SUNDAY, MARCH 31: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, March 26 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Friday, March 29 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s Summer Classic (512 metres), first run back in 2015, generally attracts a handy line-up of youngsters. This year’s event for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2017 was no exception.
However, the headline act, even before the series kicked off a couple of weeks ago, was always going to be Galactic Athena, a solidly-built 31 kilogram daughter of Paddy Whacker and Galactic Rumball that had won her maiden at her first start the week prior in a quick 29.74 seconds.
And she didn’t disappoint – winning her heat by 8¼ lengths in 29.61 seconds – not bad for an 18-month-old pup!
The front-running Banjo Bad Boy didn’t disappoint either, winning his heat by 6¼ lengths in 30.10 seconds after displaying plenty of early pace from box six.
So the stage was set last Sunday for another intriguing Summer Classic final, Galactic Athena drawing box two, Banjo Bad Boy in box four and Rose Ali, slow early but sure to be storming home, jumping from the five.
It was tight early, but Banjo Bad Boy, a $21 chance, coming out of the first turn in front and from then on never headed, running out a 2¼ length winner over Rose Ali with a further 2¼ lengths back to the $1.40 favourite Galactic Athena in 30.13 seconds.
Handled by Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell, the winner is owned at Compton by Karen Price who only recently said the March 2017 white and black dog, after initially being a nightmare in the kennel, was finally starting to mature and racing accordingly.
By Banjo Boy, he is out of Banjo Bewdy, a three-state winner of 10 races and $50,000 in stakemoney that in January 2018 whelped her second litter – two dogs and 12 bitches by Collision.
The Noel Mugavin owned Rose Ali, a beautifully bred daughter of My Bro Fabio and Born Ali, made up a stack of ground, when giving trainer David Peckham of Allendale East his second Summer Classic runner-up after Blitz And Bolt’s second to Hutch in 2017.
The locally bred, owned and trained Galactic Athena lost no friends with her gallant third, Moorak owner Robert Chuck and trainer Steve Bartholomew of Worrolong now looking to test the waters with her at Murray Bridge in a grade six event over 455 metres on Sunday night.
And Banjo Bad Boy and Rose Ali will clash again at Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting when they jump from boxes three and seven respectively in the JB Irrigation Stake (512 m), the second heat of a grade five series.
Meanwhile, in the following race last Sunday, the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m), the Fennell-trained Little Lina, at start number 50, defied the opposition to run her down, holding out Kantilla to win by a head in 30.76 seconds.
While this was Little Lina’s second win, it was actually the first time the black bitch had crossed the line in first place, her maiden win coming after she had finished in second place but later awarded the race when the winner had been disqualified.
The winner is owned by 18-year-old Mo Canala who received the daughter of Fabregas x Guru Doll as a 16th birthday present from Cape Bridgewater owner-trainer Scott Blacksell who races the litter sister Rusty Sprocket.
Penola owner-trainer Damien Smith received a quick return on his investment when Trammel led all the way to win the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m) last Sunday from Targeted Missile and School Report in 23.58 seconds.
By Magic Sprite out of Wentworth Park winner Pearl Irene, Trammel was purchased from Young in NSW by Smith after being advertised on Greyhound-Data for $1000.
“He’d run a couple of placings on tracks up that way so I actually purchased him with the intention of racing him at the time-graded meetings so it was a bit of a bonus when he was able to win at a Sunday meeting,” he said.
And Nicole Stanley’s double with Zambora Club in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) and No Song in the Produce Store Stake (512 m) wrapped up a successful few days for the Portland trainer after Dyna Quota had picked $3020 when winning over the 650 metre journey at Warrnambool on the Thursday night prior.
Monday, February 25, 2019
From a Mount Gambier Cup point of view there was a lot to like about Cranbourne South greyhound Pure White Evil’s debut effort at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
Well boxed in the eight, the son of Barcia Bale x Son Of Mine quickly found the front in the Fairthorne Forestry Open Stake (512 metres), eventually running out a 6¾ length winner over Paraphernalia in a best of day 29.65 seconds for trainer Andrew Paraskevas.
But it was Lee Rowe who headed to Mount Gambier with Pure White Evil, his trainer travelling back from Bulli with litter brother Nervous An Weird who ran second on Saturday night to Pindari Express in the Group 2 Bulli Gold Cup final (427 m).
The heavily-backed Pure White Evil’s win was his 17th from 32 starts with Rowe saying that the black dog appreciated racing behind the finish on lure which is in operation at Tara Raceway.
“He has an outstanding record at Geelong behind the finish on lure and I thought today was a terrific trial for next month’s Mount Gambier Cup,” he said.
Rowe also said that Pure White Evil was a chance of returning to Tara Raceway this Sunday for another hit-out at the track.
And in what was a busy weekend, one way and another for the Paraskevas kennel, another litter brother in Eye Got It ran third in the GRV Vic Bred Series final (300 m) up the straight at Healesville on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Mortlake trainer Peter Crawley declared Bomber Creek some chance of tackling the Mount Gambier Cup after he clocked a personal best time of 29.78 seconds when defeating Molly’s Wally by 4½ lengths in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m).
By Magic Sprite x Skye Creek, Bomber Creek’s win was his first since last November when he was successful at Horsham over 485 metres and his first at Tara Raceway since July, the black dog now having won 11 races and Crawley relieved that the dog had again found winning form.
“To be honest, I was really disappointed with his effort last week behind Wanchai Express but after today it’s not out of the question that he might have another crack at the cup,” he said.
Last year Bomber Creek ran unplaced in a heat of the Group Listed event behind Lektra Stomp.
Monday, February 25, 2019
It was about 18 months ago that Penshurst owner-trainer John ‘Buzz’ Burow had been looking for a pup to rear with one that he had previously purchased from Victoria.
And because much of his racing is done at Tara Raceway he figured that an SA-bred greyhound pup could be the go in order to take advantage of the lucrative Greyhound Racing SA breeding bonuses on offer.
In the end he came up with an $800 black bitch pup, advertised on Greyhound-Data, by proven sire Fabregas out of Kaos Chloe, who retired a maiden after 23 starts, the litter being bred by Adam Burda from the Adelaide suburb of West Richmond.
Racing as Miss Adelaide, the May 2017 whelping lined up for her third start at Tara Raceway last Wednesday in the Trackside Meats Maiden Stake (400 metres), giving the leaders a fair start early before railing through on the home turn and defeating Serendipity Babe by half a length in 24.24 seconds.
For Burow, the win was his first since July last year when Good Yarn won over the 600 metre journey at Tara Raceway, Miss Adelaide justifying his SA-bred decision after breeder and owner shared the GRSA maiden bonus.
The $1000 maiden bonus was introduced for all SA-bred greyhounds whelped in 2016 onwards and complements all SA-bred winners at SA TAB meetings who receive a $100 base payment that is divided equally between the owner and the breeder.
In addition, with the SA-bred pool worth $30,000, subject to the number of SA-bred winners for the month at SA tracks, it’s likely a further $100 (approximate) each will be shared by owners and breeders.
So, as far as Miss Adelaide is concerned, her owner’s initial first prize of $400 for the time-graded maiden event will ultimately stretch out to more than $1000 – John Burow, in this case, amply rewarded for sticking with the SA breed.
Later in the day, another Penshurst trainer in Brendan Bunworth was successful in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) with Our Gal Livy, out of the winner’s list since September 2017 when she had won at Cranbourne over 520 metres.
By Velocette x All At Sea, the black bitch settled in third spot down the back behind Nick’s Never and Renew before finishing strongly in the home straight for a half length win in 30.33 seconds.
Out of the game for more than four years, Bunworth recently returned with a couple of giveaway greyhounds – Jimary Siesta and Our Gal Livy – the pair both having now won at Tara Raceway.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
It was a big day last Sunday for Angela Williams of Mount Gambier – turning 19 and also experiencing the thrill of her pride and joy – a greyhound called Cilla Brown – winning the JB Irrigation Mixed Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
For the 4¼-year-old black bitch it was a win that would probably rank as one of her best, quickly out from box seven and never looking likely to be headed as she careered away to a 5¼ length win over Teddy La Moment in a personal best time of 30.01 seconds.
The win also turned out to be a real family affair with David Williams, these days utilising Tara Raceway’s slipping track in the training of the winner for his daughter at what is his third stint with Cilla Brown – now a winner of eight races and prizemoney close to $11,000.
Cilla Brown is by little-known sire Ivan Brown, a winner of four short-course races at Albion Park and Maitland from 12 starts, out of four-race winner Surfing Blonde and found her way down to Mount Gambier in late 2016.
And it didn’t take Cilla Brown long to find winning form, as Angela Williams well remembers.
“At the time she’d been racing in maiden races at Angle Park for Adelaide trainer John Spoolder who had trained for my grandfather (Allen Williams),” she said.
“After she hadn’t won in seven tries at Angle Park, John suggested that Cilla Brown might be a good dog for me to race at Tara Raceway.
“Imagine my delight when she came out and won a heat of the Royal Fashion Maiden and then the final a week later at the 2016 Christmas Cup meeting.”
After 68 starts since relocating to the south east – all but two of them at Tara Raceway – Spoolder still keeps an eye on Cilla Brown’s progress, particularly pleased, also, that her now 19-year-old owner continues to maintain a keen interest in the sport.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Tara Raceway’s Summer Classic, for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2017, has a history of producing winners that have gone on to bigger and better things.
Sunday’s classic final will bring together a top line-up of youngsters with the eventual winner quite likely to go on to uphold the tradition of the event, previously won by Cryer’s Ricky, Menzel Boys, Hutch and Galactic Panther.
Attracting plenty of interest will be the Worrolong trained Galactic Athena, unbeaten at her only two starts for trainer Steve Bartholomew and Moorak owner Robert Chuck, and outstanding when winning her 512 metre heat last week in 29.61 seconds.
By Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball, the 18-month-old Galactic Athena has drawn well in the two and despite giving away plenty in age, and to a lesser extent experience, the brindle bitch still looks the one to beat in what should be a terrific final.
Earlier in the day, the appearance of Cranbourne South greyhound Pure White Evil will add to the Fairthorne Forestry Open Stake (512 m) which also includes proven local performers Paraphernalia, Azumi Ryder and Cryer’s Plugger.
Trained by Andrew Paraskevas, Pure White Evil has raced on 30 occasions for 16 wins and 10 minor placings for stakemoney of $53,000.
By Barcia Bale x Father Of Mine, the black dog is from a highly successful litter that also includes My American Girl (18 wins, $71,000 stakemoney), Hungry An’ Hollo (15, $45,000), Charmed An Taken (6, $39,000) and Eye Got It (18, $39,000).
Another littermate, Nervous An Weird, will be looking to add to his record of 16 wins and $68,000 in stakemoney when he lines up from box three in Saturday night’s $40,000 to the winner Group 2 Bulli Gold Cup (427 m).
Meanwhile, David Peckham, Wade Green and Kevin Ward shared training honours at Tara Raceway’s Wednesday time-graded meeting when all landed a double on the 12-race card.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
It was only a few weeks ago that Portland greyhound trainer Nicole Stanley was lamenting the fact that she really didn’t have anything for this year’s Group Listed Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup.
But her stocks, as far as the cup is concerned, received something of a boost at Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting when Wanchai Express ran out a seven length winner over the odds-on Cryer’s Plugger in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (512 metres).
An impressive margin against a greyhound that had gone around Tara Raceway the previous week in 29.58 seconds and certainly an impressive winning time of 29.46 seconds – the fastest run at the track since Rockoon’s record-breaking 29.28 seconds last July.
At odds of $34, it’s probably fair to say that even Stanley didn’t see this win coming. Race caller Ray Fewings, generally good for an on-air quote or two, obviously didn’t either when he asked “was I calling the right dog or in fact the right race?”
Wanchai Express is raced by Adelaide owner Les Stewart who sent the son of Bit Chili and 15-race winner Aunty Chopper (also owned by Stewart) to Portland last August after the 36 kilogram black dog had won four races on Adelaide tracks.
Sunday’s win was his first at Tara Raceway since last October although Stanley had been successful with him at Warrnambool in December and at The Meadows the following month, Wanchai Express now nominated for Sandown Park tomorrow night.
“A run at Sandown Park should give us a fair idea of where we’re at with him,” she said. “Although, to be fair, his form leading into last Sunday’s race hadn’t been all that bad considering that at his past four starts he had raced at The Meadows and then three times at Angle Park’s Thursday night meetings.”
Earlier in the day, Stanley was also successful with Verev in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m), the black dog taking the lead on the first turn before running away to a 4½ length win over the consistent Big Rough in 30.06 seconds.
Verev, who carries a US damline on his sire’s side through General Destini, is out of the US-bred dam Chasin The Dream, Sunday’s win his first over 512 metres at Tara Raceway since he defeated Bomber Creek in late March last year.
He was a finalist in last year’s Mount Gambier Cup after running second to Lektra Stomp in a heat, Stanley saying he was likely to line up again in this year’s cup, heats of which will be run on Sunday, March 24 and the final a week later.
For Stanley, the 2017 Mount Gambier leading trainer and runner-up last year to Tracie Price, Sunday’s double was her first at Tara Raceway since November 18 when she was successful with Miss Patchouli and Oh No Beta.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Time-graded racing returns to Tara Raceway tomorrow afternoon and Penshurst trainer Brendan Bunworth will be hoping that Our Gal Livy can break a long run of outs that stretches back to September 13, 2017.
Picked up as a giveaway by Bunworth at the beginning of the year, the daughter of Velocette and four-race Tara Raceway winner All At Sea (a litter sister to former local 512 metre record holder Dub Me In), looks well placed in tomorrow’s Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m).
Our Gal Livy ran a 4½ length third behind Verev and Big Rough on Sunday, finishing the race off in such a manner that would suggest she’s close to another win.
Taking in the meeting will be members of the Kingston Community Group, the Millicent Men’s Group and the locally-based Rainbow Club – all affiliated with the South East Regional Community Health Service.
Monday, February 18, 2019
Boom youngster Galactic Athena, after an impressive maiden 512 metre win last week in 29.74 seconds at her first race start, had no trouble in taking the next step at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon in heat one of the Summer Classic (512 metres).
Away quickly from box three, the brindle bitch led all the way to defeat Vermouth, a recent Angle Park 515 metre winner in a quick 29.80 seconds, and Rose Ali, previously unbeaten in her three starts at Tara Raceway and a last start winner over 512 metres at Tara Raceway in 29.72 seconds.
In a remarkable performance, Galactic Athena ran out an 8¼ length winner in 29.61 seconds. “29.74 last week, 29.61 today – cop that!” was race caller Ray Fewings’s take on the race for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2017.
Also remarkable is the fact that the August 24, 2017 daughter of Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball doesn’t turn 18 months of age until Sunday, the day when Galactic Athena takes on Vermouth, Rose Ali, Bourne Thanks, Maunganui Magic, Cee Sprite, Banjo Bad Boy and Galactic Mojo in the 2019 Summer Classic final.
She’s owned by Robert Chuck, 60, of Moorak and trained at Worrolong by Steve Bartholomew, 59, long-time mates who combined last year to win the Summer Classic with Galactic Athena’s half-brother Galactic Panther (by Irish-bred sire Milldean Panther).
Chuck won three races at Tara Raceway with Galactic Rumball – purchased as a pup from Bartholomew – in what was an injury-interrupted 21-start career before breeding two litters with the daughter of Cosmic Rumble x Elite Touch, the second to the Canadian-bred Paddy Whacker who has sired just under 40 litters in Australia.
For Chuck, never afraid to look outside the square, the decision to use Paddy Whacker was interesting, the subsequent litter by the All American currently his last registered in Australia.
“To be honest, I was impressed with his breeding (Heart Rumble x Spicy Candy) and his race performances in the US. Also, I was looking to try and breed some strength into the pups,” he said.
Chuck’s next breeding venture is likely to be with Galactic Cat, a winner at Tara Raceway, Bendigo, Traralgon, Warrnambool and Horsham and a half-sister to Galactic Athena, with the sire of choice being the US sire Flying Stanley.
And with future breeding in mind, he has also purchased straws to Dragon Fire (Brett Lee x Hoops Slamdunk) and a son Blazin Wildfire (out of Tin Nee Ann).
But short term it’s all about Galactic Athena and this Sunday’s Summer Classic final to be followed by a campaign that includes the Group Listed Murray Bridge Cup (455 m) and Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) next month.
“Subject to everything going to plan we’re looking at running her at Murray Bridge on March 3 and then tackle the cup heats there on Friday, March 8,” said Chuck, whose first individual success came 12 years ago when the Robert Halliday bred Galactic Storm was successful at Tara Raceway over 277 metres in 16.99 seconds.
“The plan is then to run her in the Mount Gambier Cup, heats of which will be run on Sunday, March 24 with the final the following week.”
Bourne Thanks made it two wins in a row at Tara Raceway when railing through on the home turn and running out a two length winner over Maunganui Magic with a further three-quarters of a length back to Cee Sprite in the second heat of the classic.
Part-owned by David Peckham and Connie Miller and trained by the former at Allendale East, Bourne Thanks is by Barcia Bale out of Thanks Tubby. And while her winning time was something like 16 lengths slower than the first heat it was a race marred by plenty of interference.
Banjo Bad Boy looked pretty good when leading all the way from box six in the third and final heat of the classic, running out a 6½ length winner over Galactic Athena’s litter sister Galactic Mojo in 30.10 seconds.
Purchased from well-known owner Andrew Varasdi by Karen and Tracie Price of Compton after winning a maiden at Goulburn last September, the white and black son of Banjo Boy x Banjo Bewdy, according to connections, had always shown potential.
“Initially he was simply terrible in the kennels,” Karen Price said. “But I think he just needed time to mature because he’s certainly a different dog now.”
Price is yet to win a Summer Classic, coming close last year with Dynamite Danger who ran second to Galactic Panther. By Dyna Double One x Mepunga Jayelle, Dynamite Danger is now racing in New Zealand where he has won six races.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Kongorong greyhound trainer John Little will be hoping for further improvement from Springvale Alysa when he returns to Murray Bridge on Sunday night with his Tara Raceway top grade bitch for the Sky Racing Stake (455 metres).
The daughter of Dyna Double One x Springvale Cool led all the way from box one to win a grade six final over 455 metres at Murray Bridge last Sunday night in 25.77 seconds from Spring Taylor and Bob Square Pants, trained at Tarpeena by Dita Mitchell.
With a $2800 first prize, Springvale Alysa’s win was Little’s biggest success at a greyhound track, so much so that he’s now looking at next month’s lucrative cup carnivals at both Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier.
“I’m hoping she can continue to keep on improving and if that’s the case then Sunday night will be her last run at the track prior to the Murray Bridge Cup heats on Friday, March 8,” he said.
Little said Springvale Alysa would in all likelihood have a run at Tara Raceway prior to returning to Murray Bridge next month to chase Group Listed success in the Daish Irrigation & Fodder Murray Bridge Cup (455 m) and put herself in the mix for bonuses that are associated with the two cups.
The Murray Bridge Cup final will be run on Sunday, March 17 while the Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup heats (512 m) are to be run a week later at Tara Raceway with the final on Sunday, March 31 – Greyhound Racing SA having introduced two $5000 bonuses to link both $22,000 events.
Purchased from Adelaide as a maiden performer almost 12 months ago, Springvale Alysa has turned out to be a top buy for Little and his fellow Bungaloo Syndicate partners Liz Newberry and Kevin Mullan, the black bitch having now won 13 races.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Weblec Nic, a winner of a couple of races at Sandown Park, as well as Geelong and Murray Bridge, looked well placed at Tara Raceway from box one in last Sunday’s South Eastern Hotel Stake, a 512 metre event for grade six greyhounds.
As things turned out, the race went pretty much to plan, Boston Quay opening up a handy break down the back but Weblec Nic always looking comfortable in second spot before railing through on the home turn and running away to a 2¼ length win in 30.00 seconds.
The winner is by Barcia Bale out of Weblec Rose, herself successful on eight occasions for $43,000 in stakemoney for owners Neville Loechel and Jeff Weber who also race Weblec Nic in partnership with Jane McNicholl under the banner of the Fair and Square Syndicate.
Loechel and Weber also enjoyed tremendous success with Weblec Rose’s litter sister Weblec Belle, the daughter of Dyna Tron x Snow Excuse winning 27 races and $263,000 in stakemoney.
The pair also raced another litter sister, Weblec Angel, who won five races at Tara Raceway when trained locally by David Peckham from late 2014 through to mid-2016.
Weblec Nic is trained at Williamstown by Ray Fewings, who in effect killed three birds with one stone when down here last Sunday to call the Mount Gambier greyhound meeting for RadioTAB and Sky Racing.
When he makes the occasional trip to Tara Raceway for calling duties he generally brings a dog or two with him to race – often going home with a winner – while he is also able to catch up with local participants in his role as industry representative on the Greyhound Racing SA board.
A couple of races later, in the Produce Store Stake (512 m), David and Val Brodhurst won their first race with Dare To Do who has been in their Serviceton kennels since July last year.
Well drawn in box one and well placed in a 0-2 wins event, the black bitch made a mess of the start before gaining a nice rails run and finding the front going into the back straight, eventually holding out Miss Patchouli to win by three-quarters of a length in a personal best time of 30.31 seconds.
Purchased for $1100 after winning a maiden at Warragul last May, the daughter of Goodesy and Sandown Park winner White Heart was the Brodhursts first winner since Two Jobs dead-heated with Tuscan Flex at Tara Raceway on November 11.