SUNDAY, APRIL 28: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, MAY 2 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, April 29 with GRSA. SUNDAY, MAY 5: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, April 30 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track. WORM BURNER PUPS FOR SALE: See “For Sale/Wanted”.
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Victorian chaser Aston It Is attracted the most interest at last night’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta which was attended by a large crowd at Tara Raceway.
Trained at Parwan by Paul Abela, Aston It Is, a $2 chance from box one to win today’s final cup heat, was sold for a record-breaking $920.
Owned by Ray Borda, the son of Turanza Bale and Sweet It Is, a winner of 23 races and close to $1m in stakemoney, is a recent Horsham Cup finalist.
Other greyhounds to attract plenty of interest last night included Slingshot Hammer ($780), Pure White Evil ($710) and Waterloo Monelli and Shima Mart (both $610).
All told, the prize pool will result in payouts of $3416, $1366 and $683 to the purchasers of next Sunday’s Mount Gambier Cup placegetters.
Friday, March 22, 2019
The following is the order of auction at tomorrow night’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta:
Group 1: Twisted Missile (Nifty Lenehan), Cilla Brown (David Williams), Dimora Flash (Dean Fennell), Banjo Bad Boy (Dean Fennell), Verev (Nicole Stanley), Mr Uggboot (Ivan Chircop), Lektra Brandy (Nifty Lenehan), Pirate’s Curse (David Peckham), Same Scenario (Dean Fennell), Pool Hall (Captain Abbott), Nix Jakit (Captain Abbott), Lektra Viki (Nifty Lenehan), Blazing Moment (Dean Fennell). Reserves: Unique Quality (Heath McAdam), Yappy Allen (John Little), Dusty Pearl (Steve Bartholomew).
Group 2: Pure Profit (Captain Abbott), Xtreme Purpose (Robert Duncan), Usain Insane (David Peckham), Black Spring (Captain Abbott), Kolora Posie (David Peckham), Azumi Ryder (Steve Bartholomew), Jacobite Joseph (Paul Hammerstein), Big Casey (Captain Abbott), Billy Moran (Doug Hammerstein), Matriculate (Kevin Murnane), Molly’s Wally (Robert Halliday), Counting Pennies (Heath McAdam).
Group 3: South Of Eden (Dylan Bate), Print The Money (David Williams), Wanchai Express (Nicole Stanley), Bomber Creek (Peter Crawley), Cryer’s Plugger (Tom Cryer), Saint David (Peter Byrne), Westside Nippa (Kevin Murnane), Nitro Value (Kevin Mugavin), Wilbur Deeds (Garry Anders), Galactic Mojo (Robert Chuck).
Group 4: Nirimba Pirate (Liasa Rasmussen), No Excuse (Heath McAdam), Quara’s Flick (Deborah Coleman), Molly Coaster (Simon Payne), Springvale Alysa (John Little), Cavatron (Paul Abela), Hutch (Robert Halliday).
Group 5: Galactic Athena (Steve Bartholomew), Waterloo Monelli (Tony Rasmussen), Pure White Evil (Andrew Paraskevas), Slingshot Hammer (Robert Camilleri), Shima Mart (Tony Rasmussen), Aston It Is (Paul Abela).
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club would be delighted with the support it has received for its Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup heats (512 metres) that will be run at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
With connections from far and wide getting right behind the Group Listed series, six heats of eight greyhounds each will be run, meaning the two fastest second placegetters will make up the final field for Sunday week (March 31).
Arguably, this would be the best line-up ever for a Mount Gambier Cup, first run in 1981 at Glenburnie when won by Tara Topar, his winning prizemoney a far cry from this year’s first prize of $15,000.
The cup heats will kick off in race six with local youngster Galactic Athena – only 19 months old and giving away plenty in race experience with only four starts to her name – attracting plenty of attention after a Summer Classic heat win in 29.61 seconds and reports of some recent quick trials at Tara Raceway.
The brindle bitch, which has drawn box six, is by Paddy Whacker out of Galactic Rumball and is owned by Robert Chuck and trained by Steve Bartholomew, the long-time associates combining last year to run third behind Xtreme Caution in the Mount Gambier Cup with Galactic Athena’s half-brother Galactic Panther.
Jumping from box seven is Print The Money, back for a second crack at the cup for local syndicate the Southern Bar Boys after finishing unplaced in last year’s final as a $2.60 favourite. The black dog has been in the Mount Gambier kennels of David Williams since early January.
Leading Adelaide trainer Tony Rasmussen, who is based at Gifford Hill, is yet to win a Mount Gambier Cup but looks to hold a strong hand with Waterloo Monelli who has drawn box two in the second heat.
A winner of $77,000 in stakemoney, the son of boom sire Fernando Bale looks to be in top form judging by his 29.64 seconds win over 515 metres at Angle Park on Monday night.
Victorian trainer Heath McAdam is back with No Excuse (box three) who impressed at Tara Raceway earlier this month when defeating Lone Star by 7 ¾ lengths in a best of day 30.17 seconds on a track that didn’t appear conducive to quick times.
And the Nicole Stanley trained Wanchai Express, the fastest greyhound to go around Tara Raceway this year with a gallop of 29.46 seconds, will jump from box six.
The third heat should be a cracker with Koroit trainer Peter Byrne back again, this time with Saint David, a 29.30 seconds winner over 515 metres at Sandown Park and a last start second at that track over 595 metres.
Byrne, who ran second in the 2017 Mount Gambier Cup with Arabella Figg behind Fabregal in race record time, has had his share of injury problems with Saint David, who has drawn box three, but the lightly-raced son of Cosmic Rumble x Mepunga Kirsty is a very quick greyhound.
The Deborah Coleman trained Quara’s Flick (box five) is a recent winner at The Meadows and Bendigo, Simon Payne’s Molly Coaster (box six) impressed when winning in 29.70 seconds at Tara Raceway last Sunday as did Pure White Evil who clocked 29.65 seconds on February 24.
Pure White Evil (box seven) is a litter brother to Eye Got It, winner of last Sunday night’s Murray Bridge Cup with Cranbourne South trainer Andrew Paraskevas now chasing the Greyhound Racing SA March Cup bonus – $5000 if the same trainer can win both cups with either the same or different dogs.
The Robert Camilleri trained Slingshot Hammer looks the one to beat from box one in the fourth heat. A winner of 16 races and $103,000 in stakemoney, the white and blue dog ran third in a heat of the Maitland Gold Cup at his last start.
Rasmussen also looks to hold a strong hand in heat five of the cup with box seven runner Shima Mart, a recent winner at The Meadows over 525 metres in a quick 29.99 seconds while the Paul Abela trained Cavatron (box three) boasts a recent 29.66 seconds win at Sandown Park (515 m).
And Abela looks well placed to wrap up the cup heats with a win with Aston It Is who has drawn box one and comes into the race on the back of a recent Horsham Cup heat win (485 m).
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Retired dairy farmer Gerald McKenna opened his winning account for this year when Zipping Melody scored a hard-fought win in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
Away only fairly from box five, she found the front down the back, eventually running out a head winner over Covfefe in 23.84 seconds.
For McKenna, whose last winner had been in early December with Mongolian Bay, the win came at Zipping Melody’s third start for him after the white and fawn bitch had previously raced in NSW where she had won a maiden at Nowra.
She’s now been with McKenna for about a month, finding her way to Koroit after having been with Ambarvale couple Garry and Janel Erwin who have trained greyhounds for McKenna for a number of years.
“Garry and Janel live in some pretty hilly country so his greyhounds are trained on walking machines,” McKenna said. “However, after about three months with Zipping Melody he was unable to get her to adapt to the walking machine so he asked me if I wanted to have a go with her.
“As it turned out, I have been able to get her going on my walking machine but really the main reason for her coming down here was as a brood bitch, my wife Carolyn and I now looking to breed a litter with her.”
Zipping Melody is by Fernando Bale out of Cho Chang, a winner of 11 races and $25,000 in stakemoney.
Meanwhile, Monarto South trainer Tony Hinrichsen, following three winners on March 6, wrapped up a big time-graded month at Tara Raceway when Giveaway Fury, Free Fury, Stiff Upper Lip and Spring Leesa were successful on Wednesday.
Thursday, March 21, 2019
If any credence can be given to recent trial morning reports then Galactic Titan and Spring Value should be the ones to beat in the heats of Sunday’s Produce Store Feature Maiden heats (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
By Paddy Whacker out of Galactic Rumball, Galactic Titan is from a litter that keeps on coming up with winners, litter sisters Galactic Athena and Galactic Mojo set to contest Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup heats later on Sunday.
Owned and trained at Moorak by Robert Chuck, Galactic Titan, a 19-month-old first-starter, will probably face most opposition from the seasoned maiden performer Tee Tee.
A litter sister to the Go Commando, winner of last October’s Group 2 $47,000-to-the-winner TAB Great Chase final (525 m) at The Meadows, Tee Tee is trained at Landsborough by Nathan Jenner.
Tee Tee, a daughter of Bombastic Shiraz x Especially, is still trying to win a race after 27 starts that have resulted in seven minor placings but does finish off her races strongly.
Spring Value, owned and trained at Killarney by Kevin Mugavin, looks well placed in the second heat after running third over 390 metres at Warrambool earlier this month.
Whelped in March 2017, the brindle dog is by Spring Gun out of Magic Matese and traces back, as in fact does Galactic Titan, to the September 1977 Temlee x Dark Debutante litter that included the Mugavin-owned Val Matese.
Mugavin has enjoyed previous success at Mount Gambier Cup carnivals, Poetic Magic winning the 2006 cup while Rich Shiraz was successful in 2012 in race record time of 29.81 seconds – both greyhounds also going back to Val Matese.
And in 2015 Cheap Currency, a son of Poetic Magic, won the Banjo Boy Feature 600 metre final in track record time of 35.11 seconds.
It’s now going to be interesting to see whether this year’s Produce Store Feature Maiden series can go close to matching that of 2018 when the Greg Board trained Spring Bridge scored an amazing 16 length win in the final in 29.63 seconds.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Worrolong greyhound trainer Steve Bartholomew still remembers the first Mount Gambier Cup run – back in 1981 at Glenburnie when he handled the winner, Tara Topar, trained by his mother-in-law Joan Cruise.
And he still remembers the first Calcutta that was conducted as a lead-in to the inaugural cup that was run over 479 metres.
“Yes, I still recall that first Calcutta. It was held in a farmer’s woolshed on Jubilee Highway and I reckon one of the bookmakers purchased Tara Topar at the auction for something like $100 which would have been a handy sum back then.”
Since then, 37 Mount Gambier Cups have been run, all preceded by a Calcutta conducted at a variety of venues over the years, these days at the Tara Raceway track on Lake Terrace East where the $15,000-to-the-winner Group Listed final over 512 metres will be decided on Sunday, March 31.
Tim Holmes and Amy Widdicombe, who took the Calcutta into the computer age last year, promise an even bigger and better production on Saturday night.
“Chris (Klaassens) has come up with an excellent buffet style menu with meals being available between 6 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. prior to the Calcutta draw,” said Holmes.
“Following the draw, Chris Manser, of Green Triangle Real Estate, will auction Sunday’s cup heat runners in his own inimitable style, ably assisted by well-known local identity Kevin “KD” Douglas whose presentation work for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is outstanding.”
Also in attendance to further add to the Calcutta presentation on the night will be well-known Adelaide media identity Ray Fewings, also a successful greyhound trainer in his own right.
And complementing all this will be live music in between the settling of the auction purchases which will probably run into four groups, those greyhounds assessed as the best chances to win the cup auctioned last.
Holmes said there would also be a general raffle conducted on the night with plenty of prizes including two framed watercolour originals donated by Macca’s Mum – Macca being owner-trainer Adam Mackareth and his Mum, local watercolour and acrylic artist Jo.
Pre-paid tickets for Saturday night’s Calcutta can be purchased at tomorrow’s Tara Raceway meeting for $25 (adults) and $10 for children 12 and under or by phoning Holmes on 0400 060 435.
Last year, 40 cup heat runners were auctioned with the three greyhounds attracting the most interest being Henry $425, Print The Money $420 and Lektra Stomp $400, the final payouts being $4180, $1194 and $597 after Xtreme Caution, Lektra Stomp and Galactic Panther eventually filled the final placings.
Meanwhile, Cryer’s Plugger brought up his tenth 600 metre win at Tara Raceway when leading all the way in Sunday’s Trackside Meats Stake, the son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget defeating his litter brother Cryer’s Bob by 3¾ lengths in 35.33 seconds.
Cryer’s Plugger will now line up in a heat of Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup (512 m), Apsley trainer Tom Cryer hoping the brindle dog can improve on his effort of last year when he failed to qualify for the final after running unplaced in a heat behind Megellas Fairy.
“Hopefully he will go better this year but I do have the Tankman 600 to fall back on if he fails to get through on Sunday,” he said.
The Tankman 600 is a $2500 one-off middle-distance feature for the best eight greyhounds and will be run on cup final day (March 31).
Cryer has also nominated Cryer’s Harper for Sunday’s Formula 400 Open heats, the $2500 final also to be run on cup final day.
Last year’s Tankman 600, run as a grade five feature, was won by Connie Miller’s Chilly Kiss and the Formula 400 by the Tracie Price trained Baz’s Moment.
Monday, March 18, 2019
As far as this week’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier heats are concerned, Melton-based greyhound trainer Simon Payne couldn’t have hoped for a better trial for Molly Coaster at Tara Raceway last Sunday.
This was long-time participant Payne’s first trip to the Mount Gambier track and he liked what he saw – even more so after the running of the Produce Store Stake (512 metres).
Lining up from box four on the back of a handy effort at The Meadows on March 8 when running fourth behind Fabwik in a grade five final (525 m) in a personal time of 30.12 seconds, the only query regarding Molly Coaster was probably her lack of early pace.
But for a greyhound that has raced on Victorian city tracks in all but one of her 29 starts, Sunday’s five-dog field was a decided drop in class, so much so that the black bitch was in front at the first turn.
And despite running wide rounding the first bend she soon found her bearings, eventually running away to an 8¾ length win over Pool Hall in a best of day 29.70 seconds, Payne confirming soon after that Molly Coaster would be back for Sunday’s cup heats and he for the Saturday night Calcutta at the Tara Raceway clubrooms.
Later, when her trainer brought her out from the kennel house for a swab, Molly Coaster looked a “million dollars”, on her toes and giving steward Stan Bright the real run around as he sought, ladle in hand, to secure a urine sample.
There’s been a buzz around the track in recent weeks surrounding the “Galactic” youngsters, all members of the Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball litter and raced locally by Robert Chuck and Steve Bartholomew.
August 2017 whelping Galactic Mojo, having only her fifth race start in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m), after a maiden win last week made the step up to grade six class – something not a lot of greyhounds are able to do – when leading all the way to defeat a gallant Candy Chimes by 4¼ lengths in 29.92 seconds.
The brindle bitch is owned and trained at Moorak by Chuck who said Galactic Mojo, after her sub-30 second win, would now be nominated for Sunday’s cup heats as would Galactic Athena, trained for him at Worrolong by Bartholomew.
Galactic Athena, who has raced on only four occasions, won a heat of last month’s Summer Classic (512 m) in a brilliant 29.61 seconds before running third in the final behind Banjo Bad Boy and Rose Ali. She is reported to be trialling well.
Usain Insane, unplaced in a heat of last year’s Mount Gambier Cup behind Print The Money in 29.68 seconds, will be back on Sunday for another crack for Allendale East trainer David Peckham after a solid win in the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (512 m).
Chasing his first win this year, the son of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze barged his way to the front going out of the first turn, eventually running out a two length winner over another cup contender in Big Casey in a time of 30.03 seconds.
Big Casey, trained at Edenhope by Cap Abbott, was having his first run at Tara Raceway since December 21 when he defeated Azumi Striker in a quick 29.84 seconds. His last win was in early January over 515 metres at Angle Park.
Hutch, trained at Portland by Robert Halliday, looks likely to be back for his third Mount Gambier Cup after an impressive official trial at Tara Raceway prior to last Sunday’s race meeting.
Returning after a two-month injury break, the four-year-old son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie solo trialled over 512 metres, looking good when stopping the clock at 29.91 seconds and pleasing Halliday who declared Hutch a cup starter provided all goes well this week.
Hutch first contested the cup in 2017 on the back of winning the Summer Classic, defeating Paraphernalia in a cup heat before finishing unplaced in the final behind Fabregal in race record time.
And last year, the black dog was unplaced in Print The Money’s heat before defeating Henry in the Mount Gambier Cup Consolation in a best of day 29.56 seconds.
Last Sunday didn’t turn out to be a bad day for Halliday, Molly’s Wally appreciating box one in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) when leading all the way to defeat a fast-finishing Dusty Pearl by 2½ lengths in 30.15 seconds.
Then, in the following race, the Swallow Drive Meats Open Stake (400 m), Spirited Bingle, back after a two-month break, led all the way to defeat Speedy Scar by 6 ¾ lengths in a best of day 23.13 seconds.
Thursday, March 14, 2019
The fields come out for Sunday’s 10-race greyhound meeting at Tara Raceway and the interesting runner for the day is the Simon Payne trained Molly Coaster who has drawn box four in the Produce Store Stake (512 metres).
So an email is fired off, seeking some information on owners, trainer and greyhound and hoping that the trainer is in a position to make contact with a few relevant details pertaining to Molly Coaster.
But there was no cause for concern. No sooner had the email been sent than Simon Payne was on the phone, on a break from his duties as senior sergeant at the Melton Police Station.
And yes, he’s got the Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup well and truly in his sights with Molly Coaster, a winner of three races, all at Sandown Park.
While the black bitch’s last win was back in September, since then she has run nine minor placings, all at either Sandown Park (515 m) or The Meadows (525 m) with Payne’s assessment of her being that while she’s a slow starter she finishes her races off very well.
As such, with personal best times of 29.63 seconds at Sandown Park and 30.12 seconds at The Meadows, she should be hard to hold out in Sunday’s six-dog grade six field.
Molly Coaster is owned by the Package Syndicate which comprises Paul Giddings and Chris Wright of Package Landscape, the pair previously enjoying success with the Payne-trained Cosmic Coaster, a Sandown Park and The Meadows winner.
Purchased as a pup, Molly Coaster is by Fabregas out of Victorian city winner Reiko Bale and comes from a more than handy litter that also includes Fab Reiko, Reiko Ablett and Reiko Rocketta.
Payne is heavily involved in the Melton community, having previously coached the Melton Football Club and currently is the president of the Melton Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club which he is hopeful will soon be conducting drag lure coursing meetings.
And he’s looking forward to finally taking in a race meeting at Tara Raceway.
“I come over to the area quite regularly to fish at Nelson and while I’ve often driven past the track it’s always been on a day when racing wasn’t being conducted,” he said.
“I’m hoping Molly Coaster can do enough on Sunday to warrant coming back the following weekend in order to also take in the Calcutta which I’ve already heard so much about.”
As far as greyhounds are concerned, the Calcutta has a long history, dating back to the days of open coursing while the Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta is unique to SA greyhound racing.
For those not quite sure what the Calcutta is all about, tickets are now on sale at $1 each or $80 for a book of 100 from Tim Holmes on race days or on the night of the Calcutta (Saturday, March 23).
On Calcutta night, ticket holders will have the chance of drawing a runner in the following day’s cup heats. Those drawing a runner will receive half of what that greyhound attracts when auctioned later in the night – in other words, if sold for $100 then the ticket holder receives $50 with the other $50 added to the Calcutta pool.
Winning ticket holders can bid on their greyhound and pay half price if they are the successful bidder at the auction which will be conducted by Chris Manser of Green Triangle Real Estate. Calcutta pools vary from year to year but last year’s cup winner Xtreme Caution delivered a pay out of more than $4000 for a modest outlay.
Meanwhile, Kongorong-based Springvale Alysa, the greyhound purchased by John Little, Liz Newberry and Kevin Mullan from the proceeds of last year’s Calcutta windfall, has drawn box seven in Sunday night’s Murray Bridge Cup Consolation (455 m).
One of the better local greyhounds going around Tara Raceway at the moment, Springvale Alysa will contest a heat of the Mount Gambier Cup on Sunday week.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Allendale East greyhound trainer David Peckham’s Mount Gambier Cup hopes took a real hit this week after Rose Ali, a winner of five races from seven starts this year at Tara Raceway, was transferred to Victoria.
A personal best 512 metre time at the track of 29.72 seconds, run on February 6, looked to have the daughter of My Bro Fabio and Born Ali right in the mix for this year’s Group Listed event, Peckham still chasing his first Mount Gambier Cup win after a desperately close second with Bourne Again behind Lots Of Yap in 2015.
Peckham said Rose Ali’s owner, Noel Mugavin of Warrambool, had contacted him earlier this week to inform him that he had decided to send the black bitch to leading trainer Robert Britton of Lara with a view to contesting the forthcoming Launching Pad series.
“It’s disappointing, because I thought she would have been competitive in the cup,” he said. “But I respect Noel’s decision and wish him all the best in the Launching Pad.”
The 2019 Launching Pad boasts a massive $432,000 in stakemoney with the winner of the Group 2 final, run over 515 metres at Sandown Park on Thursday, April 18, collecting $150,000.
The sweepstakes series, which is open to greyhounds with 1-6 wins and no more than 30 starts, carries a $2000 entry fee.
For Peckham, it had been a good start to the year with 20 winners seeing him sitting in second spot in the Ian Badger Trainer of the Year award and Rose Ali sharing the lead with Dimora Flash in the Greyhound of the Year.
And there’s been a bit happening recently out at Allendale East with two Worm Burner litters being whelped – two bitches and three dogs out of 13-race winner Maximum Bella while Thanks Tubby, former Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder, produced two dogs and 4 bitches.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Ray Fewings, ostensibly at Tara Raceway last Sunday to call the 11-race card, took the opportunity to also bring down a couple of littermates to race – Wrackmere and Zoltan.
However, in a long and colourful career that includes having raced everything from pigeons to pacers, he was quick to concede that last Sunday’s pair was nowhere near to being in the top bracket of racing greyhounds.
Certainly not of the calibre of Paua To Kapau and Don’t Kid Me that Fewings had won with 12 months previously at Mount Gambier’s Mount Gambier Cup meeting.
But for all that, Wrackmere, after being midfield early worked home well to defeat Midnight Ruby in The Border Watch Stake (400 m) while Zoltan took over the running from Nix Jakit off the back before holding on for a neck win in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (512 m).
The pair’s breeding is interesting, being by 23-race winner Hallucinate, who collected $252,000 in stakemoney and won the 2004 Melbourne Cup at his last race start.
Their dam, Lotus Blossom, who won 14 races in Queensland and South Australia, is by Made To Size out of Elite Oriental who is the grand-dam of Aston Dee Bee, a winner of $800,000.
Fewings, who is based at Williamstown, also bred the litter after Maxine Wytkin of Willaston had offered him the Hallucinate straw which she had had in her possession for a number of years.
“I took her up on her offer, Maxine later taking a share in Zoltan. A couple of other members of the litter have also won and while there are no champions here I think they still need more time,” he said.
Fewings is next likely to be at Tara Raceway for the Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup on Sunday, March 31, this time in his role as Greyhound Racing SA industry representative.