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

THURSDAY, JULY 18 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JULY 21: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, July 16 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. PLEASE NOTE: There will be NO TRIALS on Tuesday, August 20. PATHWAY RACING: All eligible greyhounds will be considered for some Pathway races at Sunday meetings. Trainers must advise NO PATHWAY if they do not wish to be considered. See GRSA website for Pathway conditions. SA-BRED PUPS FOR SALE AT REDUCED PRICES: See For Sale/Wanted.


Local breeder pinning hopes on little-known sire

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Kongorong breeder John Little reports that his seven-race winner Bungaloo Sunset last week whelped a litter of four dogs and five bitches to the little-known sire Pure Titanium.

John Little with Bungaloo Sunset after her final win at Tara Raceway on May 20, 2016.

By Shiraz Point out of Special Times, the black dog raced on only 15 occasions for six wins and seven seconds – wins over 425 metres at Bendigo in 23.65 seconds and over 515 metres at Sandown Park in 29.38 seconds highlighting just how quick he was.

So far Pure Titanium has only one litter racing – out of five-race winner Cool Springs – seven of the litter having won races including Midnight Titan, successful in eight races, including three over 600 metres at The Meadows.

Bungaloo Sunset is by Fear Zafonic out of Sun’s Up – a well-bred daughter of Droopys Marco x Shannah Widd and a litter sister to Shannah’s Star.

The locally-based Shannah’s Star was also mated with Fear Zafonic, producing the Tracie Price-trained pair Fear The Rascal and Shannah’s Might who won 23 races and 19 races respectively.

Bungaloo Sunset won all her races at Tara Raceway, her last win being in May 2016 when she defeated Cryer’s Fred over 512 metres.

Plugger a deserving Iron Dog winner

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The final 512 metre round of the three-distance Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog at Tara Raceway last Sunday was always going to be interest-packed – Black Spring, Cryer’s Plugger and Dyna Quota sharing the lead with 11 points each after previously performing well over 600 metres and 732 metres.

Tom and Margaret Cryer talk Iron Dog tactics in the kennel house at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

But with two heats to be decided, Cryer’s Bob straight away threw a spanner in the works as far as Black Spring was concerned when leading all the way in the first heat to defeat Kolora Posie by 2¼ lengths in a quick 29.74 seconds.

After the first heat, Cryer’s Bob then found himself in front on the leader board with 15 points from Noosa Parade and Black Spring, both on 14 after running third and fourth respectively.

So, in the end it virtually came down to the clash in the second heat of the well-fancied pair, Cryer’s Plugger and Dyna Quota, either greyhound able to clinch the Iron Dog title with a win.

And it was Cryer’s Plugger, tackling the Iron Dog for a third consecutive year, that led all the way over Dyna Quota for a 3¼ length win in the same time as his litter brother in the previous heat.

Cryer’s Plugger clinches the Iron Dog title at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Previously, the three-distance series had been run as two heats with the leading point scorers then contesting a final – Cryer’s Plugger reaching the final on both occasions before finishing unplaced behind back-to-back Iron Dog Paraphernalia.

This year’s Iron Dog worked out well for 86-year-old Apsley trainer Tom Cryer and his wife Margaret, Cryer’s Bob and Cryer’s Plugger both winning heats over 600 metres and 512 metres.

Sunday’s win saw Cryer’s Plugger, a son of Spring Gun, regain the lead in the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, an award that was also won by his dam Cryer’s Midget in 2011 and full brother Cryer’s Fred, arguably her best offspring, in 2015.

Peter Bryce (Winning Post Supplies), and Margaret and Tom Cryer with Cryer’s Plugger.

This year was the first time a 732 metre leg had been included in the Iron Dog. It was also the first time that three rounds – over 600 metres, 732 metres and 512 metres – had been run, the leading point scorer being the winner.

Some favoured the format, others didn’t. But for all that, no one questioned the winner – Cryer’s Plugger an iron dog in the true sense of the word.

Whelped in January 2015, the brindle dog is one of relatively few greyhounds to have won over the four recognised distances at Tara Raceway. He has now raced on 97 occasions for 27 wins, 24 seconds and 14 thirds.

And Cryer’s Plugger, in a career that spans more than 2½ years, has come a fair way since that Friday afternoon in October 2016 when on debut he ran an 11¼ length fifth to Brinza before a couple of months later winning his maiden, over 400 metres, in 23.94 seconds.

The Sun shines for Mick

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

For Mick Bowerman, from the western Victorian town of Raglan, it was a case of third time lucky when he returned to Tara Raceway last Sunday with Kentucky Sun.

Bowerman had twice previously made the trip to Mount Gambier with the black dog but on both occasions had had to be content with second placings.

Mick Bowerman of Raglan trained his first Tara Raceway winner when Kentucky Sun scored an impressive win last Sunday.

Kentucky Sun, a Bendigo 425 metre winner last month in a more than handy 24.10 seconds, looked well placed in the Produce Store Stake (400 m).

But after only a fair start from box four, he found himself in traffic down the back straight as Another Scenario opened up a handy break, Kentucky Sun, however, finding plenty in the home straight when running down Pure Profit and the early leader.

For Bowerman, involved in the sport since 1971 when based in Hobart, Kentucky Sun’s win last Sunday was his first at Tara Raceway and his tenth in a career spanning 65 starts.

By Lochinvar Marlow out of Ticket To Mars, the SA-bred Kentucky Sun was purchased as a four-month-old pup by Bowerman who reared and later broke the dog in prior to him winning at his third start at Ballarat in December 2016.

“I purchased him because I liked the match-up of the Irish and Australian bloodlines. I was hoping the natural chase tendency would come out in him and as he showed today he just keeps coming in his races,” Bowerman said.

“I also reckon he races better on the Victorian tracks after he’s had a run here at Tara Raceway behind the finish-on-lure so we’ll see how that goes when he runs at Ballarat tomorrow night.”

An eye for a winner

Monday, June 17, 2019

With nine winners at Tara Raceway this year, Mumbannar couple Jen and Monty Wilson had done pretty well with their team of giveaway greyhounds.

Their tenth winner came up at last Thursday’s time-graded meeting – knocked around by late scratchings due to transport issues – Cougar Icon at her first start at the track leading all the way from box one to defeat a fast-finishing Akuma Fireball in the Stake (400 metres) in 23.52 seconds.

Jen and Monty Wilson with Cougar Icon.

The only difference with this winner was that Jen Wilson had actually done a bit of homework on the dog and purchased her – something the pair had never done previously – after she had been advertised for sale on Greyhound-Data.

“This one really took my fancy when I saw her advertised,” a beaming Wilson said after the win. “I came across the advertisement on-line one night last month, slept on it, and when I was still keen the next morning decided to contact the seller in Geelong.

“She turned two in January so she was a good age, I liked her sire Kinloch Brae, and I liked the fact that her dam, Luzaka Icon, had won 10 races, many of them over 720 metres at Wentworth Park. Besides, she was within my price range.”

Monty Wilson, who is Cougar Icon’s fourth trainer, said the brindle bitch – a winner at Geelong and Ballarat prior to the sale – was a great kennel dog and a pleasure to have around the place.

As it turned out, it was a good day for the litter, WA-based First Rule some hours later bringing up her fourth win at Mandurah.

Flash Jackie scores an impressive win over 600 metres at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

Meanwhile, back at Tara Raceway, Flash Jackie, outsider of the 600 metre Gordon Refrigeration Stake field, proved much too good for her three rivals with a four length win in 35.65 seconds for Ross Schurgott and the Nineofus Syndicate.

Trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, the 31 kilogram Flash Jackie is a daughter of Dyna Double One and Striking Viking, a maiden winner at Angle Park prior to winning 14 races at Tara Raceway for the same connections.

Thursday’s win was the first middle-distance winner Striking Viking has produced, the well-bred daughter of Superman and Irish Fantasy herself the inaugural 600 metre record holder at Tara Raceway with a run of 35.38 seconds recorded on November 30, 2014.

Shane Flink and trainer Tony Harding with Billy Deeds.

And at Tara Raceway on Sunday, Hamilton trainer Tony Harding received a reception matching that of Cryer’s Plugger’s win later in the day in the Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog when Billy Deeds was successful in the Swallow Drive Meats Mixed Stake (400 m).

Having his first start for Harding, Billy Deeds took over the running off the back from Peek’s Gold before hitting the finish line with 1¾ lengths to spare in 23.31 seconds.

A chance phone call a couple of weeks ago from Koroit trainer Garry Anders – looking to make room for one of his pre-trainers – resulted in Harding taking over as owner-trainer of the son of Oaks Road x Mepunga Lana.

“Garry reckoned I should have a bit of fun with him and it’s certainly started out that way,” a delighted Harding said of his $7.50 winner.

Members vote in favour of kennel house funding

Monday, June 17, 2019

Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. members have voted overwhelming in favour of partial funding for refurbishment of the Tara Raceway kennel house.

This follows a recent Greyhound Racing SA mail out to members proposing “that the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. contribute $75,000 towards the proposed upgrade of the kennel house facilities at Tara Raceway”.

MGGRC president John Woodland said the GRSA proposal had come about as a result of a portion of club land that had been sold some years ago.

“At the time a commitment was made to club members that the committee of the day would consult with them if ever they wished to direct the funds from the sale of the land towards a specific project.”

Following the close of voting last Wednesday, the total number of responses received had been 47 with 42 in favour of the funding support.

GRSA Strategic Projects Manager, Scott Wuchatsch, said the complete kennel house refurbishment, expected to cost more than $250,000, should be completed in August or September this year although this was still subject to GRSA Board approval.

“The project will involve removing the existing concrete/brick kennels as well as adding internal cladding to the entire building and applying an epoxy floor coating,” he said.

“There will also be revised kennel house configuration to incorporate a stewards’ room plus stainless steel kennels and the replacement of some old cooling units.”

Wuchatsch said the refurbishment would bring the kennel house building into line with the existing modern facilities at the Angle Park, Gawler and Murray Bridge tracks.

“We are applying a long term focus to the quality of finishes on the refurbishment. This hopefully will limit future expenditure on the building.

“And hopefully the focus on quality will be apparent to local participants upon completion of the project.”

One of the key elements of the refurbishment will be the requirement to continue to race throughout the period of the works.

“We are confident that the planning for a temporary kennel building will be more than adequate for the six-week construction period,” Wuchatsch said.

Steve Bartholomew (top) with Galactic Destiny and kennel steward John Woodland and David Peckham with Iron Dog contender Kolora Posie pictured yesterday by Bronny Nicholson in the soon to be demolished kennels at Tara Raceway.

Noosa Parade boosts Iron Dog prospects

Thursday, June 13, 2019

With a 600 metre third placing (and four points) in the first round of the Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog, Ecklin South greyhound Noosa Parade, in order to stay in contention, was always going to have to find plenty in last Sunday’s 732 metre second round at Tara Raceway.

And the 4½-year-old 108 start veteran certainly kept the hopes alive for the Warrnambool-based Geoff Lewis managed Noosa Syndicate and his 25-year-old trainer Peter Fulton when running down the odds-on favourite Cryer’s Plugger in the second heat.

Peter Fulton pictured with Noosa Parade after his Iron Dog heat win over 732 metres last Sunday.

Having only his second start over the staying journey, Noosa Parade gave the front-running favourite a fair start early but down the back started to get busy before finishing the stronger in the run home for a two length win in 43.76 seconds.

The son of Collision and Miss Black Fern has been based at Ecklin South for his entire racing career, Fulton describing the black dog as a real trier.

“He’s been a terrific dog for us although to be honest he would probably now be better placed to see out his racing career in an area such as Mount Gambier. In the meantime, though, we’ll continue to race him but we’re open to all offers.”

Noosa Parade’s win last week took him to 10 points and with two 512 metre heats on Sunday to wrap up the three-distance series he’s right in the mix, now only one point behind the joint leaders Dyna Quota, Black Spring and Cryer’s Plugger.

The Nicole Stanley trained Dyna Quota, winner of this year’s SA Distance Championship (731 m) at Angle Park, was the stand-out stayer of the Iron Dog and she needed a win in the second round in order to be about the place prior to the running of her 512 metre heat on Sunday.

Handler Nifty Lenehan with the Nicole Stanley trained Dyna Quota after her near-record run over 732 metres in last Sunday’s first heat of the Iron Dog.

The clash of Dyna Quota and Cap Abbott’s Black Spring, in what was the first 732 metre race run at Tara Raceway since the end of July last year, didn’t disappoint.

In the end, the daughter of Dyna Double One x Jayney Bale had 1¼ lengths to spare over Black Spring in 43.50 seconds – the second-fastest ever run at the track and only three-quarters of length outside Nellie Noodles’ eight-year-old track record.

And Abbott can lay claim to having the third-fastest greyhound to have gone around over the distance at Tara Raceway with Black Spring running 43.59 seconds.

Dyna Quota is raced by Glen Burns, Scott Brandon and Danny Fraser of the Cheap Buy Syndicate – well-named in view of the fact that they picked up the black bitch for $1000 last November.

The return of distance racing at Tara Raceway certainly added to last week’s meeting. Let’s hope we won’t have to wait another 11 months before seeing the stayers go around again on a Sunday afternoon.

Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog points after round 2: 11 Black Spring, Cryer’s Plugger, Dyna Quota; 10 Noosa Parade; 9 Cryer’s Bob, Spinning Jakit; 7 Kolora Posie; 6 Miss Jacky, Ruby’s Willow; 4 Good Yarn.

Pathway Racing to return to Tara Raceway

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Pathway Racing, introduced three years ago to allow all levels of greyhounds with recent racing form which falls outside an identified time standard the opportunity to compete, is set to return to Tara Raceway next month.

Greyhound Racing SA Racing Manager, Shaun Mathieson, said this week that all eligible greyhounds would be considered for some Pathway races that would be programmed, if required, to top up Sunday meetings.

“However, trainers with eligible Pathway greyhounds will have to advise ‘no Pathway’ on the nomination form if they don’t wish to be considered for the non-penalty events which carry the same prizemoney as time-graded races,” he said.

“As such, trainers should be diligent when nominating for meetings where Pathway races have been advertised.”

Trainers should be aware that Pathway Racing is for maiden (penalty applies), grade 6 and grade 5 greyhounds that must have started in SA on at least four occasions to be eligible.

And greyhounds must not have run faster than the designated time standard, in the case of Tara Raceway – 400 m 23.69 sec., 512 m 30.64 sec., 600 m 35.99 sec. – at their past four starts.

Mathieson said that Pathway Racing aimed to ensure maximum participation.

“As a result, the grader will endeavour to include all trainers entering at least one greyhound prior to including multiple greyhounds from the same trainer.”

Trainers should also be aware that where grade 6 greyhounds compete in grade 5 Pathway events, and are successful, they will become a grade 5 at the track and ineligible for grade 6 events at the track.

Six winners for Portland training team

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

By the time the Portland team of Nicole Stanley and Nifty Lenehan had finished with Sunday afternoon’s race meeting there hadn’t been much left for the remainder of the training ranks at Tara Raceway.

The 10-race program, cut back to nine after race seven was declared a no-race, saw the pair dominate Mount Gambier’s main greyhound meeting of the week with Stanley training five winners.

And Lenehan added to the tally with his striking-looking fawn dog Polar Missile impressing with a 29.96 seconds win in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 metres).

Wanchai Express wins his third race in succession at Tara Raceway for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley.

Back at the track but on light duties after a recent hip operation, Stanley was successful with Bad Driver, Dyna Quota, Wanchai Express, Bereluke and Zambora Club.

This was her second bag of five winners after Evening In Paris, Travel Ticket, Stylish Pursuit, Fiorelli Rose and Old Jock had been successful at Tara Raceway’s 2017 season opener.

Bad Driver, a son of SH Avatar, the highest stakemoney winner in US history, and the well-bred Zipping Rose, led all the way in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) to defeat Flash Jackie by 3¾ lengths in a more than handy 23.14 seconds.

Advertised on Facebook, Bad Driver, who found his way down to Portland for the cost of the freight from NSW, has now raced on four occasions for wins at Warrnambool and Mount Gambier with Stanley also winning locally with litter brother Night Owl.

“Apparently he wasn’t chasing but I’d previously had the same problem with Night Owl who, once the penny dropped, had won his 512 metre maiden at Tara Raceway in 30.16 seconds,” Stanley said.

“Bad Driver turned out to be much the same, also taking a while to catch on to the caper before his Warrnambool win and then his impressive effort at last Sunday’s meeting.”

The litter also includes the NSW-based King Cratos, a winner of eight races from 16 starts for stakemoney close to $39,000. Last month the black dog ran third in the final of the Group 2 Queensland Derby behind the SA-owned Sennachie.

Dyna Quota staged a big effort to win the first heat of the Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog (732 m), first chasing Cryer’s Bob and then finishing over the top of Black Spring for a 1¼ length win in 43.50 seconds – both greyhounds running times bettered only by Nellie Noodles, the track record holder at 43.45 seconds.

The Stanley and Lenehan training team’s six winners pictured at Tara Raceway last Sunday. Bereluke and Bad Driver (Richard Clayfield), Polar Missile and Dyna Quota (Nifty Lenehan), Zambora Club (Nicole Stanley) and Wanchai Express (Mo Canala).

And Wanchai Express continued his recent outstanding form at Tara Raceway when bringing up his third successive win in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Open Stake (512 m).

A 2019 Mount Gambier Cup finalist and with a 29.46 seconds personal best at the track, Wanchai Express chased Hutch until off the back where he railed through to take the lead, eventually going on to record a three length win over Dyna Naitch in a best of day 29.74 seconds.

Owned in Adelaide by Les Stewart, the son of Bit Chili and Aunty Chopper will be set for next month’s Anniversary Cup, Stanley looking for her third consecutive cup after wins with Fiorelli Rose and Ben Nevis.

Bereluke, an unplaced finalist in last year’s Anniversary Cup, won her first race at Tara Raceway since last August when leading all the way in the JB Irrigation Stake (512 m) in what was a dominant display, the black bitch too good for Pure Profit in 30.00 seconds.

Zambora Club defeats Renmore in the final race at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Stanley and Lenehan wrapped up their big day with a win in the final race, The Border Watch Mixed Stake (400 m), Zambora Club, after an ordinary start from box five, barging through the pack to take the lead off the back and hold out Renmore by 1¼ lengths in a best of day 23.07 seconds.

Owned in NSW by Charlie Azzopardi, the boisterous son of Banjo Boy x Bella Mel found his way to Portland via Adelaide, coincidentally winning his fourth race at Tara Raceway on the same day that his litter sister My Girl Court opened her winning account in the Fairthorne Forestry Maiden Stake (400 m).

Raced by Damien Smith, My Girl Court, a strong winner over Buckeye in 23.55 seconds, is trained at Glenroy by Richard Clayfield who joined Peter Fulton and David Peckham as the only other winning trainers on the day.

Purchased as a pup by NSW owner John Clout, My Girl Court broke in with a good report but in the end it was bad box manners that prompted him to advertise the white and black bitch as a give away.

Fireball lights up Tara Raceway

Saturday, June 8, 2019

To be fair, Portland greyhound Akuma Fireball had been really struggling to find his mojo, as borne out by his first four starts all being unplaced at Warrnambool – his last run there on May 30 seeing him go around at the remarkable odds of $107.80.

Ben Boers with maiden winner Akuma Fireball.

It was then that trainer Lizzie Boers, whose last winner had been back in February with Kantilla, opted to try Akuma Fireball at last Thursday’s Tara Raceway time-graded meeting.

This proved to be a winning move with the black dog leading all the way from box seven in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 metres) and not looking too bad when defeating Dappled Light by 2½ lengths in 23.62 seconds.

Ben Boers, standing in for his wife, said Akuma Fireball had improved considerably since being taken over as a giveaway several months ago.

“He certainly didn’t have much luck at his four Warrnambool starts but I reckon he’s found 20 lengths since he first started trialling for us,” he said.

Akuma Fireball is by the Group 1-winning stayer Destini Fireball – a winner of 25 races and $630,000 in stakemoney – out of Lektra Angie who won her maiden over 512 metres at Tara Raceway back in November 2012 in a time of 29.93 seconds.

Lektra Angie, who went on to win middle-distance races at The Meadows and Sandown Park, is also the dam (from a mating to Walk Hard) of Lektra Stomp, former Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder, and has a 15-month-old litter by Barcia Bale to follow.

The origin of the Destini Fireball x Lektra Angie litter goes back to the Mount Gambier Cup carnival of 2016 when the pint-sized Lektra Kelly won the Fireball 600 feature for Toolong breeder-owner-trainer Phil Lenehan.

Part of the prize was a service to Destini Fireball, Lenehan later opting to use Lektra Angie for the mating, no doubt hoping to come up with something to emulate her dam, Elektra, a terrific stayer that won 29 races and $255,000 in stakemoney.

Noel and Heather Perry pictured with Big Rough after he broke a long run of outs.

Meanwhile, Akuma Fireball will be back at Tara Raceway on Thursday afternoon, stepping up in grade but still looking a strong chance from box seven again in the Stake (400 m).

Statistics suggested that Big Rough’s box eight draw in last Thursday’s Produce Store Stake (512 m) would probably have been enough to once again bring about his undoing.

After all, the rising 4½-year-old 113-start veteran had previously raced from the outside draw on 20 occasions without ever winning.

Maybe the G-SIX format (six-dog racing) has helped him but he certainly had no trouble crossing the field and leading all the way, eventually running out a 1¾ length winner over Pinecutter Pete in 30.47 seconds.

By Lochinvar Marlow out of city-winning stayer Bogie Dawn, Big Rough was purchased by local couple Noel and Heather Perry as pup from Nhill breeder Andrea Gurry.

“At the time of the purchase we weren’t really geared for rearing or training greyhounds so Brian Weis of Portland did the rearing for us and later did a great job to win 10 races with him at Tara Raceway,” Noel Perry said.

And it’s been a handy litter with Heading My Way, Kalani Willow and Thumb A Ride also winning their share of races.

Last Thursday’s win had been Big Rough’s first since October last year after which Perry brought the black dog back to Mount Gambier where he now utilises the training facilities at Tara Raceway.

“I’m fortunate to live close-by to the track and as such I’m able to give him plenty of free-galloping on the slipping track,” he said.

Kevin Ashton and Jan Neal with 600 metre winner It’s Magic.

Still on the time-graded meeting and the win of It’s Magic over Ryben Bill in 35.90 seconds in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (600 m) gave Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton his first middle-distance win at Tara Raceway since Harry Aztec won the inaugural Eric Lewis Memorial almost four years ago.

Later in the day, $13 outsider Ollie Aztec, a half-brother to Harry Aztec, brought up his first win this year for Ashton when holding out the well-supported Quick Sensation to win the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) by a neck in 24.18 seconds.

The double was Ashton’s first since the final meeting of 2018 when on December 30 Cement Socks and Bank Rogue won the final two races of the year.

Callanish Sprite made amends for an unlucky second a fortnight ago behind Mount Duke when leading all the way from box one in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) to defeat Cee Bay by 1½ lengths in a best of day 29.97 seconds.

By Magic Sprite, Callanish Sprite is a daughter of Infinite Wish, a city-winning stayer in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, and a granddaughter of Jen Jeannie, a winner in the UK and Australia.

The black bitch is trained at Murtoa by Heather Baxter who believes her dog is benefiting from racing behind the finish-on-lure at Tara Raceway.

Bourne Birdie opts for the grass track while eventual winner Callanish Sprite (No. 1) leads the way on the rails.

Meanwhile, box eight runner Bourne Birdie was in a world of her own as she frolicked along the grass on the outside edge of the track.

She eventually completed the course, trainer David Peckham later reporting that an independent veterinary check had revealed an injury.

Third time lucky for ‘iron dog’?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

With 95 starts to his name for 26 wins and 37 minor placings, the 4½-year-old greyhound Cryer’s Plugger has developed into something of an iron dog in his own right following a career that now spans more than 2½ years.

And Tom Cryer, his 86-year-old trainer from Apsley – the first town to welcome you when driving along the Wimmera Highway and crossing the SA border into Victoria – will be hoping for a case of third time lucky as far as this year’s Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog series is concerned.

Two years ago, when the Iron Dog was run as two rounds over 600 metres and 400 metres with a 512 metre final for the top eight point scorers, Cryer’s Plugger defeated Hay Miss in the first round and ran second to Azumi Swift over the short course before finishing fifth in the final to Paraphernalia.

Black Spring defeats Kolora Posie in the second heat of the Iron Dog (600 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Then last year he defeated Blitz And Bolt in both the 600 metre and 400 metre rounds before once again running fifth in the 512 metre final behind Paraphernalia – the only dog to have won back-to-back Iron Dogs.

Cryer’s Plugger will go into Sunday’s 732 metre second round with maximum points of six after leading all the way in last week’s 600 metre heat to defeat Dyna Quota by 2¾ lengths in 35.25 seconds.

Bred by Cryer’s wife Margaret, the brindle dog is the result of a repeat mating by Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget – the first litter including Cryer’s Fred, Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Jack and proving to be highly successful.

Cryer’s Plugger has drawn box eight in the second of two distance heats and is likely to advance to next week’s third round over 512 metres with the maximum 12 points as he is the only greyhound in his 732 metre heat that has won over the stayers’ journey at Tara Raceway.

Cryer, who has been training greyhounds for 45 years, said he was now past the stage of walking his dogs and these days opted to free-gallop them on his property.

And Tom and Margaret Cryer must be doing something right because Cryer’s Bob, a litter brother to Cryer’s Plugger, also has maximum Iron Dog points after leading all the way in last Sunday’s third heat to defeat Spinning Jakit by 4½ lengths in 35.41 seconds.

Tom and Margaret Cryer and Kerry Hawker with Cryer’s Bob.

Sunday’s first 732 metre heat should be an interesting race with Cryer’s Bob having won three staying races from five starts at Tara Raceway while Dyna Quota earlier this year won the SA Distance Championship (731 m) at Angle Park for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley.

Adding even more interest to the race will be Black Spring – also a 731 metre winner at Angle Park –who came from a long way back last week in the second heat to defeat Kolora Posie by 1¼ lengths in 35.54 seconds.

By Spring Gun out of Victorian city-winning stayer Lektra Scarlett, Black Spring is a litter brother to Spinning Jakit, the pair giving Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott a strong hand in the Iron Dog series.

Black Spring’s win was the third leg of a treble for Abbott, Bab’s Jakit and Bronte Jakit winning earlier in the day and continuing the long-time trainer’s successful year at Tara Raceway where he is currently sitting in second spot behind David Peckham in the Ian Badger Leading Trainer Award.

The treble was the second this year for Abbott who on May 9 trained three consecutive winners in the form of Bowled Harro, Giveaway Fury and Bronte Jakit.

Also running in the first heat on Sunday is the Amanda Darmanin trained Miss Jacky, a winner of four races at Geelong and Mount Gambier.

By Pure Octane out of Miss Jacovella, Miss Jacky is a granddaughter of Mantra Miss who ran a 732 metre track record of 44.20 seconds at Tara Raceway in March 2010 for Bushfield trainer Gary Lane.

Stanley, who still remembers her first 732 metre win at Tara Raceway with Our Torri in the 2002 W. A. Fary & Son Distance Championship in a time of 45.60 seconds, won the 2016 Iron Dog with Old Jock.

And Abbott picked up the 2014 Iron Dog with his more than capable bitch Manila Express.

Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog points after the first round (600 m): 6 Black Spring, Cryer’s Bob, Cryer’s Plugger; 5 Dyna Quota, Kolora Posie, Spinning Jakit; 4 Noosa Parade; 3 Fire Eyes, Ruby’s Willow; 2 Good Yarn, Miss Jacky.