WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JANUARY 27: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 29 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Friday, February 1 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Paraphernalia finally found the outright lead in this year’s Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award when leading all the way to defeat Hutch by 1¾ lengths in 29.84 seconds in last Sunday’s Greyhound-Data.com Open Stake (512 m).
Coming into the meeting the Jeff Guy trained Paraphernalia and Nicole Stanley’s Oh No Beta were level on 56 points, the former picking up another four points when posting his 13th win for the year at Tara Raceway.
But the lead was short-lived when four races later Oh No Beta, after finishing unplaced the previous week, bounced back with an all-the-way win over Lektra Guiseppe in the Winningformula.net.au Open Stake (400 m) in 23.21 seconds.
Both greyhounds now go into Sunday’s meeting on 60 points – Paraphernalia 13 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds and Oh No Beta 9, 10, 4.
Stanley is looking well-placed to land her third successive Mount Gambier GOTY title after Old Jock – a similar type of greyhound to Paraphernalia – was successful in 2016 with 71 points and Fiorelli Rose last year with 67.
There are three Category 3 meetings remaining this year at Tara Raceway – December 9, 16 and 21 – for the pair to pick up points. In what has been a terrific battle, surely the best result would be a dead-heat for the two veterans, both with more than 100 starts to their names and a collective win tally of 64.
Paraphernalia’s re-match with Hutch in the JB Irrigation Stake (512 m) on Sunday will be interesting after the pair’s clash last Sunday when the latter was resuming after a two-month injury break.
Hutch should be better for the run, Portland trainer Robert Halliday saying later that he had been very happy with the effort and that the dog appeared to have pulled up well.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
A decision back in early 2009 by Apsley trainer Tom Cryer and his wife Margaret to take a trip to Bendigo and check out a litter of pups with a view to purchasing one has turned out to be the best move he’s made in a 50-year involvement in greyhound racing.
The litter of 12, bred by Dean Crocker, was by Texas Gold, a winner of 21 races, most over 700 metres or further, and a son of the successful US sire Flying Penske, while the dam Shady Grove Fox, a winner of three races, was a granddaughter of another US sire in Derryfoyle.
And Tom Cryer still remembers the day they picked out a black bitch which he said was certainly a bit on the small side but at $500 probably worth taking a punt on.
“As it turned out, she never grew to any great size, hence her subsequent racing name of Cryer’s Midget. In fact, by the time she commenced racing in August 2010 she was less than 23 kilograms although later in her career she added another kilogram.”
In a racing career spanning a little over two years, Cryer’s Midget, the 2011 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, raced on 51 occasions for 11 wins and 15 minor placings at Tara Raceway.
Upon the black bitch’s retirement, Cryer then opted to breed a litter, something that he had not done for a number of years.
“At the time, greyhound racing was undergoing a significant change in Mount Gambier with the club preparing to run weekly TAB meetings at Tara Raceway so I figured it could be a good time to breed another litter,” he said.
Cryer settled on Spring Gun, a relative newcomer to the stud dog ranks but one that had already shown plenty of promise as a sire after having won 18 races from 27 starts on the track.
Three brindle dogs, whelped in February 2013, and later to be named Cryer’s Fred, Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Jack, duly found their way to the track, collectively going around 297 times for 78 wins – Cryer’s Ricky’s 22.78 seconds run at Tara Raceway on February 19, 2016 still standing as the 400 metre record.
Cryer’s Midget was mated again with Spring Gun, subsequent January 2015 whelpings Cryer’s Bob, Cryer’s Jed, Cryer’s Plugger and Cryer’s Sid having so far raced on 277 occasions for 48 wins.
Back in February 2015, Cryer’s Ricky, after gaining a run off the reserve bench in the Summer Classic final (512 metres) when Mojito Mayhem was scratched, won the inaugural classic in what is still a race record time of 29.96 seconds.
The Cryers also collected a service to Spud Regis as part of the prize, Cryer’s Midget later mated to the Group 1 winner for her third and final litter – Cryer’s Harper having now won five races from 28 starts.
And at Tara Raceway’s meeting on Sunday, Cryer landed his first-ever treble.
Cryer’s Bob led all the way in the Rock’s Retreat Mixed Stake (600 m), Cryer’s Plugger overcame early crowding to take the lead down the back and run out an easy winner in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m) while Cryer’s Harper led all the way in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m).
Cryer’s Midget’s treble takes her tally to 28 wins this year and gives her the lead by one win over Who’s Doing What on the Leading Dam list – an award that next year will be officially recognised by the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.
By High Earner x No Recall, Who’s Doing What, after winning 16 races at Cannington, Geelong, Angle Park, Warrnambool, Strathalbyn, Gawler and Mount Gambier, has two litters on the track – by Fabregas and Knocka Norris.
And Tracie Price, the record-breaking trainer with 134 Tara Raceway wins this year, reports this week that the Compton-based Who’s Doing What has whelped a litter of five to the boom sire Fernando Bale.
Another Scenario and Same Scenario, from the Fabregas litter, have both won five races from 24 starts while the Knocka Norris litter includes Smart Knocka (seven wins from 13 starts including the Adelaide Cup Consolation and the Peter Rocket Winter Classic), Smart Marty (six from 21) and Whatta Knocka (five from 20).
Meanwhile, next week’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway has been switched from Friday back to Wednesday (December 12). Heats of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m) and supporting events will follow on Sunday, December 16.
Finals of all events will be run at the Christmas meeting on Friday, December 21 while a time-graded fixture on Sunday, December 30 wraps up a busy year of greyhound racing in Mount Gambier.
Commencing in January, all time-graded meetings will be run on alternate Wednesdays in conjunction with Murray Bridge – the change of days allowing for more time between runs and possibly helping with the nomination flow.
Monday, December 3, 2018
Rockbank trainer Wade Green’s day at Friday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway kicked off with a quinella in the first race – and just kept getting better from then on.
Racing in Mount Gambier for the first time, Green had litter brothers Janray Mazel Tov and Janray Wild One – giveaways after a handful of starts – engaged in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 metres).
By Blue Lorian out of Path To Hope, Janray Wild One led his brother down the back straight but in the run home Janray Mazel Tov finished slightly the stronger to grab victory by a half head in 23.93 seconds.
Buzz Off Mumma led all the way from box one in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m) in 23.85 seconds, holding off Serendipity Love, trained at Dunolly by Richard Boehm who had won the previous race (Trackside Meats Stake) with Avatar Blaze, and Shaun Baulch’s Big Tilly who wasn’t far away from winning her second race at her 112th start.
This was Green’s second winner of the day, the 44-year-old trainer purchasing the daughter of Bit Chili and Candy Spice from NSW back in April after she had won a maiden, although quick to point out that there has been a few problems with her.
“She does possess plenty of early speed but she’s very injury-prone so it’s been something of a long road with her,” he said.
Conde, purchased from SA by Green and Paul Cusack – who would enjoy success in his own right later in the day – after winning at Port Augusta and Gawler, gave Green his first treble on any track when successful in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m).
Always on the pace, Conde, who according to his trainer had been knocking on the door, took the lead on the home turn, eventually defeating Triceps Brachi by three-quarters of a length in 30.61 seconds to give connections their first win with the son of Magic Sprite x Miss Kiss.
But Green – back in the game for 14 months after a lengthy break – wasn’t finished yet. Nitro Heroine, another SA purchase that had last won at Wagga back in March, led all the way in The Border Watch Stake (400 m), defeating Serendipity Man by 1½ lengths in 23.41 seconds.
From a 2018 time-graded meeting point of view, Green’s four winners for the day equalled Kath Brooks’ effort of February 23 when she was successful with Iroquois Sharman, Call Me Crazy, Stella Story and Annie Bell.
And coming into the last race, the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (400 m), he was still a chance of making it five winners, Tron’s Empire and Big Kenny Bobo jumping from boxes four and six respectively.
Tron’s Empire, in Green’s kennels since September 2017 after a couple of short-course wins at Angle Park, led all the way to defeat Allen Robbie by two lengths in 23.44 seconds – the trainer’s fifth win for the day and the best effort by a trainer at a time-graded meeting this year.
Other trainers to land their first Tara Raceway winners on Friday were Lew Green (Wade’s cousin), Cristina Gason and Cusack.
Also based at Rockbank, Green landed the quinella in the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m) when giveaway greyhound Dee Jakit defeated Banana Honeybear by a length in 24.09 seconds.
Involved in greyhound racing for 12 years, Gason, of Cundare North, didn’t have to wait long for a return with Latissimus Dorsi, a giveaway which she took over last month after previous wins at Shepparton, Healesville and Ballarat.
Last early, the daughter of the former top chaser Paw Licking and Batwoman, chased keenly and eventually ran out a 1¼ length winner over Shadrack in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) for the Windy Plains Syndicate which comprises Gason and Kevin Quinn, second earlier in the day with Triceps Brachii.
Cusack owned and trained greyhounds Gin Lee’s Pride and Covfefe ran the quinella in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m), the former having 3¾ lengths to spare over his kennelmate when bringing up his first win in 18 months.
This was the Mount Cottrell-based Cusack’s first win with the giveaway son of Cosmic Rumble x Gin Lee’s Gem that joined his kennels in February this year.
Meanwhile, Cee Me Snoop, trained at Compton by Tracie Price, turned in a big run at Warrnambool the previous night, the son of Cosmic Rumble x Cee Me Burst winning a 1-4 wins final over 390 metres.
Gaining a run as a reserve, the black dog was slowly away from box eight but appreciated the draw when finishing strongly out wide to win at $11.50 by 1½ lengths in 22.42 seconds.
Cee Me Snoop then followed up at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon with another win, leading all the way to defeat Lady Pippa by 3¼ lengths in 30.23 seconds in The Border Watch Stake (512 m) – the first heat of a grade five series.
The win was the first leg of a treble for Price, Cilla Brown leading all the way in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) while Smart Marty brought up the trainer’s third winner when much too good in the Produce Store Mixed Stake (400 m), winning by five lengths in 23.16 seconds.
By Knocka Norris x Who’s Doing What, Smart Marty is a litter brother to Price’s Smart Knocka who was drawn to contest a Ballarat Cup heat on Saturday night but was scratched after sustaining a foot injury.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
In the space of 14 months Rusty Sprocket has come a fair way for Cape Bridgewater trainer Scott Blacksell who celebrated his 55th birthday on Wednesday.
And he still remembers the day back in late September last year when he fronted at Tara Raceway with the 17-month-old black bitch for her first race start in a maiden 400 metre event at a Friday afternoon time-graded meeting.
“Originally she was a reserve but gained a start from box eight,” recalled Blacksell. “She made a real mess of the start, though, and I thought from there on that she would be no hope of even running a place.
“However, down the back she took over the running, eventually going on to an easy win in 24.05 seconds. Even though the time was nothing flash, I was pretty happy with the effort especially considering she came off the track favouring a toe.”
It would be another nine months before Rusty Sprocket won her second race, this time over 400 metres in 23.47 seconds in June – two more 512 metres wins following the next month, the second one in a more than handy 30.00 seconds.
Blacksell conceded there had been some fair efforts in the interim, but last Sunday’s win in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m), when she never really looked like losing after finding the front going out of the first turn, had been her first win – again in a smart 30.01 seconds – since July.
“I thought her runs leading up to last Sunday had been pretty handy,” he said. “Really, though, I think she’s just needed time to mature. Also, she is now racing three kilograms lighter than when she won her maiden.”
Purchased by Blacksell as a four-month-old pup from Portland breeder Robert Halliday, Rusty Sprocket is by Fabregas out of Guru Doll, an Angle Park and Sandown Park winner, and a litter sister to SA Oaks winner Kokoda Spirit, the dam of last Sunday’s Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) winner Midnight Rage, trained by Halliday.
Meanwhile, Rusty Sprocket will face her toughest test to date when she jumps from box four in this Sunday’s Greyhound-Data.com Stake (512 m), an Open event that includes Jeff Guy’s Paraphernalia, fresh from a 29.66 seconds run last Sunday.
The race also sees the return of the Halliday-trained Hutch – back from an injury break – who, along with Paraphernalia, represented the Mount Gambier club in last month’s SA Country Cup final at Angle Park.
And the introduction of $50 for unplaced runners at Category 3 meetings appears to have given Sunday’s meeting a much-needed boost with several Victorian trainers who have greyhounds engaged at Friday’s time-graded meeting back for the club’s main fixture.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Big Tilly crosses the border for the first time on Friday afternoon to contest the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded 12-race meeting.
Not that she’s short on race experience, the 3½-year-old black bitch lining up on Friday for her 112th start for Grovedale (a suburb of Geelong) owner-trainer Shaun Baulch.
By Phenomenal, the dog that ran a track record of 24.83 seconds in a heat of the 2014 Warrnambool Classic (450 m), she’s out of five-race winner Enduro Miss.
Big Tilly made her race debut in March 2017 at Geelong but it would be nine months and 50 starts later before she opened her winning account up the straight at Healesville over 300 metres.
Now, 12 months later, Baulch is still chasing an elusive second win, although not through lack of trying with the durable 29 kilogram bitch since going around a further 60-odd times.
All told, Big Tilly has a race record of one win, 6 seconds and 12 thirds and certainly speaks volumes for her trainer’s perseverance.
Baulch also has Kimura engaged in the same race from box seven. The daughter of Djays Octane and Annabelle won on debut at Shepparton in March this year but has yet to win again in 42 starts.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
It was just another typical week for Edenhope greyhound trainer Captain Abbott.
Last Thursday off to Angle Park, to Mount Gambier and Tara Raceway’s trials on Saturday morning before returning again the following day for the local race meeting and then back to Angle Park for Monday night’s fixture. All told, more than 2000 kilometres in the space of five days.
Things didn’t go too badly for Abbott at the Thursday night Angle Park main meeting, litter brothers Spinning Jakit and Black Spring both finishing strongly to run third over 515 metres and 600 metres respectively.
Then, Sunday’s meeting saw the veteran trainer land his ninth double for the year at Tara Raceway, this time with his well-bred pair of Dodge Coupe in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m) and Blonde Barbados in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m).
A $10 chance, Dodge Coupe, by Kinloch Brae out of Secret Spell (a winner more than $275,000), took the lead down the back straight before holding out Dad’s Nitro to win by 1¼ lengths in 23.40 seconds.
Later in the day, the well-fancied Blonde Barbados chased rank outsider Cosmic Ann until the home turn where she railed through to find the front and ultimately held on to win by a neck in 23.21 seconds.
By Cosmic Rumble out of New Year’s Punch, Blonde Barbados – a winner of five races since being taken over by Abbott late last year – is from a repeat mating, the first litter including Bruce Typhoon ($270,000) and Sweet Barbados ($60,000).
Complementing the double was a third placing from Luca Flyer while Spinning Jakit backed up for his first attempt over 600 metres, showing promise of better things to come when going down by a half length to Goldie’s Run.
Black Spring went one better the next night at Angle Park, though, turning in a terrific effort in a grade six 600 metre event to run down odds-on favourite Spring Kudu in the shadows of the post while kennelmates Pool Hall and Big Casey – having his first SA start – paid their way with third placings.
In Abbott’s kennels for only a week, the appropriately-named Big Casey, who has raced as heavy as 41 kilograms, was always on the pace on Monday night and the Bulli and Goulburn winner looks well-placed in Friday’s Winningformula.net.au Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting.
And at this Sunday’s meeting, Spinning Jakit will take on a fair sort of mixed field that includes Noosa Parade and Cryer’s Bob when he jumps from box four in the Rock’s Retreat Mixed Stake (600 m).
All told, Abbott has six runners engaged at the Friday and Sunday meetings and already with 41 wins, 37 seconds and 44 thirds will be looking to improve upon what has already been his best year ever at Tara Raceway.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Proud parents Tim Holmes and Amy Widdicombe have been showing off their new arrival, Connor James Francis, at the past couple of Tara Raceway meetings.
And hasn’t the 6½-week-old pocket rocket been a hit!
Also keeping a watchful eye on Connor have been the Holmes grandparents – a doting Fran and Allan, a Life Member of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club, and a big softie at heart who’s probably done more than his share of doting as well over Tim and Amy’s first child.
After last Sunday, Connor now has the distinction of being the club’s youngest-ever member – No. 95 on this year’s list.
Not only does he now have a membership card and pen, we’re sure he’ll be pleased to know that he is also eligible for the weekly meat tray draw along with the Dawn and David Kay cash draw. Only if he’s at the track, though!
Monday, November 26, 2018
At 4½ years of age, Horsham greyhound Paraphernalia looked to be anything but in the twilight of his 135-start career when carving out a best of day 6½-length win over Springvale Alysa in Sunday’s Metal Worx Mixed Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
Leading all the way from box one, the Jeff Guy trained Paraphernalia also clocked a personal best time of 29.66 seconds, his previous best being 29.71 seconds, run in a heat of this year’s Mount Gambier Cup.
The fawn dog has now won 12 races from 21 starts this year at Tara Raceway, Sunday’s win keeping him in the hunt for Greyhound of the Year honours.
As the season enters its final month, and with only four regular meetings remaining, the GOTY now looks to be developing into a two-dog race with Paraphernalia and the Nicole Stanley trained Oh No Beta – who failed to run a place in Sunday’s last race – sharing the lead on 56 points.
A finalist in the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s two previous cup events this year – the Mount Gambier Cup and the Anniversary Cup – Paraphernalia is likely to line up in a heat of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m) on Sunday, December 16.
Earlier on Sunday in the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (600 m), 101-start veteran Goldie’s Run outstayed Spinning Jakit, who was having his first run over the middle-distance, when railing through on the home turn and finishing slightly the stronger to win by a half length in 35.60 seconds.
A son of Cosmic Rumble and Moonshine Sally, Goldie’s Run has been trained at Glencoe for his past 28 starts by Dean Fennell who last won with the black dog back in August.
And come the last race, the Williams Crane Hire Open Stake (400 m), the litter went close to a double when the David Peckham trained Blitz And Bolt came from a fair way back to dead-heat for second with Tracie Price’s Baz’s Moment, the pair beaten only a head by another of Price’s runners in Same Scenario.
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Google it all you like, but you’re unlikely to find too many references to the book Horses Dogs . . . and I.
Printed in Sydney in 1948, the 196-page racing and coursing digest – “this book must not be sold for less than one guinea” – was written by A. B. “Bossie” Cowell.
And the copy of Horses Dogs . . . and I referred to here is probably even rarer as on the cover is handwritten: “This book sole property of writer A. B. Cowell”.
Much of the book relates to horse racing but the final section on coursing and mechanical hare racing makes for interesting reading and includes an article on Bulwark, one of Australia’s greatest and fastest dogs that actually figures in Who’s Doing What’s pedigree – albeit far removed.
Cowell also writes on Besant, the most prolific and outstanding brood bitch of older days and all time, as well as Hall Of Famer Sam Bladon, Australia’s greatest coursing owner-trainer and breeder.
A page is devoted to dog racing (mechanical hare) in NSW and Tasmania and speed coursing in Victoria, Cowell noting that Victorians will need to avoid putting up with greedy proprietary clubs on tin-pot circus tracks, day in day out, and greyhounds racing until they get giddy.
He concluded by suggesting that the circus tracks, other than White City and Sandown Park, were only assisting short distances and that short distances assisted speedy squibs.
Interspersed among the articles were advertisements for on-course bookmakers including F. L. (Bricky) Williams, J. C. (Mo) Reynolds and Jock McDonald – “Harold Park and Wentworth Park Leger Leviathan. Any amount. Also Rooty Hill coursing”.
Stud dogs also figured prominently, Trion, sire of the wonder dog Chief Havoc, at Gunnedah for a fee of 10 guineas plus freight and Jean’s Dream, fee 10 guineas plus freight with bitches to be consigned to Central Railway Station, Sydney. Only natural matings back then, bitches often requiring to be freighted by rail to studmasters.
Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield remembers using the railways to freight greyhounds, although certainly not in the late 1940s.
Never one to throw out anything, he recently came across an Australian National Railways parcels consignment note dated October 1983 for a dog consigned to him at Penola from Ken Hunt at Tailem Bend.
“I can’t remember what the dog was but it was returned by rail at a cost of $11.40 after having been broken-in by Ken at Monteith,” Clayfield said.
Incidentally, Hunt was a member of the inaugural Adelaide Greyhound Racing Club (Angle Park) committee in 1972 while years later his daughter, Sandra, was a leading Queensland trainer.
Also surfacing recently out at Glenroy was a copy of Bill Alver’s Gold Guide Greyhound Form for a 14-race meeting at Strathalbyn on Saturday, January 11, 1986.
Clayfield was at the track – not sure whether he travelled there by train – to see his dog Rain Chant, trained by Doug Payne, run third in the Tom The Pom Maiden Stake over 319 metres. The Hall Of Fame trainer did, however, end the day with a treble.
And Morphett Vale trainer Mick Brogan – father of basketballer Michelle, who played in the WNBA for several years, and Dean, an AFL premiership player with Port Adelaide – landed a double with Mr. Excelsior and Stitchaway.
Winning the Burns Maiden Stake (416 m) was Morgan Lane, trained by 1964 South Adelaide premiership player Lester Ross who had also originally trained the super SA greyhound White Panther, a son of White Superoo and Simply Super and allegedly the result of an accidental mating.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Unplaced stakemoney of $50 a greyhound for all Sunday races at Tara Raceway will be introduced on December 2, replacing the current $20 which is solely a trainer payment.
This follows an announcement this week by Greyhound Racing SA Chairman, Grantley Stevens, who said the change took into consideration a number of circumstances that are unique to the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.
“This includes the fact that Mount Gambier is the only TAB track in SA yet to be allocated a weekly Category 2 meeting – the second-highest level of stakemoney for standard graded events,” he said.
“The decision also recognises that the club is arguably the least-favoured by the amended schedule of racing that will be implemented from the commencement of racing at the Murray Bridge facility on December 19.
“The scheduling of Sunday meetings at both Mount Gambier and Murray Bridge will require trainers to choose one over the other.”
Stevens said that GRSA was hopeful that the introduction of the $50 unplaced stakemoney would help to strengthen the current rate of nominations for the Mount Gambier Sunday timeslot and that the SA greyhound industry should be working towards equitable circumstances being in place across all clubs.
“We believe this initiative at Mount Gambier will bring the club into closer alignment with the other TAB tracks.”
Stevens also said that the GRSA board has identified the critical importance of having three strong regional clubs in SA, underpinned by a fair and balanced approach towards both stakemoney levels and infrastructure support for each.
When the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is allocated a weekly Category 2 meeting, the Sunday unplaced money will revert to standard industry levels at the time.