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

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, November 20 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.


New committee members

Monday, October 22, 2018

New MGGRC committee members Scott Blacksell (left) and Noel Perry.

Following Sunday’s Annual General Meeting at Tara Raceway, Cape Bridgewater owner-trainer Scott Blacksell, a Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club committee member in the early 2000s, is one of two new committee members for 2018-2019.

Blacksell, 54, and involved in greyhound racing for more than 30 years, is joined by Mount Gambier owner-trainer Noel Perry, 67, first an owner seven years ago but now enjoying a good year as an owner-trainer.

Local trio producing plenty of winners

Thursday, October 18, 2018

While there is no award this year for the leading local greyhound dam, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club has been listing weekly updates for the dams, along with leading trainers, greyhounds and sires, on its website.

Another Scenario (Fabregas x Who’s Doing What) defeats Mustang Bay and Kalani Sheldon at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Currently, the Ian Badger Leading Trainer and the Greyhound of the Year are the two awards presented on an annual basis although as from 2019 the Leading Dam will also be part of the presentations.

It is to be hoped that next year’s Leading Dam award is as keenly contested as this year has been so far with only four points separating local brood bitches Azumi Touch, Who’s Doing What and Cryer’s Midget (now re-homed).

The Bartholomew family’s Azumi Touch (Cosmic Rumble x Elite Touch) has produced 25 winners by Cosmic Chief and Dyna Tron at Tara Raceway this year; Tracie and Karen Price’s Who’s Doing What (High Earner x No Recall) 22 by Fabregas and Knocka Norris; Tom and Margaret Cryer’s Cryer’s Midget (Texas Gold x Shady Grove Fox) 21 by Spring Gun and Spud Regis.

Cryer’s Bob (Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget) wins over 600 metres last Sunday.

Two of Azumi Touch’s progeny in Azumi Ryder and Azumi Spice currently figure in the Greyhound of the Year award as does Cryer’s Midget’s son Cryer’s Plugger.

The days of the leading local stud dog are now long gone, frozen semen insemination resulting in litters being sired by greyhounds from Australia, England, Ireland and the US, as well as the occasional litter appearing by an Australian champion of another era.

Azumi Ryder (Dyna Tron x Azumi Touch) defeats Drysdale Creek and Haddi Bale last Sunday.

A far cry from the early days of greyhound racing at Glenburnie when the race book listed local sires Kori Arc (Eric Lewis), Courtoli (Bill Ward), Forest King (Tom Pearce), Invercoe Snow (Drew McFarlane) and Kevin Jason (John King) all standing at stud at fees ranging from $100 to $120.

Even in the mid-1980s the local Adelaide weekly greyhound publication, The Leash, had its inside back page full of SA stud dog advertisements for Trevenson, Knocklaun Gold, Unique Value, Katandra King, Dingaan Flier and Red Flag – their stud fees ranging from $100 to $250.

SA stud dogs advertised in a 1987 edition of The Leash.

They obviously bred them tough back then, Trevenson’s advertisement stating that “a broken hock, fractured pelvis and a broken leg did not stop this fierce chaser.”

Dingaan Flier’s studmaster, Wally Rosmann, of Two Wells, must have been keen to attract bitches for his 1984 SA Greyhound of the Year as he was offering a breeder’s bonus of a “magnificent 4 dog aluminium trailer valued at $2400 to be given to the breeder of the largest litter out of his first 50.”

Whether Dingaan Flier in fact ever sired 50 litters and Rosmann had to come up with the trailer is not known.

And there were plenty of others. Tom Frank of Two Wells was standing Acrimeteus, Crowbar Wonder, Sonny’s Windfall and Swift As Light; Hay Willie was standing at Te Whetu Lodge at Port Lincoln and John Kretschmer had brought out Spectre’s Son and Exact Pride from England to stand at stud at Two Wells.

Incidentally, Tara Raceway’s leading sires are currently Spring Gun (50 wins), Cosmic Rumble 48, Magic Sprite 42, Barcia Bale and Fabregas 41.

Ashton works his magic

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Veteran Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton has made a habit in the past of winning races at Tara Raceway with “discard” greyhounds – and generally at good odds.

Kevin Ashton and Jan Neil with It’s Magic.

His latest success came last Sunday at Tara Raceway when $23 chance It’s Magic, having his fourth run for Ashton and his second at the track, ran down Our Bro Pedro to score by a half length in the Produce Store Stake (512 metres) in 30.36 seconds.

In Ashton’s kennels since August, It’s Magic’s win – his sixth from 45 starts – last Sunday was his first since April when he was successful at Shepparton over 450 metres.

It was Ashton’s 16th success at Tara Raceway this year and has him currently sitting in 10th spot in the Ian Badger Leading Trainer award.

Speaking after Sunday’s win, he said it had taken a while to get the Peter Macleod-owned son of Fabregas x Katie Racoon going.

“To be honest, he showed me nothing early but after a run at Tara Raceway behind the finish-on-lure he seemed to gain some confidence,” Ashton said.

The 36 kilogram black dog will now tackle the 600 metre journey for only the second time in his career when he lines up in Sunday’s Mixed Stake at Tara Raceway.

Joshua finally rocks at the raceway

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

It’s taken a while, but rising three-year-old greyhound Joshua Rocks finally broke through for his first win when successful in last Sunday’s Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.

Joshua Rocks opens his winning account at Tara Raceway last Sunday over a gallant Mulan.

Not that he had raced on too many occasions, the 37 kilogram dog having only his eighth start last Sunday after kicking off his racing career back in April at a Wednesday meeting at The Meadows, his owner-trainer Nifty Lenehan of Portland later left to lament a frustrating past six months.

“As if it wasn’t bad enough that he was a late developer and never hit the track until he was 2½ years old, I also encountered cramping problems with him,” Lenehan said this week.

“Then, after getting on top of the cramping issue, he suffered a couple of other unrelated injuries which ultimately has made for a pretty lean time with him this year which is disappointing because as he showed on Sunday he can run a bit.

“His biggest problem now is that he’s generally very slow early so I’m now hoping he will be able to run over more ground.”

When Lenehan returned to Tara Raceway with Joshua Rocks last month, after what had been a two-month break, he believed the dog was finally ready to win – his price of $1.75 suggesting as much, anyway!

Joshua Rocks pictured with Nicole Stanley who stood in for owner-trainer Nifty Lenehan.

But it would take him another four runs before he broke his maiden, slowly away from box four last Sunday before finding galloping room down the back straight and quickly rounding up Mulan and Midnight Rage to win in 29.96 seconds.

Punters – forgiving lot that they are – stepped in again, this time at $2.40, race caller Ray Fewings suggesting that the judge had been feeling for Joshua Rocks’s number a fair way from home.

The winning time was quick for a maiden – pretty handy for any grade, actually – and was the fastest maiden win at Tara Raceway since March when recent Adelaide Cup finalist Spring Bridge ran 29.63 seconds in the Produce Store Feature Maiden final.

Also bred by Lenehan, Joshua Rocks is by Cosmic Rumble out of Obama’s Girl, a winner of two 600 metre races at The Meadows and also at Ballarat over 550 metres.

This is her second litter for Lenehan, the first, by Kinloch Brae, producing six individual winners including Herbilly who in July whelped two dogs and two bitches to Fernando Bale.

Joshua Rocks will now head to Sandown Park, where he has trialled well, to contest a heat on Thursday night of the GRV Vic Bred (1-4 wins) over 515 metres, the $10,000-to-the-winner final to be run on Thursday week.

The Richard Clayfield trained Mulan’s effort at only her second start last Sunday to finish a 1¾ length second to Joshua Rocks signalled an early win for the daughter of Taylors Sky and Erza Allen. Her actual time of 30.08 seconds would win the majority of maiden races run at Tara Raceway.

First time Tara Raceway visitor Erika Newberry, her mother Liz, John Little and Kevin Mullan with Springvale Alysa after her best of day win last Sunday.

Meanwhile, Springvale Alysa, trained at Kongorong by John Little, will head to Warrnambool on Thursday night to contest the Norfolk Butchers Damsels Dash, a 450 metre event for grade five bitches.

The daughter of Dyna Double One and Springvale Cool continued her outstanding year at Tara Raceway last Sunday when leading all the way in the Stake, a grade five final over 512 metres.

Quickly finding the front from box seven, Springvale Alysa ran out a  4¼ length winner over Wanchai Express in a best of day 29.86 seconds and in doing so brought up her eighth win this year for Little and the Bungaloo Syndicate.

GRSA committed to strong regional clubs

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Greyhound Racing SA is committed to establishing three strong regional clubs (Gawler, Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier) which drive the best possible outcomes for industry and the participants whose interests they represent.

This is according to GRSA CEO Matt Corby who said the recently-released Sky weekly schedule for when Murray Bridge commenced racing delivered strongly against the key objectives.

The Murray Bridge complex is well on the way.

“We now need to move forward with that program and allow it to settle, although we will continue to monitor its success over time. GRSA has a primary obligation to remain open and responsive to any need for change,” he said.

Once the Murray Bridge track is racing (expected to be in January), the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club will race on alternate Wednesdays while continuing to conduct meetings every Sunday.

Mount Gambier’s Wednesday meetings will alternate with straight track racing at Murray Bridge, this giving Tara Raceway trainers the opportunity of racing their greyhounds up the straight as a lead-in to the local Sunday meeting.

However, the initial canvassing of local participants by GRSA in order to ascertain the likelihood of their support for Murray Bridge’s main meeting of the week on its one-turn track is no longer relevant as both clubs are now scheduled to race on Sundays.

Corby said GRSA remained conscious of the fact that the Mount Gambier region would initially have a restricted opportunity to race at the Murray Bridge Sunday meetings.

“It is our hope that this can be addressed in the course of time,” he said.

Long time between drinks for ‘KD’

Monday, October 15, 2018

Mordred’s win at Tara Raceway on Sunday, after a break of more than three months, was local sporting identity Kevin “KD” Douglas’s first win with a greyhound in close to 26 years.

In fact it was on November 14, 1992 when his 26 kilogram fawn bitch called Lichine defeated Charming Gypsy over 479 metres at Glenburnie in a best of day time of 30.15 seconds.

Mordred defeats Red Hat Ruby in Sunday’s Metal Worx Maiden Stake at Tara Raceway.

By Wild Conquest out of Mystic Lake, Lichine, trained locally for Douglas by John Reid, won 13 races at the greyhound track situated inside the racecourse.

Fast forward something like 23 years and Douglas, in his much-valued role of handling the major race presentations for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, first encountered Moyston trainer Peter Franklin.

He recalls that Franklin, trainer of former local track record holders Ireland’s Oyster (400 m) and Mojito Mayhem (512 m), as well as current 600 metre record holder McIvor Verna, presented himself as an outstanding person and also presented the multiple cups winner Mojito Mayhem in magnificent order.

“In fact, I was so impressed by Peter and the manner in which he turned out his greyhounds that I asked him if he could find me a couple of pups to race with him,” Douglas said.

Kevin “KD” Douglas and trainer Peter Franklin pictured with Mordred after Sunday’s win.

“It took him a while but 18 months later Peter came up with two black pups by Kinloch Brae out of Wicked Princess that he then proceeded to rear at his Moyston property. Now my portfolio included shares in three pacers and two greyhounds.”

And there wasn’t too much wrong with the pups’ breeding. The US-bred Kinloch Brae has been an outstanding sire while Wicked Princess, a daughter of Bartrim Bale and Wicked Witch, was unraced but her litter sister Secret Spell won 23 races and more than $276,000 in stakemoney.

Fast forward another couple of years and one of the black pups, now named Mordred, had knocked up a couple of second placings at Tara Raceway. His first win looked imminent, however an injury sustained at Ballarat subsequently kept him off the track for 14 weeks.

Resuming from box three in Sunday’s Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m), Mordred was slowly away but found a rails run to move into third spot down the back before finishing over the top of Red Hat Ruby and Coco Suzy to win by three-quarters of a length in 23.48 seconds.

Now, if only one of those pacers could win a race.

Cup night provides some consolation for local trainer

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Compton greyhound Smart Knocka, desperately unlucky not to be running in the $107,500 UBET Adelaide Cup final, provided trainer Tracie Price and his fellow owners Peter and Andrew Haines of WA with a change of luck when winning the $10,710 Adelaide Cup Consolation (515 metres) at Angle Park on Friday night.

Tracie Price pictured at Compton on Saturday morning with Adelaide Cup Consolation winner Smart Knocka.

Smart Knocka, on the back of a great second in last month’s Group 3 SA Derby (515 m), narrowly missed a spot in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup final after finishing third in a heat last week, running the sixth fastest of the 34 cup runners.

Away well from box seven in the consolation, the blue dog chased Oshkosh Erny Vee for much of the journey before finishing strongly to hold out recent State Of Origin winner Nations in 29.77 seconds, only a length slower than the time Real Simple took to win the cup final two races later.

For the 54-year-old Price, who has been training greyhounds for more than 30 years, this was his biggest win. And Smart Knocka, with six wins and two minor placings from only 10 starts, has already stamped himself as one of the best dogs to come out of Mount Gambier in a long time.

Despite being back in Mount Gambier at some ungodly hour on Saturday morning, Price was still at Tara Raceway by 9 o’clock for the trials, putting a trailer-load of young hopefuls through their paces while at the same time contemplating his next move with Smart Knocka.

Robert Halliday took time out at Angle Park on Friday night to catch up with the GRSA Hunnies.

“At this stage I’m seriously looking at the $36,000 Gawler Gold Cup (531 m), heats of which will be run on Tuesday, October 30 and the final on the following Sunday night,” he said.

“He’s never been to Gawler so realistically he will have to trial there prior to the heats in order to give him every chance.”

By Knocka Norris, Smart Knocka is out of Who’s Doing What who was a finalist in the 2015 Gawler Gold Cup. Last month she was mated with the boom sire Fernando Bale.

Price said he was also looking at the Silver Chief Classic (525 m), for male greyhounds whelped from June 2016 onwards, the Group 1 $100,000 series being run at The Meadows in December-January.

Tim Manterfield and Ben Price also caught up with the Hunnies.

Meanwhile, Friday night’s SA Country Cup didn’t go quite to plan as far as the Mount Gambier representatives, Hutch and Paraphernalia, were concerned.

Both greyhounds performed well last Sunday at Tara Raceway as a lead-up to the $7375 final over 515 metres but never really got into the event on cup night for trainers Robert Halliday and Jeff Guy, Hutch later found to be suffering from hip soreness.

Portland trainer Brian Weis, after a double at Angle Park last week, continued his good run at the city track on Friday night when Lobster Hill led all the way and Theo’s Thunder turned in a big effort to run second.

Trainer holds strong hand after sub 30-second double

Thursday, October 11, 2018

According to Kongorong greyhound trainer John Little the win of $20 chance Bungaloo Thor at Tara Raceway last Sunday didn’t come as any real surprise to him but the winning time in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 metres) certainly did.

Bungaloo Thor pictured defeating Azumi Striker over 512 metres at Tara Raceway last Sunday in a personal best time of 29.93 seconds.

By Addis Boy out of Camo’s Prinny and a litter brother to Friday’s winner Gypsy Shane, Bungaloo Thor gave tearaway leader Azumi Striker a fair start down the back but finished over the top of him in the run home to score by 1¼ lengths in 29.93 seconds at his 51st start.

The rising three-year-old black dog, also bred by Little, has come a fair way since October last year when he dead-heated in a time-graded 400 metre maiden in a steady 24.11 seconds.

Four months on he won his second race – over 512 metres – in an even steadier 30.91 seconds although by the time he had brought up win number three some six month later Bungaloo Thor had lowered his personal best to a respectable 30.34 seconds.

Bungaloo Thor’s winning time on Sunday in what was the third and final heat of a grade five series was smart, Little really at a loss to explain where the improvement had come from.

John Little and Liz Newberry with Springvale Alysa after her win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

“To be honest, I didn’t really expect him to ever break 30 seconds,” he said. “The only thing I can put it down to is that perhaps he is a late maturer.

“I was told by one of Camo’s Prinny’s former trainers that she had been a late developer, the same trainer saying that her dam, Camo’s Dollars – a winner of a couple of 732 metre races at Tara Raceway – had also taken a while to sort herself out.”

A couple of races earlier, the Little-trained Springvale Alysa had led all the way to defeat Azumi Spice by 3¼ lengths in 29.84 seconds in the Stake (512 m), the first heat of the grade five series.

Springvale Alysa, a daughter of Dyna Double One and Springvale Cool, has proven to be a handy pick-up for Little and his partners Liz Newberry and Kevin Mullan, having now won seven races for the trio after being purchased from Adelaide in April this year.

Last Sunday’s double was Little’s second this year at Tara Raceway, Bungaloo Jedda and Premier Choix successful on August 2. He has now trained 14 winners at the local track in 2018.

And he’ll go into Sunday’s grade five final, the Stake (512 m), holding a strong hand with Bungaloo Thor drawn in box three and Springvale Alysa in the seven.

Mo Canala and Nifty Lenehan with Wanchai Express after his strong-finishing win in The Border Watch Stake.

Last start winner Baurna Sal looked to have the second heat, The Border Watch Stake (512 m), all stitched up when she opened up a handy break over Wanchai Express and Irka Jakit down the back straight.

But former Adelaide chaser Wanchai Express, who found his way into Nicole Stanley’s Portland kennels at the end of August, finished strongly along the rails to grab victory by a head in 30.16 seconds – his second win at the track in the space of a fortnight.

Owned in Adelaide by Les Stewart, Wanchai Express, also a winner at Angle Park, Gawler and Strathalbyn, is by Bit Chili out of Aunty Chopper who raced on 99 occasions for 15 wins and 35 minor placings.

Meanwhile, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. Annual General Meeting will be held in the Tara Raceway Clubrooms at the conclusion of the race meeting on Sunday, October 21.

Participants should also be aware that the club’s next time-graded meeting will be run on Wednesday, October 24 (nominations to close at 9 a.m. on Friday, October 19).

Highlighting November will be the running of the time-honoured Newman McDonnell Memorial (512 m) for grade five greyhounds, won last year by former track record holder Lektra Stomp.

Local representatives ready for Country Cup final

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hutch and Paraphernalia, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s representatives in Friday night’s SA Country Cup (515 metres) at Angle Park, signified their readiness for the $7375 final when fighting out last Sunday’s Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway.

The two local Country Cup heat winners from September 23 on that occasion had run within a half-length of one another, Jeff Guy’s Paraphernalia clocking 29.88 seconds and Hutch 29.92 seconds for Robert Halliday.

Jeff Guy and Robert Halliday head to the boxes last Sunday at Tara Raceway with SA Country Cup representatives Paraphernalia and Hutch.

Hutch subsequently went into the last Sunday’s final hit-out on the back of an excellent second over 515 metres at Angle Park on the previous Monday, Halliday being convinced to give the son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie a look at the track prior to the final.

And once again there was little separating the pair on the line in the Open event, Hutch showing good pace from box eight and settling in second spot behind Swift Limes before taking over off the back.

Meanwhile, Paraphernalia after jumping well from the seven, travelled well in fourth spot down the back straight before running home strongly to go down by only three-quarters of a length to Hutch in a best of day 29.74 seconds.

For Hutch, it was only his third run back after a three month break due to a toe injury, Halliday later reporting that his winner of 19 races appeared to have pulled up well.

An April 2014 whelping by Big Daddy Cool x Scrappy Coco, Paraphernalia – who was also one of Mount Gambier’s Country Cup representatives last year – will go into the final as the oldest runner and also the most experienced, having raced on 128 occasions for 33 wins.

Perhaps more importantly, though, he will go into the $5000-to-the-winner final from box one, Hutch, however, not faring so well after drawing the six, a box he has raced from on six occasions but yet to run a place.

Hutch and Paraphernalia fight out the finish of the Open Stake last Sunday.

The Halliday trained Tickets Please won the 2008 SA Country Cup at Gawler while Guy will be hoping for better luck this year after Paraphernalia’s luckless 2¾ length fourth from box six to Stick Figure in last year’s final at Angle Park.

Other previous Mount Gambier representatives to win the SA Country Cup include Nickelman (Gawler 1995), Moorak Hope (Gawler 2013) and Berry Bling (Strathalbyn 2016).

This year, Mount Gambier representatives Theo’s Thunder and Blazing Moment will fill the Country Cup reserve slots after running second in their respective heats on September 23.

Headlining SA greyhound racing’s biggest meeting of the year at Angle Park on Friday night will be the final of the Group 1 UBET Adelaide Cup (515 m), local trainer Tracie Price narrowly missing out on a spot in the final with his SA Derby runner-up Smart Knocka.

With only a handful of starts to his name, Smart Knocka ran a great race in his heat last week when finishing a half-length third to Real Simple and actually recording the sixth-fastest time of the 34 cup runners.

He’ll now line up tomorrow night from box seven in the Adelaide Cup Consolation (515 m) which carries a tidy $7495 to the winner.

Noosa Parade due for a change of luck

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Ecklin South trainer Peter Fulton returns to Tara Raceway on Sunday with Noosa Parade, who despite performing extremely well in last month’s Metal Worx Iron Dog series, is still chasing his first win in six months.

Noosa Parade returns to Tara Raceway on Sunday and looks a top chance in the Produce Store Stake (512 m).

The black dog ran Aeroplane Mo to 1¾ lengths in the Iron Dog’s first round over 600 before going down by three-quarters of a length to Paraphernalia in the 512 metre final – and that sort of form should put him right in the mix in Sunday’s Produce Store Stake (512 m).

With a record of three wins and five minor placings at the track and distance, Noosa Parade has drawn box four and looks well placed in grade five company.

By Collision, he’s out of the beautifully-bred unraced Miss Black Fern, a daughter of the Irish-bred sire Spiral Nikita and Miss Yap (Brett Lee x Leprechaun Yap) and from a litter that also includes handy performers Kiwi Collision and Night King.

And another Iron Dog finalist in Haddi Bale, trained at White Hills by Aaron Blake, also returns on Sunday to contest a grade five event, the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m).

Tipping the scales at close to 32 kilograms, the sizeable bitch displayed plenty of early pace in the Iron Dog rounds and could take some catching from box five.

Raced by Jaz Warzywoda, Haddi Bale is a daughter of former outstanding Australian sprinter Roanokee and Darya Bale and comes into Sunday’s race on the back of a second and third over 460 metres at Warragul and a second at Shepparton (450 m).