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

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JANUARY 27: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 29 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Friday, February 1 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.


Feature maiden a January highlight

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden will once again be one of the highlights of racing at Tara Raceway this month – heats of the 512 metre event run on Sunday, January 13 and the final a week later.

However, trainers should keep in mind that if insufficient nominations are received to run at least two heats then a one-off final will be conducted on Sunday, January 20 with preference given to original nominators.

The Sims Feature Maiden, which has been run in various formats over a number of years, was first conducted as a memorial event in 2013 when won by the Cap Abbott trained Arbour Darby in 30.71 seconds.

David Jones and 2015 Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden winner Andy Jay pictured with members of the Sims family.

Subsequent winners have been Benara Cosmic (Tracie Price) 30.33 seconds, Andy Jay (Toni Jones) 30.31 seconds, Rowchester Star (Nicole Stanley) 30.60 seconds and in 2017 McIvor Neville (Peter Franklin) 30.64 seconds.

In last year’s memorial, Paul Herry’s Got Some Cheek gave the popular Mortlake trainer his first feature win when defeating fellow Mortlake trainer Peter Crawley’s Bomber Creek by a head in 30.52 seconds.

The Sims name is synonymous with greyhound coursing and track racing in the South East – Col Sims, ably assisted by his wife Val, enjoying great success at coursing and having no trouble in turning his hand to mechanical lure racing when it was introduced in Mount Gambier in 1979.

He was on the South East Greyhound Racing Club committee when racing commenced at Glenburnie and in 1978 was the first to be awarded life membership of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc.

Col Sims also won the final Mount Gambier Cup run at Glenburnie in 1996 with the speedy front-running Colin Ian before winning the first Anniversary Cup conducted at the Lake Terrace East venue in 1997 with Becker McLaren.

Nominations for the 2019 Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden will close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 8 with Greyhound Racing SA.

Meanwhile, the 2019 racing season kicks off on Sunday at Tara Raceway with the main race, the New Year’s Gift (512 m), attracting an interesting line-up, including 2018 Greyhound of the Year Paraphernalia who has drawn box one.

The race also includes 2017 Christmas Cup winner Hit The Runway who hasn’t raced since September, along with last start 512 metre 29.81 seconds winner Usain Insane and 2018 Christmas Cup placegetter Springvale Alysa who is racing at Angle Park tonight.

And there will be plenty of interest in the Greg Martlew Autos Free For All (400 m) with Cryer’s Harper attempting to win her fifth consecutive short-course race at Tara Raceway.

Giveaway greyhounds find form at T/G meeting

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Mumbannar trainer Monty Wilson once again achieved his self-set goal of averaging a win a month with his team of giveaway greyhounds when Moraine Pippa was successful in last Sunday’s Winmore Greyhound Kennels Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting.

Jen and Monty Wilson with Moraine Pippa after her first-up maiden win in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

In fact, after a slow start which saw Wilson failing to open his winning account until April, Moraine Pippa’s success at Mount Gambier’s final meeting of the year took her trainer’s tally to 14 wins for 2018.

Having her first race start on the back of some impressive Tara Raceway trials, the black bitch, which is raced by Wilson’s wife Jen, did the job well when taking over down the back and then running away to a seven length win in 23.50 seconds.

And according to Wilson, who races only giveaway greyhounds, Moraine Pippa could be the one that has slipped under the radar.

“Obviously when you work with only giveaways there are going to be plenty that don’t win a race,” he said. “But I reckon this little girl could be the one that we have been looking for.

“We got her back in October after she had been broken-in and then finished down the line at the Warrnambool picnic meeting.

“However, since then she had trialled really well at Tara Raceway, her only downside being that she was a noisy kennel dog, although a change in her daily routine looks to have solved that problem.”

Now, while Wilson is more than happy with Moraine Pippa, he’s the first to admit that the October 2016 whelping is still a fair way off from being ready to take on Tara Raceway’s top greyhounds over 512 metres.

So, with that in mind, it was somewhat surprising to see her drawn in box four up against Paraphernalia and company in Sunday’s New Year’s Gift (512 m) at Tara Raceway after winning only a maiden 400 metre time-graded event at her first start.

“No, there was a mix-up there,” he conceded. “Of course it wasn’t my intention to have her in that race and as a result she won’t be running on Sunday. Mind you, I’m hoping in the not too distant future that she will be taking on that calibre of dog.”

By Dyna Double One, Moraine Pippa is out of Sandown Park winner Mepunga Lana (Premier Fantasy x Mepunga Diva) who later in the day produced another winner in the form of Bella Express, trained at Warrnambool by Stephen Bruce.

Kevin and Raylene Gavin landed their first double at Tara Raceway when Reggie Ryan (No. 4) and Pingin’ Bee were successful on Sunday. Also pictured is the couple’s granddaughter Carisma.

From an October 2014 mating by US sire Bella Infrared, Bella Express led all the way from box seven in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m), eventually defeating Big Rough by 6½ lengths in a best of day 30.01 seconds to bring up his 19th win at start number 107.

Time-graded meeting supporters Kevin and Raylene Gavin landed their first Tara Raceway double when their giveaways Reggie Ryan and Pingin’ Bee were successful, much to the delight of their 12-year-old granddaughter Carisma who made the trip over with them from Killarney.

Having his second look at the track after joining the kennel a month ago, Reggie Ryan led all the way in the JB Irrigation Stake (400 m), holding out All About Now to win by a head in 23.68 seconds.

And according to Kevin Gavin, there should be further improvement in the November 2016 son of Magic Sprite and eight-race winner Boston Silver – the black dog picked up after being advertised as a giveaway on greyhound internet site Greyhound-Data.

“I think he still needs more time. He’s immature and at the moment just wants to play,” he said. “Also, he probably needs a little more weight off him.”

Pingin’ Bee, who joined the Killarney kennel in October after stints of racing in NSW, Victoria and Adelaide, staged a big effort to win the Stake (512 m).

Last early from box three, the daughter of Fabregas x Zipping Genie still had plenty of work to do mid-race but railed through off the back before running away to a 2½ length win over Raglan Bindi in 30.46 seconds.

Donna Beasley enjoyed her first trip to Tara Raceway when Able was successful on Sunday for trainer Paul Cusack.

Last Sunday’s double resulted in the long-time husband and wife training team wrapping up the year with eight winners at Tara Raceway with their team of giveaway greyhounds.

Time-graded meeting newcomer Paul Cusack of Mount Cottrell made the trip over with partner and fellow trainer Donna Beasley, this being her first time at Tara Raceway.

And they went home with a winner in the form of Able who, despite using plenty of the track in the home straight, led all the way in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m) to defeat Dare To Do by a length in 23.52 seconds.

Able is by Fabregas out of the nicely bred Magic Castle (Where’s Pedro x Ice Dancer) who when trained at Lewiston by Don Turner won seven races at Angle Park, Gawler and Port Augusta in the space of four months.

Turner also initially trained Able, winning short course races at Strathalbyn and Angle Park before Cusack took over the black dog as a giveaway in June this year.

Price ends year with record high

Monday, December 31, 2018

For Tracie Price, the 2018 leading trainer, the busy year at Tara Raceway ended as it began – a double with Kinky McPhee and Same Scenario all those months ago on January 7 and a litter double on Sunday with Sophie’s Moment and Dimora Flash.

And in between there were 16 doubles, 11 trebles, four winners on six occasions and four days when he trained five winners – all contributing to a record 137 wins, 124 seconds and 102 thirds at the Mount Gambier track.

Karen and Tracie Price with Sophie’s Moment, the first leg of a double for the leading trainer at Tara Raceway’s final meeting for 2018.

Sunday’s double with the litter sisters by Cosmic Rumble out of Stylish Moment was perhaps a fitting way to end his season as the pair is part of an intensive breeding program put in place by Price and his wife Karen.

Stylish Moment, who won the 2014 Winter Classic at Tara Raceway, was one of the forerunners of the current breeding program and earlier this month was mated with Peter Rocket.

Indicative of the influence the Price breed is having on racing at Tara Raceway is that Who’s Doing What, Hey Sexy Lady and Lucy’s Moment all figure in the 2018 Leading Dams’ list.

Sophie’s Moment put in a terrific run in The Border Watch Stake (600 metres), giving kennelmate Cilla Brown a big start down the back before finishing strongly to run her down to win her first middle-distance event.

And Dimora Flash, after a great battle with Midnight Rage in the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m), hung on for a neck win in 23.28 seconds.

For Price, Sunday was the culmination of a big few days. At Warrnambool on Thursday night where he won with Maunganui Magic over 390 metres, then Tara Raceway on Saturday morning for the trials before a five-hour trip to The Meadows at Broadmeadows in Victoria for the meeting that night.

He had Smart Knocka engaged in a semi-final of the Silver Chief classic (525 m), disappointingly out of the race on the first turn after suffering severe interference, Price later saying that the son of Knocka Norris x Who’s Doing What would return to The Meadows this Saturday night.

“At this stage I’m looking to take him back for a grade five event and then leave him in Victoria to be trained by Seona Thompson.”

Smart Knocka has raced only three times at Tara Raceway for a heat and final win in the Peter Rocket Winter Classic (512 m) and later a win in 29.72 seconds over Springvale Alysa.

Dimora Flash defeats Midnight Rage and Bumble Bee Bolto at Tara Raceway on Sunday and gives leading trainer Tracie Price his 137th win for the year.

Away from his home track, he ran a great second in the SA Derby (515 m) at Angle Park although Price was quick to nominate his win in the Adelaide Cup Consolation (515 m) as the highlight of his year.

But from a Tara Raceway point of view, surely the highlight of the leading trainer’s year would have been the runs of Rockoon in mid-June and early July.

Group 1 winners don’t go around the Mount Gambier track too often so when the big white and black son of Peter Rocket x Raya Riot found his way over to the Price’s Compton kennels and duly lined up in a 600 metre mixed stake on June 17 there was a real air of expectancy around the track.

And Rockoon lived up to all the hype, running out an 11 length winner over a fair sort of greyhound in Hit The Runway in a time of 34.86 seconds, only a whisker outside of McIvor Verna’s track record.

He was back on July 1, this time over 512 metres and this time he defeated another fair sort of greyhound in Cryer’s Plugger by 9½ lengths in track record time of 29.28 seconds – a time unlikely to be lowered any time soon.

Rockoon runs a 512 metre Tara Raceway track record of 29.28 seconds on July 1.

The Mount Gambier leading trainer award is now to be known as the Ian Badger Leading Trainer, in recognition of the South East Greyhound Racing Club’s first leading trainer in 1979-80, the trophy now on display in the club’s memorabilia section.

Badger was also on the committee when racing commenced at Glenburnie on Saturday, July 21, 1979. He was club secretary for the following season and president between 1984 and 1986 and again from 1988 to 1990.

In 1996 he was awarded posthumous life membership of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club after having died on March 31, 1995 at the age of 46.

Price was last leading trainer in 2016 with 78 wins, his best performer being Real Moment with 11 wins.

See “Statistics”.

Harper wraps up big month for trainer

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The win of Cryer’s Harper over Maunganui Magic and Ramified in last Friday’s Santa Sprint final (400 metres) at Tara Raceway was the culmination of a big month for Apsley trainer Tom Cryer.

Arguably the most improved greyhound going around the Mount Gambier track at the moment, Cryer’s Harper’s all the way victory in a best of day 23.03 seconds was her fourth successive win this month.

Cryer’s Harper makes it four wins for the month at Tara Raceway.

And it was her trainer’s best month for the year – eight winners – which overall took Cryer’s tally for the year to 34, all but one of those being out of his now-retired brood bitch Cryer’s Midget.

By Australian Cup winner Spud Regis, Cryer’s Harper is from Cryer’s Midget’s third and final litter, this year’s leading local brood bitch’s first two litters both being by Spring Gun and so far producing 135 winners.

Cryer’s Harper, whelped in April 2016, kicked off her career with a couple of 400 metre wins at Tara Raceway in March-April this year before a six-month losing streak had Cryer seriously contemplating retiring her into the Greyhound Adoption Program.

Margaret and Tom Cryer with Cryer’s Harper after her win in last Friday’s Santa Sprint at Tara Raceway.

“To be honest, I’ve no idea where Cryer’s Harper’s turnaround in form at this late stage of the year has come from,” said Margaret Cryer, the trainer’s wife and also the owner of all the “Cryer” dogs.

“But it is nice that one of Cryer’s Midget’s female offspring has finally strung together a few wins. Cryer’s Harper is by far the best bitch she has produced and perhaps the opportunity is now there for the line to carry on.

“Whether we breed any more litters will depend a lot on Tom’s health as he turns 86 next year. However, we do have a couple of 11-month-old brindle dog pups by Spring Gun that we are looking forward to racing.”

The pups, bred at Compton by Tracie Price, are out of Grimsby Girl (Kinloch Brae x Oh Cee Ya), a winner of eight races and a finalist in Mojito Mayhem’s 2016 Mount Gambier Cup.

Meanwhile, the Ken Gillespie trained Faster Bolt, an unplaced favourite behind Cryer’s Harper after copping an early check last Friday, raced at Horsham over 410 metres on Wednesday.

But the son of Milldean Panther and Galactic Rumball went up with the lids at box rise before working home well to finish a one length second to Agent Voilet in 23.56 seconds.

Paraphernalia does it the hard way

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Last Friday’s Klaassens Contractors Open Stake (512 m) looked the ideal race for Paraphernalia to stake his claim for outright 2018 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year honours over Oh No Beta.

Here he was, the $1.80 favourite drawn out wide in box eight in a six-dog field and having to finish only in the first three.

Paraphernalia . . . the 2018 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year.

Down the back straight, though – and even approaching the home turn – a GOTY dead-heat did look some chance as the Jeff Guy trained Paraphernalia struggled to get into the race.

But into the home straight the fawn dog shifted out, no match for the low-flying Usain Insane although able to consolidate second spot and finish with 63 points, two clear of Oh No Beta in the GOTY award.

Nicole Stanley went desperately close to winning her third successive GOTY after Old Jock and Fiorelli Rose, Oh No Beta leading the award on 36 occasions throughout the year but unable to hold off Paraphernalia’s final month finish.

Paraphernalia raced at Tara Raceway on 25 occasions during 2018 for 13 wins, 4 seconds and 3 thirds while Oh No Beta had 33 starts for 9 wins, 10 seconds and 5 thirds.

And following last Friday’s race, Guy announced that Paraphernalia, who overall has raced 138 times for 36 wins, 21 seconds and 13 thirds, will see out his racing career at Tara Raceway with Cape Bridgewater trainer Scott Blacksell.

Christmas comes early for Abbott

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

It all started at Tara Raceway last Friday, Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott confidently predicting – as only he can – a treble for his in-form kennel at the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s Christmas meeting.

Ultimately, he had to settle for a double – Spinning Jakit the one to miss out – although the wins of Black Spring in the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (600 metres) and Big Casey in the Produce Store Stake (512 m) couldn’t have been more impressive.

Black Spring was an impressive 600 metre winner at Tara Raceway last Friday.

By Spring Gun out of Lektra Scarlett, a Victorian city-winning stayer that won her last race back in September 2013 over 650 metres at Shepparton as a $44 chance, Black Spring quickly settled in third spot and was always going to be hard to beat.

Chasing his first middle-distance win at Tara Raceway, the odds-on Black Spring took up the running from Destini Montana off the back, eventually striding out to a 3¾ length win over Ethics in a quick 35.17 seconds.

Big Casey was lining up for his second run in the space of five days, the 38 kilogram (he once raced at 41 kilograms) black dog successful over 515 metres at Angle Park on the previous Monday night when giving Abbott his first win with the son of My Bro Fabio x Book Of Days.

And it was another win for the week for Big Casey after he found the front going out of the first turn on Friday before confidently running away with the grade five event, defeating Azumi Striker by 6¼ lengths in a smart time of 29.84 seconds.

Three nights later Abbott was at Angle Park with his Tara Raceway winning pair for the city club’s Christmas Eve meeting – Big Casey to tackle the Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer final (515 m) and Black Spring to make his debut over 731 metres in the Yuletide Mixed Stake.

Big Casey quickly put himself in the race from box two, settling in third spot before finishing strongly in the home straight to defeat Launching by 4¾ lengths in 30.12 seconds and bring up his third win in the space of a week for owners John Dihm and Craig Sheridan.

Big Casey, a winner of three races in the past week, pictured at Tara Raceway last Friday with Jack Casey (who did little to dispel the unfounded rumour that the dog was named after him), Cap Abbott and Kerry Hawker.

The win also completed a good night for the litter after Big Casey’s 33 kilogram sister Book Of Luck, trained at Ballalaba by Sheridan, won the Ladbrokes Christmas Cup final (630 m) at Nowra.

A couple of races later at Angle Park, Black Spring had no trouble in accounting for his three rivals over the stayers’ journey, winning by 6¼ lengths in 43.75 seconds – another double for Big Casey and Black Spring, following on from Friday’s effort.

Also, with one time-graded meeting still remaining this Sunday, 45 winners at Tara Raceway in 2018 for Abbott – his best year ever.

Black Spring’s win on Monday night was also the second leg of a double for the litter, Lektra Theory, now owned in SA and trained by Tony Rasmussen, winning a 515 metre grade six heat by 12¾ lengths in a best of night 29.72 seconds.

The Abbott-owned Black Spring, and his litter brother, Spinning Jakit, owned by Dihm, found their way to Edenhope back in early October after having been pre-trained in Melbourne.

“John (Dihm) came across the pair advertised as giveaways on the internet so we thought they might be worth a go,” Abbott said.

“Neither of them have a lot of early pace but they finish their races off well. With Black Spring already a winner of five races and Spinning Jakit having won two races at Tara Raceway we’re having a bit of fun with them.

“And Big Casey came from NSW in late November after winning at Goulburn and Bulli. He’s racing really well since relocating so maybe I can now get Craig to send down Book Of Luck.”

Hutch overcomes the odds

Monday, December 24, 2018

When Portland greyhound Hutch quickly found the front from box two in last Friday’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway he was always going to be hard to beat.

Rarely, it seems, do Robert Halliday-trained greyhounds get run down at the local track, the veteran conditioner once saying that “all his dogs gallop every other day even if they don’t need it”.

Hutch wins last Friday’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final at Tara Raceway.

The 2018 Christmas Cup final brought together a pretty fair line-up, Hutch eventually running out a 2½ length winner over Cryer’s Plugger with a further length back to Springvale Alysa in 29.86 seconds, a time bettered only by Who’s Doing What’s in 2014 – 29.77 seconds.

And for Halliday – fourth in last year’s Christmas Cup with Homer behind Hit The Runway – the win was the culmination of a frustrating past six months, the black son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie having raced only 10 times due to injury.

First there was a lengthy break due to a toe injury and then that disappointing night at Angle Park on October 12 when, as one of Mount Gambier’s representatives, he took virtually no part in the SA Country Cup (515 m) final due to an unrelated injury sustained early in the race.

Friday’s win was Hutch’s fourth in succession – three at Tara Raceway and one at Warrnambool – the dog having come a fair way since being picked up as a pup by Halliday from the late Peter Hubbard.

“It’s just a pity that Peter didn’t live to see the litter race. Hutch has now won 23 races, Bigtime Vanessa and Bigtime Michelle 29 between them in New Zealand, Cairnlea Ollie 12 and Cairnlea Kenny the leading stakemoney earner with 18 wins and $77,000.”

Halliday also said he was currently weighing up his options with Hutch.

Lance Hutchinson (left), Robert and Shirley Halliday and race sponsor Brian Williams with Christmas Cup winner Hutch.

“Realistically, he’s a day to day proposition but while he continues to race well I’m considering having a crack at Sandown Park with him and then look towards another Mount Gambier Cup in March.”

Like all the Summer Classic winners before and after him – Cryer’s Ricky 2015, Menzel Boys 2016 and Galactic Panther 2018 – Hutch reached the final of the 2017 Mount Gambier Cup when defeating Paraphernalia in a heat before finishing unplaced in the final behind Fabregal in race record time.

This year he failed to reach the final, running unplaced in a heat behind Print The Money, but defeated Henry in the Cup Consolation (512 m) in a best of day 29.56 seconds.

Hutch’s cup success last Friday brought up his tenth win at Tara Raceway this year and Halliday’s 40th at the track – placing him in fifth spot on the leading trainer list with one meeting remaining (a time-graded fixture this Sunday).

Christmas Cup success still eludes Margaret and Tom Cryer although Cryer’s Plugger – probably better suited over more ground – ran a big race to finish second while the John Little trained Springvale Alysa once again showed that she is more than capable of matching it with Tara Raceway’s higher-grade sprinters.

But Hutch’s win was a popular result for Tara Raceway regulars Halliday and his wife Shirley who readily admits that she prefers the social atmosphere at Mount Gambier over some of the other tracks that her husband has frequented in his long involvement in the sport.

And while Robert Halliday has won bigger races than that of last Friday, it was obvious that he was delighted with the win. Also, that Hutch had once again overcome the odds.

Allendale East trainer David Peckham had high hopes of winning his third Christmas Cup – Napoleon Wiz successful in 2011 and Bourne Again in 2013 – with his enigmatic chaser Usain Insane who contested a heat on the back of a blistering 22.95 seconds 400 metre win the previous week.

But the son of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze failed to make it through and subsequently lined up on Friday in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) which followed the Christmas Cup.

Usain Insane wins in personal best time at Tara Raceway last Friday.

The black dog quickly found the front after a brief tussle with Blue Blaze and from then on never looked like getting beaten, eventually winning by 5¾ lengths in a personal best time of 29.81 seconds.

The win was Usain Insane’s eighth for the year and once again highlighted how quickly things can turn around in a short space of time in greyhound racing.

Meanwhile, leading local trainer Tracie Price was at The Meadows the following night with Who’s Doing What’s best son, Smart Knocka, for a heat of the Feikuai Greyhounds Silver Chief (525 m).

Contesting the third of eight heats from box six, Smart Knocka found the front approaching the first turn and led the way until the home turn where Rio Brave and Aston Kimetto issued strong challenges,

On the line, Rio Brave, trained at Lara by Dave Geall, had a half length to spare over Aston Kimetto in a time of 30.14 seconds while Smart Knocka battled on gamely for a two length third. Fastest of the heat winners was Deliver (Fernando Bale x Veetee Saharrah) who ran a quick 29.69 seconds.

It all comes down to the last meeting

Thursday, December 20, 2018

So, after 12 months of racing and a record number of race meetings at Tara Raceway in 2018, the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year has come down to tomorrow’s last Category 3 meeting of the year – Oh No Beta and Paraphernalia sharing the lead on 61 points.

Jeff Guy and Paraphernalia.

Paraphernalia’s trainer, Jeff Guy, actually threw Nicole Stanley (Oh No Beta’s trainer) a lifeline last week when a nomination faux pas resulted in his dog missing out on a run while Oh No Beta contested a heat of the Santa Sprint (400 metres).

As it turned out, Oh No Beta failed to run a place and is a reserve in the final, the pair now still on level points coming into tomorrow’s Christmas meeting at Tara Raceway.

And Guy may well have got lucky, a six-dog Klaassens Contractors Open Stake (512 m) being programmed and Paraphernalia drawing box eight – a first-three finish ensuring GOTY points.

On the other hand, Stanley will be relying on Oh No Beta gaining a start as a reserve in the Santa Sprint final as there is no other race for him.

Assuming there are no scratchings in the Santa Sprint, the GOTY result will be known after race nine and will be a dead-heat if Paraphernalia fails to run a place.

Both greyhounds have enjoyed an outstanding year at Tara Raceway, Paraphernalia winning 13 races over 400 metres, 512 metres and 600 metres while Oh No Beta’s nine wins have been over 400 metres.

Setting sights on the Summer Classic

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Tara Raceway track watchers will tell you that there are plenty of promising youngsters being put through their paces at the moment at Tuesday and Saturday morning trial sessions.

This augurs well for the forthcoming Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden (512 m), heats of which will be run on Sunday, January 13 at Tara Raceway and the final a week later.

Algi Lapinskas pictured with Samprass after his impressive Tara Raceway win last Sunday.

And also for the Summer Classic, an age-restricted non penalty event run in February over 512 metres for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2017. First run in 2015, the classic has been won by Cryer’s Ricky, Menzel Boys, Hutch and Galactic Panther.

One early classic contender could be Samprass, an impressive virtual all the way winner of last Sunday’s Laser Electrical Stake (512 m) by 6½ lengths in a solid 30.05 seconds for Murray Bridge owner Anthony Lapinskas and trainer Don Turner of Lewiston.

Whelped in March 2017, Samprass is by little-known sire Shoulders – a son of Cosmic Rumble and Bit Stressed, and a winner of 15 races and $90,000 in stakemoney – out of seven-race Adelaide winner Pinkachu.

Accompanying Turner down to Mount Gambier last weekend was Lapinskas’s father, Algi, who has known the trainer for more than 40 years and who actually purchased the straw to Shoulders.

“My brother-in-law, Adrian Chevalier, bred and reared the litter, Anthony receiving a dog pup – later to race as Samprass – in return for the straw,” Algi Lapinskas said.

Samprass has now raced on 14 occasions for five wins and four minor placings, Turner saying later that he would be giving the Summer Classic serious consideration.

Smart Knocka to tackle Silver Chief

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Compton-based Smart Knocka, a winner of almost $25,000 in stakemoney, faces a tough task after drawing box six in heat three of Saturday night’s Feikuai Greyhounds Silver Chief classic (525 m) at The Meadows.

Trained by Tracie Price, Smart Knocka has raced on 13 occasions for seven wins and two minor placings, his last win being in early November at Tara Raceway where he defeated Springvale Alysa over 512 metres in a quick 29.72 seconds.

The son of Knocka Norris and Who’s Doing What will clash with Got Some Wheels, a recent stunning 26.88 seconds winner over 485 metres at Horsham, along with Aston Kimetto, recent winner of the Ballarat Cup and Geelong Cup.

The Price-trained Cee Me Snoop will jump from box three in heat eight of the Silver Chief.