WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, February 19 with GRSA. SUNDAY, MARCH 3: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, February 26 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
Monday, January 21, 2019
A couple of recent purchases in Yappy Allen and Kermy’s Gem fought out the finish of the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday.
Having their first race starts at Tara Raceway, the pair settled second and third behind Midnight Ruby before Yappy Allen finished the stronger to defeat Kermy’s Gem by three-quarters of a length in 23.46 seconds.
By Taylors Sky out of 12-race winner Ferrari Bale, Yappy Allen, now trained at Kongorong by John Little, was purchased by the Bungaloo Syndicate for $2500 after a 1½ length second at Angle Park earlier this month.
Kermy’s Gem won his maiden at Warragul in November, Penola owner-trainer Damien Smith picking up the son of Paw Licking and Hayley’s Gem, who didn’t race, for $2000 after being advertised for sale.
Little will now attempt to “beat the grader” with Yappy Allen when he lines up from box three in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (512 m) at Wednesday’s Tara Raceway time-graded meeting.
Yappy Allen’s clash with Conde could be interesting with the Wade Green trained son of Magic Sprite x Miss Kiss unbeaten in three starts over 512 metres at Tara Raceway and boasting a best time of 30.11 seconds.
Kermy’s Gem will also race on Wednesday, drawing box eight in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) and looking well-placed to open his winning account at Mount Gambier.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
It will be a big month of racing in March when Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier conduct their Group Listed cups – both worth $15,000 to the winner.
With the finals of the inaugural Murray Bridge Cup and the 39th Mount Gambier Cup to be run on Sunday, March 17 and Sunday, March 31 respectively, Greyhound Racing SA Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson this week announced the introduction of bonuses that would link the two events.
“The bonuses include $5000 if the same dog can win both the Murray Bridge Cup and the Mount Gambier Cup,” he said.
“In addition there will also be a $5000 trainer bonus if the same trainer is able to win both cups (SA or interstate or different dogs).”
Heats of the Murray Bridge Cup will be run over 455 metres on Friday, March 8 and the Mount Gambier heats (512 m) on Sunday, March 24.
Meanwhile, despite a top win by Hutch in last Sunday’s Produce Store Open Stake (512 m), Portland trainer Robert Halliday says he has no plans for the cup at this stage and is simply taking it one day at a time with his rising four-year-old son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie.
“I don’t really plan ahead with my dogs. The cup is still a couple of months away but if Hutch is up and about come March then I’ll nominate him although a fair bit can happen in that time,” said Halliday, who has never won a Mount Gambier Cup.
Last Sunday Hutch chased speedy front runner Springvale Alysa until off the back where he took the lead, ultimately running out a 2¼ length winner over Paraphernalia in a quick 29.78 seconds and bringing up a treble for his trainer who earlier in the day had been successful with Koda Blue and Molly’s Wally.
Hutch, a finalist in the 2017 Mount Gambier Cup won by Fabregal, failed to make the final last year but was successful in the Cup Consolation.
A lead-in to the cup for the younger greyhounds will be the Summer Classic, run over 512 metres for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2017 – heats for this series on Sunday, February 17 with the $3000 final a week later.
And it’s fair to say that the Summer Classic, first run in 2015, has unearthed some pretty smart greyhounds with all four previous winners reaching the Mount Gambier Cup final the following month.
Inaugural winner was Cryer’s Ricky who clocked 29.96 seconds for trainer Tom Cryer. Menzel Boys won the 2016 event for Tony Hinrichsen and Lisa Rasmussen in 30.01 seconds while Robert Halliday’s Hutch was successful in 2017 in a time of 30.30 seconds. And Steve Bartholomew’s Galactic Panther scored a stirring victory over Dynamite Danger last year in near race-record time of 29.97 seconds.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
In recent years, Ian Sims’s involvement in greyhound racing mainly centred on being at Tara Raceway every January – ever-conspicuous in his bucket hat – for the running of his parents’ memorial, the Val and Col Sims Maiden.
There was a time, though, when it went much further than that, helping out his father with his large team of dogs at coursing meetings, at Glenburnie when track racing commenced and later at Lake Terrace East where this year’s Val and Col Sims Memorial final will be run on Sunday afternoon.
He also raced greyhounds, no doubt one of his favourites being the aptly named Colin Ian who won the final Mount Gambier Cup run at Glenburnie in 1996.
As president of the Mount Gambier and District Coursing Club, his involvement at Mil Lel meetings was significant and saw him awarded life membership of the club in 1994.
His death last week at the age of 61 came as a shock to all who knew him.
However, while the 2019 Val and Col Sims Memorial final will be tinged in sadness, members of the extended Sims family will congregate at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the running of one of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s time-honoured events.
And that’s what Ian Sims would have wanted.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Portland greyhound trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan looks to hold a strong hand with Twisted Missile and Oshkosh Nar in Sunday’s Val and Col Sims Memorial maiden final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
Having her first start in heat one last Sunday, Twisted Missile held out Candy Chimes to win by 1½ lengths in a smart maiden time of 30.16 seconds – the quicker of the two heats as it turned out.
And Oshkosh Nar, at start number three after two unplaced runs at Warrnambool, chased Bab’s Jakit throughout, eventually going down by 1½ lengths in 30.30 seconds, Lenehan believing the finish-on-lure at Tara Raceway may work in the dog’s favour.
Lenehan, who races Twisted Missile in partnership with Karen Pitt of Botanic Ridge, whelped the Nitro Burst x Harper Seven litter down in November 2016 and still has six more of the litter to put through their paces.
He said Harper Seven had raced only 14 times for seven wins, all over the short course, but that her dam, Alotta Mojo, had been pretty handy, winning 19 races which included three successive wins at Sandown Park in 2008 and later that year wins at Sandown Park, Cranbourne and The Meadows in succession.
According to Lenehan, Twisted Missile, who is from Harper Seven’s second litter, didn’t really surprise him when winning in quick time last Sunday.
“Lack of field experience is generally an issue with first starters,” he said. “But she had been trialling well and I thought if she kept out of trouble then she would be very hard to beat.”
Oshkosh Nar, a giant of a greyhound that weighed in at 39.3 kilograms last Sunday, found his way over to Portland in early November from Anakie-based Dailly Greyhounds that bred and own the son of Dyna Double One and Oshkosh Fayola.
The US-bred Oshkosh Fayola (Kiowa Mon Manny x Oshkosh City) won 20 races in the US at the Southland track over 533 metres and 603 metres.
Lenehan’s involvement with the Daillys actually goes back to 1998 when Tom Dailly trained Star Of Mine for him, the daughter of Head Honcho x Hoppy’s Star – bred by Brian Lenehan – winning 23 races and more than $74,000 in stakemoney.
Incidentally, the Footy Show dog You Idiot, who created plenty of interest when he raced and won at Tara Raceway in January 1999, was a litter brother to Star Of Mine.
Candy Chimes looked pretty good for fellow Portland trainer Nicole Stanley – who won the Sims Memorial in 2016 with Rowchester Star – when going down by only 1½ lengths to Twisted Missile.
By Mogambo, Candy Chimes is out of NSW city-winning stayer Blossom Dior and a litter sister to Black Signature, twice a winner at Sandown Park over 515 metres in 29.63 seconds last November.
Last Sunday’s run was only her second in a race for Stanley who was delighted to see the black bitch run up to her trial form.
“It’s taken her a while for her to get used to a field,” she said. “But she had been trialling well so it was very pleasing to see her handle herself so well last Sunday.”
Stanley also has School Report through to the final after his third behind Twisted Missile and a likely improver after only joining the kennel just before Christmas straight from breaking-in.
Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott’s bid to win another Sims Memorial after Arbour Darby in 2013 didn’t start off too well when Nix Jakit fell going out of the first turn in heat one.
But the Captain, in his own inimitable style, quickly picked himself up off the canvas, bouncing back with a win in the second heat with Bab’s Jakit who wrapped up a busy week after running third at Angle Park on the Monday and second at the same track on the Thursday.
Cape Bridgewater trainer Scott Blacksell will be hoping he has something to crow about with Rooster, into the final on the back of a solid third placing behind Bab’s Jakit and Oshkosh Nar.
Purchased by Blacksell as a pup from Abbott, Rooster is by Cosmic Rumble out of Manila Express, winner of the Royal Fashion Feature Maiden at Tara Raceway in December 2013 before going on to win a further 16 races.
Monday, January 14, 2019
While Tara Raceway’s time-graded race meetings, now run on alternate Wednesday afternoons, are predominantly designed for lower class greyhounds – and to keep them in the system longer – there are still those that occasionally slip under the radar.
For example, like Molly’s Wally, now a winner of six races from 55 starts (all at Tara Raceway). According to his trainer, Robert Halliday of Portland, he’s a different dog when he finds the rails – as he did in last Wednesday’s Greyhound-Data.com Stake (512 metres).
“He hadn’t won a race since last October but when he jumped well from box six and was in front on the rails going into the first turn I reckoned he was always going to be hard to beat.”
In fact, Molly’s Wally never looked like being beaten, eventually running out a 7¼ length winner over Sandy Lagoon in 29.94 seconds – a time that would have him competitive in a Sunday afternoon Free For All let alone a Wednesday afternoon grade five event.
Also bred by Halliday, Molly’s Wally is by Spring Gun out of Baurna Molly and a litter brother to Baurna Sal, who as reported last week, recently whelped to Farmor Las Vegas.
An earlier Baurna Molly litter, by Superman, included Cairnlea Deano (13 wins and $46,000 in stakemoney) and Cairnlea Lewis (10, $20,000).
Earlier last Wednesday, Halliday also opened his winning account with Koda Blue who had 9½ lengths to spare on the line over Shadrack in 23.30 seconds in the Winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m).
A nicely bred son of Barcia Bale x Kokoda Spirit, Koda Blue – out of the winner’s list for 12 months –was having his ninth start for Halliday who took over the dog’s training in October.
The blue dog is a litter brother to Militant Spirit who has won nine races from 21 starts for $26,000 in stakemoney and a half-brother to nine-race winner Spirited Bingle (by Collision) who Halliday has earmarked for a breeding career.
Both Molly’s Wally and Koda Blue backed up at Sunday’s Category 3 meeting with the pair once again scoring impressive wins.
Molly’s Wally, after an early tussle with Pinecutter Pete, ran out a 3½ length winner over Lone Star in 30.33 seconds in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m) while Koda Blue led all the way in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) for a 3¾ length win over Bowled Harro in 23.07 seconds.
A couple of other greyhounds to slip under the radar at the time-graded meeting with quick winning times were Tracie Price’s Banjo Lass, beating the grader with a win in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m) in 30.16 seconds and Noel Carthew’s Patchie Thief’s 23.10 seconds win in the Laser Electrical Stake (400 m).
As testament to the time-graded system of promoting longevity when it comes to greyhounds’ racing careers, some of last week’s 100-plus runners included Spring Leesa and Standing Bear who have both gone around on 134 occasions, Bank Rogue 113, Mr Perfect 108, Good Yarn 107, Maximum Joan 102 and Ace Gone Wild 100.
And striking a blow for the centenarians was Wade Green’s rising four-year-old Maximum Joan, success in The Border Watch Stake (512 m) bringing up her first win since November 2017.
Monday, January 14, 2019
Tipping Woody, a 4½-year-old son of Stagger and Hippy Chic, went close to winning his first race since April 2017 at Tara Raceway last Wednesday.
Having his first start since consecutive race falls at the local track in September and October last year, the black dog was a $51 chance in the JB Irrigation Stake (400 m) when going down by a head to his sister Cement Socks, the littermates both trained by Kevin Ashton of Charlton for the Rosemont Syndicate.
It was the best story all day to come out of the meeting, Ashton and his partner Jan Neil’s remarkable effort in getting both Cement Socks and Tippy Woody back racing again certainly a case of perseverance personified.
In fact, back in June 2017 it appeared likely that Cement Socks’ racing career was over after taking a heavy fall at Ballarat that resulted in a broken leg.
But a year later she was racing again although at her third run back she fractured a metacarpal which necessitated a further three months off the scene before returning to the track in early November last year and winning a further three races.
And Tipping Woody, after winning four races between February and April 2017, broke a hock which saw him sidelined for 16 months.
The mating of 64-race winner Stagger and Hippy Chic, a winner at Sandown Park and The Meadows, has also produced Wot Price Flash (22 wins, $43,000 stakemoney), Tree Climber Liv (20, $33,000) and Mix Off Harmony (10, $22,000).
Meanwhile, local trainer Ken Feltus broke a run of outs when Quick Sensation led all the way in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 m), holding on to win by a neck in 23.68 seconds over Gin Lee’s Bullet and Bungaloo Thor.
For Feltus, it was his first Tara Raceway win since Allen Robbie had been successful in June last year, Quick Sensation previously a winner for him at Tara Raceway in 2017 prior to the black dog doing the majority of his racing in Adelaide during 2018.
Thursday, January 10, 2019
The Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden, shrouded in sadness after the sudden death this week of their son Ian, a life member of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc., has attracted some well-bred newcomers to Tara Raceway for Sunday afternoon’s two 512 metre heats.
Attracting plenty of interest will be first-starter Bourne Thanks, a March 2017 black bitch by Barcia Bale and the first of former 512 metre record holder Thanks Tubby’s progeny to race.
By Superman x Irish Fantasy, Thanks Tubby, a winner over three distances at Tara Raceway, raced on 64 occasions for 21 wins and 23 minor placings, her record 29.60 seconds established in June 2014 and standing for three years.
Another first-starter with ties to a former record holder is Rebel Ruth, whelped in May 2017 and a daughter of former top stayer Destini Fireball out of Lektra Angie, the dam of Lektra Stomp (the Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder at 29.35 seconds prior to Rockoon’s 29.28 seconds).
Rooster, a son of Cosmic Rumble and the city-winning stayer Manila Express, made his debut last week over an unsuitable 400 metres, working home well for third behind Bowled Harro.
Whelped in January 2017, Rooster appears to have inherited some of his dam’s strength with the beautifully bred Manila Express (Bekim Bale x Flossy) winning an Iron Dog series at Tara Raceway as well as plenty of 600 metre and 732 metre races at Angle Park.
Litter sisters Nix Jakit and Bab’s Jakit, who ran second and third on debut at Angle Park over 515 metres on Monday night, backed up again at the city track tonight, running fourth and second respectively and looking well placed in Sunday’s heats.
By Collision, the sisters are out of Cyanide, a winner of seven races – four at Wentworth Park – for stakemoney of more than $24,000.
School Report and Tennessee Rain, April 2017 litter brothers by Barcia Bale x Flamin’ Go, a winner of 15 races and $36,000 in stakemoney, will step out for the first time while Cleansing Ale, after two fifth placings at Warrnambool gets his chance at Tara Raceway.
A May 2017 whelping by Magic Sprite, Cleansing Ale is out of Smouldering Doll, who is another nicely bred bitch being by Bekim Bale x Flaming Doll and a litter sister to Beks, a winner of nine staying races and more than $100,000 in stakemoney.
Trainers to have previously won the Val and Col Sims Memorial and have runners in Sunday’s heats are Cap Abbott in 2013 with Arbour Darby, Nicole Stanley (2016 Rowchester Star) and Paul Herry last year with Got Some Cheek.
Thursday, January 10, 2019
The clash in Mount Gambier last week of harness racing and greyhound racing meetings worked in the favour of aspiring race caller – Lachlan Stace of Adelaide.
Seasoned caller Jim Jacques handled the first four races at Tara Raceway before journeying down Pick Avenue to the showgrounds, leaving Stace to call the remaining eight greyhound races.
Behind the microphone for the first time at a greyhound meeting, it must have been something of a daunting task but the 18-year-old got through the day pretty well considering his lack of knowledge of the local greyhounds and their trainers.
Stace, who has been calling the pony trots at Globe Derby since he was 10 years old, has been on air in various roles since last year.
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Coming from far and wide, Tony Hinrichsen, Wade Green and Robert Halliday shared the training honours with doubles at yesterday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway.
Hinrichsen, of Monarto South, and president of the Murray Bridge Greyhound Racing Club, continued his successful run at Mount Gambier time-graded meetings with wins by Stiff Upper Lip and Lochey Swift.
And Rockbank-based Green, after a bag of five winners late last year, must be wondering why it took him so long to discover Tara Raceway following wins on Wednesday with Conde and Maximum Joan.
Halliday, of Portland, finally broke through with Koda Blue and then later in the day with Molly’s Wally, an outstanding winner over 512 metres in 29.94 seconds.
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
One way and another it’s been a big week for local greyhound owner-trainer Noel Perry and his wife Heather.
Initially it was as first-time breeders, Baurna Sal whelping two dogs and three bitches to Farmor Las Vegas and then George Regis found winning form again for them in the final race at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
Baurna Sal, a 30.13 seconds winner at Tara Raceway over 512 metres, boasts an interesting pedigree, being by Spring Gun out of Baurna Molly, a winner of 10 Victorian city races, and a daughter of Baurnahulla Hero x Record Keeper.
By Soviet Ferrari out of Lady Devika, the US-bred Baurnahulla Hero successfully raced in the US, Ireland and Australia while the unraced Record Keeper (a litter sister to 2009 Mount Gambier Cup winner Drone) was by another US sire in Kiowa Sweet Trey out of Beekeeper.
Farmor Las Vegas, a son of Knocka Norris x Farmor Cee You, won 26 races and more than $194,000 in stakemoney.
Noel Perry reported earlier this week that the litter was doing well although he was quick to concede that it had been another learning experience just as it had been when, as a first-time trainer, he took on George Regis back in the middle of last year.
Out of the winner’s list since late October, the son of Spud Regis x Sky Fly High led all the way from box one in the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (400 metres), eventually running out a 2¼ length winner over Zambora Cash in 23.19 seconds.
It was a good start to 2019 after the previous six months had resulted in the black and white dog winning five races for the Mount Gambier couple and Noel Perry ending the half- year with a total of eight winners.
Meanwhile, Cryer’s Harper, a daughter of Cryer’s Midget, was the first leg of a double for Spud Regis when making it five wins in succession for Tom and Margaret Cryer, leading all the way to defeat Lektra Brandy by 1¼ lengths in a personal best time of 22.96 seconds in the Greg Martlew Autos Free For All (400 m).
Has there been a better winning streak than this since TAB racing was introduced at Tara Raceway back in 2012? Possibly not, although it’s still well short of the SA record for successive wins which stands to the credit of Kate’s A Scandal.
Trained by Howard Gray, the daughter of Temlee x Grotto’s Babe strung together 15 wins on end when winning the 1981 National Sprint Championship at Olympic Park in Melbourne.
In 1988, John King’s Time Machine (Chariot Supreme x Bonus Offer) went close to the record, winning 14 races in a row over 326 metres and 300 metres at Gawler and Port Pirie.
And in 1999, Pinot Noir (Black Shiraz x Jemalong Gold), trained by Kim Johnstone, also won 14 on the trot at Angle Park, Gawler, Strathalbyn and Kulpara.
Earlier on Sunday at Tara Raceway, Cryer’s Harper’s older half-brother Cryer’s Plugger (by Spring Gun) was the first leg of a double for the Cryers after proving much too good in the JB Irrigation Mixed Stake (600 m) for Pool Hall and Goldie’s Run when running a quick 35.10 seconds.
Tracie Price, the 2018 record-breaking trainer at Tara Raceway, also started the year off well with four winners – Shannah’s Gift, Wise Stella, Cee Me Holly and Banjo Lass.
Shannah’s Gift, a son of Fabregas x Shannah’s Star, was having only his 12th start since last winning in May 2018 at Ballarat but ran right up to his encouraging third placing over 390 metres at Warrnambool on January 1.
The 34 kilogram black dog quickly burnt off Coco Suzy in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m) before going on to an impressive eight length win in a personal best 23.11 seconds.