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

THURSDAY, JULY 18 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JULY 21: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, July 16 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. PLEASE NOTE: There will be NO TRIALS on Tuesday, August 20. 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. SA-BRED PUPS FOR SALE AT REDUCED PRICES: See For Sale/Wanted.


News

Club looking to utilise track for education and training

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

It has now been 12 months since Greyhound Racing SA representatives were in Mount Gambier to outline to local participants its broader plan for the industry.

And part of that broader plan was a strategy to support rearing and breaking-in services as well as greater utilisation of SA TAB tracks for greyhound education and training.

Tara Raceway already has its own slipping track, situated on the other side of the race track’s back straight fence. This is a sand-based 200 metre stretch where greyhounds are able to free-gallop in a safe environment.

A young greyhound being educated in a bullring similar to the one envisaged for Tara Raceway.

At a cost of $2 a week for unlimited access, the slipping track – the first of its kind on an SA race track – has proven to be a boon to “back yard” trainers in the district.

And the slipping track has produced its fair share of winners, plenty of greyhounds making a successful transition from one side of the back straight fence to the other.

Now, a move is afoot to erect another fence in the slipping track area in order that a pair of greyhounds would be able to gallop up the track, one on either side of the fence – a sand surface on one side and grass on the other.

“I believe this would be a safe way of getting a couple of greyhounds to work hard,” said Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club committee member and slipping track user Noel Perry. “Also, it may well encourage more participants to take advantage of the facility.”

The MGGRC committee is now also likely to further pursue the possibility of constructing a “bullring” (a small circular training track) at Tara Raceway – as discussed by a previous committee.

The main purpose of a bullring – generally around a nine-metre radius – is that it is used as a stepping stone for pups before they venture on to a race track.

Put simply, bullrings are all about building the confidence of pups and getting them used to the sight and sound of a lure in motion.

The Sale Greyhound Racing Club was the first Victorian club to have a bullring constructed. Its bullring is state-of-the-art, machine-operated by a lure driver and includes starting boxes.

While the MGGRC will need to liaise further with GRSA in regard to its education and training plans for race tracks, the club firmly believes that Tara Raceway is one such track that is well placed to provide both racing and training services to participants.


Best day this year for time-graded regular

Monday, July 1, 2019

Rupanyup trainer Kath Brooks, a long-time regular at Tara Raceway time-graded meetings, enjoyed her best day at the track this year when Hopsing, Wynonna Earp and One Moore Page were successful at last Thursday’s meeting.

In fact, the treble was her first since September 21 last year when Hopsing’s litter sisters Love A Chat and Fairground, together with Ryben Bill, were successful at the Mount Gambier track.

Hopsing led all the way from box eight in last week’s Metal Worx Stake (400 metres), holding on for a head win over Tamika Bay in 23.79 seconds for the Blake brothers, Aaron and Calum, who race the black bitch under the banner of the Donkey Racing Syndicate.

Khris Blake pictured with One Moore Page, the third leg of a winning treble for Kath Brooks at last week’s time-graded meeting.

By Fabregas out of 16-race winner Lolly Bale, Hopsing was purchased almost 12 months ago in a package deal with his sisters, last week’s win his first since returning from a six-month break after dropping a back leg muscle.

Wynonna Earp broke a long run of outs when leading all the way from box seven to defeat Rooster by two lengths in 30.64 seconds in the Produce Store Stake (512 m).

Raced by the Broke As Syndicate, which comprises Khris Blake and Brooks, the rising four-year-old’s last win had been in March 2018 at Gawler over 400 metres, Blake saying the giveaway bitch had encountered plenty of setbacks in her 52-start journey.

“There’s been injury and seasonal issues with her for much of her career,” he said. “But she’s now strung together a few runs so hopefully we might be able to step her up in distance because I believe she’ll be better suited over 600 metres.”

The December 2014 whelping One Moore Page, a nicely-bred giveaway daughter of Premier Fantasy and Back Page Lead, gave the Broke As Syndicate its second winner for the day when successful in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m).

Taking the lead off the back, the white and black bitch finished too strongly for Nitro Heroine and Big Kenny Bobo, scoring by 2¼ lengths in 23.45 seconds at what was her tenth win at start number 100.

Dunolly trainer Richard Boehm, after a treble last month with Supasonic Saz, Lil Black Jess and New Wave, landed a double last Thursday with Someone Blue and Honey Eclipse.

Owned by his breeder, Peter McDougall of Ouyen, Someone Blue was having his first start at the track for Boehm, another regular at Tara Raceway time-graded meetings.

By Barcia Bale out of Sugar Lips – a winner at Sandown Park and The Meadows – the blue dog had been in Boehm’s kennels for only a fortnight after having previously won two races earlier this year at Horsham.

And he quickly put himself in the race from box five, matching motors early in the Laser Electrical Stake (400 m) with another well-fancied runner in Akuma Fireball, before running out a three-quarter of a length winner over Banjo Fozz in a handy 23.35 seconds.

Honey Eclipse defeats Miss Adelaide at the time-graded meeting to give Dunolly trainer Richard Boehm a double for the day.

Banjo Fozz, whose last win was at Ballarat last September, was also having her first run at Tara Raceway. Following the race, the daughter of Banjo Boy x Fire Stricker changed hands and is now owned and trained at Serviceton by David Brodhurst.

Honey Eclipse, after three minor placings from four starts at Tara Raceway over 400 metres, broke through for her first win at the track when taking the shortest way home in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m).

Away only fairly from box four, the daughter of Swift Fancy and Sandown Park winner Fantastic Nikita quickly found the rails and scraped the paint from thereon, eventually running out a length winner over Miss Adelaide, back after a two month break and not looking far away from another win.


Prizemoney increase for SA greyhound racing

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Greyhound Racing SA board last week signed off on an increase which equates to in excess of $1 million annually in participant returns.

And GRSA CEO Matt Corby said the increase highlighted the current strength of greyhound racing in South Australia.

“It also draws on the momentum of the recent announcement of State Government support for the three racing codes,” he said.

To be implemented this week, the changes include a stakemoney increase of 15% for all racing beyond a distance of 400 metres. This also includes time-graded and Pathway meetings.

Stakemoney for all racing up to and including 400 metres will be increased by 10%.

In other news, GRSA announced that club members (of their relevant club) will no longer have to pay trial fees at SA TAB greyhound tracks (Angle Park, Gawler, Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier). However, non-members will be required to pay $10 a dog to the relevant club.

Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club members had previously paid $5 a dog to trial at Tara Raceway and non-members $10 a dog.


Brandy snaps into action

Thursday, June 27, 2019

It’s now been more than 12 months since Portland owner-trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan purchased Lektra Brandy from his brother Phil, of Toolong.

At the time, the black bitch had won only a 512 metre maiden at Tara Raceway in a par for the course 30.51 seconds, although Nifty Lenehan was looking at Lektra Brandy more from a breeding point of view.

Lektra Brandy (No. 8) finishes strongly to defeat Hutch and Wanchai Express at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

“All of Phil’s greyhound stock goes back to our father Brian’s foundation brood bitch Sydney Gem so when my brother was looking to sell Lektra Brandy I figured that this could be a good chance to once again tap into what has been an incredibly successful line,” he said.

She’s by the US super sire KC And All out of Lektra Scarlett, a Victorian city-winning stayer and currently the leading dam at Tara Raceway.

By Trewly Special out of the Group 1-winning Elektra (where the prefix “Lektra” originates from), Lektra Scarlett is a litter sister to Lektra Angie, the dam of former Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Lektra Stomp.

“This is a terrific dam-line, going back from Elektra, to Natural Class, Hoppy’s Star, Hoppy’s Girl and Sydney Gem,” Lenehan  said.

Lektra Brandy’s subsequent performances on the track have actually come as something of a surprise to her owner-trainer, 11 wins following at Warrnambool, Horsham and Tara Raceway.

Nifty Lenehan with Lektra Brandy.

“To be honest, when I purchased her I thought that she would struggle to run a strong 500 metres but her past three wins at Tara Raceway have all been over 512 metres and in times under 30 seconds.”

And any doubts about Lektra Brandy running out a strong 512 metres were quickly dispelled in last Sunday’s The Border Watch Mixed Stake.

Away slowly from box eight, Lektra Brandy had worked into third spot down the back but still had proven performers Hutch and Wanchai Express bowling along in front of her.

However, she kept coming off the back and into the home straight, eventually getting up by a head over Hutch in a personal best time of 29.79 seconds.

It was an effort that had race caller Ray Fewings asking: “Where did that come from?”

And it was an effort that has Nifty Lenehan now looking seriously looking at next month’s Anniversary Cup.


Track closures inevitable

Thursday, June 27, 2019

When the controlling body of the day, the National Coursing Association (NCA), all those years ago issued licences for mechanical hare greyhound racing tracks at Angle Park, Gawler, Strathalbyn, Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Pirie and Mount Gambier it believed that was quite sufficient for SA.

As it turned out, it was more than enough – tracks at Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Port Pirie now long gone after the novelty of racing a greyhound wore off.

Initially, though, there was no shortage of participants or greyhounds or, for that matter, representatives from other regions putting up their hands for a licence to build a greyhound track.

The NCA was steadfast no more licences would be issued but the sport inevitably underwent a change of control and three more tracks would be built at Kulpara, Barmera and Port Augusta.

Kulpara conducted straight track racing while Barmera enjoyed a halcyon period, attracting plenty of greyhounds, good crowds and big bettors. Both these tracks have now closed.

And Port Augusta, SA’s only grass track, will run its last meeting on Saturday with the highlight being the Port Augusta Cup final.

A letter to the editor this week in the Adelaide Advertiser suggested that Greyhound Racing SA’s decisions to close country tracks in recent years had made it too hard for trainers to race their dogs in an economic environment.

Now, while we don’t mind blaming GRSA for most things, it’s probably fair to say that the track closures came about more so by a not-so-gradual decline in local volunteers, participants and greyhounds.


Same finish, different result

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cap Abbott with Free Fury while Kerry Hawker handles Bab’s Jakit.

It was only a fortnight ago at Tara Raceway that Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott ran the quinella in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (512 m) with Bab’s Jakit and Free Fury.

The only trouble was that by the time Abbott had returned with the pair for a photograph the event had been declared a no race.

Fast forward to last Sunday and Bab’s Jakit and Free Fury once again ran the quinella, this time in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m), Abbott no doubt relieved to hear the “all clear” given.

A winner of four races at Tara Raceway this year, the John Dihm owned Bab’s Jakit is by Collision out of Wentworth Park winner Cyanide.


Littermates turn in top classic trials

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew landed his second city double when Galactic Athena and Galactic Titan, members of the Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball litter, turned in outstanding Champion Puppy trials at Angle Park last night.

Galactic Athena on her way to a 29.77 sec. win at Angle Park last night.

Jumping from box five in the McQueen’s Tavern Juvenile (515 m), Galactic Athena was in front by the first turn, eventually defeating a determined Weblec Queen by two lengths in 29.77 seconds.

Heats of the Champion Puppy, for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2017 – which makes it one of relatively few remaining true classic races still being conducted – will be run over 515 metres at Angle Park on Thursday, July 11 with the $10,710 final a week later.

Being August 2017 whelpings, the Galactic dogs are well placed from a classic age point of view as is the nicely-bred Weblec Queen, the daughter of Kinloch Brae and Weblec Rose being whelped in September 2017.

Galactic Titan impressed with a big win in 29.81 sec.

And Galactic Titan led all the way from box eight in the grade six Kurt Donsberg Photography Stake (515 m), eventually winning by 8¾ lengths in 29.81 seconds.

As far as the litter was concerned, it was a good few days for Moorak breeder-owner Robert Chuck and Bartholomew with Galactic Destiny a sub-30 second winner over 512 metres at Tara Raceway on the Thursday prior.

Bartholomew’s first Angle Park double was on Monday, August 26, 1996 – the first time he had raced in the city – with Moorak Flyer and Mel’s Perfection.

Pictures: Courtesy Kurt Donsberg Photography.


Taking her chances at Tara Raceway

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

After three recent unplaced runs over 390 metres at Warrnambool, Penshurst greyhound trainer Kayla Bunworth opted for a change of track and for the first time brought Zipping Chance to Mount Gambier for last Sunday’s meeting at Tara Raceway.

And the daughter of Don’t Knocka Him and Tricky Jade – a city-winning bitch at Sandown Park and Wentworth Park – looked well placed in box eight in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 metres).

Brendan, Kayla, Evelyn and Tyler Bunworth pictured at Tara Raceway last Sunday after Zipping Chance’s win.

But it was kennelmate Five Times Table, trained by husband Brendan, that showed the way early from box one before Zipping Chance, despite racing wide on the home turn, finished strongly to defeat Banjo Bad Boy and the early leader in 23.41 seconds.

The win was the first at Tara Raceway for Kayla Bunworth who said she had been surprised by the win.

“As a rule she has to lead to win so when I saw her headed early by Five Times Table I thought she would be no chance.”

Raced by the Lidpingers Syndicate, Bunworth is Zipping Chance’s fifth trainer, the May 2016 whelping coming into the kennels in mid-May and quickly opening her winning account with a win over 390 metres at Warrnambool.

Bunworth said that as they prefer racing at Tara Raceway on a Sunday afternoon, due to a busy week-day work schedule, there was a chance Zipping Chance could soon be moved on.

“I think the syndicate is keen for her to do her racing on Victorian tracks where there is more prizemoney so we’ll just have to see how that plays out,” she said.

Amanda Darmanin was all smiles after Miss Jacky scored an impressive win over 600 metres last Sunday.

The win of Miss Jacky in the Greg Martlew Autos Mixed Stake made her the second daughter of a former Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder to recently win over the middle-distance at Tara Raceway.

A fortnight ago Flash Jackie, a daughter of inaugural 600 metre record holder Striking Viking, was successful over 600 metres and last Sunday Miss Jacky, always on the pace, was too strong for Joshua Rocks and Usain Insane when clocking a tidy time of 35.34 seconds.

The fawn bitch is by Pure Octane out of Miss Jacovella, who lowered Cheap Currency’s 35.11 seconds record to 35.08 seconds on August 14, 2015 – this time standing until Unsub Andy ran 35.04 seconds on March 11, 2016.

In Mount Gambier trainer Amanda Darmanin’s kennels since mid-May, Miss Jacky is owned at Koroit by Mick Walsh who also races litter sister Lena Lake, a winner of two 600 metre races at The Meadows for Ellinbank trainer Mark Johnson.

Darmanin, who is Miss Jacky’s fourth trainer, is one of the local “back yard” training brigade to take advantage of the Tara Raceway slipping track.

“The slipping track is terrific for people with a few greyhounds and looking for a safe and secure area to gallop them in between races,” she said. “Miss Jacky has certainly appreciated the galloping, having now won two races for me.”

Miss Jacky will now line up from box one in the second heat of the $10,000-to-the-winner Hip Pocket Bendigo Winter Cup (660 m) tomorrow night while Lena Lake has drawn box two in heat one.


Three winners for first-time visiting trainer

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Lewiston trainer Scott Feltus, at Mount Gambier’s Tara Raceway for the first time, took the training honours at last Thursday’s time-graded meeting when Twisted Missile, Nut Allergy and Bambalam Brandy were successful.

Twisted Missile is well-known to local followers after having won a heat and the final of the Sims Memorial Maiden (512 metres) in January this year for Portland trainer Nifty Lenehan.

A member of the handy Nitro Burst x Harper Seven litter, Twisted Missile ran right up to her short-priced quote when leading all the way from box five for a six length win over Loroupe in 30.00 seconds in the Winningformula.net.au Stake (512 m).

Scott Feltus and his winning treble at Tara Raceway last Thursday. From left, Twisted Missile, Nut Allergy and Bambalam Brandy.

The diminutive 24½ kilogram black bitch was purchased last month by the Franco Farr Syndicate, managed by Port Augusta identity Kevin Harris, whose association with Feltus goes back to their footballing days.

Twisted Missile’s success brought up a winning hat-trick for her for the month of June after she had previously been successful at Gawler and Port Augusta – Thursday’s win also the first leg of a double for the syndicate.

A couple of races later, in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m), Nut Allergy completed the double for the 10-member syndicate, quickly finding the front from box five before running out a strong 2¾ length winner over My Mandara in a best of day 23.05 seconds.

And the win continued the good run connections have enjoyed with Nut Allergy since taking him over in late February 2018.

“The syndicate purchased him – after he had won four races at Angle Park and Gawler – from Ashley Furner of Elizabeth,” Feltus said. “He’s basically still a city class dog so he was probably well-graded in the race.”

By Lochinvar Marlow out of Ticket To Mars, Nut Allergy has now raced on 109 occasions for 19 wins and 35 minor placings, the black dog completing a good few days at Tara Raceway for the litter after Kentucky Sun had won impressively on the Sunday prior for Mick Bowerman.

Bambalam Brandy showed plenty of early pace from box seven in the final event, the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 m), before handing up the lead down the back to Lucy Jetstream.

But in the home straight Bambalam Brandy, raced by Feltus in partnership with Robbie Brodhurst, found plenty, eventually scoring by three-quarters of a length in 23.76 seconds and completing a big day for her trainer.

By Kinloch Brae x Mighty Lomar, the 33-start 4½-year-old black bitch last won at Port Augusta in November 2017, Feltus saying that she had all but been retired.

“Actually, Bambalam Brandy went into an enclosed run not long after that win due to a series of injuries and six-month seasonal issues. She then spent close to 18 months free galloping before I decided she might be worth one more try because she is a handy bitch.”

While in Mount Gambier last week Feltus, involved in the sport for five years, also took the opportunity of catching up with his father, Ken, who has followed in his son’s footsteps and is now also involved in greyhound racing at Tara Raceway.

Galactic Destiny wins over 512 metres in best of day time at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

A regular at Chinnery Park, a grass track situated in Port Augusta, Feltus jnr. will make the trip one last time this Saturday when the 1978-established Port Augusta Greyhound Racing Club will run its final meeting, the highlight being the Port Augusta Cup.

Meanwhile, Galactic Destiny, who resumed last week with an excellent third behind Ethics after a three-month break due to a shoulder problem, went right on with the job with a stunning win in the Produce Store Stake (512 m).

Fair enough, she looked well-placed in a time-graded event but the time told the story – 29.91 seconds – Robert Chuck and Steve Bartholomew’s 30 kilogram brindle daughter of Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball in front at the first turn before powering away to a 9¾ length win.

Litter sister Galactic Athena and litter brother Galactic Titan, who both last raced at Sandown Park a month ago, will run at Angle Park on Monday night in preparation for the Champion Puppy classic (515 m), heats of which will be run on Thursday, July 11 and the $10,710 final a week later.

However, staying put at Worrolong will be Galactic Destiny, perhaps feeling a little hard done by and wondering what a dog has to do to earn a trip to Adelaide.


Hutch answers the challenge . . . again!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

That enduring greyhound Hutch was back among the winners last Sunday – for a 26th time. And Iron Dog aside, the win was the feel-good story to come out of Tara Raceway.

The win – his 20th at the track – was his first since April 7 when he had defeated Wanchai Express over 512 metres in a best of day 29.85 seconds. A week later he was on the sidelines with an Achilles tendon injury.

Hutch, who was off the scene for six weeks, came into last Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Mixed Stake (512 m) on the back of three runs in May and early June – no wins, but Portland trainer Robert Halliday more than happy just to see the son of Premier Fantasy and Cairnlea Ellie get around unscathed.

At his fourth run back and lining up from box four for start number 40 at the track and distance, Hutch was always on the pace, rounding up early leader Swift Limes down the back before running out a 1½ length winner over Dyna Naitch in 29.81 seconds.

This was yet another winning comeback, Halliday listing off some of the setbacks that the black dog had encountered during a racing career that kicked off on January 6, 2017 when he ran fourth to McIvor Neville in a heat of the Sims Memorial at Tara Raceway.

“For sure, Hutch has been a very challenging greyhound to train and without the help of my wife Shirley it’s probably fair to say that he wouldn’t be racing now or have won anywhere near as many races,” he said.

“But, as far as Hutch is concerned, the time and effort put into him has certainly been worthwhile.”

Hutch will now be back at Tara Raceway on Sunday, jumping from box one in The Border Watch Free For All (512 m), the race being the highlight of the 12-race program.

This is a fair sort of race with Swift Limes, Kolora Posie, Iron Dog winner Cryer’s Plugger, Wanchai Express and Lektra Brandy, a Horsham winner on Tuesday, making up the remainder of the field.

Meanwhile, in the previous race last Sunday – the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m) – another greyhound to successfully return from an Achilles tendon injury was the Nicole Stanley trained Ethics.

Owned in Adelaide by Michael Groves, Ethics hadn’t raced since running second to Cairnlea Jet over 731 metres at Angle Park in March.

Reported to have been trialling well, the daughter of Dyna Double One and Kalden Blanco was always going to be hard to hold out when in a handy position mid-race.

And in the run home the black bitch was simply too strong, defeating the front-running Danyo’s Cally by a neck with Galactic Destiny, also having her first run since March, running a good race to finish third in 30.25 seconds.

Stanley, who has enjoyed plenty of distance success this year with Dyna Quota, is now hopeful of getting Ethics, a 731 metre winner at Angle Park earlier this year, back to the city track for further staying races.

PICTURED: Top – Hutch returns to the winner’s list when defeating Dyna Naitch at Tara Raceway last Sunday. Ethics (No. 7) also made a successful return to racing with a strong-finishing win over Danyo’s Cally.