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

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JANUARY 27: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 29 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Friday, February 1 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.


Wally slips under the time-graded radar

Monday, January 14, 2019

While Tara Raceway’s time-graded race meetings, now run on alternate Wednesday afternoons, are predominantly designed for lower class greyhounds – and to keep them in the system longer – there are still those that occasionally slip under the radar.

Molly’s Wally, pictured after his time-graded win last week at Tara Raceway, followed up with another win on Sunday.

For example, like Molly’s Wally, now a winner of six races from 55 starts (all at Tara Raceway). According to his trainer, Robert Halliday of Portland, he’s a different dog when he finds the rails – as he did in last Wednesday’s Stake (512 metres).

“He hadn’t won a race since last October but when he jumped well from box six and was in front on the rails going into the first turn I reckoned he was always going to be hard to beat.”

In fact, Molly’s Wally never looked like being beaten, eventually running out a 7¼ length winner over Sandy Lagoon in 29.94 seconds – a time that would have him competitive in a Sunday afternoon Free For All let alone a Wednesday afternoon grade five event.

Also bred by Halliday, Molly’s Wally is by Spring Gun out of Baurna Molly and a litter brother to Baurna Sal, who as reported last week, recently whelped to Farmor Las Vegas.

An earlier Baurna Molly litter, by Superman, included Cairnlea Deano (13 wins and $46,000 in stakemoney) and Cairnlea Lewis (10, $20,000).

Earlier last Wednesday, Halliday also opened his winning account with Koda Blue who had 9½ lengths to spare on the line over Shadrack in 23.30 seconds in the Stake (400 m).

A nicely bred son of Barcia Bale x Kokoda Spirit, Koda Blue – out of the winner’s list for 12 months –was having his ninth start for Halliday who took over the dog’s training in October.

The blue dog is a litter brother to Militant Spirit who has won nine races from 21 starts for $26,000 in stakemoney and a half-brother to nine-race winner Spirited Bingle (by Collision) who Halliday has earmarked for a breeding career.

Both Molly’s Wally and Koda Blue backed up at Sunday’s Category 3 meeting with the pair once again scoring impressive wins.

Molly’s Wally, after an early tussle with Pinecutter Pete, ran out a 3½ length winner over Lone Star in 30.33 seconds in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m) while Koda Blue led all the way in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) for a 3¾ length win over Bowled Harro in 23.07 seconds.

Maximum Joan defeats Wynonna Earp and Raglan Bindi in The Border Watch Stake last week.

A couple of other greyhounds to slip under the radar at the time-graded meeting with quick winning times were Tracie Price’s Banjo Lass, beating the grader with a win in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m) in 30.16 seconds and Noel Carthew’s Patchie Thief’s 23.10 seconds win in the Laser Electrical Stake (400 m).

As testament to the time-graded system of promoting longevity when it comes to greyhounds’ racing careers, some of last week’s 100-plus runners included Spring Leesa and Standing Bear who have both gone around on 134 occasions, Bank Rogue 113, Mr Perfect 108, Good Yarn 107, Maximum Joan 102 and Ace Gone Wild 100.

And striking a blow for the centenarians was Wade Green’s rising four-year-old Maximum Joan, success in The Border Watch Stake (512 m) bringing up her first win since November 2017.

Woody just tipped out

Monday, January 14, 2019

Tipping Woody, a 4½-year-old son of Stagger and Hippy Chic, went close to winning his first race since April 2017 at Tara Raceway last Wednesday.

Kevin Ashton and Jan Neil pictured with Cement Socks (left) and Tipping Woody after running the quinella in the JB Irrigation Stake at Tara Raceway last week.

Having his first start since consecutive race falls at the local track in September and October last year, the black dog was a $51 chance in the JB Irrigation Stake (400 m) when going down by a head to his sister Cement Socks, the littermates both trained by Kevin Ashton of Charlton for the Rosemont Syndicate.

It was the best story all day to come out of the meeting, Ashton and his partner Jan Neil’s remarkable effort in getting both Cement Socks and Tippy Woody back racing again certainly a case of perseverance personified.

In fact, back in June 2017 it appeared likely that Cement Socks’ racing career was over after taking a heavy fall at Ballarat that resulted in a broken leg.

But a year later she was racing again although at her third run back she fractured a metacarpal which necessitated a further three months off the scene before returning to the track in early November last year and winning a further three races.

And Tipping Woody, after winning four races between February and April 2017, broke a hock which saw him sidelined for 16 months.

The mating of 64-race winner Stagger and Hippy Chic, a winner at Sandown Park and The Meadows, has also produced Wot Price Flash (22 wins, $43,000 stakemoney), Tree Climber Liv (20, $33,000) and Mix Off Harmony (10, $22,000).

Quick Sensation scores a narrow win over Gin Lee’s Bullet (No. 2) and Bungaloo Thor (partly hidden) in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake.

Meanwhile, local trainer Ken Feltus broke a run of outs when Quick Sensation led all the way in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 m), holding on to win by a neck in 23.68 seconds over Gin Lee’s Bullet and Bungaloo Thor.

For Feltus, it was his first Tara Raceway win since Allen Robbie had been successful in June last year, Quick Sensation previously a winner for him at Tara Raceway in 2017 prior to the black dog doing the majority of his racing in Adelaide during 2018.

Sims Memorial heats attract well-bred newcomers

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden, shrouded in sadness after the sudden death this week of their son Ian, a life member of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc., has attracted some well-bred newcomers to Tara Raceway for Sunday afternoon’s two 512 metre heats.

Attracting plenty of interest will be first-starter Bourne Thanks, a March 2017 black bitch by Barcia Bale and the first of former 512 metre record holder Thanks Tubby’s progeny to race.

By Superman x Irish Fantasy, Thanks Tubby, a winner over three distances at Tara Raceway, raced on 64 occasions for 21 wins and 23 minor placings, her record 29.60 seconds established in June 2014 and standing for three years.

Rooster, a son of Cosmic Rumble x Manila Express, will contest the second heat of Sunday’s Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden at Tara Raceway.

Another first-starter with ties to a former record holder is Rebel Ruth, whelped in May 2017 and a daughter of former top stayer Destini Fireball out of Lektra Angie, the dam of Lektra Stomp (the Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder at 29.35 seconds prior to Rockoon’s 29.28 seconds).

Rooster, a son of Cosmic Rumble and the city-winning stayer Manila Express, made his debut last week over an unsuitable 400 metres, working home well for third behind Bowled Harro.

Whelped in January 2017, Rooster appears to have inherited some of his dam’s strength with the beautifully bred Manila Express (Bekim Bale x Flossy) winning an Iron Dog series at Tara Raceway as well as plenty of 600 metre and 732 metre races at Angle Park.

Litter sisters Nix Jakit and Bab’s Jakit, who ran second and third on debut at Angle Park over 515 metres on Monday night, backed up again at the city track tonight, running fourth and second respectively and looking well placed in Sunday’s heats.

By Collision, the sisters are out of Cyanide, a winner of seven races – four at Wentworth Park – for stakemoney of more than $24,000.

School Report and Tennessee Rain, April 2017 litter brothers by Barcia Bale x Flamin’ Go, a winner of 15 races and $36,000 in stakemoney, will step out for the first time while Cleansing Ale, after two fifth placings at Warrnambool gets his chance at Tara Raceway.

A May 2017 whelping by Magic Sprite, Cleansing Ale is out of Smouldering Doll, who is another nicely bred bitch being by Bekim Bale x Flaming Doll and a litter sister to Beks, a winner of nine staying races and more than $100,000 in stakemoney.

Trainers to have previously won the Val and Col Sims Memorial and have runners in Sunday’s heats are Cap Abbott in 2013 with Arbour Darby, Nicole Stanley (2016 Rowchester Star) and Paul Herry last year with Got Some Cheek.

First greyhound meeting for young caller

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Lachlan Stace, 18, called the final eight races at Tara Raceway last week.

The clash in Mount Gambier last week of harness racing and greyhound racing meetings worked in the favour of aspiring race caller – Lachlan Stace of Adelaide.

Seasoned caller Jim Jacques handled the first four races at Tara Raceway before journeying down Pick Avenue to the showgrounds, leaving Stace to call the remaining eight greyhound races.

Behind the microphone for the first time at a greyhound meeting, it must have been something of a daunting task but the 18-year-old got through the day pretty well considering his lack of knowledge of the local greyhounds and their trainers.

Stace, who has been calling the pony trots at Globe Derby since he was 10 years old, has been on air in various roles since last year.

A day of doubles at time-graded meeting

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Coming from far and wide, Tony Hinrichsen, Wade Green and Robert Halliday shared the training honours with doubles at yesterday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway.

Hinrichsen, of Monarto South, and president of the Murray Bridge Greyhound Racing Club, continued his successful run at Mount Gambier time-graded meetings with wins by Stiff Upper Lip and Lochey Swift.

And Rockbank-based Green, after a bag of five winners late last year, must be wondering why it took him so long to discover Tara Raceway following wins on Wednesday with Conde and Maximum Joan.

Halliday, of Portland, finally broke through with Koda Blue and then later in the day with Molly’s Wally, an outstanding winner over 512 metres in 29.94 seconds.

By George, it’s been a big week for the Perrys

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

One way and another it’s been a big week for local greyhound owner-trainer Noel Perry and his wife Heather.

Baurna Sal with her pups by Farmor Las Vegas.

Initially it was as first-time breeders, Baurna Sal whelping two dogs and three bitches to Farmor Las Vegas and then George Regis found winning form again for them in the final race at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

Baurna Sal, a 30.13 seconds winner at Tara Raceway over 512 metres, boasts an interesting pedigree, being by Spring Gun out of Baurna Molly, a winner of 10 Victorian city races, and a daughter of Baurnahulla Hero x Record Keeper.

By Soviet Ferrari out of Lady Devika, the US-bred Baurnahulla Hero successfully raced in the US, Ireland and Australia while the unraced Record Keeper (a litter sister to 2009 Mount Gambier Cup winner Drone) was by another US sire in Kiowa Sweet Trey  out of Beekeeper.

George Regis finds winning form again at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Farmor Las Vegas, a son of Knocka Norris x Farmor Cee You, won 26 races and more than $194,000 in stakemoney.

Noel Perry reported earlier this week that the litter was doing well although he was quick to concede that it had been another learning experience just as it had been when, as a first-time trainer, he took on George Regis back in the middle of last year.

Out of the winner’s list since late October, the son of Spud Regis x Sky Fly High led all the way from box one in the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (400 metres), eventually running out a 2¼ length winner over Zambora Cash in 23.19 seconds.

It was a good start to 2019 after the previous six months had resulted in the black and white dog winning five races for the Mount Gambier couple and Noel Perry ending the half- year with a total of eight winners.

Margaret Cryer with Cryer’s Harper after her fifth consecutive win.

Meanwhile, Cryer’s Harper, a daughter of Cryer’s Midget, was the first leg of a double for Spud Regis when making it five wins in succession for Tom and Margaret Cryer, leading all the way to defeat Lektra Brandy by 1¼ lengths in a personal best time of 22.96 seconds in the Greg Martlew Autos Free For All (400 m).

Has there been a better winning streak than this since TAB racing was introduced at Tara Raceway back in 2012? Possibly not, although it’s still well short of the SA record for successive wins which stands to the credit of Kate’s A Scandal.

Trained by Howard Gray, the daughter of Temlee x Grotto’s Babe strung together 15 wins on end when winning the 1981 National Sprint Championship at Olympic Park in Melbourne.

In 1988, John King’s Time Machine (Chariot Supreme x Bonus Offer) went close to the record, winning 14 races in a row over 326 metres and 300 metres at Gawler and Port Pirie.

And in 1999, Pinot Noir (Black Shiraz x Jemalong Gold), trained by Kim Johnstone, also won 14 on the trot at Angle Park, Gawler, Strathalbyn and Kulpara.

Earlier on Sunday at Tara Raceway, Cryer’s Harper’s older half-brother Cryer’s Plugger (by Spring Gun) was the first leg of a double for the Cryers after proving much too good in the JB Irrigation Mixed Stake (600 m) for Pool Hall and Goldie’s Run when running a quick 35.10 seconds.

Shannah’s Gift . . . leading trainer Tracie Price’s first winner for 2019.

Tracie Price, the 2018 record-breaking trainer at Tara Raceway, also started the year off well with four winners – Shannah’s Gift, Wise Stella, Cee Me Holly and Banjo Lass.

Shannah’s Gift, a son of Fabregas x Shannah’s Star, was having only his 12th start since last winning in May 2018 at Ballarat but ran right up to his encouraging third placing over 390 metres at Warrnambool on January 1.

The 34 kilogram black dog quickly burnt off Coco Suzy in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m) before going on to an impressive eight length win in a personal best 23.11 seconds.

Award winner off to a flying start

Monday, January 7, 2019

Cape Bridgewater greyhound trainer Scott Blacksell conceded he had probably been on a hiding to nothing when he recently took over the training of Paraphernalia, the 2018 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, from Jeff Guy of Horsham.

After all, the veteran chaser is pushing five years of age and surely was unlikely to find too much improvement for his new trainer after 138 race starts.

Paraphernalia scores a narrow win over Springvale Alysa on Sunday at Tara Raceway’s opening meeting for 2019.

With the exception of a couple of weeks last year, Guy had trained Paraphernalia for all of his 36-win career but, after clinching the GOTY title with a second to Usain Insane at the final Category 3 meeting on December 21, he approached Blacksell about training the fawn dog.

“Jeff, in consultation with owner Chris Johnson, had been keen for Paraphernalia to see out his racing career at Tara Raceway, a track he has a tremendous record on,” Blacksell said.

“Because I’m racing over here most weeks, he asked me if I’d be interested in training the dog for the remainder of his career.”

And it’s fair to say that Paraphernalia hasn’t slipped back too much under his new trainer, as evidenced by his effort in last Sunday’s New Year’s Gift (512 metres) at Tara Raceway’s opening meeting for 2019.

The race soon developed into a two-dog affair, Springvale Alysa, scratched from Angle Park on Thursday night due to the heat, finding the front with Paraphernalia doing the chasing.

Springvale Alysa, always hard to run down when allowed to bowl along in front, certainly gave it her best shot for Kongorong trainer John Little but it was Paraphernalia who finally prevailed, finishing the stronger in the concluding stages of the race to win by a half length in a best of day 29.85 seconds.

The Greyhound of the Year award, along with the Ian Badger Leading Trainer award (Tracie Price), will be presented at Tara Raceway on Sunday, February 3.

Richards at the top of his game

Monday, January 7, 2019

For former football coach Tim Richards it seems that open paddock galloping on the shores of Lake Albert at Meningie is working for his greyhounds.

Richards, who back in 2005 coached Jervois to a record-breaking premiership win over Tailem Bend in the River Murray Football League, these days is heavily involved in greyhound racing and based in a region that also boasts Cameron and Yvonne Butcher’s former super sprinter Worm Burner.

Tim Richards with Game Face after his win at Tara Raceway’s Christmas meeting.

A periodic visitor to Tara Raceway throughout 2018, he wrapped up his year at the Mount Gambier track via a double with Sketchy Gun and Blue Blaze on December 16 before landing another double five days later.

On that occasion Sketchy Gun defeated kennelmate Crackerjack Jake in the Christmas Challenge final (600 metres) while Game Face improved on a first-up second at the previous meeting when defeating Pierce Bale and subsequent winner Sophie’s Moment in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m).

Game Face, a son of Cosmic Rumble and Kulu Mystery (a winner of seven races over short courses at Lismore and Ipswich) was picked up by Richards in May last year after having won four races in Victoria – including a 29.88 seconds 515 metre win at Sandown Park.

The black dog has turned out to be a handy acquisition, winning a further six races, five of those at Angle Park. In fact, such was his form leading into last October’s Adelaide Cup at the city track that Richards opted to run Game Face in the Group 1 event.

“He’d won three races in a row prior to the cup so I figured he was probably worth a try but unfortunately he fell in the heat won by Alpha Aion and was then off the scene for a couple of months.

“He’s won at Angle Park and Mount Gambier since returning and I thought he worked home quite well for third place last Thursday night at Angle Park behind Fabwik.”

Richards’s involvement in the sport goes back to April, 2016, his first dog being Cosmic Wonder who had last won at Cowra in October 2015 prior to his new trainer winning four races with him between June and August, 2016.

And as testament to the perseverance of Richards, Cosmic Wonder would race for a further two years without winning another race, eventually retiring after 133 starts and well over five years of age.

Club receives life-saving defibrillator

Friday, January 4, 2019

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club will be better prepared to manage a medical emergency after recently receiving a defibrillator from the sport’s controlling body, Greyhound Racing SA.

John Woodland pictured with the new defibrillator at Tara Raceway.

MGGRC president John Woodland said this week that the club considered the defibrillator a wonderful asset and the equivalent of extra insurance at the Tara Raceway complex on Lake Terrace East.

“Although many of our participants and patrons would be considered relatively fit and healthy, many do fit into the higher risk age groups,” he said.

“While exercising regularly is a positive step in maintaining good health there are still no guarantees.”

He said a defibrillator represented peace of mind, knowing that if required there was a unit close by for use in an emergency response.

“We hope we do not have to use it, but it is reassuring to know that there is a defibrillator at the track should the need arise.”

‘Working holiday’ pays dividends

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Training team Luke Harris and Tammy Kennedy-Harris, based 50 kilometres the other side of Melbourne at Somerville, have recently taken the opportunity to race a few greyhounds at Warrnambool and Mount Gambier while catching up with family at Casterton.

Billie-Rose 5, Roxy 10 and Nikita 11 pictured with Maderra (No. 2) and Disco Lemonade after running the quinella at Tara Raceway last Sunday for Luke Harris and Tammy Kennedy-Harris.

It had been 3½ years since they were last here and close to four years ago that they had been successful at the local track with Yazz, a winner of five races from 102 starts, four of the wins in impressive style at Tara Raceway.

The couple had seven dogs engaged last Sunday but were running out of races by the time Good Odds Ava, Maderra and Disco Lemonade lined up in race 10, the Stake (400 metres).

Luke Harris, Tammy Kennedy-Harris and family pictured at Tara Raceway in 2014 with Yazz.

Having her first start for Harris, Maderra, a member of the handy Spring Gun x Taradearra litter, went into the grade five event as a winner of 10 races and quickly rounded up early leader Good Odds Ava before holding out her fast finishing other kennelmate Disco Lemonade to win by 1¼ lengths in 23.68 seconds.

With eight dogs in work, the win wrapped up a pretty good year for Harris, a truck driver, and Kennedy-Harris, who trained something like 30 winners on Victorian tracks during 2018.

And 2019 also started off well for them. Maderra and Disco Lemonade clashed again on Tuesday over 390 metres at Warrnambool, both greyhounds working home well to ultimately run their second quinella in the space of two days.