Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Jock and Jack take lead into Iron Dog second round

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Outstanding 600 metre wins by Old Jock and Cryer’s Jack in last Sunday’s first round of the Berringa Park Iron Dog at Tara Raceway has set the scene for an interesting second round over 400 metres on Sunday afternoon.

For rising four-year-old Old Jock the win was his second in succession over the middle-distance at Tara Raceway and he now looks well placed to grab a spot in the final on Friday, September 9.

Old Jock was an impressive winner of the Iron Dog first heat over 600 metres at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

The leading point scorers from the first two rounds will qualify for the final and with eight points already accumulated from last Sunday’s win, Old Jock won’t need to collect too many points in Sunday’s second round.

The only drawback is that he’s never raced over the tricky 400 metres at Tara Raceway and it’s almost two years since he last ran over any distance comparable to that of Sunday. And box five is not likely to help either.

Owned by the Jock Middleton-managed Jocks Lot Syndicate and trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley, the well-credentialled son of Bekim Bale and Swift Blaze has now raced on 84 occasions for 12 wins and 30 minor placings for prizemoney of almost $20,000.

In the likelihood of a berth in the 512 metre final, Old Jock will be well suited, having defeated King Size Shambi in a quick 29.75 seconds to reach the final of this year’s Mount Gambier Cup.

Rising five-year-old Dee Tee showed early pace in last Sunday’s first round before Old Jock took over the running going into the back straight.

Trained by Gary Lane, Dee Tee, which went into last year’s Iron Dog final as the leading qualifier, will take on Old Jock again on Sunday but looks better served over 400 metres and from box seven.

Stampy Longnose is another one which has never run over 400 metres but he’s racing well for in-form trainer Dean Fennell and from box eight is likely to be right in the mix as should Ralph Patzel’s box four runner Supreme Deal which is a 400 metre winner.

Looking at the first heat, Cryer’s Jack also collected eight points for last week’s all the way 600 metre success – his third consecutive win at Tara Raceway.

Margaret Cryer with Cryer’s Jack, winner of the second Iron Dog 600 metre heat in a best of day 35.40 seconds.

For so long in the shadow of litter brothers Cryer’s Fred and Cryer’s Ricky, the Tom Cryer trained Cryer’s Jack has never been in better form and with a 400 metre personal best of 23.29 seconds and box three on Sunday he looks to be another likely finalist.

But Cryer will be hoping for a smoother entry into the final than last year when Cryer’s Jack picked up seven points in the first round, then made a real mess of the 400 metre second round before scrambling into the final on a countback with nine points.

The Patzel trained Roarsome is also a winner over 400 metres and from box two looks a good chance of significantly boosting her seven points from the first round although any one of the seven runners could probably win without really surprising.

The Iron Dog points after round one are as follows: 8 Old Jock, Cryer’s Jack; 7 Roarsome, Julie’s Love; 6 Glenville Jester, Supreme Deal; 5 Kirsty’s Me Mum, Dark Nemesis; 4 Dee Tee, Stampy Longnose; 3 Jasmine Lilly, Andy Jay; 2 Noaki Phoenix; 1 Jen Shen.



With three winners at last weekend’s two meetings, Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell will now be hoping for success in three finals at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Gentle Moment, which has drawn box three in Sunday’s Produce Store grade 5 final, pictured after his smart heat win with John Hawker, Mo Canala, Dean Fennell and Kerry Hawker.

Whatta Moment and Tank Tank will line up from boxes three and six respectively in the Gambier Vets Grade Five final (400 m) with both greyhounds showing their first glimpse of form since May.

The Produce Store Grade Five final (512 m) looks to be an interesting race with Fennell’s Gentle Moment and the Ian Bibby trained Yucatan winning the heats in virtually the same time.

And for Gentle Moment’s part-owner, Kerry Hawker – an employee of hardware chain Masters – the week ended much better than it began following the announcement of Masters closure later this year.

Gentle Moment, which has drawn box three in Sunday’s final, led all the way in his heat, clocking 30.55 seconds much to the delight of the Moorak-based Hawker, and fellow part-owner Michael Robinson.

Owner-trainer Robert Halliday with Homer which will take on a smart field from box five in Sunday’s Allestree Holiday Units Mixed Stake (512 m).

Fennell also has Black Peer jumping from box eight in the Pathway final (400 m) while Karagiozis and Ari will tackle a pretty handy Allestree Holiday Units Mixed Stake (512 m) from boxes three and four respectively.

Karagiozis and Ari are raced by Nick Tzaferis with Ari looking quite good last Sunday when leading all the way in the Stake (512 m) in a best of day 30.25 seconds.

Jumping from box five on Sunday is Homer which defeated Karagiozis by five lengths in a best of day 30.43 seconds at last Friday’s meeting.

Trained by Robert Halliday, the son of Fear Zafonic and Flawless Tears copped a fair check on the first turn but continued to keep coming, pleasing his trainer with his racing pattern and the manner in which he went to the line.

Well done to Worm Burner

Monday, August 29, 2016

From an SA point of view, so far we haven’t seen too much about Worm Burner’s outstanding effort at Angle Park on Saturday night when he was successful in the National Sprint Championship. Anyway, to the Butcher family and Worm Burner, congratulations from the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.


Groundhog Day at Tara Raceway

Allendale East trainer Connie Miller, of the Bourne Racing Kennels, reckoned it felt like Groundhog Day at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

This was after the running of the Stake (400 m) when Bushman’s Faith took the lead from Vee Bee Mee turning for home and then held out kennelmate Lady Vixyma to win by 2¼ lengths in 23.48 seconds.

Connie Miller and John Little with Bushman’s Faith which defeated Lady Vixyma at Friday and Sunday’s meetings in the same time of 23.48 seconds.

A couple of days earlier, Bushman’s Faith, having his first start at Tara Raceway, had assumed control over Lady Vixyma down the back straight before going on to a four length win over that greyhound in the Berringa Park Stake (400 m), also in 23.48 seconds.

So the two grade six wins over the weekend saw Bushman’s Faith “beat the grader”, something that hasn’t been achieved all that often since the monthly double meetings were introduced at Tara Raceway.

“The only reason I backed him up was because he’s not SA-bred and as such is allowed only one grade six win at the track,” Miller said.

Owned in WA by John Turner, the June 2014 black dog is NSW-bred, being by Magic Sprite out of NSW city-winning stayer Cin Cin Shiraz.

It’s been a quick return for Miller with Bushman’s Faith joining the kennels only a fortnight ago prior to racing in Victoria on 15 occasions for a maiden win at Horsham.

The wins over the weekend continued the success Bourne Racing Kennels has had with Turner who previously owned Fred Of Lidsdale which has won eight short-course races at Tara Raceway for co-trainer David Peckham.

And it wasn’t a bad weekend either for Peckham who was successful with Raz’s Girl at Friday’s meeting and Thanks Captain on Sunday.

The David Peckham trained Thanks Captain resumed after a 128 day break to register a smart win in a grade five 400 metre heat.

Having her fifth Tara Raceway start, Raz’s Girl led all the way in the Trackside Meats Stake which was a heat of the maiden 400 metre series, the final of which will be run next Sunday along with all other finals emanating from the weekend’s heats.

By Kinloch Brae, Raz’s Girl is out of Cawbourne Raz which won her six races in NSW at the Gardens.

The 25½ kilogram black bitch was purchased mid-year from Newcastle by Ross Schurgott, together with Steve Maguire, Garry Siney, Steve Mason, Artie Slee, Grant Sterzl and Peckham for $1400.

And Schurgott was also among the winners again on Sunday when Thanks Captain took over the running from Penny Blossom off the back in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) which was a heat of a grade five series.

Better known as the “reluctant racer” due to his reluctance sometimes to even want to turn up at the track let alone race, Thanks Captain was resuming after a 128 day break due to injury and was on his best behaviour when finishing strongly to defeat Whatta Moment by 2¾ lengths in 23.41 seconds.



The Nicole Stanley’s Old Jock and the Tom Cryer trained Cryer’s Jack will head into the 400 metre second round of the Berringa Park Iron Dog as the leading point scorers after impressive 600 metre wins on Sunday.

The top eight point scorers from the first two rounds will then contest the 512 metre final on Friday, September 9.

Points after round 1: 8 Old Jock, Cryer’s Jack; 7 Roarsome, Julie’s Love; 6 Glenville Jester, Supreme Deal; 5 Kirsty’s Me Mum, Dark Nemesis; 4 Dee Tee, Stampy Longnose; 3 Jasmine Lilly, Andy Jay; 2 Noaki Phoenix, Gold Rocker; 1 Jen Shen.

Trainers find the secret

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Secret Mantra is certainly not your average type of Masters greyhound.

Here he was lining up as a four-year-old in the 400 metre Gambier Vets Masters – for grade five dogs that are 3½ years or older – at Tara Raceway on Friday afternoon with only 26 starts to his name.

These races are generally for the likes of Twistex, only three months older than Secret Mantra but going around for a 171st time when contesting Friday’s Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m).

Secret Mantra pictured after his Masters win at Tara Raceway on Friday.

However, being a grade three, Twistex was a fair way off from being eligible for the Masters class. Even further now after leading all the way and bringing up win number 30 and $45,000 in stakemoney for David and Toni Jones of Devon Meadows.

But back to Secret Mantra and his Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton, who landed his fourth Tara Raceway win this month, after the son of Mantra Lad and Dadda Poppa scored a comfortable win against the veterans in what turned out to be a best of day 23.34 seconds.

And according to Ashton, the secret to the white and fawn dog is to run him only at Tara Raceway, hence his limited number of starts.

“The simple fact is that he just won’t go on any other track,” he said. “I’m putting it down to the finish-on-lure. He certainly seems to enjoy chasing the big red lure.

“The only trouble is, of course, being four hours away it is not always convenient to get over here which is disappointing because Jan (Neil) and I really enjoy racing in Mount Gambier.”

Secret Mantra has now won three races – two of those being this month.

Another trainer who reckons the finish-on-lure has worked wonders for his greyhound is Robert Walsh of Koroit.

Walsh was over on Friday for the 400 metre maiden heats and landed his first Tara Raceway winner when Saint Flynn, the only greyhound he is currently training, was successful.

Having only his fourth race start, the well-supported brindle dog looked to be in plenty of bother early before bursting from the pack down the back prior to running out a strong 4¼ length winner in 23.55 seconds.

Saint Flynn scored an impressive win in a heat of the maiden 400 metre series for Robert Walsh of Koroit.

But, as Walsh explained, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Peter Byrne-bred March 2014 son of Spring Gun and 13-race winner Real Frosty.

“When he was 12 months old he damaged a shoulder and as a result he spent some months getting over the setback before Peter asked me if I would be interested in having a go with him.

“Probably the best thing I did was to bring him over to Tara Raceway because he had been a little hesitant on other tracks and the finish-on-lure seems to have really brightened him up.”

Prior to Saint Flynn, the last greyhound Walsh had raced locally was Ima Harley which concluded his 86-start career at Tara Raceway on September 25, 2015 at 6½ years of age.

Earlier in the day, Saint Flynn’s litter brother, Saint Fox, put in a big performance for Byrne and Southern Cross trainer Ray Mahony to win the first heat of a maiden 512 metre series.

A short-priced favourite at his past three starts at Tara Raceway, the brindle dog looked like proving a costly conveyance once again after jumping slowly and still well back down the back straight.

But Saint Fox loomed large turning for home and finished too strongly to win by three-quarters of a length in 30.90 seconds.

Iron Dog to test greyhounds’ versatility

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The versatility of 16 greyhounds will be tested over the next three meetings at Tara Raceway when they line up in the annual Iron Dog series which is once again sponsored by Michael Niele of Berringa Park Kennels.

The first round of the three-distance series kicks off with two heats over 600 metres and will be the highlight of Sunday’s 10-event programme.

At the following Sunday’s meeting (September 4) the same greyhounds will race over 400 metres with the eight highest point scorers from the first two rounds then contesting the 512 metre final on Friday, September 9.

Iron Dog contender Roarsome has won over Tara Raceway’s three distances for owner Erin McNamara and trainer Ralph Patzel.

Roarsome and Dee Tee will line up in the first heat having previously won over Tara Raceway’s current three distances.

By Fear Zafonic out of Ren Shen, Roarsome has been a real revelation for Mount Wallace owner Erin McNamara since joining Ralph Patzel’s Mount Gambier kennels in May.

She’s now won seven races in that time, including a 600 metre win over Kirsty’s Me Mum in 35.37 seconds prior to a strong best of day 512 metre performance last Sunday.

Bushfield trainer Gary Lane intimated several weeks ago that the Iron Dog would probably mark the end of Dee Tee’s racing career.

She was actually retired at the end of November last year before being mated and subsequently failing to conceive before returning to racing in May.

And the daughter of El Grand Senor x Mantra Miss, now a rising five-year-old, showed she still had life in her legs when defeating Old Jock last month over 600 metres in 35.45 seconds prior to running third over the same distance behind Supreme Deal.

Part-owners Kev Clayfield and Dale Lewis pictured with Glenville Jester.

Lane will now be hoping Dee Tee can go out on a winning note after she went into last year’s Iron Dog final (600 m) as the leading point scorer.

The Nicole Stanley trained Old Jock showed he is ready for the Iron Dog after a solid 600 metre win in the wet last Sunday while runner-up Kirsty’s Me Mum has won over both 512 metres and 600 metres at Tara Raceway for Southern Cross trainer Garry Elliott.

Adding even more interest to the first heat is the Richard Clayfield trained Glenville Jester, also a winner over both 512 metres and 600 metres this year.

Patzel also looks to hold a strong hand in the second heat with Supreme Deal, recent winner of the Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) and successful at Tara Raceway’s three distances.

An older half-brother to last Sunday’s Winter Classic winner Lektra Munster, Supreme Deal defeated Old Jock in the memorial and at his last start chased home Cryer’s Jack in a 512 metre event.

The son of Where’s Pedro and Supreme Vision is raced by Patzel in partnership with Bob White, Darryl Patzel and Amanda Darmanin who is doing well at the moment in her own right as a trainer.

Cryer’s Jack, another Tara Raceway three-distance winner, is racing well for Tom and Margaret Cryer, having won his past two 512 metre starts.

The son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget has won three 600 metre races and knows what the Iron Dog is all about after reaching last year’s final.

Calum Blake, sponsor Michael Niele and Aaron Blake with inaugural Iron Dog winner Kiss Me Donkey.

The Berringa Park Iron Dog was first run in 2012 although it wasn’t all that testing back then. With 600 metre racing still to be introduced at Tara Raceway, the three-distance series was run over 400 metres, 512 metres and 400 metres.

Winning the inaugural event was the Aaron Blake trained Kiss Me Donkey which defeated the Brendan Bunworth pair of Ten Doeschate and Tanroddy Trina.

There was no Iron Dog staged in 2013 but the following year Cap Abbott’s former smart stayer Manila Express, originally a reserve, gained a start in the 600 metre final and defeated Sir Lenny, another Bunworth-trained chaser.

And then last year, with the 600 metre final run in driving rain, the Monty Wilson trained front-running Boolite Bruiser and Clayfield’s fast finishing Upset Boy couldn’t be split on the line.

This year’s Berringa Park Iron Dog final will carry $1750 prizemoney with the winner to also receive a K9 Winning Formula Kennel Pack (valued at $170), donated by Peter Bryce of Winning Post Supplies. All Iron Dog rounds are non-penalty.

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