It was at the end of March 2019 that the Andrew Paraskevas trained Pure White Evil had run a 4¼ length third behind Galactic Athena and Slingshot Hammer in the Mount Gambier Cup final (512 metres).
Actually it was a pretty good month for the Victorian-based trainer who a couple of weeks prior had won the inaugural Murray Bridge Cup with Pure White Evil’s litter brother, Eye Got It. And he had come reasonably close to picking up a GRSA $5000 bonus.
But the story goes back to late 2007 when Paraskevas’ father, John, had bred a litter by Brett Lee out of Brandeen Misty – in a five-start career a winner of two races at Temora prior to whelping four litters for other breeders.
One of the litter later raced as Father Of Mine, who won five races over short courses. Her fourth and final litter, to Barcia Bale, included Pure White Evil and Eye Got It.
Father Of Mine’s second litter was by Knocka Norris and included American Monster, a winner of 23 races and more than $100,000 in prize money. Also in the litter was five-race winner Pretty Bomb who subsequently whelped five litters of her own, the third being by Zambora Brockie.
Andrew Paraskevas was back at Tara Raceway last Sunday with a couple of well-credentialled sons of Zambora Brockie x Pretty Bomb – New Wave Whine, a winner of 16 races and $83,000 in prize money and Your Colour Room (20, $139,000).
New Wave Whine disappointed in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m) and looked lost. But Your Colour Room impressed when taking up the running down the back straight from Keanu Boy Turbo in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (512 m).
And the brindle dog finished the race off strongly, defeating the early leader by 4¼ lengths in a very quick 29.46 seconds.
However, as far as next month’s Cadillac Racing Mount Gambier Cup is concerned, Paraskevas said he and the Sparkle And Fade Syndicate, managed by his father, were keeping their options open.
“I had been keen to get the pair over here for a run behind the finish-on lure,” he said. “At times they can be a bit unpredictable and as such I like to try and mix things up a bit and keep them guessing.
“Don’t get me wrong, I was really pleased with Your Colour Room’s effort today so we’ll now have to have a long, hard look at what direction we’re going to take.”
Meanwhile, enjoying the Thursday and Sunday meetings last week at Tara Raceway was the Cunningham family – Daniel, Kim and kids Brooke and Sophie – from Burnie in Tasmania, and holidaying in Mount Gambier for the first time.
It’s a busy time for the family who will be over at Hamilton for three nights for the Australian Street Stocks titles. They then return to Mount Gambier where Daniel will be competing in the SA Street Stocks titles.
An underground shift boss at the Henty Goldmine in Tasmania, Cunningham is also a keen racegoer.
“We went to the trots the other night and then I was delighted to learn that there was greyhound racing on here on Thursday. Even better still was when I was told the greyhounds were also racing on Sunday afternoon,” he said.
“I have to say, everyone seems really friendly at the dogs and they went out of their way to make us feel welcome. One trainer I was talking to was Robert Halliday who mentioned he had a runner called Yadillah Lad in race nine.
“I wasn’t travelling that well and at a price of $20 I thought his dog was probably worth a couple of dollars. And up he got. I have to say, this bloke called Halliday is a legend!”
The Cunningham family also caught up with Southern Cross trainer Garry Elliott who had Lightning Pest engaged in the Exchange Printers Stake (512 m).
Lining up from box eight on the back of four minor placings, the daughter of Lightning Frank and Roxy Ya Pest settled in second spot behind Our Damiro before storming home in the straight for a 3¼ length win.
The win was the black bitch’s fourth since finding her way into Elliott’s kennels 12 months ago after she had displayed a reluctance to chase at Warrnambool.
“A decision to run Lightning Pest behind the finish-on-lure at the Mount Gambier track seems to have switched her on to the extent that she ran a personal best time today of 29.79 seconds,” said Elliott.
Three winners at Tara Raceway’s recent Sunday meeting certainly helped to make it a real family day for Dennington brother and sister greyhound trainers Dustin and Aimee Drew who were joined on track by mum Jan and Aimee’s three-year-old daughter Maisie.
The Aimee Drew-trained Aston Reims, on the back of three minor placings at Warrnambool, kicked off the siblings’ day with a win in the Rocks Tavern Maiden Stake (400 metres).
It was a case of the son of Fernando Bale and Aston Chandon keeping in touch early with the leader Cawbourne Joey and then finishing powerfully in the home straight for a 3¼ length win over Whipping Along in 23.33 seconds.
The Carlin & Gazzard Stake (512 m) might have been only a grade six affair but Dustin Drew’s Aminah – based at Dennington for less than a fortnight – was done no favours given the quality of the field.
Raced by the Massina family’s Country Mile Syndicate, and managed by Chelsea Madigan, Aminah and Lakeview Heather staged a great battle with the former eventually getting the nod by a nose in 29.78 seconds.
Given the length of time in his kennels, Drew was suitably impressed with the effort of the daughter of Barcia Bale and Bakali.
“I thought she handled herself pretty well today and hopefully there should be further improvement in her,” he said.
Drew had scored a good win with Aston Kalkara the previous week in a grade five heat over 512 metres and he looked the one to beat in the final – especially with the scratching of the other heat winner in Wild Star.
This turned out to be another entertaining two-dog race with Aston Kalkara travelling well on the rails behind Redshift Uniform who was bowling along in front in the Gordon Refrigeration Grade 5 final.
And turning for home the pair was on level terms before Aston Kalkara edged away in the straight for a length win in 29.77 seconds.
While there was no joy for Drew’s son of Aston Kimetto and Aston Upton in last Friday’s Horsham Cup heats, the 2023 Warrnambool Cup finalist might find the forthcoming Cadillac Racing Mount Gambier Cup at Tara Raceway more to his liking.
It was back in June last year that the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club (MGGRC) welcomed Fabio Cuervo as part of its kennel house race day and cleaning team. It was an appointment well received by participants.
Fabio and his partner Sandra Soto had arrived in Melbourne from Colombia five years ago prior to relocating to Mount Gambier in May last year.
Later, Fabio gained full-time employment in Mount Gambier but Sandra, who worked with the elderly, also worked part-time at the greyhound club in the canteen and on the kennel house cleaning team.
Last week they returned to Colombia but not before MGGRC manager Mark Dwyer had made a presentation on track, wishing them well and thanking the couple for their efforts at Tara Raceway.
And Sandra summed it up pretty well: “The Mount Gambier people are so nice. Many thanks for having us here at the Mount Gambier greyhounds.”