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

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, August 26 with GRSA. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, August 27 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. 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. WORK COMMENCES ON KENNELHOUSE UPGRADE: See “Gallery”.


News

G-SIX format modified as eight-dog racing returns to Tara Raceway

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

With nominations for tomorrow’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway closing at 9 a.m. on Monday, a Greyhound Racing SA media release issued later that morning would have caught many trainers unawares.

The release coincided with the conclusion of a three-month trial of six-dog fields conducted at Angle Park, Gawler and Mount Gambier under the banner of G-SIX racing.

With the G-SIX model requiring additional racing to make it a viable exercise, the trial of reduced fields resulted in the scheduling of an additional weekly race meeting at Mount Gambier on Thursday afternoons.

However, GRSA has now modified the format by combining G-SIX and eight-dog fields at selected meetings with a view to maximising the balance and flow of nominations across the weekly Sky Racing schedule.

GRSA is now applying a hybrid approach to its race meeting programming with Tara Raceway Thursday meetings (as from tomorrow) running its four Quadrella legs as eight-dog races while the remainder of the meeting will be run as G-SIX.

As a result of the change, eight additional racing opportunities will be created for the weekly Thursday meetings at Tara Raceway.

Angle Park and Gawler will also adopt the same changes although Tara Raceway Sunday afternoon meetings will continue to be run under the G-SIX format.


New kennels arrive

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The first consignment of kennels for the upgrading of existing Tara Raceway kennel house facilities arrived at the Lake Terrace East venue on Tuesday.

Speaking at the track this week, kennel house project supervisor Tim Manterfield said the kennels were similar to those now used at Angle Park, Gawler and Murray Bridge and would replace the current brick and concrete fixtures.

Tim Manterfield checks out the stainless steel kennels which arrived at Tara Raceway on Tuesday.

“These are modern kennels which will be free-standing and are constructed of stainless steel,” he said.

Manterfield also said that the kennel house currently had a number of other inherent limitations.

“There is no stewards’ area, insufficient space in the swabbing room and compromised logistics in and around the kennel house.”

Greyhound Racing SA is also conscious of protecting against the potential financial impact upon participants arising from the interruption to racing during the period of the works.

“The last race meeting to be conducted using the kennel house in its current state will be on Sunday, August 18,” Manterfield said.

“Temporary kennelling facilities will be hired for approximately a six-week period and located at the back of the existing kennel house.”

Expected to cost more than $250,000, the project will also involve adding internal cladding to the entire building and applying an epoxy floor coating.


Tara Trackstar No. 2

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

After one month’s racing, the following are the leading point scorers for the Tara Trackstar No. 2, a one-off race to be run over 512 metres in early January for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between July 1 and December 31.

This will follow the running of the Tara Trackstar No. 1 in early July for the best performed greyhounds between January 1 and June 30 which was won by the David Peckham trained Flash Jackie.

Progressive points – 12: Bourne Thanks, Dyna Naitch, Faboom, Lektra Brandy. 11: Azalea Monelli. 10: Bob Square Pants, Tiger Seventeern, Twisted Missile. 9: Verev. 8: Amanda Lee, Buckeye, Cassius Monelli, Missing Millions, Nangkita Keats, Red Hat Ruby, Spinning Jakit, Vanzant.


Stanley picks up her quota

Monday, July 29, 2019

A win at Warrnambool last Thursday night by Dyna Quota in the Special Event over 650 metres and earlier an impressive 390 metre debut from Burst The Seam was just the start of a big few days for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley.

Ben Hughes pictured with Bit Berger at Tara Raceway in 2014.

Dyna Quota put in a huge effort to run down Thomeli Monster and Aston It Is in a time of 37.57 seconds, the win continuing the terrific run owners Glen Burns, Scott Brandon and Danny Fraser have enjoyed with the daughter of Dyna Double One and Jayney Bale.

The trio purchased her last November for $1000 after she was suspended for an indiscretion at Cranbourne, transferred her to Stanley and have since seen her win a further nine races at Angle Park, Warrnambool and Mount Gambier for stakemoney in excess of $35,000.

The Lang Lang-based Burns also owns Burst The Seam, the black dog leading all the way at Warrnambool when clocking a smart 22.14 seconds.

And it was only by chance that nine months earlier Burns had come across an advertisement for cheap pups for sale by Barcia Bale x Bit Berger, the litter having been bred by Todd Chatwin of Johnsonville in Victoria.

“With Bit Berger having won 21 races and half the rearing already done I thought I did pretty well to pick up two pups – later to race as Burst The Seam and Causing Drama – from the litter for $3500 each,” Burns said.

“But I have to say they were something of a handful. They barked, dug holes and generally annoyed everyone. In the end, though, they broke-in above average and Nicole had been keen to have a go with them.”

Nangkita Keats brings up Nicole Stanley’s fourth winner for the day when defeating Speedy Scar at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Burns first became involved in greyhound racing seven years ago, gradually increasing his involvement to the extent that he now owns and/or trains something like 30 greyhounds.

Tara Raceway regulars may remember Bit Berger, who prior to winning city races in Victoria, won three races at the local track in late 2013 and early 2014 for the wheelchair-bound trainer Ben Hughes, based at the time in Naracoorte.

And for the second time this year, Stanley finished with four winners for the day when Zambora Club, Wrackmere, Verev and Nangkita Keats were successful at Tara Raceway’s meeting on Sunday.


Family fun day for the Jenners

Saturday, July 27, 2019

When Landsborough couple Nathan and Kerry Jenner bundled up their three kids and three greyhounds for the 300 kilometre trip over to Mount Gambier for last week’s Sunday meeting at Tara Raceway they would have been hoping for better luck than that experienced earlier this year with Tee Tee at the local track.

All told, Tee Tee raced at Tara Raceway on seven occasions for Nathan Jenner, running five placings from seven starts but still a maiden when she relocated to Traralgon in April this year, the couple recalling that their last Mount Gambier winner had been Elgrande Rebel in December 2017.

Blue Phantom brings up the first leg of a winning double for Nathan Jenner at Tara Raceway last week.

Hopes were high in the first race, the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 metres), with Blue Phantom having gone down narrowly over 400 metres at Geelong five nights earlier and Jenner looking to bring up his first win with the April 2017 whelping.

Raced by Melbourne owner Bryan Carman – a very caring greyhound man, according to Jenner – Blue Phantom kicked the day off in fine style, leading all the way from box seven for a 7¼ length win in a smart 23.17 seconds.

The winner, in the Jenner kennels since April, is by Barcia Bale out of Flamin’ Go, a winner of 15 races and $36,000 in stakemoney – the litter also including School Report and Tennessee Rain, Tara Raceway winners when trained by Nicole Stanley.

Fast forward to race 12, the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m), and the Jenner kids were on a roll, by now expecting another forward showing from the kennel in the form of Ninetymile Donny, drawn in box one but first-up for a couple of months.

Ninetymile Donny completed a big day for the Jenner family – Ebony, Kerry, Zoe, Nathan and Marcos.

Also owned by Carman, the 3½-year-old black dog certainly lacks for nothing when it comes to breeding, being by Collision out of Athletica who is a member of the outstanding Mogambo x Off Springer litter that includes Sweet It Is (23 wins and $945,000 in stakemoney).

Jenner, who has had Ninetymile Donny in the kennels since February, was successful with him in March at Horsham but the dog’s chronic health issues have limited his number of starts to only four more since then.

However, the $14 chance looked to be on his game when quickly finding the front in the final race and then defying another roughie in Big Rough to run him down. Mind you, in the end Ninetymile Donny cut it pretty fine, hanging on to win by a half head in 23.49 seconds.

The double was the trainer’s first in a 2½-year involvement with greyhounds. But this was a double for the whole family – the Jenner kids quickly on to the track to greet Donny when he returned after his win.

And with photographer Todd Nicholson’s encouragement, quick to give the two-finger salute, signifying the two winners for Nathan, Kerry, Marcos, Zoe and Ebony in what had been a real family fun day.


Magic memorial win for Monty and Jen

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

As far as the John Reid Memorial Maiden at Tara Raceway was concerned it was a case of third time lucky for the Mumbannar greyhound owner-trainer team of Jen and Monty Wilson.

On the back of unplaced finalists Bushman’s Wish in 2017 and Go Saints last year, they lined up with Cimarron Magic at last Sunday’s 40th anniversary meeting, the black dog drawing box one in what was the 15th running of the memorial.

Cimarron Magic defeats Cruising By in the John Reid Memorial at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

A nicely-bred son of Magic Sprite out of five-race winner Smouldering Doll, Cimarron Magic found his way to Wilson’s kennels in February this year as a giveaway after early reports had suggested that he was not up to city standard.

But, after Cimarron Magic ran a couple of handy second placings over 400 metres at Tara Raceway in June, the Wilsons opted to set the May 2017 whelping for the Reid Memorial – hoping they could get on top of a few niggling injuries that had been hampering him.

“He went into Sunday’s event not having raced for a month – no trials and his first crack at 512 metres – but we did put extra work into him by means of the Tara Raceway slipping track,” said Monty Wilson, who makes regular 80 kilometre round trips to gallop his greyhounds up the straight.

Cimarron Magic, a $6 chance, went straight to the front in the memorial, the Wilsons’ prowess as conditioners of greyhounds looking likely to be tested down the back straight when the heavily backed favourite and first starter Cruising By loomed large.

The leader just kept finding, though, eventually running out a two length winner over the favourite while Silent Jacko, another first starter, battled on for third spot in 30.59 seconds.

MGGRC life member Noel Miller (left) and members of the Reid family pictured at Tara Raceway last Sunday with Monty and Jen Wilson and Cimarron Magic.

This was Monty and Jen Wilson’s second memorial win at Tara Raceway after Lektra Excess had been successful in the 2017 Ivor Dowdell Memorial.

Once again members of the Reid family were out in force to celebrate the race that remembers one of the local greyhound club’s real stalwarts – and also to acknowledge the popular win of Cimarron Magic.

Quite remarkably, the John Reid Memorial race record still stands to the credit of Itza Bee who ran 30.22 seconds when winning the inaugural event back in 2005.

Trainer at the time was Robert Halliday, of Portland. He well remembers the son of Solve The Puzzle and Lilac Time.

“He was a pretty handy dog and early in his career I had received a few offers for him. I didn’t really want to sell him but when the offers kept coming I told the prospective buyers that I wanted $15,000 for him – big money back then and a figure I thought would scare them off.”

But the sale went ahead, Itza Bee at the end of a 97-start career having won 23 races and close to $100,000 in stakemoney.


Clean sweep for Stanley

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Lewis family had always been keen for the Eric Lewis Memorial to be run over 732 metres. After all, their father had been a great supporter of distance racing and had enjoyed great success back in the 1970s with Victorian city-winning stayer Kori Arc.

Candy Chimes defeats Ethics, Night Owl (No. 8), Spinning Jakit (No. 4) and Miss Jacky (No. 1) in the Eric Lewis Memorial (732 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

An initiative of Dale Lewis back in 2014, the memorial had always been run over 600 metres until this year when the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club decided to take a punt on a 732 metre memorial at its anniversary meeting.

Admittedly, it became somewhat easier with the majority of SA greyhound tracks currently trialling six-dog racing and even more so when Portland trainer Nicole Stanley threw her support behind the event.

Kevin Norman (representing the Lewis family), Nifty Lenehan and MGGRC life member Bill Ward with Candy Chimes.

Stanley, who opted to miss the race with her best stayer Dyna Quota, had Ethics, Candy Chimes and Night Owl engaged, Ethics looking her best chance after a recent close-up fourth at Angle Park over 731 metres.

In the end, though, it was the $26 rank outsider Candy Chimes who held off an unlucky Ethics and Night Owl to win by a half length in 44.15 seconds and give Stanley the trifecta.

By Mogambo out of former smart NSW stayer Blossom Dior, Candy Chimes had won only one race from 27 starts prior to last Sunday. And while she was having her first start at the 732 metre journey, recent efforts over 600 metres had suggested the extra distance would not trouble her.

Eric Lewis’s daughter, Karen Norman, and her husband Kevin were on track for the memorial, the win of Candy Chimes giving Stanley her first win in the event after success in previous years in the Anniversary Cup and the John Reid Memorial.

Stanley won the 2017 cup with Fiorelli Rose and again last year with Ben Nevis while Reid Memorial success came her way in 2014 with Eylandt Princess and again in 2016 with Hay Miss.


Nifty’s big day at Tara Raceway

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The outstanding win of Lektra Brandy in last Sunday’s Anniversary Cup final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway was the highlight of a big day for Portland-based trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan.

Not only was the win his biggest as a trainer, but also the first time he had trained a treble – Joshua Rocks, rank outsider in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m), coming from last down the back to storm home for a 4¼ length win over Renmore in a personal best 29.86 seconds.

And Nitro Missile looked anything but a dog that had won only once in 20 starts as he led all the way from box two in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m), running out a 4¾ length winner over Giveaway Fury in 30.00 seconds, also a personal best time.

Lektra Brandy storms home to defeat Dyna Naitch (No. 5) and Springvale Alysa in last Sunday’s Anniversary Cup final (512 m) at Tara Raceway.

Lenehan bred Joshua Rocks, a son of Cosmic Rumble and Obama’s Girl and whelped Nitro Missile’s litter (Nitro Burst x Harper Seven) while his brother Phil, of Toolong, bred Lektra Brandy, a daughter of US sire KC And All and Lektra Scarlett, currently the leading brood bitch at Tara Raceway.

The Anniversary Cup win was Lenehan’s second feature race success at Tara Raceway this year, Twisted Missile – a litter sister to Nitro Missile – winning the Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden back in January.

Lektra Brandy – now with a record of 15 wins and 31 minor placings from 76 starts – has come a long way since defeating Andrew’s Gift in 30.51 seconds in a Tara Raceway maiden over 512 metres on April 1, 2018.

Successful at five of her past six starts, including a 512 metre win at Tara Raceway early in the month in a quick 29.56 seconds, she was always going to be hard to beat in what was the 35th running of the Anniversary Cup.

But only a fair start from box seven had her closer to last than first as Springvale Alysa led the field into the first turn – Kongorong trainer John Little’s well-performed bitch opening up a handy break down the back while Lektra Brandy still had plenty of work to do.

Off the back, though, she had Springvale Alysa in her sights as did the David Peckham trained Dyna Naitch who issued his challenge when railing through on the home turn.

In the end, there was no denying Lektra Brandy. She pulled out turning for home and was just too strong for Dyna Naitch and Springvale Alysa when running a race record of 29.63 seconds.

Richard Clayfield (left), Bill Ward, Connie Miller, Robert Halliday, Captain Abbott, Nifty Lenehan, Nicole Stanley and Tom Cryer with Anniversary Cup winner Lektra Brandy.

The Anniversary Cup, the highlight of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s 40th anniversary meeting, looked a top race on paper and that’s how it played out – Lektra Brandy scoring by 1¼ lengths with a further half head back to Springvale Alysa.

On track and partaking in last Sunday’s Anniversary Cup, John Reid Memorial Maiden and the Eric Lewis Memorial presentations were Connie Miller, Noel Miller and Bill Ward who were all on hand in an official capacity when greyhound racing kicked off at Glenburnie on Saturday, July 21, 1979.

Then known as the South East Greyhound Racing Club, Connie Miller – who trained Kenzel Lad to win the 1986 cup and later went on to serve as secretary of the club for 20 years – was a member of the Ladies Committee which played a critical role in fundraising during the early days of the sport.

Noel Miller was on that 1979 committee and was later president of the club from 1986 to 1988 while Ward was also on the committee and president from 1991 to 1997. The value of the trio’s contribution to greyhound racing in the south east is inestimable.

Also at Sunday’s presentation were some previous winning Anniversary Cup winning trainers including Richard Clayfield (1994 Seldom Sure, 2011 Glenville Maggie), Robert Halliday (2007 Bee Good, 2008 Tickets Please), Tom Cryer (2010 Cryer’s Tiger), Captain Abbott (2012 White Arrow) and Nicole Stanley (2017 Fiorelli Rose, 2018 Ben Nevis).

Meanwhile, Nifty Lenehan will make the trip to Angle Park on Thursday night with Lektra Brandy and Joshua Rocks who have drawn boxes two and one respectively in 515 metre graded events at the city track.


First-up quinella for young litter brothers

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell would have been more than happy with the efforts of General Max and Beat Max Bazza when the 18-month-old litter brothers filled the first two placings in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

Having their first race starts, it was General Max who quickly found the front from box four and then proceeded to put a fair gap on his opposition when winning by 10 lengths in a more than handy maiden time of 23.43 seconds.

Dean Fennell (Beat Max Bazza) and Johnno Janz with General Max after the litter brothers ran the quinella in the first race at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

However, Beat Max Bazza should be improved by the outing, finding trouble early and looking green when using plenty of the track.

By former SA champion Worm Burner, a winner of 48 races and $380,000 in stakemoney, the pair is out of Miss Hodge, who raced on only three occasions but is a member of the handy Cape Hawke x Jamaican Ruby litter.

Owned by the trainer’s son Hayden and his partner Ebony Janz, the January 2018 whelpings were purchased at four months of age from Ecklin South breeder Beryl Fulton and reared by Dean Fennell who said it had been Worm Burner that had been the selling point.

“Hayden and his mates had previously enjoyed some success at Tara Raceway with a few performed dogs but when the Miss Hodge litter came up for sale with an asking price of $2500 each he queried whether I could handle a couple of Worm Burner pups.

“They developed into really nice dogs and later we were heartened by a promising breaking-in report from Peter Byrne at Koroit.

“And after some handy gallops at Tara Raceway trial sessions we went into last Thursday’s race as confident as you can be with greyhounds having their first start in a race.”

Worm Burner, a son of Oaks Road and Little Looper, now has approximately 50 litters on the ground – Miss Breakout further boosting his stocks when winning the Champion Puppy Classic (515 m) at Angle Park last Thursday night.


Local trainer lands first double

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Local trainer Dita Mitchell, after success at the previous Thursday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway with African Leopard, continued her good run last Thursday when littermates Red Hat Ruby and Bob Square Pants were both successful for the first time this year.

For African Leopard, a giveaway from WA where he won four races, the Mount Gambier win was his first for Mitchell who had taken over the 4½-year-old son of Dyna Nalin x African Wave in February this year.

African Leopard wins his first Tara Raceway race for Dita Mitchell at a recent time-graded meeting.

In fact, the win had been the black dog’s first since August last year when he had won at Northam after three previous wins over a 12 month period at Mandurah.

Jumping from box four in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (512 metres), African Leopard never looked like losing when leading all the way to defeat Ryben Bill by 2¾ lengths in 30.57 seconds, Mitchell conceding after the race that she had been just about ready to give up on him.

“Yes, I had been close to pulling the pin after a frustrating period when I had been unable to stabilise his racing weight – to the extent that on two occasions I received fines on a race day and had the dog scratched because of weight variation.

“Anyway, that problem seems to be sorted now and it was a terrific thrill to finally win a race with him,” said Mitchell who relocated from Victoria to Tarpeena 2½ years ago.

Christine Yourgules (left) and Dita Mitchell with Bob Square Pants after his win at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

Red Hat Ruby, who last won at Tara Raceway in October last year, made up for a so-far frustrating 2019 when quickly railing through to find the front in last Thursday’s Metal Worx Stake (400 m), before running out a 6½ length winner in 23.57 seconds.

By Banjo Boy, Red Hat Ruby is out of Jeanie’s Wish, a winner of four Victorian provincial races for Mitchell, who picked her up as a five-month-old pup for $100.

Red Hat Ruby only returned to the track earlier this month after a four month break due to a toe injury sustained in March.

Later in the day, litter brother Bob Square Pants gave Mitchell her second winner when he finished full of running to defeat Maunganui Magic and the early leader Another Scenario in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) in 23.50 seconds.

Bob Square Pants is the dog that created a huge impression on debut last December when winning at his first start in 22.96 seconds for the 400 metre journey – at the time the second-fastest short-course maiden winner ever at the track.

While Red Hat Ruby and Bob Square Pants are now rising four-year-olds, they have raced on only 13 and 10 occasions respectively due to their fair share of setbacks along the way.

As such, Mitchell’s first-ever double was certainly a worthy reward for her patience and perseverance.