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

THURSDAY, JULY 9: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, JULY 16: Nominations close at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 13 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY TRIAL MORNINGS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512 before 6 p.m. on the day prior.  SATISFACTORY TRIALS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512.



KD initiates ‘Catch for Cash’

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Mount Gambier identity Kevin “KD” Douglas – involved in the three racing codes – has furthered his association with greyhound racing by taking out an attendant’s licence.

Already an owner, KD’s licence allows him to catch greyhounds at trial and race fixtures, something he has now done at Tara Raceway’s past two Thursday meetings.

Kevin “KD” Douglas in action as a catcher at last Thursday’s Tara Raceway meeting.

“With the COVID-19 restrictions in place at the moment I figured the only way I was going to be able to take in a local greyhound meeting was to complete the mandatory licence requirements in front of a steward and then help out trainers requiring a catcher for their greyhounds,” he said.

It didn’t end there, though, for KD, also well known for his charity work. Seems he was also looking for a worthwhile way to utilise his Thursday afternoons in Tara Raceway’s catching area surrounded by slobbery greyhounds all seeking one last look at the lure.

“What I came up with was a format called ‘Catch for Cash’ whereby any trainer whose greyhound I catch can, if he or she so desires, place a gold coin in the jar that will be placed in the clubrooms when I am in attendance.”

KD’s charity of choice for the “Catch for Cash” gold-coin-in-the-jar initiative is the Sunset Community Kitchen, which provides meals for people in need, at the John Frew Centre (Frew Park) on Monday and Wednesday evenings between 6 and 6.30.

“A considerable amount of food is donated by local business houses and then prepared by volunteers. I see the ‘Catch for Cash’ initiative as a small way of assisting with the costs incurred by the Sunset Community Kitchen,” KD said.

“Look, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to catch greyhounds for any trainer – gold coin or no gold coin – but the Sunset Kitchen does do a terrific job at Frew Park for people doing it tough.

“I’d like to think we could fill the jar by the end of the year and then have a Sunset Kitchen representative come out to Tara Raceway on a race day to accept the proceeds.”

Boost for meeting after easing of intra-state travel restrictions

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Greyhound Racing SA’s announcement that the previous restrictions on intra-state travel (within SA) would be removed from Monday, May 11 proved to be a boost for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s meeting on Thursday at Tara Raceway.

The lifting of the restriction, which had prevented greyhound trainer movement between Mount Gambier and Adelaide, now allows south-east region greyhounds to compete at the Adelaide region tracks.

It also means Adelaide trainers will once again be able to travel to Mount Gambier for the club’s weekly Thursday meetings – no second weekly meetings to be considered while the restriction on cross border movement remains in place.

And quick to take advantage of the easing of intra-state travel restrictions were Lewiston trainers Clint and Shelley Trengove whose six runners added to Thursday’s pool and contributed to the framing of a 10-race program – the most races since weekly meetings commenced in early April.

The Trengove family has enjoyed its fair share of success at Tara Raceway over the past nine months, the most successful day being on September 12 when Clint, son Harrison, and Shelley led in six winners.

Zipping Capri defeats Renmore at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

Meanwhile, Zipping Capri’s good year at Tara Raceway continued last Thursday when the brindle bitch brought up her fifth win, leading all the way in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m) to defeat Renmore by a half length in 23.35 seconds.

A daughter of Kinloch Brae and Zipping Meg who won eight races and $46,000 in stakemoney, Zipping Capri is owned by Damien Smith, formerly of Penola, and trained at Glenroy by Richard Clayfield.

Actually, it was a couple of successful days for Smith, also the breeder-owner-trainer of first starter De Minaur who won at Murray Bridge up the 300 metre straight the previous day.

No doubt he will be hoping for as much success with De Minaur, named after the Australian tennis player, as he achieved with another Australian tennis player’s namesake in Tomic who in 2009-2010 won 20 races and more than $70,000 in stakemoney.

Smith purchased Zipping Capri from NSW 12 months ago after she had won three races at Nowra. A couple of wins followed in Adelaide but an Achilles injury kept her off the scene for the latter part of 2019 before the brindle bitch strung together three successive wins in January for Clayfield.

Zipping Capri will be back at Tara Raceway on Thursday to tackle the Bartholomew Pick 6 Open Stake. A tougher assignment, for sure, but with a record of five wins and three seconds from 13 starts, she’s generally about the place when it comes to the 400 metres journey.

For the first time in two months, middle-distance racing will return to Tara Raceway with the Bourne Kennels Mixed Stake (600 m) attracting a handy sort of line-up.

The Dean Fennell trained Perseverance has raced over the journey on only two occasions for a second and a fourth but gives the impression that the distance will suit while Dyna Alice is a 731 metres winner at Angle Park and Rebel Ruth a winner of two races at the track and distance.

First litter for cup winner

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Portland breeder Nifty Lenehan reports that Lektra Brandy, a winner of 16 races and more than $23,000 in stakemoney, last Sunday whelped her first litter (four dogs and two bitches) – to Zambora Brockie, the sire of last week’s Warrnambool Cup winner Zambora Smokey.

Her biggest win on the track was last year’s Mount Gambier Anniversary Cup (512 m) when she staged an amazing performance to come from last and run down Dyna Naitch and the early leader Springvale Alysa in a race record 29.63 seconds.

Lektra Brandy is by the US sire KC And All out of Sandown Park distance winner Lektra Scarlett, a beautifully bred daughter of Trewly Special and Elektra.

And in January, Lektra Brandy’s sister, Lektra Viki – a winner of 12 races – whelped five dogs and six bitches, also to Zambora Brockie, for Lenehan’s brother Phil, of Toolong.

Lektra Brandy pictured with her litter by Zambora Brockie.

Littermates all set for city classic series

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Local littermates Rough Pearl and Dick Grayson did all that was asked of them at last Thursday’s Tara Raceway meeting and will now head to Adelaide on Wednesday for the running of the Group 3 Howard Ashton classic heats (515 metres) at Angle Park.

Steve Bartholomew returns with Rough Pearl after his Tara Raceway win last Thursday.

By Dyna Double One out of West On Jorji, Rough Pearl quickly found the front from box five in The Border Watch Stake (400 m) before running away to a 6¾ lengths win over Double Love and Bob Square Pants in a personal best 23.21 seconds.

And Dick Grayson shouldn’t remain a maiden for much longer judging by her performance in the Rock’s Tavern Maiden/One Win Stake (512 m) when chasing Galactic Horizon throughout, eventually finishing a 3¼ lengths second in 29.95 seconds.

The pair, which contested a Breeders 2020 prelude series at Angle Park last month, is trained at Worrolong by Lee Bartholomew who races the February 2018 whelpings in partnership with her daughter Elysia, of Mount Gambier.

Dick Grayson ran a good second behind Galactic Horizon in the Rock’s Tavern Maiden/One Win Stake (512 m).

Last Thursday turned out to be a good day for the litter – bred by Rob Harnas of Lewiston – after the Adelaide-based Toora Ziggy later won in good style over 600 metres at Angle Park.

Toora Ziggy, who also won last month’s prelude final, has drawn box seven in the fifth and final heat on Wednesday afternoon while Dick Grayson will jump from box eight in the first heat and Rough Pearl from box one in heat four.

A paid-up race for SA-bred greyhounds whelped between January 2018 and June 2018, the heats will be followed by semi-finals on Thursday, May 21 and the $37,500 final on Thursday, May 28.

Local chaser wins at super odds

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Obviously not many of the off-course punters who were rewarded when taking the $6 on offer about Super Fay at Tara Raceway’s April 30 meeting gave their winnings a ride on the black bitch when she contested last Thursday’s JB Irrigation Stake (400 m).

Dita Mitchell with $71 chance Super Fay after her win at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

Raced by Dita Mitchell and “Spanner” Hendy, and trained by the former at Tarpeena, $71 chance Super Fay became one of the track’s longest-priced winners when leading all the way to defeat a more than handy grade four field by 2¾ lengths in 23.21 seconds.

For Mitchell, it was her third win with the December 2016 whelping which she took over from Compton breeder-trainer Tracie Price late last year.

By Cosmic Rumble, Super Fay is out of Cee Me Burst, a nicely-bred daughter of Nitro Burst and Oh Cee Ya. Long-time Tara Raceway regulars may well remember Cee Me Burst winning the 2015 Winter Classic (512 m).

Interestingly, in the race prior last Thursday, the Bourne Kennels Mixed Stake (400 m), Cee Me Burst’s litter brother Smart Missile – a winner of 12 races from 26 starts – figured as the sire of another surprise winner in Our Man Zed.

Out of a bitch called Flying Trance who won two races at Bathurst before relocating to New Zealand where she won a further nine races, Our Man Zed is owned by the Nineofus Syndicate and trained at Allendale East by David Peckham.

And while the black dog had put in a couple of top efforts at the previous two Tara Raceway meetings when running second to kennelmate Squishy Pea, also owned by the Nineofus Syndicate, last week’s race not only included his nemesis but also Galactic Athena, chasing five wins on the trot.

But reputations counted for little with Our Man Zed quickly finding the front from box two and always looking to be travelling like a winner as he strode to the line with 2¾ lengths to spare over Raw Luxury.

Syndicate manager Ross Schurgott said Our Man Zed, whelped in March 2017, had been purchased from NSW for a realistic sum as an unnamed youngster after being advertised on the internet site Greyhound-Data.

Our Man Zed upset his more-fancied rivals in last Thursday’s 400 metre mixed stake for David Peckham.

“He’s certainly no champion, simply an honest dog. But he’s now won 10 races so he’s certainly done the job for us,” Schurgott said.

Meanwhile, Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) is expected to soon make an announcement regarding the easing of the current intra-state travel restriction.

This means not only will south-east based trainers be able to travel to Angle Park, Gawler and Murray Bridge but Adelaide trainers will also be able to travel to Mount Gambier for the Tara Raceway Thursday meetings.

However, with the interstate travel restriction still in place, GRSA is not allowing Victorian-trained greyhounds to race in Mount Gambier nor does it intend to program more than the current weekly Thursday meeting at Tara Raceway.

GRSA also pointed out that approximately 60 nominations were required for the Thursday meetings to be viable.

“These meetings could be at some risk if local trainers choose to race elsewhere during any given week and nomination loss was not compensated for by Adelaide trainers,” a spokesperson said.

Nominations pick up at Tara Raceway

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

While the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is still a long way from returning to its pre-COVID-19 two meetings a week format, it was heartened to be able to run a nine-race program at Tara Raceway on Thursday.

With border and intrastate restrictions, not to mention the canine gastroenteritis outbreak and the fact that Victorian trainers are currently unable to race in SA, would suggest the club has probably done pretty well so far to run one meeting a week, let alone two.

Robert Chuck with Galactic Athena, looking to extend her winning run at Tara Raceway to five.

After a couple of cancellations, Sunday meetings were dropped, the one meeting a week format – run solely for locally-based greyhounds – kicking off on Thursday, April 9 with seven races but no patrons, catering or on-course TAB.

The following three Thursday fixtures attracted sufficient greyhounds to run eight-race programs, Thursday’s meeting, though, the best to be conducted at Tara Raceway for a while and highlighted by Galactic Athena’s bid to win five races in a row at the track.

The Steve Bartholomew trained, Robert Chuck owned brindle bitch took advantage of her litter sister Galactic Destiny moving out on the home turn when they met last week over 400 metres, Galactic Athena making it four wins in succession with a 2½ lengths victory in 23.26 seconds.

Winning in slightly quicker time last week was the David Peckham trained Squishy Pea who ran 23.24 seconds – the pair now set to clash in Thursday’s Bourne Kennels Mixed Stake (400 m).

A daughter of Paddy Whacker and Galactic Rumball, Galactic Athena won’t turn three until August and is still right in the mix for another crack at the Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) which will be run this year once the borders are re-opened.

If successful, Galactic Athena, who won the 2019 Mount Gambier Cup in a race record 29.43 seconds, would become the first greyhound to win two cups in the 40-year history of the event.

Releasing the hand brake

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Often referred to as a greyhound with no road sense, Rouse Rocket finally found winning form at start number 10 in last Thursday’s Bartholomew Pick 6 Maiden Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway.

Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield reckoned it was the best the 35 kilogram black dog had negotiated traffic. Not so the start, though. He looked like he came out of box eight with the hand brake on!

And the well-bred son of Peter Rocket x Headline still had plenty of work to do turning for home before finishing powerfully to grab Angelo’s Entity for a half length win in 23.72 seconds.

He became the seventh member of the litter to win a race, following on from Burn Time, Falcon Heavy, High Fly Dorothy, High Fly Emma, Rocketline and Tandiki.

Meanwhile, owner Jack Casey, living in the shadows of the iconic landmark Mount Rouse, an extinct volcano that lies in the town of Penshurst, disappointingly was a non-starter at Tara Raceway last week due to the coronavirus restrictions in place at the border and the track.

Rouse Rocket finishes powerfully to defeat Angelo’s Entity at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

Rouse Rocket is by no means the first “Rouse” dog he has been successful with – Rouse Flyer one of the better ones after winning 26 races as well as the 2014 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year.

Purchased as a pup from Compton breeder Tracie Price, Rouse Rocket found his way to Glenroy at 12 months of age, Clayfield, who also broke-in the dog, admitting that the May 2018 whelping had at times been something of a challenge.

“Pretty well from day one he seemed to struggle at Tara Raceway going around the turn off the back and then if there was a dog to run into the back of then he would find it. However, with the exception of the start, last week was the best he’s handled himself in a race,” he said.

From a training point of view, Clayfield said he was the fastest dog that he’s put up his straight track.

Meanwhile, Rouse Rocket will step up in class and distance when jumping from box four in Thursday’s Rock’s Tavern Maiden/One Win Stake (512 m).

Looking hard to beat is Galactic Horizon, raced in the same interests as her litter sister Galactic Athena and an impressive 2¼ lengths second behind Rock It Fernando over 512 metres in 30.21 seconds at last week’s meeting.

And an interesting first starter in the race is Double Vision, trained at Allendale East by David Peckham for the Nineofus Syndicate.

By Fernando Bale out of city-winning stayer Midnight Elsa, Double Vision is a litter brother to Along The Line, Midnight Offer and Midnight Affair – all first-up winners at Sandown Park, Bathurst and Richmond.

Syndicate hoping for cup to be run sooner rather than later

Sunday, May 3, 2020

With the Nineofus Syndicate currently experiencing a terrific run with their greyhounds, they’ll be hoping this year’s on-again Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup (512 metres) will be run sooner rather than later.

Greyhound Racing SA is also keen to have the cup run and won by the end of June although this will be subject to the lifting of border restrictions in place at the moment due to COVID-19.

Squishy Pea, pictured right with David Peckham, and Our Man Zed (Mel Freitag) for the second week in a row ran the quinella in the mixed stake over 400 metres.

The Ross Schurgott-managed syndicate enjoyed another good day last Thursday when Squishy Pea and Our Man Zed ran the quinella in the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway and that night Silent Jacko finished second at Angle Park.

A giveaway, the beautifully bred Squishy Pea, a son of Fernando Bale x Secret Spell (23 wins, $276,000 stakemoney), chased kennelmate Our Man Zed until the home turn where he took advantage of the leader moving out, eventually finishing a 1¾ lengths winner in 23.24 seconds.

Four years old last week, the black dog has now won 12 races for the syndicate – including the 2019 Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup and 2020 New Year’s Gift, both over 512 metres at Tara Raceway, plus a 515 metres win at Angle Park – since joining David Peckham’s Allendale East kennels last year.

Purchased last year prior to racing from NSW breeder David Pringle, Silent Jacko has now won 11 races at Tara Raceway, Angle Park and Murray Bridge since joining Peckham’s kennels. By Kinloch Brae x Bonnie’s Secret, the brindle dog is currently being trained in Adelaide by Ben Rawlings.

Squishy Pea’s win was the third leg of a running treble for Peckham and brought up the leading trainer’s 45th win this year at the local track after Rock It Fernando and Fabs You Go had won over the 512 metres journey.

Raced by Lena Aloisi, Rock It Fernando made it two wins from three starts at Tara Raceway when leading all the way from box seven in the Bourne Kennels Stake to defeat a determined Galactic Horizon by 2¼ lengths in 30.21 seconds.

And in the five-dog Trackside Meats Stake, Peckham managed to land the trifecta when Fabs You Go, raced by Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman, found the front going out of the first turn before running out a strong 5½ length winner over Bourne Blackjack and Missing Mate in 30.12 seconds.

It’s now been close to two years since the WA-bred Wise Stella won her maiden over 400 metres at Tara Raceway in a flying 22.89 seconds – still the fastest maiden time recorded at the local track and back then only a length outside Cryer’s Ricky’s 22.78 seconds track record.

While it’s probably fair to say that a considerable amount of water has passed under the bridge since then, the black bitch – these days raced by her trainer Tracie Price’s son, Ben – brought up her eighth win at the track in last Thursday’s Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m).

Ben Price pictured with Wise Stella.

Always on the pace from box two, Wise Stella railed through off the back to take the lead, eventually running out a 2¼ lengths winner over Shannah’s Gift in a time of 23.55 seconds.

She had found her way over to Mount Gambier back in late 2017 after an infringement at Sandown Park – the Compton-based Price hoping the finish-on lure at Tara Raceway would help to turn her fortunes around.

By Barcia Bale, Wise Stella is out of Wise Penny’s third litter which also includes Wise Ricciardo, a winner of 12 races and $94,000 in stakemoney.

Wise Penny was purchased in late 2009 from NSW by a group of seven WA country guys who had got together to race a greyhound. She was then transferred to WA where she won eight races, all at Cannington over 530 metres and 642 metres.

Later, she was served by Cosmic Chief, that mating subsequently producing Group 1 Rookie Rebel winner Cosmic Wise who raced on 100 occasions for 26 wins and more than $230,000 in stakemoney.

Cosmic Wise was later mated with Fernando Bale, Wise Thunder one of the first to race from that litter and winning on debut recently at Sandown Park. A second litter to follow is by My Redeemer.

All told, Wise Penny, the 515 metres Gosford maiden winner by Bombastic Shiraz purchased all those years ago, turned out to be a top producer – 21 pups from three litters with all hitting the track and all winning.

2020 Mount Gambier Cup back on the feature race calendar

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s 2020 Mount Gambier Cup, first postponed then cancelled in response to COVID-19 restrictions, will now be conducted this year.

This follows an announcement this week by Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) which, following a review of its budgets, confirmed that the Mount Gambier Cup would continue its unbroken run of 40 years.

“We have re-considered our initial stance on the running of this year’s cup,” said GRSA Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson. “In reviewing our budgets and feature races, and making some changes, we believe we can support the running of the cup.”

Mathieson said the event would be scheduled when borders were re-opened by government and the GRSA board approved nominations from interstate as well as approving intrastate travel locally.

“Look, we would prefer the cup to be run prior to June 30 this year, however some of these restrictions may still be in place.

“That being the case we are still supportive of the event being run before the end of the calendar year with an expectation of this occurring sooner rather than later.”

For the Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup to be run this year means it will have to be conducted at reduced stakes for both the 512 metre heats and final – the winner to receive $10,000 – still the second-highest amount ever paid to a cup winner.

“This prizemoney falls into line with other reductions to feature events across the state during this time,” the racing manager said.

MGGRC president, Noel Perry, thanked GRSA for its effort in helping to maintain the continuity of the Mount Gambier Cup, an event steeped in history after first being run over 479 metres at Glenburnie in 1981 when won by Tara Topar.

“This week’s announcement was terrific news and certainly gives us hope for the future,” he said. “I know times have been tough for everyone but from a local greyhound racing point of view this news is sure to lift participants’ spirits.”

Meanwhile, temporary reductions to Category 3 stakemoney (Mount Gambier), implemented by GRSA in response to COVID-19, are as follows:

Maiden: 400 m (old total $865, new total $735); 512 m ($995, $840). Grade 6: 400 m ($905, $770); 512 m ($1035, $880). Grade 5: 400 m ($945, $805); 512 m ($1085, $920). Grade 4: 400 m ($990, $840); 512 m ($1140, $970). Open: 400 m ($1135, $965); 512 m ($1300, $1105).

‘Super hero’ set to open winning account

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Dick Grayson, named after the fictional super hero, looks set to open her winning account when she lines up from box six in the somewhat appropriate Bartholomew Pick 6 Maiden Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Thursday afternoon.

Raced by the trainer, Lee Bartholomew of Worrolong, in partnership with daughter Elysia, Dick Grayson should find the five-dog field considerably easier than last week when she ran fourth in a Breeders Prelude heat (515 m) at Angle Park.

The white and black bitch’s litter brother and kennelmate, Rough Pearl, finished fourth last night in the Prelude final which was won by another member of the litter – Adelaide-based Toora Ziggy.

Dee Tee, a winner over three distances at Tara Raceway, is the dam of Miss Zeus and Dynamite Miss who both won at Horsham today.

A repeat of her effort when running second behind Galactic Horizon at Tara Raceway over 400 metres a fortnight ago should see Dick Grayson top off a good week for the Dyna Double One x West On Jorji litter.

And Victorian-based Tara Raceway regulars Nicole Stanley, Cap Abbott and Andy Graham, currently hamstrung by border restrictions, were among the winners at Horsham today.

Stanley was successful with Burst The Seam, Oscar The Scout and Picogram while Abbott’s Black Spring, the 2019 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, won his first race this year when scoring over 485 metres at odds of $72.

The Graham-trained Bay Me, a winner of four races at Tara Raceway and second to Sweet On Me in this year’s Summer Classic, ran down Stanley’s Jackie Dee in the home straight of a grade five 410 metre event.

Also, Bushfield breeder-trainer Gary Lane landed a 410 metre double with Dyna Double One x Dee Tee litter sisters Miss Zeus and Dynamite Miss.

Dee Tee, a daughter of El Grand Senor and Mantra Miss – at one time the 512 metres and 732 metres record holder at Tara Raceway – and a litter sister to former Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder Miss Jacovella, won 13 of her 16 races at the Mount Gambier track.