Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Brett’s big boilover

The Sims Family Memorial Maiden presentation to Tracie and Karen Price’s Compton Brett at Tara Raceway yesterday.

Compton trainer Tracie Price boasts a fair record in recent times in the long-running Sims Feature Maiden (512 metres) – Benara Cosmic successful in 2014 and Rocketline again last year.

The series, which has undergone a few minor name changes over the years, is now known as the Sims Family Memorial, run in memory of Col and Val Sims and their son Ian.

And it’s probably fair to say that Price and his wife Karen would not have gone into yesterday’s final at Tara Raceway with Compton Pete and Compton Brett with any degree of confidence.

After all, Compton Pete had won his roughhouse heat the previous week in 30.69 seconds, certainly considerably slower than Apache Jakit and Noir Star’s 30.15 seconds and 30.19 seconds when running the quinella in the other heat.

Compton Brett, on the other hand, had scraped into the final after running 7½ lengths fourth in the faster of the two heats. In fact, after eight starts he had yet to run a place, Price saying bad box manners had been holding him back.

He wasn’t kidding. The big black dog once again made a mess of the start from box eight in the final. In fact, Compton Pete was no better, the pair’s first splits of 4.71 seconds and 4.72 seconds resulting in the kennelmates tailing the field the first time past the post.

But after finding an early spot on the rails, Compton Brett was able to rail through down the back straight and take the lead. A boilover was looming. Meanwhile, out wide, Compton Pete was keeping out of trouble and making ground.

And in the run home, the Price-trained pair fought out the finish, Compton Brett, a $34 chance and probably the longest-priced winner of a Sims Feature Maiden, winning by 2¼ lengths in 30.43 seconds.

By Brett Lee, at one time dubbed the world’s fastest greyhound, the WA-bred Compton Brett is out of My Nakita, a winner of seven races at Cannington and Mandurah for more than $32,000 in stakemoney.

My Nakita is by the Irish super sire Spiral Nikita out of Winsome Bluebird, a member of a terrific litter that included Miata, Sure As and Deville.

Compton Brett and two of his littermates were transported as pups from WA to Compton and reared by Price on a two-for-one basis.

And while yesterday’s feature win was a good start to the year for Price, there’s promise of plenty more to come for the early leader in the 2021 Ian Badger Leading Trainer award.

“We’ve got quite a few pups to be broken-in out of litters that we’ve bred, including My Redeemer x Headline, along with Miss Freelove, Who’s Doing What and Flying Flutter (all by Mepunga Blazer),” he said.

These days it is pretty big business out at the Compton kennels; predominantly a family operation and perhaps not all that different to the successful Sims family operation all those years ago.

Compton Brett defeats Compton Pete and Noir Star in yesterday’s Sims Memorial at Tara Raceway.

Just enough in reserve

Perseverance (No. 9) storms home to defeat Aston Hayato in yesterday’s Tara Trackstar.

Ten wins by Perseverance at Tara Raceway during 2020 was sufficient for the daughter of Dyna Double One x Miss Freelove to win the Greyhound of the Year award by one point over Dyna Carnie.

However, as far as the 2020 Tara Trackstar No. 2 was concerned, the second six months hadn’t been as productive for Perseverance – three wins, two seconds and two thirds for a total of 18 points.

As such, there were plenty ahead of her for a spot in the one-off race over 512 metres for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between July and December.

For a variety of reasons plenty always fall by the wayside, the completion of a final eight to be submitted to Greyhound Racing SA prior to the race being run always something of a logistical problem.

In the end, Perseverance was a reserve. But a subsequent scratching saw her gain a run from box five in the race set down for Sunday, January 10. The event was never run, though, heat-related problems resulting in the abandonment of half the meeting.

The Trackstar was then held over until yesterday. The same field, although a further scratching resulted in Perseverance the second time around jumping from box four in what was now a seven-dog field.

Favourite was the box eight runner Aston Hayato, a noted speedster but yet to win beyond 455 metres for Allendale East trainer David Peckham who had previously won the Trackstar with Flash Jackie and Dyna Naitch.

Not surprisingly, Aston Hayato quickly found the front, opening up a big break down the back straight over strong finisher Perseverance and thereby setting the scene for an interesting finish.

In the end it was Aston Hayato who had the race won everywhere but on the line before Perseverance staged a barnstorming finish to make it an all-local victory by the narrowest of margins in a time of 30.09 seconds.

Perseverance was bred by Tracie Price and reared by him for Mount Gambier owner Michael Robinson. Trainer of the black bitch for her 62 runs, which have resulted in 16 wins, 19 minor placings and more than $16,000 in stakemoney, is Dean Fennell of Glencoe.

Michael Robinson (left), Dean Fennell and Tracie Price with Tara Trackstar winner Perseverance.

Reflecting on an interesting year

Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club president Noel Perry, addressing members at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting at Tara Raceway, reflected on an interesting year, pointing out that the club had been able to keep racing and achieve some good outcomes.

“Certainly the canine virus outbreak and then the onset of Covid-19 which led to border closures tested our resilience,” he said.

“But for all that, the canteen upgrade is now nearing completion, we’ve purchased a new cleaning machine for the kennel house and new trial timing mechanism has been installed at the track.”

Perry also pointed out that the committee had worked hard to reverse the closure of the on-course TAB and also the track itself which appeared likely to shut down until such time as the borders re-opened.

“We also were able to run the Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup which had been threatened with cancellation. Long-running feature events also continued their unbroken runs at Tara Raceway.

“In a bid to boost race numbers we gained approval to run two 277 m races a week. This distance has now been increased to 305 m, Adelaide trainer Tony Rasmussen donating $1000 for a heats and final feature over the new distance.”

Also, Victorian trainer Michael Niele had donated $1000 for the running of the Michelle Niele Iron Dog.

Perry also reminded participants that the monthly checking of greyhounds at Tara Raceway by Craig Finlayson would commence on Tuesday, January 26.

Trainer and his dog break run of outs

Adelaide youngster Archer, holidaying in Mount Gambier with his family, is pictured at Tara Raceway on Thursday with Richard Clayfield and Glenville Rose.

From a race-winning point of view it had been a while for both Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield and Glenville Rose – one of only two dogs he currently has in work. But the pair turned things around at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting on Thursday.

Away well from box one in the Rock’s Tavern Stake (400 m) for 1-4 wins greyhounds, Glenville Rose chased the speedy Fernando Deeds until off the back where she took over the running and then held out a fast-finishing Another Pick to win by 1½ lengths in 23.36 seconds.

For Glenville Rose, now a winner of four races, it was her first success since last September. And for Clayfield, who trained 18 winners at Tara Raceway in 2020, his first since last October.

Actually, it wasn’t too bad a day on Thursday for the Aston Dee Bee x Majestic Tale short-course litter. Later in the day, Fiddly, who kicked of her career at Tara Raceway in the care of Clayfield before being sold to WA, brought up her third win at Mandurah.

By Collision x Crystal’s Voice, Majestic Tale won 16 races at Devonport, Launceston, Hobart, Gawler, Strathalbyn and Angle Park before producing her first litter in December 2018 which also includes De Minaur, Fab Six and Helen’s Memory.

De Minaur’s past four starts have resulted in wins at Murray Bridge, Angle Park and Cranbourne (twice). Fab Six, also originally with Clayfield, won his maiden on debut at Tara Raceway before winning a further five races in Adelaide and then relocating to Victoria where he has won at Shepparton and Healesville.

And Helen’s Memory, second at Horsham last week, has won five races at Bathurst, Dubbo, Shepparton and Bendigo where he was successful in a quick 23.73 seconds over the 425 metres distance.

Majestic Tale has two litters to follow, by Spring Gun and Magic Sprite.

Four wins in a week . . . this dog really rocks!

Lewis Green pictured at Tara Raceway yesterday with Mason Rocks after he brought up his fourth win in a week.

As things turned out, it was a pretty busy week for Mount Gambier time-graded meeting regular Lewis Green, of Parwan, and his greyhound Mason Rocks.

It all began back on Thursday, January 7 when Green had his dog engaged at Tara Raceway in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 metres), an event for 5+ wins greyhounds.

Raced by the interestingly-named Love Guru’s Paradise Island syndicate, Mason Rocks had been out of a place in seven starts since purchased last October from WA after having won six races at Cannington and Mandurah.

However, the black dog drew box one at the Mount Gambier time-graded meeting and after chasing tearaway leader Finniss Looper into the home straight finished too strongly for a 1½ lengths win in 23.34 seconds.

Green was then at Angle Park for the Saturday morning time-graded meeting with Mason Rocks who was backed into odds-on in a 5+ wins event over 388 metres.

Well back early from box four, he once again finished powerfully to grab Loud Missile in the shadows of the post and in the space of a couple of days considerably improved on his record since relocating to Victoria.

But the road trip wasn’t over yet. Two days later the pair was at Warrnambool, Mason Rocks drawing box five in a grade five event over 390 metres.

And after being last early he turned in another big effort to find a forward spot turning for home before finishing strongly in the straight for a 1¾ lengths win over Mizuki Rose in a quick 22.12 seconds.

Then it was back to Mount Gambier for yesterday’s time-graded meeting, Mason Rocks once again drawing awkwardly in box four in the Bartholomew Pick 6 Stake (400 m) for 5+ wins greyhounds.

Again slowly away, he rounded up Cap Abbott’s pair of Finniss Looper and Like A Slug off the back, then finished strongly for a 4½ lengths win in a best of day 23.11 seconds and wrap up a big week of racing – four wins on three different tracks.

By US sire Kiowa Mon Manny, the three-state winner is out of Quara Bale, a winner of 27 short course races in Victoria. And while all of Mason Rocks’ wins have been over the short course, Green is keen to step him up in distance.

“I’ll now probably give him a short break after a busy week before perhaps heading to Murray Bridge,” he said. “Also, I reckon he’d be worth a try over a bit more ground judging by the way he’s been finishing off his races.”

Mason Rocks in action yesterday at Tara Raceway.

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