling.

In 2017 it was switched to Angle Park to coincide with the Adelaide Cup. He’s All Purpose is the first greyhound representing Mount Gambier to win the event at the city track.

Pictures: Courtesy of Kurt Donsberg

The SA TAB Country Cup presentation.

The Phantom’s record-equalling day

Thursday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway started off well for Langhorne Creek trainer Tony Hinrichsen who was successful in the Bartholomew Pick 6 Maiden Stake (400 metres) with Thieving Fury, an easy 7½ lengths winner in 24.09 seconds.

Mind you, with the five-dog field all being trained by Hinrichsen it was a case of him always going to win the race. His only problem was with which one.

Tony Hinrichsen leads Filthy Phantom to the boxes for the 250th time.

Bigger trainers supplying a whole field is occurring a bit lately at tracks around the country. But for all that, the support of SA away trainers such as Hinrichsen at Mount Gambier meetings has been a godsend given the continuing border restrictions.

Later in the day the Hinrichsen trained Filthy Phantom, an August 2016 whelping by Lochinvar Marlow x Ruby Swift, lined up in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m) at what was his 250th start.

As it turned out, Bangor Lizzy relegated the veteran to second place but his run did equal former Victorian chaser Galloping Graham’s Australian record for the most number of race starts.

Galloping Graham, a son of Cry Havoc x Pahurehure Lass, commenced racing at Warragul on September 7, 1999 and was retired at start number 250 on September 6, 2004 at Traralgon.

Filthy Phantom’s racing career started at Strathalbyn on December 22, 2017. From a Mount Gambier perspective, he has raced at Tara Raceway on 31 occasions for five wins. His first win at the track was on May 18, 2018 when he defeated Crikey Creeky.

The race records of Galloping Graham and Filthy Phantom at 250 starts are remarkably similar – the former with 25 wins, 35 seconds and 42 thirds. Filthy Phantom has recorded 25 wins, 39 seconds and 48 thirds.

But it’s unlikely Hinrichsen’s black dog will be sharing the record for too long.

“No, I’m not looking at retiring him any time soon. As he showed today, he’s still racing competitively and just loves being at the track.”

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