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

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 28 with GRSA. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6 (T/G): Best to worst grading. Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, February 3 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. NO TRIALS: Please note there will no trials on Tuesday, February 4 due to track maintenance. SATISFACTORY TRIALS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512.



Peckham wraps up big year with week of winners

Sunday, December 29, 2019

With Squishy Pea’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup win a week ago, followed by four winners at Thursday’s Boxing Day meeting and then another three at Tara Raceway’s final meeting of the year on Sunday, Allendale East greyhound trainer David Peckham couldn’t have ended the year much better.

Christine Yourgules (Flash Jackie), Melissa Freitag, Jason Newman and David Peckham (Squishy Pea) pictured after the last race for the year at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

All told, 23 doubles, nine trebles, four winners on six occasions and a couple of bags of five at the Mount Gambier track during 2019 went a long way towards him winning the Ian Badger Leading Trainer award with 128 firsts, 101 seconds and 79½ thirds.

For the 45-year-old Peckham, this year’s trainers’ title is his fourth, after consecutive wins in 2012, 2013 and 2014, although this year was his first in which he trained 100 winners.

“That milestone came on Sunday, November 3 when Right Above It won at Tara Raceway. And that really was a great thrill,” he said.

When pressed for highlights of the year, Peckham rated Pirate’s Curse’s 600 metre track record of 34.79 seconds on April 21, the win in the inaugural Tara Trackstar with Flash Jackie and last week’s win with Squishy Pea as three memorable moments.

“To be honest, though, the whole year has gone above and beyond all my expectations. I’m most appreciative of the owners who have got behind me and the kennels. Also I need to pay special thanks to ‘Team Peckham’ – Christine Yourgules, Jason Newman and Melissa Freitag – for their help with the racing team of 20 greyhounds.”

Peckham now has his sights set on the forthcoming Summer Classic as a lead-in to the Group Listed Mount Gambier Cup, the leading trainer, it could be said, having come a fair way since 1990 when he led in his first winner at Glenburnie with Magic Bundy.

Bakali Jet impresses in first-up win

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Bullengarook greyhound Bakali Jet couldn’t have been more impressive than when winning the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 metres) for owner-trainer Leland Medcraft at Tara Raceway’s Christmas meeting.

Leland Medcraft and Kate Jackson with impressive 400 metre winner Bakali Jet at Tara Raceway on December 22.

Having his first start at the track, the black dog led all the way from box eight to defeat Pack It In by 2¼ lengths in 22.98 seconds, a time that even upstaged a couple of Tara Raceway’s short-course specialists in Cryer’s Harper and Faster Bolt who were successful later in the day.

An April 2017 whelping, Bakali Jet is a member of a handy litter by Collision out of NSW city-winning bitch Ursula, Medcraft picking this one up as a giveaway prior to his first race start back in February when running second at Cranbourne.

Bakali Jet has now raced on nine occasions for five wins and four minor placings, Medcraft saying that he’s the quickest dog he’s had in his 10-year involvement in the sport, however also pointing out that there had been a few hiccups along the way.

“Look, he’s a field-shy sort of dog and he has found himself in a spot of bother at a couple of Victorian tracks which is why I decided on a trip to Tara Raceway,” he said.

“I’d been here before, but not to race, and thought that the finish-on-lure might help him. I also decided to try racing him in blinkers for the first time and everything seemed to go well.”

Medcraft, who has six greyhounds in work, also has an involvement in harness racing, while back in the 90s the family had raced thoroughbreds – probably none better than Shiva’s Revenge who ran second to Let’s Elope in the 1991 Melbourne Cup.

Montaya in action at Tara Raceway.

Meanwhile, later in the day, Mortlake trainers Peter Franklin and Peter Crawley continued their winning run at Tara Raceway when Montaya, Drogheda County and Easter Orchid were all successful over 512 metres.

Franklin, who had won a maiden with Montaya earlier in the month over 400 metres, stepped the daughter of Barcia Bale x Blonde Caviar up in distance, the black bitch winding up down the back before running out a two length winner over Oscar The Scout in 29.94 seconds.

And Franklin, who has trained Tara Raceway track record holders over three different distances, believes Montaya could be his best dog yet.

“I was really pleased with her effort today,” he said. “I’d now like to get her to the city and see what she can do prior to looking to return here for the Mount Gambier Cup in March-April.”

Easter Orchid defeats Raw Luxury and Missing Mate.

Crawley continues to do well with greyhounds raced by the Sue Smith-managed Champagne Partners Syndicate – Drogheda County making it three wins in succession when leading all the way in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake to defeat Jackie Dee in 30.18 seconds.

The syndicate then backed up in the following race, the Swallow Drive Meats Stake, with Easter Orchid, looking for two wins in succession, leading all the way to score by a half length over Raw Luxury in 30.27 seconds.

By Barcia Bale x Full Noise Turbo, Easter Orchid is a half-sister to Hit The Runway, winner of the 2017 Christmas Cup for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley.

Black Spring set to clinch GOTY title

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Versatile greyhound Black Spring – a winner of 12 races this year at Tara Raceway over 512 metres, 600 metres and 732 metres – can clinch the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award with a placing in Thursday’s Fairthorne Forestry Mixed Stake (512 m).

Cap Abbott and Black Spring . . . right in contention for the Greyhound of the Year.

With two meetings remaining this year, Black Spring, owned and trained at Edenhope by Cap Abbott, leads short-course specialist Cryer’s Harper by three points.

And with the 13-race 400 metre winner not nominated on Thursday a first or second by Black Spring will see him win the 2019 title outright, irrespective of Sunday’s results.

The Abbott-trained son of Spring Gun x Lektra Scarlett is not ideally suited over 512 metres however the G-SIX six-dog format will suit as will a considerable drop in class to that he encountered in last Sunday’s Christmas Cup.

But all is not lost yet for Cryer’s Harper, owned and trained at Apsley by Tom and Margaret Cryer. A win by the daughter of Spud Regis x Cryer’s Midget at Sunday’s December 29 meeting would put her in front provided Black Spring fails to run a place at either of the two remaining meetings.

However, as it turns out, the two GOTY contenders will clash on Sunday in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake with the only problem for Cryer’s Harper now being that it is over 512 metres – a distance she has only ever run over on three occasions without winning.

Margaret Cryer with Santa Sprint winner Cryer’s Harper.

From a GOTY point of view, one cannot help but think how much more interesting the conclusion perhaps could have been had Cryer’s Harper been running in Thursday afternoon’s Produce Store Open Stake (400 m).

Thursday will also see the re-introduction of Juvenile racing at Tara Raceway – the South Eastern Hotel Juvenile Stake (400 m) attracting a pretty handy line-up of greyhounds that are under two years of age at the end of December.

The Tracie Price trained Elle Limes, after an all-the-way win in last Sunday’s Peter Whitehead Memorial Maiden (400 m) in a quick 23.18 seconds has drawn box one but will run into some seasoned performers here.

And Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield looks to hold a strong hand with December 2017 litter brothers Turn To Fab (pictured) and Pack It In, who performed well at last Sunday’s meeting – the former winning a grade five in 23.26 seconds and Pack It In clocking 23.14 seconds when running second to Bakali Jet.

Missing Mate, boasting a personal best 23.07 seconds, is another well-placed December 2017 whelping for Allendale East trainer David Peckham while Perseverance, unsuited by the distance but well-seasoned with 15 starts to her name will be finishing the race off strongly for Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell.

Boxing Day at the Dogs

So, with a temperature of 25 degrees forecast for Thursday’s 12-race card which kicks off at 2.38 p.m. and concludes at 6.31 p.m. the scene is set for an enjoyable Boxing Day at the dogs.

Bring the kids – the jumping castle, water slip slide, water spray and playground should keep them amused. And bring a picnic rug and relax on the grassed areas of the Tara Raceway complex.

And enjoy a barbecued steak or sausage in bread or take advantage of the canteen facilities along with full bar and TAB facilities.

Best win of the year for leading trainer

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

David Peckham, of Allendale East, went into last Sunday’s Christmas meeting with 120 winners and the 2019 Ian Badger Leading Trainer award well and truly stitched up.

Squishy Pea defeats Smart Knocka in the 2019 Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

But for all the success that has come his way this year nothing would have matched that of win number 121 when Squishy Pea led all the way from box four to defeat Smart Knocka by two lengths in the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final (512 metres) in a race record 29.63 seconds.

For Peckham, this was his third Christmas Cup success, Napoleon Wiz winning the inaugural event in 2011 and Bourne Again in 2013.

This win was something special, though, the owners being the Ross Schurgott-managed Nineofus Syndicate, an 11-member group, many of them with a long-time kennel involvement through the Viking Syndicate.

Josh Williams congratulates David Peckham on winning the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup with Squishy Pea.

And Peckham, also one of the syndicate members, was quick to group together the spoils of victory – Christmas Cup rug, trophy and Bakers Delight Christmas pack – and forward a photograph to a delighted Happy Valley-based Schurgott.

By Fernando Bale, Squishy Pea is out of Secret Spell, a winner of 23 races and $276,000 in stakemoney, the 3½-year-old giveaway black dog finding his way down to Peckham’s kennels at the end of August.

Since then he has won six races at Tara Raceway and now may well gain a start, if nominated, in the forthcoming Tara Trackstar No. 2 (512 m), a one-off race for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between July and December.

The inaugural Tara Trackstar, run mid-year, was won by Flash Jackie, who is raced in the same interests as Squishy Pea.

COMPTON trainer Tracie Price ran the quinella with Elle Limes and Tandiki in the inaugural Peter Whitehead Memorial Maiden (400 m).

And that was probably fitting given that “Spider” Whitehead and Price had enjoyed a close relationship, “Spider” at one stage actually standing in for Price as his acting trainer.

Bred by Price, Elle Limes is a daughter of Spring Gun and Grimsby Girl, the brindle bitch purchased as a pup and raced by local owner Bernie Bouchier jnr, the fourth generation of the family to be involved in greyhound racing.

The Peter Whitehead Memorial presentation with the winner Elle Limes owned by Bernie Bouchier jnr and trained by Tracie Price.

She had the race won a long way from home when quickly away from box seven and opening up a big break, but Tandiki, after once again running very wide in the home straight, looks a coming winner after making up plenty of ground in a race won in a quick 23.18 seconds.

MC for the day, Kevin “KD” Douglas, who in another era clashed with Whitehead in local footy matches, related at the presentation a story he had heard in relation to how the name “Spider” came about.

“With one of his specialities on the football field being his ability to climb up opposing players’ backs in quest of the big grab it’s been suggested that was how the name originated.
“I don’t know whether that is correct or not but I can vouch for the fact that he was well versed in climbing up your back. I still have the scars to prove it!”

It is two years since Peter Whitehead passed away, his family now keen to run an annual race in his memory. The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club was happy to oblige and most appreciative of the support that was forthcoming.

Close Your Eyes caused the boilover of the day when winning the Christmas Challenge (600 m) for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley.

THROWING up the biggest upset of the day was Close Your Eyes in the Christmas Challenge (600 m), the blue bitch looking, for the better part of the journey, likely to run second behind tearaway leader Dyna Carnie before finishing over the top of the $1.20 favourite to score by 1¼ lengths in 35.51 seconds.

A $16 chance, Close Your Eyes, a daughter of Taylors Sky and smart 12-race winner Lady Jasmin, is raced by well-known Adelaide owner Barry Stewart and trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley who said that she would have been happy with a placing in view of Dyna Carnie’s recent form.

“She hadn’t previously won over the middle-distance so it was very pleasing to see her keep coming after losing the lead early.”

Close Your Eyes will now line up from box six in the second of two heats over 650 metres at Warrnambool on Saturday night.

However, there were no upsets in the Santa Sprint (400 m), Cryer’s Harper continuing her outstanding form for Tom and Margaret Cryer of Apsley when making it 10 wins from her past 12 starts – and going back-to-back in the Santa Sprint with an all the way defeat of Usain Insane and Kentucky Sun in 23.22 seconds.

Fulton lands first double at Tara Raceway

Sunday, December 22, 2019

A barnstorming finish by Absolute Scenes to nail tearaway leader Banjo Bliss right on the line in the O’Brien Electrical Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting on Thursday afternoon kicked off a successful day for Ecklin South greyhound trainer Peter Fulton.

Raced by Warrnambool owner Daniel Harding, who purchased the son of Barcia Bale x Fireball Fury as a pup, before handing him over to Fulton for rearing, Absolute Scenes is a younger half-brother to Rixy Ya Pest, a winner of 18 races and $68,000 in stakemoney.

Peter Fulton with Absolute Scenes after his barnstorming win in the O’Brien Electrical Maiden Stake.

Fulton’s association with Harding came about after he had been on the lookout for a van to transport his greyhounds – ultimately the trainer coming up with a set of wheels and the car salesman with someone to look after his pup.

A couple of races later, in the Trackside Meats Maiden Stake (400 m), Fulton’s $26 chance Just Wally, out of a place in all of his 13 starts, caused a major boilover when finishing strongly to defeat Bourne Maximum by 2¼ lengths in 23.63 seconds.

By Worm Burner out of Miss Hodge, Just Wally was bred by the trainer and completed Fulton’s first double at Tara Raceway, the brindle dog’s win bringing up 10 this year at the track for the January 2018 litter.

Also winning her first race last Thursday at start number three was Crazy Old Duck, impressing with a 23.22 seconds 9¾ length win over Pete’s Peruzzi in the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m).

Crazy Old Duck is the only racing greyhound Heathmere owner-trainer Garry Marshman has in his kennels at the moment, the white and blue bitch picked up early in the month after he had been looking for something to play around with.

“How it all came about was that Little River trainer David Burnett had advertised as a giveaway a dog that had won seven races but it had gone by the time I had made contact with him,” Marshman said.

“However, he said he had a bitch there – Crazy Old Duck – that hadn’t done a lot in her two runs at Horsham but I could have her and pay him $500 if she ended up winning a race.

“And I was reasonably confident that I would be making a payment to David probably sooner than later after she trialled in good time at Tara Raceway leading up to the race.”

Crazy Old Duck was an impressive winner of the Metal Worx Maiden for Garry Marshman.

Whelped in March 2018, Crazy Old Duck is by Fernando Bale out of Marcus Glory, who is from a pretty handy litter that includes Marcus Joe, a winner of 20 races and more than $280,000 in stakemoney.

Meanwhile, the Greyhound Racing SA Racing Department has advised of an update to the process of allocating reserves for time-graded (worst to best) meetings.

Currently, the time-graded methodology does not allow for the allocation of reserves to the majority of races, therefore increasing the likelihood of reduced field sizes.

Under the new methodology, greyhounds will be grouped into races according to their time rating, including the reserves – eight greyhounds for G-SIX racing (six in the field plus two reserves), 10 greyhounds for traditional eight-dog racing (eight in the field plus two reserves).

A random draw will then be conducted to determine the two reserve greyhounds.

And GRSA has announced that changes, having regard for an unexpected downturn in forecast wagering revenue, will be implemented from January 1.

Among the changes is the trainer rebate reducing from $60 to $50 while the unplaced payment for time-graded meetings and Pathway events will reduce to $50 (for greyhounds placing fifth or lower) and be allocated wholly to the trainer.

Smart Knocka seeks to emulate mum

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

It’s been five years since the Tracie Price trained Who’s Doing What scored an upset win in Tara Raceway’s Christmas Cup (512 metres), the blue bitch leading all the way to defeat a couple of other outsiders in Bourne Again and Galactic Impact in a race record time of 29.77 seconds.

Steve Bartholomew and Karen and Tracie Price with Who’s Doing What after her win in the 2014 Christmas Cup.

Then, a year later in 2015, the Compton-based Price was successful again with Fear The Rascal who easily accounted for a top cup field that included Upset Boy, Mojito Mayhem, Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Fred.

And last week, Smart Knocka, a son of Knocka Norris and Who’s Doing What, returned to Tara Raceway for the heats of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup, seeking to emulate mum’s win of 2014.

It had been an injury-interrupted year for Smart Knocka and a frustrating year for WA part-owners Peter and Andrew Haines who race the blue dog in partnership with Karen Price and also part-own 16-race winner Who’s Doing What.

But after wins at Horsham and Murray Bridge in October and November, Tracie Price believed Smart Knocka had been ready to be stretched out over 512 metres even though he had raced on only eight occasions this year – and how right he was.

Smart Knocka clocks a quick 29.60 seconds in a heat of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m).

Only fairly away from box six in the second heat of the Christmas Cup, he quickly rounded up last year’s winner Hutch – trained at Portland by Robert Halliday – on the first turn before running away to a 4¾ lengths win in a best of day – and personal best – 29.60 seconds.

Smart Knocka and Hutch will line up in the cup final from boxes eight and five respectively, the latter now 4½ years old and also having to overcome his share of setbacks this year as he attempts to become the first greyhound to win back to back Tara Raceway Christmas Cups.

Meanwhile, Who’s Doing What has a 12 months old litter by Fernando Bale to follow and this week was mated with Mepunga Blazer.

David Peckham with Squishy Pea after his Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup heat win.

Allendale East trainer David Peckham will also be chasing his third Christmas Cup with the Nineofus Syndicate’s Squishy Pea after Napoleon Wiz and Bourne Again had been successful in 2011 and 2013.

A giveaway greyhound, Squishy Pea took the lead off Wanchai Express going into the back straight before running away to a five length win in 29.83 seconds in the first of the two heats.

Through to the final after finishing a five length second, recent Border Challenge representative Wanchai Express is trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley who ran the quinella in the 2017 Christmas Cup with Hit The Runway and Fiorelli Rose.

And Apsley trainer Tom Cryer will be hoping Cryer’s Bob, third in his heat behind Smart Knocka and Hutch, can go one better this year than his litter brother Cryer’s Plugger who ran second to Hutch in the 2018 final.

Peckham also looks to hold a strong hand in the Christmas Challenge (600 m) and the Santa Sprint (400 m) with Dyna Carnie and Usain Insane, destined for retirement prior to finding a new lease of life.

The Christmas Challenge finalists will jump from a new set of trip-start boxes with Dyna Carnie looking extremely hard to beat on the back of a five length win over Polar Missile in 35.01 seconds.

Dyna Carnie is unbeaten in two starts over 600 metres at Tara Raceway, the son of Kelsos Fusileer and Xylia Allen ($743,000 in stakemoney) having raced on 80 occasions for 16 wins and earnings of $90,000.

They don’t come much more durable than Usain Insane – 112 starts and 25 wins with his first start pretty well three years ago to the day. The son of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze was also a winner over 512 metres at last year’s corresponding Christmas meeting.

Cryer’s Harper continues Apsley couple’s ‘ride of a lifetime’

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Cryer’s Harper’s outstanding seven length all the way win in a heat of the Santa Sprint (400 metres) in a sparkling 22.96 seconds now sees the black bitch poised to win her second consecutive short-course Christmas feature at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Cryer’s Harper continues Tom and Margaret Cryer’s terrific run with their Cryer’s Midget stock.

At last year’s corresponding meeting Cryer’s Harper made it four wins in succession when defeating Maunganui Magic by 4½ lengths in 23.03 seconds in the Santa Sprint. She then extended that winning run to five with a win over Lektra Brandy early in 2019.

By the Group 1-winning Spud Regis, whose last win was actually at Tara Raceway back in July 2014 when he defeated Twistex over 400 metres in 22.97 seconds, Cryer’s Harper has won 12 races this year.

Nine of those wins, all over the short course, have come during the past three months at Tara Raceway with the 3½-year-old suffering only two defeats in that time – to Azalea Monelli and last Sunday’s other heat winner Usain Insane.

Raced by Tom and Margaret Cryer, Cryer’s Harper is from the third and final litter of their 2011 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year and 11-race winner Cryer’s Midget, a 23 kilogram daughter of Texas Gold x Shady Grove Fox.

And their decision at the end of 2012 to mate Cryer’s Midget with Spring Gun, prior to following up with a repeat mating two years later, has resulted in the ride of a lifetime for the Apsley couple.

All told, she has produced 176 winners, the majority of those at Tara Raceway, and Cryer’s Harper having now added 20 to that tally.

Ocean Grove trainer Heath McAdam, successful at Tara Raceway back in March with No Excuse, made the 400 kilometres trip to Mount Gambier last Sunday with that greyhound for a heat of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m).

Heath McAdam pictured with Unique Quality after his Christmas Challenge heat win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

No Excuse finished unplaced behind Smart Knocka in the second heat but earlier in the day kennel mate Unique Quality ensured McAdam would be back for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s Christmas meeting when successful in heat one of the Christmas Challenge (600 m).

There was plenty of interest in this heat with strong-finishing youngster Perseverance, an outstanding 512 metre winner the previous week for Michael Robinson and Dean Fennell, stepping out over the middle-distance journey for the first time.

But Unique Quality, after chasing Flash Jackie until the home turn, finished strongly and held out Perseverance to win by 1¼ lengths with the early leader not far away in third spot in a time of 35.46 seconds.

By Talk’s Cheap out of the unraced Cheap Chloe, the 3½-year-old Unique Quality has been in McAdam’s kennels for 12 months, last Sunday’s win his second for the hobby trainer but something of a drought-breaker after last winning at Sandown Park eight months ago.

“A lot of his runs during that period had been at Sandown Park and The Meadows so the going had been pretty tough,” McAdam said.

“Also, he hadn’t been jumping all that well so I sent him off for some box work. He certainly came out better today so hopefully that will be the case again in Sunday’s final.”

Dorothy flies high in memorial heat

Monday, December 16, 2019

Local owner Luke Diegmann landed his first outright winner when first-starter High Fly Dorothy led all the way at Tara Raceway on Sunday to win the first heat of the Peter Whitehead Memorial (400 metres) in 23.53 seconds.

Karen and Tracie Price, Kat Wuestemann and Luke Diegmann pictured High Fly Dorothy after her first-up win in a heat of the Peter Whitehead Memorial at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Trained at Compton by Tracie Price, the white and black daughter of Peter Rocket x Headline was purchased as a pup by Diegmann who followed her progress at regular intervals while being reared at the trainer’s property.

Diegmann also became involved in the inaugural National Draft and is a shareholder in the Troy Murray-trained Thirty Watches, a winner over 400 metres at Gawler last month.

Also impressing in Sunday’s first heat was runner-up Hostile Savage, trained at Portland by Nifty Lenehan for Jim Collins.

Another first-starter, the black son of Hostile x Sweet Savage made a real mess of the start from box seven but worked home strongly to go down by only 1¾ lengths.

Price also won the second heat with Elle Limes, leading all the way at her third start for owner Bernie Bouchier and defeating the Peter Crawley trained Miss Classique by two lengths in 23.30 seconds.

Elle Limes defeats Miss Classique in the second heat of the Peter Whitehead Memorial.

By Spring Gun, Elle Limes is out of Grimsby Girl, a finalist in the 2016 Mount Gambier Cup while Miss Classique was the forerunner of a big day for Crawley who later was successful with 512 metre winners Easter Orchid and Drogheda County in 29.95 seconds and 29.89 seconds respectively.

Tandiki, another Price-trained first-starter and also from the Peter Rocket x Headline litter, despite using plenty of the home straight stormed home to finish only a further three-quarters of a length back in third spot.

Maiden winner earns a reprieve

Saturday, December 14, 2019

It took a few runs, but Black Moscato finally found winning form at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting last Thursday when leading all the way in the Klaassens Contractors Maiden Stake (400 metres) to defeat Dancing Rose by three lengths in 23.73 seconds.

David Peckham, Jason Newman and young Chase pictured with Black Moscato.

The win, which came at the November 2017 whelping’s ninth start, was also the first at the local track for Moorak owner Jason Newman whose last success at a greyhound track had come “some years ago” in Hobart.

And Newman was the first to admit after the race that Black Moscato, purchased from Victoria in October when still unraced, had been destined to be placed in the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).

“To be honest, we’d been looking at GAP because she just didn’t seem interested in racing, eight previous race starts resulting in only a couple of minor placings. She certainly looked a lot better today, though, when running a personal best so she’s probably warranted a reprieve,” he said.

By Blazin’ Bomber, a winner of 27 races and more than $250,000 in stakemoney, out of 13-race winner Punch It, Black Moscato was the first leg of an early double for Allendale East trainer David Peckham.

Sweet On Me, in his kennels since last month, was having her first start at Tara Raceway in the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m), the black bitch having raced only once previously at Sandown Park over 515 metres in September.

Sweet On Me finished strongly for an impressive 400 metre win.

Well fancied from box one in last Thursday’s maiden event, Sweet On Me settled in third spot down the back before unwinding a strong finishing burst to score by 2¾ lengths over Sigrid The Proud in 23.54 seconds.

By Barcia Bale out of Call Me Gee, a winner of $53,000 and a finalist in the 2017 Group 1 Sapphire Crown final (515 m) at Sandown Park, Sweet On Me was also the first leg of a two-track double for the litter – Aston Stock winning his maiden at Warrnambool on Thursday night.

It was also a case of Peckham and Warrnambool owner Noel Mugavin combining for further success at Tara Raceway on the back of Rose Ali who won five races in the first three months of this year prior to being sold to Queensland connections.

Meanwhile, Sweet On Me, a January 2018 whelping, gives the impression that she’ll be better suited over more ground and should be well placed in February’s Summer Classic, a 512 metre event for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2018.

Fried White Bait, son of a 1990s superstar.

Rose Ali ran second in this year’s Summer Classic final to Banjo Bad Boy after finishing third in a heat behind subsequent Mount Gambier Cup winner Galactic Athena.

Thursday regular Wade Green, of Rockbank, brought up his 36th winner at Tara Raceway this year when Fried White Bait overcame a slow start from box eight to storm home and grab Go Taylah in the shadows of the post for a nose win in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) in 23.72 seconds.

Probably of most interest as far as Fried White Bait is concerned is his sire Bobniak, who was whelped 24 years ago but through the wonders of modern science sired this litter after Melos Girlfriend had been inseminated in April 2017.

Bobniak, by the imported Farloe Melody out of Paris Match, was the 1997 NSW Greyhound of the Year. All told, he raced on only 19 occasions for 16 wins prior to being retired to stud.