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”.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
It’s now been 40 years since the South East Greyhound Racing Club conducted the first local licensed mechanical lure race meeting, under the auspices of the National Coursing Association, out at Glenburnie.
There was no totalisator back then but six bookmakers fielded at the opening meeting on Saturday, July 21, 1979, 10 races being conducted over distances of 289 metres, 476 metres and 667 metres.
However, the opening day had been a fair while coming, a public meeting in Mount Gambier held seven years earlier to form the SE Greyhound Racing Club which then had to overcome plenty of trials and tribulations before all parties reached an agreement in March 1977.
Ralph Patzel, who will drive the lure for Sunday’s Anniversary Cup meeting at Tara Raceway, trained the first winner at that historic 1979 greyhound meeting – Aqualair defeating Lady Chiller and Crater Star in a time of 18.40 seconds in a maiden over 289 metres.
Other winners at the opening meeting were Port McRed (S. Pearce), Rollin’s Sue (B. Parnell), Flirting Prince (L. Collins), Golden Thread (B. Rowe), Finger Bone (K. Rogers), Tara Pursuit (A. Mangan), Maaoupe Marvel (S. Geraghty), Hazel’s Dream (H. Franken) and Snippety Snip (A. Mangan).
Sunday’s Anniversary Cup will mark the 35th running of the event, the inaugural cup won by the Hazel Lane trained Kenzel Lad in 1985 and again the following year when trained by Connie Miller.
The only other greyhound to have won the event twice is the Peter Franklin trained Mojito Mayhem in 2015 and 2016.
And when racing switched to the purpose-built track on Lake Terrace East in 1997 it was local legend Col Sims who won the first Anniversary Cup run over 512 metres with Becker McLaren in a time of 30.28 seconds.
In fact, this race record stood until 2011 when Richard Clayfield’s Glenville Maggie ran 30.18 seconds, the current race record established by last year’s winner, the Nicole Stanley trained Ben Nevis with a time of 29.90 seconds.
Little separated last week’s three heat winners, Bomber Creek, trained at Mortlake by Peter Crawley, chasing tearaway leader Lektra Viki until the home turn where he railed through to go on for a 3¼ length win in the first heat in 29.97 seconds.
With a record of five wins from eight starts from the red, Bomber Creek looks perfectly drawn in box one in the final while Lektra Viki also looks well served in box two for Portland trainer Nifty Lenehan.
Dyna Naitch turned in a big effort to win the second heat for Allendale East trainer David Peckham. Away slowly from box five, the brindle dog was giving the leader Springvale Alysa a big start before rounding her up on the home turn and running out a 2½ length winner in 29.81 seconds.
Dyna Naitch has drawn box five again on Sunday while Springvale Alysa will jump from box four for Kongorong trainer John Little who will be looking for his biggest win at Tara Raceway.
And Lenehan will hold a strong hand in the final after Lektra Brandy continued her outstanding recent form with a virtual all the way win in the third heat, defeating Saint David by 3¾ lengths in 29.88 seconds.
A litter sister to Lektra Viki, Lektra Brandy will jump from box seven on Sunday while Saint David, trained at Koroit by Peter Byrne, has drawn box eight and should be improved by his first run on the track.
Saint David worked home quite well, gaining a “pass” mark for the effort from Byrne who was last represented in the Anniversary Cup by Born Billy who finished unplaced in the 2017 final won by Fiorelli Rose.
The John Reid Memorial Maiden (512 m), first run in 2005, has been thrown wide open with the inclusion of three well-bred first starters – Silent Jacko, Spooky Visitor and Cruising By – from the Peckham kennel.
Silent Jacko and Spooky Visitor are by Kinloch Brae out of the unraced Bonnie’s Secret who is a litter sister to Buck Forty (19 wins for $389,000 in stakemoney) and Burn One Down (34, $507,000) while Cruising By’s Dubbo performance trial of 29.99 seconds over 516 metres in May should have her right in the mix.
And for the first time, the Eric Lewis Memorial – run in memory of one of those gentlemen who was prominent at that public meeting all those years ago – will be run over 732 metres.
With three runners, Portland trainer Nicole Stanley holds a strong hand, Ethics looking her best chance, while Spinning Jakit should be prominent throughout for Cap Abbott of Edenhope.
Anniversary Cup heat winners: Top, Bomber Creek (Peter Crawley); Middle, Dyna Naitch (David Peckham); Bottom, Lektra Brandy (Richard Clayfield).
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Even ordinary weather conditions at Tara Raceway last Sunday failed to deter patrons from leaving the comfort of the cosy wood-heated clubrooms and venturing outside to catch a glimpse of the greyhound everyone had been talking about – Galactic Zeus.
Already, his sister Galactic Athena had won this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup and his brother Galactic Titan only a few nights’ earlier had won his way through to the Champion Puppy final at Angle Park.
But Galactic Zeus was better than both of these. Or so the word went. Reportedly, there had even been a couple of 400 metre track records run on trial mornings – a few setbacks along the way holding up his race debut until last Sunday.
He’s another one of the Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball litter bred and raced by Robert Chuck of Moorak and trained at Worrolong by Steve Bartholomew.
And the smart punters were quick to snap up the $1.45 on offer about Galactic Zeus, who at 38 kilograms towered above his opposition as the field made its way to the 400 metre boxes for the Klaassens Contractors Maiden Stake.
Lektra Phyliss, having her first start for another local trainer in Noel Perry, quickly took up the running from box eight but Galactic Zeus had her measure by the first split, clocking 10.95 seconds before finishing the race off in fine style with a 5½ length win over the early leader.
Overall, the brindle dog ran 22.91 seconds – the quickest at Tara Raceway this year – his run home time of 11.96 seconds posing the question as to whether any greyhound had ever finished off a 400 metre race in quicker time.
Long-time track watchers at Tara Raceway on Sunday could not remember a quicker run-home time. And spare a thought for Lektra Phyliss, whose time of 23.30 seconds would win most maiden 400 metre races.
From a maiden point of view, Galactic Zeus’s winning time was second only to Wise Stella who ran splits of 10.74 seconds and 12.15 seconds when clocking an overall time of 22.89 seconds almost 12 months ago to the day.
These days raced by 16-year-old Ben Price and trained by Dean Fennell, Wise Stella has had her share of problems since that maiden win – a second marring offence keeping her off the track for much of the first half of this year.
But the well-bred daughter of Barcia Bale x Wise Penny was also among the winners on Sunday, finding the front down the back in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) before running away to a comfortable 2¼ length win over Tolga in 23.26 seconds.
By way of a comparison, the Tara Raceway 400 metre track record, run on Friday, February 19, 2016, is held by Cryer’s Ricky at 22.78 seconds – with splits of 10.67 seconds and 12.11 seconds.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Long-time Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst continues to do well with performed greyhounds he has purchased for modest prices and that have then gone on to more than pay their way at Tara Raceway.
Another case in point is his latest acquisition, the lightly-raced three-year-old Banjo Fozz, who lined up at Tara Raceway last Sunday for her new owner-trainer in the Winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m).
Brodhurst had purchased the daughter of Banjo Boy x Fire Stricker for $600 after she had come from well back in the field to run a three-quarter length second to Someone Blue at Tara Raceway at the end of last month.
“That had been her first run at the track so I thought it was a pretty fair effort,” he said. “And after Someone Blue came out and won again here before also winning at Horsham I felt reasonably confident that Banjo Fozz would acquit herself well today.”
That she did, jumping much better this time from box seven but giving tearaway leader Buckeye a big start down the back and with still plenty of work to do turning for home before grabbing him in the shadows of the post for a neck win in 23.44 seconds.
The win, her first since last September, completed a good few days for the litter, handy types Blur and Tat James both winning at Shepparton over 450 metres and 390 metres respectively on the Thursday night prior.
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Winslow trainer Paul Teuma enjoyed his biggest day at a greyhound track last Thursday when giveaways Emily Oaks, winning her first race at start number 20, Chelsea Road and Oemi Allen were successful at Tara Raceway.
For Teuma, the treble was his first in 50 years of training, Emily Oaks, a daughter of Oaks Road and Cawbourne Pilfer – who did all her racing in NZ for eight wins – kicking off the big day with a three-quarter length win at $15 in a keenly-contested Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 m).
Pint-sized litter sister Chelsea Road, tipping the scales at 23.7 kilograms, kept the winning run intact, albeit narrowly, when finding the front down the back in the Produce Store Stake (400 m) before holding out Just Over to win by a head in 23.88 seconds.
Oemi Allen went to the boxes a $26 chance in the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (512 m), a race that included a $1.40 favourite in the form of Jacobite Hammer, trained at Ararat by Doug Hammerstein.
A well-bred daughter of Dyna Nalin and Ferrari Bale, Oemi Allen at one stage had gone 2½ years without a win, Teuma winning his first race with the 4½-year-old fawn bitch in April this year at Tara Raceway.
Early in the race after Jacobite Hammer had found the front it appeared as though the odds-on chance was set for a comfortable win. Meanwhile, Oemi Allen looked under the odds when jumping slowly from box five.
In the end, though, it was Oemi Allen who just kept coming before finishing over the top of Jacobite Hammer for a one length win in 30.60 seconds and wrapping up Paul and Mary Teuma’s memorable day.
Earlier in the day, Hammerstein’s son Paul, also of Ararat, was successful with recent purchase Vanzant, an all the way winner over It’s Magic in the Metal Worx Mixed Stake (600 m).
With breeding in mind, Vanzant was picked up by Hammerstein last month after having won four races at Gawler, Angle Park and Ballarat.
The brindle bitch is certainly beautifully bred, being by Kinloch Brae out of Betty Baker (Barcia Bale x Raya Riot), a winner of 11 races including a 27.01 seconds run at Horsham when the distance was 480 metres.
And giving the breed a further boost on Saturday night at Wentworth Park was Start A Riot who won the $75,000-to-the-winner Peter Mosman Opal Final (520 m) in 29.78 seconds for Keith Hellmuth.
Start A Riot is by Magic Sprite out of Flash Riot, a litter sister to Betty Baker and also Karen Price’s 16-race winner Headline who has a litter by Peter Rocket approaching breaking-in age.
The line also includes Group 1 winner and Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Rockoon who is a son of Peter Rocket and Raya Riot.
Friday, July 12, 2019
As far as leading SA race caller Terry McAuliffe was concerned it ended where it all began all those years ago – at a greyhound track.
He still remembers his time as a 21-year-old junior race caller at the then SA racing station 5AA, calling trials at the Gawler greyhounds as a lead-up to his first meeting in 1985 at Gawler, back then known as Princes Park.
Yesterday at Mount Gambier’s Tara Raceway was his final meeting as a race caller, McAuliffe, 55, now about to join Racing.com as its SA presenter and journalist.
Over the past 20 years much of his calling has been confined to thoroughbred racing but he still has fond memories of greyhound racing in the late 1980s and the participants and dogs that made for a boom time in the sport.
“It was a great time to be calling at greyhound meetings,” he said. “I was asked today what some of favourite dogs were and several quickly sprung to mind.”
McAuliffe still recalls the deeds of the terrific stayer Julep, trained at Moonta by Brian Arthur, and the Whyalla bred Braw Laddie who won 48 races for the Butterfield family – both dogs being by Red Flag.
Kuriarkin, who won the 1989 Adelaide Cup for Hall Of Fame trainer Doug Payne, still sticks in McAuliffe’s mind as does another Moonta dog in Wolf Black, a winner of 36 races for Blair Cross and tracing back to Braw Laddie.
And who could forget McAuliffe’s 1989 call of Bold Trease winning his fourth consecutive Sandown Cup?
Longwarry trainer Nicole Lund, who was successful with Cassius Monelli at her first visit to Tara Raceway the previous week, won the final race yesterday, the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m), with Tankalicious.
The 37 kilogram son of Fabregas and Houso Delight quickly found the front from box seven before going on to a comfortable 5¾ length win over Bob Square Pants in a best of day 23.12 seconds.
This was Lund’s second win with Tankalicious, raced in the same interests as the previous week’s winner, and his trainer was keen for McAuliffe to join her in a photograph with the dog as this had been his last race call. He willingly obliged.
While yesterday’s 12-race time-graded fixture certainly wouldn’t have rated as one of the most prestigious meetings he’s ever called, let it be said that Terry McAuliffe maintained his professionalism right to the end.
Pictures: Bronny Nicholson
Thursday, July 11, 2019
After best of the day wins at Tara Raceway last Sunday with Lektra Viki and Lektra Brandy, Portland greyhound trainer Nifty Lenehan now heads into Sunday’s Anniversary Cup heats (512 metres) at Tara Raceway full of confidence with the litter sisters.
By KC And All, the pair is out of Lektra Scarlett, currently the leading dam with 18 wins this year at Tara Raceway after half-brother Spinning Jakit (by Spring Gun) was also successful on the day for Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott in the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (600 m).
Lektra Viki was finally rewarded for her consistency with last Sunday’s win in the South Eastern Hotel Open Stake (400 m) coming on the back of eight consecutive minor placings at Mount Gambier, Angle Park and Warrnambool.
And the black bitch never looked in any danger of defeat, leading all the way from box four to defeat current Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year leader Dimora Flash by three lengths in 22.95 seconds.
This was the quickest run at the track since Usain Insane clocked the same time on December 9 last year and was within a creditable 2½ lengths of Cryer’s Ricky’s 22.78 seconds track record, standing since February 19, 2016.
Although last Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry Open Stake (512 m) was robbed of much interest due to the scratchings of Hutch and Usain Insane, Lektra Brandy’s win was still a terrific Anniversary Cup trial.
Currently in career-best form, Lektra Brandy led all the way, eventually defeating Dyna Naitch by 5¾ lengths in 29.56 seconds, the fastest time run over 512 metres at Tara Raceway since Galactic Athena’s 29.43 seconds in this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup.
This year will mark 40 years of mechanical lure greyhound racing in the South East and the 35th running of the Anniversary Cup – three heats of this year’s event to be decided on Sunday afternoon in the lead-up to the final on July 21.
Lektra Viki has drawn box eight in the first heat, Spinning Jakit and last week’s Tara Trackstar winner Flash Jackie looking two of the hardest to beat.
And Lektra Brandy has drawn box four again in an interesting third heat which includes the speedy Renmore in box one, along with Saint David and Azalea Monelli.
Saint David, trained at Koroit by Peter Byrne, hasn’t won since April but is a winner of six races from 27 starts and is a quick 29.31 seconds winner at Sandown Park over 515 metres.
Azalea Monelli, who will have her first start for Allendale East trainer David Peckham in a time-graded race at Tara Raceway today, will find the going a bit tougher on Sunday but does have smart winning times to her credit at Angle Park, Cannington and Mandurah.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley will be chasing her third consecutive Anniversary Cup after winning with Fiorelli Rose in 2017 and then following up with Ben Nevis and looks well represented in the second heat with Wanchai Express, one of the fastest greyhounds to go around Tara Raceway.
Meanwhile, while maiden 400 metre events don’t usually attract all that much attention, Sunday’s first race, the Klaassens Contractors Stake, is likely to attract as much, if not more, interest than the Anniversary Cup heats.
Breeder-owner Robert Chuck has seemingly once again referenced Greek mythology when naming another of his Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball litter Galactic Zeus, who now joins Galactic Athena and Galactic Titan.
Tara Raceway trial morning regulars have been singing the praises of this big brindle dog for some time now so it’s going to be interesting to see if the Greek god of sky and thunder can create a storm of his own on Sunday.
Also making her debut in the same race will be Galactic Horizon, the pair being the last of the successful litter to race.
Looking to keep the winners coming, Chuck’s latest litter of two dogs and three bitches – whelped last week at Moorak – is by Dyna Lachlan out of Storm Allen, a daughter of Bekim Bale and Horizon Bale.
Chuck said the litter had been a long time coming and that the now seven-year-old Storm Allen, who raced on 74 occasions for six wins and 31 minor placings at Angle Park, Gawler and Geelong, would not be mated again.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Flash Jackie turned in an impressive front-running display over 512 metres at Tara Raceway last Sunday when winning the inaugural Tara Trackstar (512 metres) – a one-off race for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between January and June this year.
Trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, Flash Jackie quickly found the front from box five and from then on never really looked in any danger of defeat, running a personal best 30.04 seconds in her win over Dare To Do and Bab’s Jakit.
The well-conformed 31 kilogram black bitch is raced by the Nineofus Syndicate, a spin-off from the original Viking Syndicate, and managed at Happy Valley by Ross Schurgott.
By Dyna Double One, Flash Jackie – whelped in May 2017 and reared at Allendale East – is a daughter of 15-race winner Striking Viking, who did the majority of her racing in Mount Gambier.
And Schurgott, speaking from Port Augusta this week, said he had been pleasantly surprised at the improvement shown by Flash Jackie since she had been broken-in at Mildura.
“Rod Millington, who broke her in, gave her an ‘ok report’ without getting too excited but since then she has matured quite nicely to the extent that she has now won six races at Tara Raceway – five over 512 metres plus a win at 600 metres.
“The Trackstar win last Sunday gave the Nineofus Syndicate – there have actually been a couple of members added since the original naming – a big thrill because this is the first trophy race we have won.”
The syndicate will now be hoping for further success on Thursday night with two more of their team, also trained by Peckham, in Coco Suzy and Our Man Zed who are engaged at Warrnambool.
Striking Viking has had only two litters to race, the first by Barcia Bale, and has produced 28 winners. These days, though, it’s a life of luxury as a pet in Adelaide for the former Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder.
The next Tara Trackstar will be run in January 2020 for the best performed greyhounds at the track between July and December 2019.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Star local littermates Galactic Titan and Galactic Athena look well placed in the $3880-to-the-winner heats of Thursday night’s Angle Park Champion Puppy Classic (515 m), a time-honoured series for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2017.
Trained at Worrolong by Steve Bartholomew for Moorak breeder-owner Robert Chuck, the Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball brother and sister have both drawn box eight in heats one and two of the three-heat classic.
As a lead-up to the classic, the pair raced at the city track last Thursday night, Galactic Titan running second in a grade six over 515 metres while Galactic Athena staged a big run to come from last early to win a grade five bitches-only race (515 m).
Next week’s final carries more than $10,000 in prizemoney. With any sort of luck in running on Thursday night the pair should be back at Angle Park for the final – and right in the mix.
Meanwhile, Portland trainer Nicole Stanley is also at Angle Park with Dyna Quota and Ethics who will jump from boxes seven and eight respectively in the Free For All over 731 metres.
Both greyhounds have previously won at Angle Park over the distance, while Dyna Quota’s 43.50 seconds over 732 metres at Tara Raceway last month is the second-fastest ever run at the track.
Monday, July 8, 2019
Longwarry trainer Nicole Lund, involved with greyhounds since she was six years old, finally found her way for the first time to Tara Raceway last Thursday for the weekly time-graded meeting.
And as it turned out, the personable Ms Lund reckoned the six hour-plus trip to Mount Gambier was certainly worthwhile after Cassius Monelli packed a real punch in the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 metres).
An odds-on favourite from box one, the white and brindle dog quickly found the front down the back and from then on was never in any danger of defeat, eventually running out a 3¼ length winner over Joyous Jill in an equal best of day 23.16 seconds.
“The win just capped off an absolutely terrific day here at Tara Raceway,” a delighted Lund said. “This place has an atmosphere all of its own and I’ll most certainly be returning.”
In Lund’s kennels since April, she is Cassius Monelli’s fifth trainer, last Thursday’s win being her second, after a win at Warrnambool over 450 metres last month, with the Dilshan Fernando owned son of Kiowa Producer and Lara Monelli.
Cassius Monelli is a well-bred dog, his US-bred sire winning 50 races and Lara Monelli, a daughter of Collision and 30-race winner Joanne Monelli, successful in six of her only seven starts at Cannington in WA.
Lund, who made the trip over last week with Parwan trainer Debbie White, rates Phildavian, a winner of 19 races, as the best dog she’s been associated with.
And White, back at Tara Raceway after some health issues, also enjoyed a good day when Crazy Summer opened her winning account at start number 20 in the Klaassens Contractors Maiden Stake (400 m).
The daughter of Spring Gun and I’m Coming Bro found plenty on her debut run at Tara Raceway last month when running second in steady time, with a strong finishing effort last Thursday to defeat Serendipity Judy by 3¾ lengths in a good maiden time of 23.43 seconds.
In White’s kennels since April, giveaway greyhound Crazy Summer was owner Tracey Stephens’s first winner.
Later in the day, in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m), the White-trained Loroupe also improved on a second placing at Tara Raceway last month when taking over the running down the back straight before powering away to a 7½ length win in 30.24 seconds.
By Kiowa Mon Manny (bred on an identical cross to Kiowa Producer) out of Wentworth Park winner Cawbourne Looney, Loroupe has now won three races since being taken over by White in January this year, the trainer full of praise for the rising four-year-old.
“She’s now raced on 93 occasions and I think she’s probably responding to a change of kennels and a change of routine,” White said. “But what I really like about her is that she always tries.”
White’s winning day at Tara Raceway was her first since Friday, November 16 when she had been successful with Janray Tigerlily and Blackpool Remi.
Sharing best of day 400 metre time honours with Cassius Monelli was Zuberi, another giveaway greyhound having her first start at Tara Raceway for Kayla Bunworth of Penshurst.
By Nolen out of Mighty Foxy, Zuberi had won five races on Victorian provincial tracks before an unsuccessful three-month stint on NSW country tracks resulted in her finding her way last month to the town located at the foot of Mount Rouse.
Handling the brindle bitch last week was Bunworth’s husband Brendan who had been surprised by Zuberi’s effortless five length win over Slipaway Bolt in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m).
“The win certainly came as a surprise to me because recently she had trialled only moderately at Warrnambool,” he said.
Bunworth also said that Zuberi was probably not only enjoying being in a much smaller kennel environment but also the tender loving care being lavished on her by his wife.
“To be honest, Kayla really treats her like a pet and not a racing greyhound. But it seems to be working.”
Time-graded regulars Richard Boehm and Sandra Elmes, the training team from Dunolly, took their number of wins this year at Tara Raceway to 17 when Someone Blue was successful in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m).
Only in their kennels for several weeks, Someone Blue impressed with a 400 metre win at his first Tara Raceway start in a tidy 23.35 seconds in late June before last week’s strong effort.
Tracing back to the prolific producer Casey’s Angel, the son of Barcia Bale and Sugar Lips was slowly away from box eight but quickly worked to the front, eventually running out a 5¾ lengths winner in 23.49 seconds.
The two impressive wins at Tara Raceway now have Boehm hopeful that Someone Blue can measure up tomorrow night at Horsham, a track that he had previously won at in February and March this year.
“I believe the runs he’s had here at Tara Raceway recently have been real confidence boosters,” Boehm said. “Also, initially he was running wide but now seems to be handling himself much better.”
And with school holidays in Victoria, it was good to see the kids back at Tara Raceway and taking advantage of the amenities the Mount Gambier club has to offer.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
Sunday’s inaugural Tara Trackstar, a 512 metre one-off race for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between January and June, will kick off a big month as the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club prepares to celebrate 40 years of racing in the South East.
To follow on Sunday week will be heats of the John Reid Memorial Maiden (512 m) and the time-honoured Anniversary Cup (512 m), the finals of both events to be run on July 21 along with the Eric Lewis Memorial (732 m).
Missing from the Tara Trackstar will be the track’s leading greyhounds at the half-way mark of the season – Cryer’s Plugger and Black Spring due to injury while trainer Dean Fennell has opted to keep Dimora Flash at 400 metres.
For all that, though, the Trackstar comprises six of Tara Raceway’s most consistent performers with Bab’s Jakit the top point scorer with 34 (calculated on a 4, 2, 1 points basis for wins and placings) followed by Molly’s Wally and Flash Jackie on 30, Giveaway Fury 29, Dare To Do 28 and Zambora Club 27.
Sneaking into the final six after a win last Sunday – the final meeting for the six-month period – was Dare To Do, owned and trained at Serviceton by Valerie and David Brodhurst.
Appreciating a drop back to grade five company, Dare To Do chased Rusty Sprocket for much of the 512 metre journey in the Rock’s Retreat Stake before railing through on the home turn and going on for a three-quarter of a length win in a personal best 30.10 seconds.
From the handy Goodesy x White Heart litter, Dare To Do was purchased for $1100 after she had won a maiden over 460 metres at Warragul in May last year.
The black bitch failed to win another race last year but has made up for lost time in 2019, winning six races and running four minor placings as well as matching it with the best of them in many of her races.
Dare To Do, the second leg of a Brodhurst double last week, looks drawn to run a big race from box two in Sunday’s evenly-matched Trackstar, her trainer no doubt hoping for the winning run to continue after Midnight Ruby’s win earlier in the day in the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 m).
Midnight Ruby, an $800 purchase from Adelaide last September, last won back in November last year, David Brodhurst later saying that no one had been more shocked than him with the black bitch’s win by a head over Buckeye.
The double was the husband and wife team’s first in more than 12 months, Swoosie and Cheyenne Black successful at Tara Raceway on May 13 last year.
Portland trainer Robert Halliday, who has Molly’s Wally jumping from box four in the Trackstar, took the training honours last Sunday with a treble – Midnight Rage, Hutch and Spirited Bingle.
Midnight Rage, after a keen battle early with Nangkita Keats, ran out a strong winner of the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m) in 23.36 seconds while Hutch never looked like losing The Border Watch Open Stake (512 m) when defeating Renmore by 6¾ lengths in 29.91 seconds.
And Spirited Bingle, an older half-sister to Midnight Rage, led all the way in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) to defeat Zambora Club by 1¾ lengths in 23.21 seconds. Midnight Rage (by Barcia Bale) and Spirited Bingle, a daughter of Collision, are out of Kokoda Spirit, winner of the 2013 SA Oaks at Angle Park.
Halliday’s treble was his second this year, after Koda Blue (a litter brother to Midnight Rage), Molly’s Wally and Hutch were successful at Tara Raceway on Sunday, January 13.
Based on the Heroes of Healesville concept, the Tara Trackstar will be conducted again in early January 2020 to cater for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between July 1 and December 31.
Meanwhile, with heats of the Anniversary Cup set down for Sunday, July 14, this Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry Open Stake (512 m) will see cup contenders, including Hutch, Lektra Brandy, Dyna Naitch and Bomber Creek, going through their paces in readiness for the 35th running of the event.
Hopefully, trainers have been holding back for the John Reid Memorial Maiden, an event first run in 2005 when won by Halliday’s Itza Bee, because no 512 metre maidens have been run at Tara Raceway since May 19.
As is the case with all heats and final events, in the event of insufficient nominations being received for at least two heats, a one-off final will be run on July 21 with preference given to original nominations.