SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17: Nominations closed. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Thursday, December 21 with GRSA. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Wednesday, December 27 with GRSA. See “Racing Calendar” for full details. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time).
Monday, January 18, 2016
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley’s terrific start to 2016 at Tara Raceway continued on Sunday when Rowchester Star held on to narrowly defeat Vixyma in the final of the Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden (512 metres).
Later in the day, Stanley was also successful with Miss Petrova in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m) which brought up her second double in as many meetings after Rowchester Star and Rowchester King had been successful on January 8.
And at the club’s opening meeting of 2016 on January 3 she had won with Evening In Paris.
Rowchester Star, a $6 chance in the final despite running the quicker of the two heats last week, was always going to be hard to beat when bursting to the front going out of the first turn.
The black dog turned for home a length clear over Vixyma – a distant third to the leader in their heat – and in a desperate finish Rowchester Star held on to win by a head in 30.60 seconds.
By Nolen out of African Wave, the winner is owned by the Bluey Forsyth-managed Red Card Syndicate.
For Stanley, Sunday’s win was her second success in a memorial run in honour of club stalwarts – Eylandt Princess winning the 2014 John Reid Memorial.
Whelped in April 2014, Rowchester Star is now likely to be set for the General Destini Summer Classic – an age-restricted series for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2014. Heats of the $3000 series will be run at Tara Raceway over 512 metres on Friday, February 5.
Saint Elite, which displayed early pace before finishing third for Peter Byrne, and Tracie Price’s Real Moment, a fast-finishing fourth, also are eligible for the Summer Classic.
The Sims name is synonymous with greyhound coursing and racing in the South-East. Col Sims was the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc.’s first life member back in 1978.
Val, Graeme and Ian Sims (at Tara Raceway for the first time in several years) became life members of the club in 1994.
At the after-race presentation, attended by a large number of the extended Sims family, Lorraine Webber (a daughter of Val and Col Sims) said her parents would be very proud of the way greyhound racing had progressed at Tara Raceway.
She also confirmed that the Val and Col Sims Memorial would continue to be part of the MGGRC’s feature race calendar.
Long-time trainer Connie Miller, also a 1994 life member, would have crossed paths many times with Col Sims on the track. As such, the memorial is one race she’d dearly love to win.
She came close on Sunday with Vixyma.
By Kinloch Brae out of Abby Shiraz, the beautifully bred black dog is owned in Queensland by Michael Tille who sent Vixyma to Miller two months ago.
Whelped in December 2013, he’s raced only twice and shouldn’t remain a maiden for much longer.
Monday, January 18, 2016
The Laser Electrical Feature Grade Five final (512 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon lived up to expectations when only a neck separated the equal favourites Galactic Viper and Cairnlea Deano on the line.
Away well from box one, Galactic Viper went straight to the front and was always going to be hard to beat as he opened up a handy break down the back straight.
But off the back, Cairnlea Deano was looming ominously as he pulled out behind the leader to mount a serious home straight challenge.
Galactic Viper was able to hang on, though, and make it three successive wins for Moorak owner Robert Chuck and trainer Barry Shepheard of Glencoe.
The winning time of 30.11 seconds was good with both Shepheard and Cairnlea Deano’s trainer Peter Hubbard signifying their intent to push on with the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup in mind.
Fear Helvetia, which turned in a top run for Coleraine owner-trainer Bob Wombwell to finish a 2¼ length third in the final, also is likely to tackle the $10,000 cup, heats of which will be run on Sunday, February 28.
In the previous race, the winningformula.net.au Mixed Stake (512 m), Fear Helvetia’s litter brother Fear The Rascal (Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star) turned in a brilliant effort to defeat Upset Boy by 2¼ lengths in a best of day 29.98 seconds.
Away well from box seven, the $2.10 favourite took the lead going into the back straight and it was then left to Upset Boy to do the chasing.
Owned by Don Nunn, Fear The Rascal is trained at Compton by last year’s leading trainer Tracie Price who will be looking to win his first Mount Gambier Cup with the white and blue dog.
Price ended the day with a treble after Grimsby Girl showed brilliant early speed to win the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m) in 23.32. Then Cee Me Burst just held out Cryer’s Ricky, which had been attempting to make it four wins in succession, in the Premier Boloney @ Stud Mixed Stake (400 m).
Miss Petrova, having her first start for Nicole Stanley, led all the way to defeat odds-on favourite Tear Away Babe which tried hard but failed by a length.
Owned by the Sue Smith-managed Champagne Partners, Miss Petrova, a daughter of Collide and My Secret Shiraz, hadn’t raced since last October when she came on season.
“She’s now won seven races and should be further improved by the run so I certainly haven’t ruled out a Mount Gambier Cup start with her,” Stanley said.
And Berringa trainer Michael Niele is hopeful that Fireball Jack will be ready for the cup.
The Michael Hartnup owned Fireball Jack stormed home to defeat Slipper’s Shadow by three-quarters of a length in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (400 m).
“He’s obviously better suited over more ground but following an injury I’ve brought him back via 400 metre events,” Niele said.
“He’s a dog I know a bit about. I reared him and he showed me quite a bit as a pup.
“I reckon he’s a city class dog and the Mount Gambier Cup could be a good race for him.”
Fireball Jack is by Hutmaker out of Spellbound which was a finalist in the 2013 Mount Gambier Cup won by Colville.
Friday, January 15, 2016
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is to meet with Greyhound Racing SA to discuss the possibility of including a “Pathway” race at its weekly Tara Raceway meetings.
GRSA has introduced Pathway racing on a trial basis at Angle Park and Gawler in a bid to afford all levels of greyhounds the opportunity of competing.
“We believe there is a need to introduce races which will allow such greyhounds to be able to compete against those of a similar ability.”
To be eligible for selection in a Pathway race, greyhounds must have run outside the time standard at their past four starts.
Angle Park, Gawler, Strathalbyn and Mount Gambier have all been allocated time standards for their respective distances. At Tara Raceway the times are 400 metres 23.63 sec., 512 metres 30.98 sec., 600 metres 35.75 sec.
MGGRC secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard said this week that the club was keen to cater for all levels of trainers and all levels of greyhounds.
“As the Pathway conditions stand at the moment trainers with only one dog nominated will take priority over those with multiple nominations.
“And as far as the grading is concerned, greyhounds with the ‘worst’ form will be selected ahead of those with the ‘best’.”
Pathway events will be for maiden, grade six and grade five greyhounds with normal prizemoney being paid.
However, at a later date, GRSA is expected to trial a “flattened” Pathway system whereby prizemoney will be more evenly distributed across all runners in the event.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Promising young greyhound Cairnlea Deano can make amends for his second to Galactic Viper in a heat of the Laser Electrical Feature Grade Five (512 metres) last Friday when he takes on a top field in Sunday’s final.
The son of Superman and Baurna Molly was only fairly away from box four in his heat before ranging up into second spot behind Galactic Viper going into the back straight.
But Galactic Viper was always travelling like a winner, ending up with 3½ lengths to spare in a smart 30.09 seconds which as it turned out was the fastest of the three heats.
And for the strapping black son of Velocette and Magic Elite it was his second win in five days for Moorak owner Robert Chuck and trainer Barry Shepheard of Glencoe.
Galactic Viper, a winner of eight races, including a Group 3 success at Angle Park, from 32 starts, has drawn box one in Sunday’s $2025 final.
This will be the first time he’s jumped from the inside box and although the majority of his better wins having come from wide draws connections certainly wouldn’t be complaining.
Cairnlea Deano went into the heats on the back of three outstanding wins – a 30.03 sec. best at Tara Raceway, and runs of 25.30 sec. and 25.17 sec. at Warrnambool.
The fawn dog, which has now won four races from only nine starts, has drawn awkwardly again in box four in Sunday’s final.
However, he’s a young dog on the way up with Grassmere owner-trainer Peter Hubbard already setting his sights on next month’s Mount Gambier Cup – a race he won in 2008 with Maxwell Stanley.
Sakanon Moment and Fear Helvetia, the other heat winners, weren’t far behind Galactic Viper when running 30.17 seconds and 30.19 seconds.
By Spring Gun out of Nicky’s Moment, Sakanon Moment, which early in his career lived in the shadow of litter sister Stylish Moment, has turned out to be a terrific race dog for Compton trainer Tracie Price.
Away well from box two in his heat, the brindle dog matched motors with Bluey Benz down the back straight before taking over and then holding off Misty Oak in the run home.
Originally regarded as a short-course specialist, Sakanon Moment, which has drawn box six on Sunday, has now won nine races from 33 starts over 512 metres and a total of 17 from 65 starts.
Fear Helvetia, which has won five races from 24 starts, is proving to be a handy buy for Coleraine owner-trainer Bob Wombwell who purchased the son of Fear Zafonic and Shannah’s Star after his second race start.
The 38 kilogram white and black dog, which will jump from box three in the final, appreciated his outside draw last week and took over the running from Whatta Moment down the back before registering a powerful 2½ length win over the early leader.
TRAINERS CHASING SECOND MEMORIAL WIN
Local trainers Barry Shepheard and Tracie Price will be chasing their second Val and Col Sims Memorial win when Galactic Dragon and Real Moment line up in Sunday’s final.
Shepheard was successful in 2013 (as the owner) with Arbour Darby which defeated Where Za Rule in 30.71 seconds while Price won the memorial the following year with Benara Cosmic, a 30.33 seconds winner over Black Linen.
Galactic Dragon, a younger half-brother to Galactic Viper, ran a forward race to finish second to Rowchester Star in a quick 30.37 seconds in last week’s first heat.
The 37 kilogram black dog, which has now been placed on four occasions from his only six starts, has drawn well in the final in box two.
Real Moment, having her first race start, was an impressive second to Cairnlea Mat in the second heat and looks to be one of the improvers.
The daughter of Spring Gun and Suzy’s Moment was slow out but made up plenty of ground to eventually be beaten by 3½ lengths in 30.52 seconds.
Heat winners Rowchester Star (Nicole Stanley) and Cairnlea Mat (Peter Hubbard) have drawn boxes three and six respectively and once again look to be the testing material.
600 METRE RACE ATTRACTS TOP FIELD
In what looks to be a top field, Cairnlea Lewis is the interesting runner in the Williams Crane Hire Mixed Stake (600 m).
Raced in the same interests as his litter brother Cairnlea Deano, the black dog will be having his first run over 600 metres but impressed over 512 metres last Friday.
Well back mid-race, Cairnlea Lewis stormed home to run out a 5¼ length winner over Lektra Goose in 30.46 seconds.
But there are plenty of seasoned middle-distance performers in the race to test the youngster.
Lektra Kelly is a last start 600 metre winner at the track, Boolite Bruiser and Cryer’s Jack have won at the distance while Full Effect was a smart 600 metre winner at Angle Park last month.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Classy chaser Mojito Mayhem, an impressive second over 480 metres at Horsham last Tuesday night, ran right up to that form when scoring an outstanding win in the Greyhound-Data.com Free For All (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Friday afternoon.
Well boxed in the seven, Mojito Mayhem took the lead off a cheeky Amelia Benz going into the back straight and from then on never looked in any danger of defeat, eventually running out a 5¾ length winner over the early leader with a further half length back to Cryer’s Fred in a smart 29.83 seconds.
For the son of Fear Zafonic and Graceful Amy it was his first win since late September when he had been successful at Ballarat over 450 metres.
But his strike rate at the local track is outstanding with the impressive-looking black dog having now won seven races from 13 starts for an overall race record of 10 wins and 13 minor placings from 42 starts.
And Moyston trainer Peter Franklin had no hesitation in declaring after Friday’s win that, all things being equal, Mojito Mayhem would be back for the $10,000 ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup, heats of which will be run on Sunday, February 28.
He contested last year’s cup, running fourth to Cryer’s Ricky in a heat, before winning the Anniversary Cup in July in race record time of 29.99 seconds.
Meanwhile, local cup hope Galactic Viper made it two wins in succession when leading all the way to defeat the $1.60 chance Cairnlea Deano by 3½ lengths in a heat of the Laser Electrical Feature Grade Five (512 m).
Owned by Robert Chuck and trained at Glencoe by Barry Shepheard, Galactic Viper clocked a smart 30.09 seconds. This equated to about a length quicker than the times recorded by the other heat winners – Fear Helvetia and Sakanon Moment.
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Portland greyhound Rowchester Star, at his third Tara Raceway start, took the time honours in the heats of yesterday’s Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden (512 metres).
Away well from box eight, the Nicole Stanley trained black dog took the lead going out of the first turn and from then on never looked like being beaten, eventually running out a 4½ length winner in 30.37 seconds over Barry Shepheard’s Galactic Dragon which battled on well.
Other final qualifiers from the first heat were Vixyma, a son of former top Queensland bitch Abby Shiraz, which made up ground to finish third at his first race start for Allendale East trainer Connie Miller, and Annette Kampman’s reserve runner Tally Ho Jack which held on to run fourth.
Rowchester Star is by Nolen out of African Wave which won nine races in Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.
He is owned by the Red Card Syndicate, who selected him as a pup from a litter of 12, and then had him reared by the syndicate manager, Bluey Forsyth, at Hamilton.
A $5.30 chance, Rowchester Star had been well beaten at his previous two starts at the local track but Stanley said he was still learning what racing was all about.
“Today was only his fourth race start and he’s still pretty young, being an April 2014 whelping. But his breaking-in report had been quite promising so I was really pleased with his effort today,” she said.
All told, it was a pretty fair day for the syndicate and Stanley. Come race 11, The Border Watch Mixed Stake (400 m), and Rowchester King, at $12.20, took over the running down the back before going on to a 1¾ length win in 23.59 seconds.
And while Peter Hubbard’s Cairnlea Donny disappointed as a warm favourite in the first heat, the Grassmere owner-trainer made amends in the second with Cairnlea Mat.
The black dog, which had previously run two seconds at Warrnambool, took over the running down the back before scoring a 3¾ length win over Real Moment in 30.52 seconds.
Also through to the final are Rebecca Smith’s Suspicious Col and Saint Elite which is trained by Peter Byrne.
By Cosmic Rumble, Cairnlea Mat is out of Cairnlea Claire which raced on only three occasions before being retired due to injury.
However, her litter sister, Roxy Mac, found her way over to WA where she won almost $100,000 in prizemoney.
Real Moment, a May 2014 daughter of Spring Gun and 2011 Mount Gambier Cup third placegetter Suzy’s Moment, made an impressive start to her career, turning in an effort that would suggest further improvement in Sunday week’s final.
The 27 kilogram black bitch was slowly away from box five and mid-field down the back straight before running home well for trainer Tracie Price, who won the 2014 Sims Memorial with Benara Cosmic.
With the first two placegetters in both heats being whelped in 2014, they will also be eligible to contest the $3000 General Destini Summer Classic, heats of which will be run on Friday, February 5.
Also eligible for the classic is Cairnlea Lewis, which brought up a running double for Hubbard when successful in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (512 m).
An impressive winner of last month’s Royal Fashion Maiden at Tara Raceway, Cairnlea Lewis jumped at $1.40 from box seven although he looked anything but an odds-on chance as Big Barry led the field down the back straight.
Off the back though, the son of Superman and Baurna Molly moved into top gear, sweeping around the field before going on to defeat Phil Lenehan’s consistent Lektra Goose by 5¼ lengths in 30.46 seconds.
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Veteran chaser Rumbling Rick will be going around for the hundredth time when he jumps from box two in tomorrow’s Gordon Refrigeration Mixed Stake at Tara Raceway.
And even though he’s won almost $90,000 in prizemoney this 400 metre sprint certainly won’t be easy pickings.
No, this is a race that includes a couple of track record holders, along with another couple looking to make it three wins in succession at the track and distance.
By Cosmic Rumble out of Ricky’s Angel, Rumbling Rick is owned by Australian cricketing legend Ricky Ponting and trained at Compton by Tracie Price who is confident the fawn dog is over an injury he sustained in a Strathalbyn Cup heat last November.
“He’s been checked out this week and is good to go,” Price said. “It is a tough field but Rumbling Rick is a real professional racing greyhound and I’m confident he’ll give a good account of himself.”
Whelped in March 2011, the rising five-year-old has won 25 races and recorded 32 minor placings.
And he’s seen plenty of Australia since winning his first race at his first start back in October 2012 at Devonport.
After leaving Tasmania, Rumbling Rick raced in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Victoria before landing in Mount Gambier in September.
Price, who is the dog’s fifth trainer, has won four races with him – one at Angle Park and three at Tara Raceway.
Meanwhile, tomorrow’s race certainly doesn’t lack anything in experience with the durable Twistex also engaged.
By Dyna Lachlan out of Avery Bale, the Toni Jones trained black dog is 13 months younger than Rumbling Rick but has raced on 138 occasions for 26 wins and 39 minor placings.
TRAINER FIRES UP WITH ANOTHER BARGAIN BUY
Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst, ably assisted by wife Valerie, continues to come up with bargain-buy winners.
This time it was with the pint-sized Gun’s Miss which, despite using plenty of the track, went to the line strongly to win the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m) at last Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting.
It was the brindle bitch’s sixth start at Tara Raceway for Brodhurst after she had previously run five minor placings over the 400 metre journey.
By Spring Gun out of Wentworth Park winner Fringe, Gun’s Miss was first spotted by Brodhurst on Greyhound-Data when advertised for sale for $1500.
“She’d won a couple of short-course races in NSW and another one at Gawler so I thought she might be worth a try although I didn’t really want to pay $1500,” he said.
“Anyway, eventually we were able to pick her up for $1000 so she certainly doesn’t owe us anything.
“Most of her racing had been over the short-course but she had given the impression in her 400 metre runs down here that she could probably run a bit farther.
“As a result, a couple of knowledgeable judges at the track reckoned I should step her up in distance. I’ll have to listen to them more often.”
Earlier in the day, Cheyenne Black, another of Brodhurst’s “$1000 bargains”, ran third in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m) and has now registered a win and five minor placings at her past six starts.
LITTER FOR CUP WINNER
Local breeder John Little reports that Camo’s Prinny, winner of the 2013 Mount Gambier Anniversary Cup (512 m), recently whelped two dogs and six bitches to the Group-winning Addis Boy (Token Prince x Fantasy Fortune).
Trained by Bernie Rogers, Camo’s Prinny (Regal Thyme x Camo’s Dollars) defeated Our Testa Talken in what was then a near-record time of 30.19 seconds.
And in other breeding news, David Peckham of Allendale East reports that Angle Park winner Bourne Surfer (Surf Lorian x Bourne Speed) has been mated with Spring Gun.
Bourne Surfer’s first litter (by Cosmic Rumble) is now 11 months old.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Grassmere greyhound trainer Peter Hubbard looks to hold a strong hand with litter brothers Cairnlea Donny and Cairnlea Mat in the heats of tomorrow’s Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden heats (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
Hubbard will be chasing his second feature maiden win at Tara Raceway in as many months after Cairnlea Lewis had scored a brilliant win in the Royal Fashion Maiden final on December 20.
Cairnlea Donny, a son of Cosmic Rumble and Cairnlea Claire, will jump from box seven in the first heat of the memorial after having finished third at his only two race starts at Warrnambool over 450 metres.
And while he will be new to the track, he’s already shown enough to suggest that he’s a youngster with plenty of potential.
The white and black dog raced very greenly at his December 28 debut before finishing the race off well when going down by 4¾ lengths.
At his second start, on January 2, Cairnlea Donny once again raced greenly, finding himself well back early after an ordinary start from box eight, before finishing strongly along the rails to be beaten by only 1½ lengths.
With the first four placegetters to advance to the final, Go Go Chicka, Galactic Dragon and Rowchester Star also look strong chances of qualifying.
Cairnlea Mat, which has drawn box four in the second heat of the memorial, also looks well placed after having run second at his past two starts at Warrnambool over 450 metres.
At his last start, on January 2, the black dog was midfield early and worked home well to finish a half length second in the race in which his brother ran third.
Glencoe trainer Barry Shepheard, who owns the inaugural Sims Memorial winner Arbour Darby (2013), will rug up his half-brother Another Rouse.
The son of Cape Hawke x Kirkstall Jane, which has drawn box six, should be improved on his debut run at Tara Raceway last month when he ran home well to finish a one length third.
Compton trainer Tracie Price, who won the 2014 memorial with Benara Cosmic, has an interesting runner engaged – Real Moment, which will make her debut from box five.
The May 2014 black bitch is a member of Suzy’s Moment’s first litter (by Spring Gun).
Also trained by Price, Suzy’s Moment defeated Cryer’s Midget (the dam of Cryer’s Fred and Cryer’s Ricky) in a heat of the 2011 Mount Gambier Cup prior to running third in the final behind Banger Harvey.
Others which look to be a chance of making their way through to Sunday week’s final include Sophie Eagle and Saint Elite.
DEANO CHASING FOUR IN A ROW
Hubbard also looks to hold a strong hand in the Laser Electrical Feature Grade Five (512 m) with Cairnlea Deano having drawn box four in the first of three heats.
By Superman out of Baurna Molly, the beautifully bred fawn dog created a huge impression when defeating Lektra Kelly (a 600 metre winner last Sunday) at Tara Raceway by 9¼ lengths in a best of day 30.03 seconds on December 20.
Since then Cairnlea Deano has gone right on with the job, winning two 450 metre races at Warrnambool, both in best or near-best times.
The Shepheard-trained Galactic Viper, which has drawn alongside him in three, finished 11¾ lengths behind Cairnlea Deano when they met in December but the Group 3 winner returned to top form again last Sunday at Tara Raceway.
This should be an interesting clash with connections of both greyhounds looking at next month’s Mount Gambier Cup heats.
Bob Wombwell’s Fear Helvetia, which ran a nice second at Warrnambool last week, looks well drawn in box eight in the second heat which also includes the Price-trained Pintail (box six), winner of the Ladies Bracelet (400 m) on December 20.
In the third heat, the David Brodhurst trained Cheyenne Black, John Little’s Bungaloo Sunset and Bluey Benz from the Allen Williams kennel have drawn the outside boxes and should ensure the pace is on from the outset.
The first two placegetters from the three heats, along with the two fastest thirds, will make up the final which will also be run on Sunday week (January 17).
RECORD HOLDERS TO CLASH
The final race, the Gordon Refrigeration Mixed Stake, should be worth hanging around for tomorrow when a top field of short-coursers will do battle over the 400 metre journey.
Included in the field are Ireland’s Oyster, the 400 metre record holder at 22.83 seconds, and the 512 metre record holder Thanks Tubby (29.60 seconds).
Michael Niele, of Berringa, who took the training honours at last Sunday’s meeting with Little Mix and Make Me Classy, will be hoping the latter can make it three wins in a row when he jumps from box six.
Also attempting three consecutive wins over the short course will be Cryer’s Ricky which defeated his brother Cryer’s Fred in a best of day 23.24 seconds last Sunday.
Monday, January 4, 2016
A brilliant display of chasing by the locally owned and trained Galactic Viper at Tara Raceway’s season-opener on Sunday afternoon has connections now looking seriously at next month’s ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup heats.
Away well from box seven in the winningformula.net.au Stake (512 metres), Galactic Viper quickly crossed the field to take the lead going out of the first turn.
And from then on the black dog never looked in any danger of defeat, eventually running out a 7¾ length winner over Lektra Goose and Fascinated in a best of day time of 30.38 seconds.
The win broke a long run of outs for Galactic Viper which had last won – at Group 3 level – when successful in the $25,000-to-the-winner Howard Ashton Classic (515 m) at Angle Park in May last year.
Whelped in February 2013, Galactic Viper is by Velocette out of Magic Elite and is owned at Moorak by Robert Chuck who is also the breeder.
Chuck originally had him being prepared in Victoria but shortly after the classic success he was returned to Moorak with his owner taking over the training and giving him a couple of runs at Tara Raceway and Warrnambool prior to an injury-enforced spell.
Meanwhile, Barry Shepheard had approached Chuck in regard to training Galactic Viper.
“To be honest, Galactic Viper is not the greatest of kennel dogs and I was getting a bit tired of his antics around the place so I ended up sending him out to Barry at Glencoe,” Chuck said.
It would be three months before Galactic Viper returned to the track. But it took only three runs back for him to find winning form again.
And the manner in which he won had Chuck talking about the forthcoming Mount Gambier Cup, heats of which will be run over 512 metres on Sunday, February 28 with the $10,000 final a week later.
“I’m not sure what Barry has in mind – maybe a run or two at Angle Park – but we’ll certainly be looking at the Mount Gambier Cup as well.”
Shepheard, who won the 2010 Mount Gambier Cup with Kirkstall Jane, believes Galactic Viper still has plenty of improvement in him.
“I reckon he still needs to lose a kilogram or so in weight. And ideally, a few more confidence-boosting wins would be a great lead-up to the cup.”
Earlier in the day Chuck also scored an overdue win with Sharkarakis, a son of Premier Boloney and Sookie, which he races with workmates Ken Gillespie, Jack Peacock and Steve Bartholomew.
Trained by Steve Bartholomew Jnr, Sharkarakis was having his third run back after a three month spell due to injury when taking on the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m) from box seven.
And after taking the lead down the back he never looked like being headed as he ran home strongly to defeat Tang Shen by 2½ lengths in 23.65 seconds.
Bartholomew said he would now step up Sharkarakis, which had last won 10 months ago, to 512 metres.
TRAINER’S FIRST TARA RACEWAY WIN
Rosie Bay was successful in Tara Raceway’s first race of the year and in winning the ClassicBet Open Maiden Stake (400 m) she also gave retired Koroit dairy farmer Gerald McKenna his first winner as a trainer at Tara Raceway.
Having her first start at Tara Raceway, the McKenna-bred Rosie Bay, after three handy runs at Ballarat, Warrnambool and Horsham, was much too good for Pillow Talk when winning by 5½ lengths.
Owned by McKenna’s wife Carolyn, the winner is by Billy The Sid out of Troublemaker Bay, an unraced daughter of Birthday Boy and Sophia Lee, which was also bred by the trainer.
And as McKenna tells it, Rosie Bay had been his first winner as a trainer in 11 years.
“My last winner as a trainer had been at Warrnamool with a dog called Childers Bay over 450 metres pretty well 11 years to the day.
“But at the time I was pretty busy with the dairy and while I continued to own greyhounds I had to put the training side of things on hold.
“In recent times we’ve had a bit of success with Droopy’s Bay which was trained for us by Janel Erwin in NSW. He won 18 races and $26,000 in prizemoney.
“Basically I got back into training when I retired six months ago because I had nothing to do.”
McKenna currently is training a team of six with half of them actually contesting the ClassicBet Stake – Rosie Bay, her litter brother Bash Boy Bay and Hurricane Bay which is out of Olivia Bay, a sister to Troublemaker Bay.
MIGHTY ROLLS ‘EM
It had been a number of years since Jason Formosa had raced greyhounds at Tara Raceway but it didn’t take him long to get among the winners when returning on Sunday.
Based at Heathcote, the 41-year-old professional trainer was successful with Roll ‘Em Mighty which led all the way from box one to defeat Golden Fang in The Border Watch Stake (400 m).
Owned by the breeder Tim Noy, Roll ‘Em Mighty, which is by Black Warhorse out of Speedy Osti, had last won at Geelong back in October.
Sunday’s win was only his second in 43 starts with his trainer describing him as a “battler”.
“He is a real battler and today’s race was a good one for him, especially from box one. This sort of track suits him but being based where we are makes it hard to get over here too often,” Formosa said.
Formosa enjoyed a reasonable sort of day with Pomp Fiction running second and Gunmetal Diva third.
Involved in the sport “all his life” he generally works with a team of 20. Currently one of the better dogs in the kennel is Gunmetal Rebel, a winner of 12 races and almost $40,000 in prizemoney.
Saturday, January 2, 2016
Trainer Allen Williams recently took time out to reflect on what had been a busy 2015.
Bluey Benz was the start of the “Benz brigade” success when winning at Tara Raceway back in March. He was also Williams’ last winner of the year – on Sunday, December 20.
Plenty of other “Benz” winners would follow – all originating from Dennis and Nina Uhrhane of Queensland. And after a slow start to the season he ended the year with 20 Tara Raceway winners.
But the major project at the kennels, situated on the outskirts of the sleepy little hamlet known as Tarpeena, was the building of a new kennel block.
No problems with Greyhound Racing SA stewards signing off on this construction with Williams making sure the nine kennels were considerably larger than the regulation size.
And no problems either with the District Council of Grant, which according to the trainer, cut through the red tape when it came to the approval for erection of the kennel block.
“I have to say that for Paul Gibbs and Trudy Glynn and their staff nothing had been too much trouble when it came to sorting out the paper work,” he said.
Williams now looks set for another busy year with plenty of Benz dogs still roaring around the track. Also currently going through their paces are pups by Glen Gallon out of Mount Gambier Cup finalist Keep Looking and others by El Grand Senor out of Chilly Patch, a half-sister to Keep Looking.