FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, November 20 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Young Kongorong owner Will Kelly – a fourth generation Bouchier – landed his first winner with his first greyhound when Goldie’s Run won Friday’s first heat of the 512 metre grade six series, the Allestree Holiday Units Stake.
Having his fourth run for Compton trainer Tracie Price, Goldie’s Run found the front going out of the first turn and from then on in a rough-house affair never looked like being beaten, eventually running out a four length winner over Spinach in 30.53 seconds.
Kelly, 15, a grandson of well-known local greyhound breeder Bernie Bouchier, had originally been looking for a pup before Price suggested a performed dog might be the way to go.
“I pointed out to Will that it’s a fairly long wait for a pup to hit the track and if something came along ready to race then that could be the way to go,” Price said.
As it happened, Goldie’s Run, which had recently won a 512 metre maiden at Tara Raceway in 30.67 seconds, shortly after came on the market at a reasonable price and that’s the path young Kelly went down.
Whelped in January 2015, the black dog, which is by Cosmic Rumble out of Wentworth Park winner Moonshine Sally, should now give Kelly another great sight in this Sunday’s final.
The South Eastern Hotel Stake, the second of the grade six heats, saw John Limes, after his maiden success at the previous meeting, make it two wins on the trot.
Raced by John Hawker and Dean Fennell, and trained by the latter, John Limes was sitting in fourth spot mid-race before unleashing a big run and accounting for a pretty handy field when defeating Irka Jakit by 2½ lengths in 30.72 seconds.
Making up the final will be Brinza, Marcado, Rose Limes and Baurna Sal.
TRAINER CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY WITH A WIN
For Allendale East trainer Connie Miller it was a case of her 70th birthday coming a day early after Bushman’s Faith scored a convincing win in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway’s Sunday meeting.
The black dog quickly found the front from box five before going on to a 3¾ length win over Fear Helvetia in 30.28 seconds which was only marginally slower than Fiorelli Rose’s 30.27 seconds best of day in the Gambier Vets Free For All.
Whelped in June 2014, Bushman’s Faith is by Magic Sprite out of Cin Cin Shiraz, a winner of six races including 720 metre success at Wentworth Park.
Miller, who took over the training of Bushman’s Faith in August for WA owner John Turner, has done well with the dog, Sunday’s win being his sixth at Tara Raceway.
Turner had also been instrumental in Fred Of Lidsdale, a winner of five races at Tara Raceway this year, joining the Bourne Kennels.
For Miller, this birthday marked a successful 40-year involvement in greyhound racing which includes breeding, owning, training and administration.
Awarded life membership of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. in 1994, she was the secretary of the club from 1983 to 1996, missed a year and then held the office again from 1997 to 2003.
To this day she is one of only two women trainers to have won the Mount Gambier Cup (Joan Cruise the other with Tara Topar in 1981) and the only trainer to have won two cups (Durafi 1987, Mitchell Boy 1988).
Adding to Miller’s day on Sunday was the arrival of family members from Adelaide who helped her celebrate the birthday with a night out at a local restaurant.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
A couple of three-hour round trips from Branxholme to trial former NSW greyhound Mummy’s OK at Tara Raceway paid dividends at last Friday’s meeting for Janet and Peter Brouwer.
Having her first race start for the Brouwers, Mummy’s OK quickly found the front from box six in the Trackside Meats Stake (the first heat of a 512 metre maiden series) and was never headed, eventually holding out Cryer’s Plugger to win by a half length in 30.69 seconds.
Previously trained at Raymond Terrace, just down the road from Newcastle, the diminutive 22½ kilogram black bitch went around for the 21st time on Friday after having registered six minor placings in maiden events on NSW tracks.
Whelped in April 2013, Mummy’s OK is by Bekim Bale x Jacobella Bale (Hallucinate x Dyna Beauty) who won five races at Angle Park.
A give away, she found her way to Branxholme a couple of months ago and, as it turned out, Friday’s win was a real drought-breaker for connections with their last winner being at Tara Raceway 3½ years ago.
And Peter Brouwer had no trouble in remembering the previous win. “It was with a dog called Yap Yap Galo,” he recalled.
That was back on July 14, 2013 when the daughter of El Galo x Slipaway Lil won a maiden over 400 metres in 23.93 seconds.
After the running of the first heat, Mummy’s OK and Cryer’s Plugger will be joined by Azumi Spice and Tabbella in Sunday week’s final.
The second heat of the maiden series, the JB Irrigation Stake, got off to something of a surprise start when $34 rank outsider Another Rouse – renowned for “walking” out of the boxes – for some inexplicable reason came out running from box four.
Long-suffering Penshurst owner Jack Casey stood stunned at the fence as Another Rouse, doing the job well, led Stylish Pursuit down the back straight.
But in the end, though, it was Stylish Pursuit, having her fourth race start and her first at Tara Raceway, who finished too strongly to defeat Another Rouse by three lengths in 30.41 seconds with Gee She Roks and Bushman’s Shadow also through to the final.
Owned by the breeder Nick Beltran, Stylish Pursuit is a daughter of Mogambo and Butterfly Bling and is now trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley who said the black bitch, after unplaced runs at Healesville, Cranbourne and Dapto, had been trialling well at Tara Raceway prior to Friday’s race.
The win continued the good run Stanley is experiencing with the “Bling” breed – Butterfly Bling being by Bit Chili x Miss Bling while last week’s Country Cup winner Berry Bling is out of Lady Bling (Elite State x Miss Bling).
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Portland owner-trainer Nicole Stanley had been pretty guarded as to the merits or otherwise of Berry Bling’s trial a couple of weeks ago at Strathalbyn.
After qualifying, along with Tracie Price’s Fear The Rascal, to represent Mount Gambier in the SA Country Cup final at Strathalbyn last Sunday night, Stanley had undertaken the 1000 kilometre round trip the previous week to give Berry Bling a run around the tricky 536 metre circuit.
“She’s the sort of dog that needs a run on a new track so the trial was ok but ideally I would have liked to have given her another run on the track,” was how she had summed up her first trip to the Southern Raceway at Strathalbyn.
As it turned out, Berry Bling didn’t need another run. Quickly finding the front from box six in Sunday night’s $5000-to-the-winner final, the 27 kilogram bitch led all the way to give Mount Gambier its second SA Country Cup in four years – Price having been successful at Gawler in 2013 with Moorak Hope.
Speaking on Tuesday morning at Tara Raceway where she had a trailer-load of hopefuls to trial, Stanley said the Strathalbyn locals couldn’t believe the improvement in Berry Bling from one week to the next.
“She ran 31.66 seconds to win the cup and that was something like 16 lengths quicker than what she had trialled in. But that’s the way she is – she’s just no good unless she’s seen the track first.”
Stanley, who has been involved in greyhound racing for more than 20 years, rated the Country Cup as her biggest success as a trainer.
However, she still has fond memories of Go Go Ebo who she bred and owned and who won two Group 3 races for her when trained by Jeff Britton.
By Zed Three x Marinka Bale, Go Go Ebo won the 2006 SA Sprint Championship (515 m) at Angle Park by 10 lengths in a race record 29.49 seconds and also the 2006 Sport 927 Silver Bullet (525 m) at The Meadows.
“The Silver Bullet was certainly a big night,” Stanley recalled.
Whelped in December 2013, Berry Bling is by Lochinvar Marlow out of Lady Bling who traces back to the highly successful Skullring line.
Stanley took over her training for well-known Victorian greyhound identity John Westerlo in February when at her first Tara Raceway start she was narrowly beaten by her litter sister Let It Bling.
However, after defeating the well-regarded Kryptonian in the Produce Store Feature Maiden final (512 m) at Mount Gambier Cup time, Berry Bling was purchased by Stanley.
Mid-year she suffered a toe injury which saw her out of action for three months but a best of day 29.99 seconds win at Tara Raceway on return was just the start of bigger and better things to come for Berry Bling.
And for Stanley who has enjoyed a terrific year with 60 winners so far at Tara Raceway and looking likely to also clinch the Greyhound of the Year award with Old Jock.
Meanwhile, Stanley confirmed this week that Berry Bling would be transferred to Westerlo’s Clyde kennels for a stint of racing on Victorian tracks.
Brazen Beau’s win in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday gave Tarpeena father and son team, Allen and David Williams a quick return on what had been a modest investment.
The beautifully bred daughter of Shakey Jakey x Scrappy Coco was having her first run for the Williams team who purchased her primarily to race behind Tara Raceway’s finish-on-lure.
“She had previously copped 28 days in Victoria for failing to chase but the finish-on-lure has helped plenty of greyhounds in the past and we’re hoping for a positive result here with Brazen Beau,” trainer David Williams said.
“She certainly didn’t too much wrong today,” said Williams in regard to her emphatic three length win over Left Moment.
For Shakey Jakey, retired to stud after breaking the Wentworth Park 520 metre track record at his first start, it was his first Tara Raceway winner.
Brazen Beau will now jump from box three in the first heat of a grade five series over 400 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
A repeat of veteran greyhound Playmaster’s effort in last Sunday’s Masters (400 metres) should see the 35 kilogram chaser successful again in Friday’s Greyhound-Data.com Masters at Tara Raceway.
Trained locally by former harness racing identity Ken Feltus for long-time friends Michael and Norma Juda, Playmaster’s all the way win last weekend in a class record time of 23.28 seconds was the fawn dog’s first success in more than 15 months.
The win, by 7¾ lengths, came at his third Tara Raceway start – all in Masters races which are for grade five greyhounds aged 3½ years and older – and after an injury-enforced lay-off of three months.
But according to Feltus, the sixth trainer to have a crack with Playmaster, it was never really his intention to purchase the fawn dog.
“I actually went over to Victoria in early August to pick up Cool Whipp after he had been advertised for sale on an internet site. Turns out Playmaster was also there and in a package deal was offered for sale very cheaply so I returned with two, both of whom have now won at Tara Raceway.
Despite his quick 400 metre time last Sunday, Feltus said the dog was really better suited over more ground rather than the short course scampers.
“Prior to coming to Mount Gambier he’d won six races in NSW at Taree, Gunnedah and Richmond, all over distances of 512 metres and further.
“The biggest problem I have with Playmaster is that I can’t really work him, with most of his exercise confined to long walks in the pines, complemented by much massage.”
Whelped in January 2013, Playmaster is by Spring Gun out of the nicely-bred Torah (Hallucinate x Thai Again) who raced on only one occasion six years ago for an eighth at Dapto.
EXTRA DISTANCE TO SUIT YOUNGSTERS
Left Moment and Baurna Sal, two recent maiden winners over 400 metres at Tara Raceway, give the impression that they will be better suited in Friday’s heats of a 512 metre grade six.
Trained at Compton by Tracie Price, Left Moment, a son of Cosmic Rumble x Moorak Hope, finished off last Sunday’s Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) in strong fashion when going down by three lengths to speedy type Brazen Beau in 23.61 seconds.
By Spring Gun out of proven producer Baurna Molly, Baurna Sal was a brilliant 400 metre winner on October 23 when going to the line strongly in a best of day 23.34 seconds for Portland owner-trainer Brian Weis.
Left Moment has drawn box three in the first heat (the Allestree Holiday Units Stake) while Spinach, Mr Perfect, Brinza, Kylan Brae and Gemma Eagle should fight out the three remaining spots for Sunday week’s final.
In the second heat (the South Eastern Hotel Stake), box four runner Baurna Sal’s main dangers look to be the Dean Fennell trained John Limes, a tidy maiden 512 metre winner last Sunday, and Cap Abbott’s Irka Jakit which went down narrowly to Amanda Darmanin’s Bogan At Heart at the same meeting.
The Edenhope-based Abbott started the week off well when winning the last race at Angle Park on Monday night with Blazin’ Vicky.
Weis, recently back from a US trip with wife Sally, took in an afternoon greyhound meeting in Florida at the Derby Lane track and had some interesting observations.
“What I found surprising was that the trainers don’t handle their greyhounds on race days,” he said.
“Handlers lead them to the boxes, place them in, and then they all run back down the track in readiness to catch them at the end of the race. And while all this is going on the dogs are in the boxes.
“I’m not sure how long the field was waiting for the lure to start its journey but it seemed a hell of a long time.”
Derby Lane, or the St Petersburg Kennel Club, is said to be the oldest continuously operating greyhound track in the world, conducting its inaugural race meeting on the afternoon of January 3, 1925.
An interesting well-bred newcomer in Friday’s Gambier Vets Maiden Stake (the first heat of a 400 metre series) is Satellite Doll which has drawn box six.
Trained at Heathmere by Garry Marshman, the December 2014 white and blue bitch is by the imported Westmead Osprey out of Flaming Doll, a 595 metre Sandown Park winner.
By Ginger Bread Man x Hot Doll, Flaming Doll is also the dam of Shotgun Doll (by Collision) which recently won four on the trot for Marshman at Warrnambool and Ballarat.
And back on April 19, 2013 the Heathmere trainer was at Tara Raceway with Star Doll (Knocka Norris x Flaming Doll) which ran a 400 metre track record of 23.05 seconds before later going on to win over 595 metres at Sandown Park and 600 metres at The Meadows.
On December 26, 2015, Star Doll whelped a litter of three dogs and four bitches to Keybow while the following month Flaming Doll whelped one dog and one bitch to Awesome Project.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Kennelmates Glenville Jester and Slipper’s Shadow ran right up to their winning heat form of last week when fighting out the Newman McDonnell Memorial final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
Noted more as a short-course specialist, Slipper’s Shadow, a big, boisterous 36½ kilogram son of Cosmic Rumble x Slipper’s Tonic, not surprisingly quickly found the front from box six and down the back straight was a clear leader over Smart Maxwell and Glenville Jester.
Slipper’s Shadow turned for home in front but in a desperate finish it was Glenville Jester who grabbed the decision by a half head with Smart Maxwell not far back in third spot in a time of 30.27 seconds.
For Glenville Jester, a son of Vapour Whirl and Glenville Maggie, it was his third successive win at Tara Raceway and completed a remarkable turnaround in form for the black dog which is owned by Dale Lewis, Kevin Clayfield and his brother Richard who trains the winner and runner-up at Glenroy.
Only last month Glenville Jester had strung together some pretty ordinary performances over 600 metres which resulted in him finding his way into Pathway Racing for greyhounds having run outside a nominated time standard at their past four starts.
But the Pathway race obviously turned out to be a real confidence-booster with an easy 512 metre win preceding last week’s equally as easy McDonnell Memorial heat win.
Clayfield’s decision to step Slipper’s Shadow up in distance also seems to be paying off with the half-brother to Adelaide Cup winner Ernie Bung Arrow giving plenty of cheek on Sunday at only his sixth attempt over the 512 metre journey for owners Barry Jones and Mike Wiese.
And what about the five-year-old Smart Maxwell, a winner of close to $80,000, who jumped from box one as a $2.30 favourite when having his 142nd start.
Owned by Len Jones and trained at Horsham by Helen Hartigan, the beautifully bred son of Mogambo x Off Springer was always on the pace and eventually went down by only a half length.
It turned out to be a big day for Clayfield. Not only did he win his first McDonnell Memorial after a long involvement in greyhound racing he also was successful in the last race, the JB Irrigation Stake (400 m), with Slipper’s Chance (a litter sister to Slipper’s Shadow) in a best of day time of 23.11 seconds.
Part-owner Lewis also recalled his family’s involvement with Newman McDonnell who had actually given them one of their early greyhounds in Baranita, a daughter of Top Kabana and Baratena.
“Some things mean a lot on a greyhound track,” said Lewis. “Today’s win was one of them.”
FENNELL’S GOOD YEAR CONTINUES
Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell’s good year continued at Tara Raceway on Sunday when give away greyhound John Limes and Black Peer won the opening two events.
By Banjo Boy x Nicky’s Moment, John Limes is now raced by Fennell and John Hawker with the win coming on the back of two recent minor placings.
Having his eighth race start, the black dog was only fairly away from box four in the Produce Store Maiden Stake (512 m) but gained a rails run going into the first turn before taking over the running down the back straight.
John Limes finished the race off well, running out a two length winner over Gee She Roks with Azumi Spice a further 2¼ lengths back in third spot in a handy time of 30.57 seconds.
Gee She Roks, a February 2015 daughter of Cape Hawke and Freestyle Lass (a maiden bitch by Premier Fantasy x Mrs Trickett), ran a good race on debut for owner Ross Schurgott and Allendale East trainer David Peckham and looks to be a coming winner.
Black Peer, which last won when in a Pathway back on September 23, once again appreciated the drop back in class in Sunday’s Pathway over 400 metres.
Away well from box four, the son of Cape Hawke x Sick Money settled in second spot early behind Red River Rufus before finishing too powerfully – much to the delight of veteran owner Ray Keating who was on course – to score by three-quarters of a length over the early leader.
Fennell’s early double consolidated his fourth spot on the Leading Trainers’ list and took his total winners this year to 25.
STANLEY PUTS IN THE HARD YARDS AND MOUNT GAMBIER WINS THE COUNTRY CUP
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley’s long trip to Strathalbyn last week to trial Mount Gambier’s SA Country Cup representative Berry Bling on the Strathalbyn track paid dividends on Sunday night when the black bitch led all the way from box six in the $5000-to-the-winner feature.
For Stanley, currently sitting in second spot behind Tracie Price on the Tara Raceway Leading Trainers’ list, Berry Bling was her first runner at the Southern Raceway.
An $8.50 chance, the daughter of Lochinvar Marlow x Lady Bling had 2¼ lengths to spare on the line over Strathalbyn representative Scottish Thistle with a further 1½ lengths back in third spot to Memory Assassin (Gawler) in 31.66 seconds for the 536 metre journey.
Mount Gambier’s other representative, Fear The Rascal, experienced trouble on the first turn when running wide and finished in fifth spot for owner Don Nunn and Price.
However, connections would have been pleased when Fear The Rascal’s litter brother, Shannah’s Might (Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star) found form at Tara Raceway earlier in the day.
A $5 chance from box six in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m), Shannah’s Might took the lead going into the back straight and from then on never looked like being beaten, eventually running out a three length winner over Redda in a best of day 30.03 seconds.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Greyhound racing participants both sides of the border were saddened this week to learn of the sudden death of Peter Hubbard, of Grassmere.
His involvement with Tara Raceway went back a number of years and included Mount Gambier Cup success in 2008 with Maxwell Stanley.
In the ensuing years whenever he lobbed in Mount Gambier with dogs to race you always knew they were going to be very hard to beat.
Last year’s Christmas meeting saw one of his Superman x Baurna Molly youngsters in Cairnlea Lewis raise the bar as far as the Royal Fashion Maiden (512 metres) was concerned when running out a 12½ length winner in race record time of 30.18 seconds.
On September 18 he returned with Cairnlea Lewis who clocked a sizzling 29.77 seconds while another of his dogs in Little Showgun was also successful.
Five days later Little Showgun won again. This would be his last time at Tara Raceway.
On this day he had spoken with much anticipation of his April 2015 pups by Premier Fantasy out of Cairnlea Ellie, a daughter of Mogambo x Della Bale which had raced on 43 occasions for 19 wins and eight minor placings.
And in March this year she had whelped to Bekim Bale. There had been much to look forward to.
His visits to Tara Raceway, his polite manner of conversing and his genuine appreciation of the efforts of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club will be missed.
Vale Peter Hubbard – just a really nice bloke – gone much too soon at 56.
NEW CALLER AT TARA RACEWAY
The new voice behind the microphone at last Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting was that of Mark Mathews.
For the 34-year-old Adelaide-based Mathews, it was his first time at the Mount Gambier greyhound track and the first full meeting that he had called.
Currently employed on a part-time basis, he has been rostered to call more local greyhound racing meetings this year.
Mathews decided in late 2012 to pursue his burning ambition of becoming a race caller and by early 2014 had picked up a three-month contract to call races at Pioneer Park in Alice Springs.
“I certainly enjoyed calling my first meeting today,” he said. “And while I’m comfortable with the greyhounds, ultimately I’m looking to call all three codes, thereby hopefully giving myself more of a chance of picking up a full-time gig in the competitive world of race calling.”
‘THEY CAN’T TEACH ME ANYTHING . . .’
“I’ve been a trainer for years – they can’t teach me anything . . .”
How often are we going to hear that statement in relation to the forthcoming Trainers’ Workshops?
Well, all current Greyhound Racing SA licensed trainers will be required to attend the compulsory workshop in order to align with a national approach benchmarking minimum standards of competency. In future, this level of competency will form part of the re-licensing requirements.
The Mount Gambier workshops will be conducted on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 and Wednesday, January 11, 2017 with a choice of three time slots – 9 a.m.-12 noon, 1.30 p.m.-4.30 p.m., 6 p.m.-9 p.m. – on either day.
The three-hour workshops, which will be conducted by Dr Jane McNicholl, will be delivered in small groups of six in a relaxed, casual environment and cover both theory and practical skills.
An enrolment pack (contact Renee at GRSA on 08 8243 7113) will need to be completed and returned three days prior to attending the workshop.
So, upon completion of the workshop, which will include health care, nutritional requirements and education and training of greyhounds, trainers will receive a nationally recognised Statement of Attainment certificate which will then need to be provided when licences are renewed.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Mount Gambier representatives Fear The Rascal and Berry Bling, despite drawing awkwardly, look top chances in Sunday night’s SA Country Cup final (536 metres) at Strathalbyn’s Southern Raceway.
Raced by Don Nunn and trained at Compton by Tracie Price, Fear The Rascal, who has drawn box two in the $5000-to-the-winner race, is better suited out wide.
However, the son of Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star is racing in rare form, having won his past three starts at Tara Raceway including a best of day 29.95 seconds when successful in a Country Cup heat over 512 metres.
Despite a race record of 47 starts for 19 wins and 18 minor placings, Fear The Rascal has raced on only one occasion at Strathalbyn although Price believes he’s ready to run a big race.
“He’s only ever run over 416 metres at Strathalbyn and I had considered giving him another run there before the final,” he said.
“He’s been checked out and is pretty good so in the end I decided to keep him up to the mark with some free galloping. I’m confident he’ll give a good sight for Mount Gambier.”
The Price-trained Lyon Rose will represent Strathalbyn after winning that club’s heat on October 21. The black bitch has since run second and fifth at Tara Raceway.
Berry Bling, who has drawn box six, will be the first Strathalbyn runner for long-time trainer Nicole Stanley, of Portland.
The black bitch won her heat in outstanding style in 30.01 seconds with Stanley then opting to make the long drive to Strathalbyn last week in order to give Berry Bling a run on the track – and that in itself wasn’t without its share of complications.
“There were a few issues,” Stanley said. “At one stage it looked like the trials wouldn’t go ahead but fortunately after something like a two-hour delay we were able to trial her.
“I thought she trialled quite well although she’s the sort of dog that generally needs a few runs on a track. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to slip another run in.”
Price will be chasing his second Country Cup after Moorak Hope was successful at Gawler in 2013.
And Moorak Hope produced her first winner last Sunday when Left Moment, at only his second race start, stormed home to score over 400 metres.
By Cosmic Rumble, Left Moment is also trained by Price who tells the story of how the black dog came to be named.
“He was actually purchased as a pup from Moorak breeder Allan Holmes and was on my property to be reared.
“The only trouble was that the would-be purchaser did a runner without paying so I fixed up Allan and kept him myself.
“And when it came to naming him I figured seeing I had been left with him I may as well call him Left Moment (Moment being the tag most of Price’s greyhounds race with).”
Price said the win had been a real surprise after his first start the previous week when he had been really lost in a field.
Left Moment will now line up in the appropriately-named Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) on Sunday from box one in what will be a further test for the April 2015 youngster.
VETERAN TRAINER ON TRACK FOR FIRST MEMORIAL WIN
Veteran Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield looks a good chance of taking out his first Newman McDonnell Memorial (512 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
In what will be the 31st running of the time-honoured event, the McDonnell Memorial has brought together a good field of grade five greyhounds with Clayfield well represented with Slipper’s Shadow and Glenville Jester.
Glenville Jester, in particular, after drawing box eight, looks well placed to bring up a hat-trick of wins for Clayfield and part-owners Dale Lewis and Kevin Clayfield.
The son of Vapour Whirl x Glenville Maggie enjoyed a confidence-boosting win in a recent Pathway before going right on with the job from box eight in a heat of the Memorial last Sunday.
A quick look at the history of local greyhound racing reveals that on September 14, 1972 a public meeting was held at the Mount Gambier City Hall to form the SE Greyhound Racing Club.
At this meeting Newman McDonnell was elected to the committee as was Eric Lewis (the father of Glenville Jester’s part-owner) with both gentlemen later serving as club president.
Smart Maxwell, trained at Horsham by Helen Hartigan, is the story of the race.
He’s the five-year-old half-brother to Banjo Boy who will be going around on Sunday for the 142nd time and chasing his 22nd win.
Smart Maxwell was well beaten by Glenville Jester in last Sunday’s heat but that was his first look at the track and he’ll jump from box one – seven wins and seven minor placings from 19 starts – in the final.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield completed a clean sweep of the Newman McDonnell Memorial heats (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when Slipper’s Shadow and Glenville Jester scored emphatic wins in the time-honoured feature race heats.
In Clayfield’s kennels since early this year, Slipper’s Shadow, a 36 kilogram son of Cosmic Rumble x Slipper’s Tonic had won nine races over the 400 metre journey but had been raced sparingly over 512 metres.
However, a couple of handy minor placings at his past two starts over the longer journey had the black dog’s trainer deciding on a run in the McDonnell Memorial heats.
A rain-soaked track was the only thing worrying Clayfield, although Slipper’s Shadow, after opening up a big break mid-race, was travelling like a winner a long way from home with the $3 favourite ultimately bringing up his first 512 metre win by 4½ lengths over Smirnoff Lass in a time of 30.68 seconds.
Filling third and fourth spots were Penny Eagle and Jen Shen which have also made their way through to Sunday’s final – the 31st running of the event.
For Glenville Jester, out of the winner’s list for four months prior to last week’s Wednesday meeting, it was a case of two wins in the space of four days with the son of Vapour Whirl x Glenville Maggie obviously deriving plenty from a confidence point of view when contesting a Pathway Stake (512 m) at the mid-week fixture.
On that occasion he took advantage of a huge drop in class, in what was the first 512 metre Pathway to be run at Tara Raceway, to find the front going out of the first turn before powering away to a 7¾ length win in 30.21 seconds.
And on Sunday, Glenville Jester found the front going out of the first turn in the second heat of the grade five feature before running out a 6¾ length winner over Smart Maxwell in a best of day 30.18 seconds with Lektra Destiny and Gassy’s Pride making up the final eight.
Smart Maxwell, trained at Horsham by Helen Hartigan and having his first race start at Tara Raceway, was the interesting runner in the race.
By Mogambo out of Off Springer, the five-year-old black dog came into the race with 140 starts to his name for 21 wins, 42 minor placings and almost $80,000 in prizemoney.
Smart Maxwell is one of an outstanding litter which also includes Echelonic Action (141, 16, 46, $91,000), Mechatronic (114, 17, 29, $50,000), Go Mobo (87, 25, 25, $100,000) and Sweet It Is (65, 23, 22, $945,000).
Earlier in the day, the Hartigan trained Rowdy Richard, a litter brother to Glenville Jester, came from a long way back in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (600 m) to run a two length second to Old Jock in 35.89 second.
LITTER CONTINUES ON WINNING WAY
Meanwhile, the win of Brae’s Girl in the Rock’s Retreat Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway on Wednesday resulted in the six members of the Kinloch Brae x Obama’s Girl litter to race having now all won.
Others to have previously won for Woolsthorpe breeder-trainer Nifty Lenehan are King Obama, Moth Attack, Optic Bray, Rising Girl and Herbilly which also won again on Wednesday.
Having her sixth race start, Brae’s Girl took full advantage of box one when leading all the way to defeat first-starter Snizort by 3½ lengths in 23.61 seconds.
And Herbilly, a beaten favourite at her previous start, made amends when chasing Raz’s Girl into the home straight before finishing too strongly for a 2¼ length win in a best of day 23.20 seconds.
This was the second litter-training double for Lenehan in the space of a couple of weeks after Herbilly and Optic Bray had been successful at Tara Raceway on October 23.
Speaking after the wins on Wednesday, Lenehan said he was now looking at trying the pair over more ground.
“Obama’s Girl won a couple of races at The Meadows over 600 metres and a 550 metre at Ballarat so there’s a bit of strength in the pedigree,” he said.
Jeff Guy also landed a double after Snap Hook and McRay continued the Horsham trainer’s amazing strike rate at the Mount Gambier track.
Snap Hook opened his local winning account when finishing too strongly for kennelmate Brazen Beau – which has since joined the Tarpeena kennels of David Williams – running out a three-quarter length winner in 23.70 seconds.
Four-year-old McRay punched through on the first turn to take the lead in the Gordon Refrigeration Open Stake (512 m) and then held off a determined Homer to win by three-quarters of a length in a best of day 30.12 seconds.
It was the start of a couple of good days for Guy who followed up with an outstanding win with Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder Paraphernalia at Warrnambool the following night in the Kermonds Hamburgers Special Event (650 m).
Chasing a hat-trick after wins over 660 metres at Bendigo and 595 metres at Sandown Park, the son of Big Daddy Cool and Scrappy Coco collected $3295 after leading all the way.
And Snap Hook, after settling in second spot early, was able to “beat the grader” in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m) at Sunday’s meeting when scoring by 1¼ lengths over Lektra Timon in 23.72 seconds.
By Fabregas x Maureen Return’s, the January 2015 whelping was bred by Guy who now trains the black dog for the Badspot Racing Syndicate.
Managed by Stephen Wik of the Horsham-based Locks Constructions, the syndicate comprises 10 local Horsham businessmen who have become involved in greyhound racing for the first time.
As Guy tells it, getting the group involved in the sport was simply a matter of knocking on Stephen Wik’s door at Locks Constructions.
“I offered them the pup free of charge and it didn’t take long for a syndicate of 10 to be formed,” he said. “All up, it’s cost them about $300 each to get Snap Hook to the track.
“For the Badspot boys it’s been a terrific introduction to greyhound racing with Snap Hook having now won four races and run two minor placings from only eight starts.”
Guy said the syndicate was now keen to undertake a “road trip” to Mount Gambier and enjoy a day at the track when their dog was nominated for Tara Raceway.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
By his own lofty standards, 2016 hasn’t been the greatest of years for long-time greyhound trainer Cap Abbott of Edenhope.
But Abbott drove into Mount Gambier’s Tara Raceway on Wednesday morning confident that he had the dogs and the right box draws to give him the sort of day that had been a while coming.
And after Irka Jakit’s win in the first, the ClassicBet Maiden Stake (512 metres), things only got better with Blazin’ Vicky and Late One Night both winning later in the day and giving the veteran trainer his best day at the track in close to five years.
Irka Jakit’s all-the-way win continued the good run Abbott is enjoying with Tom Price mines chaplain John Dihm who some 15 months ago out of the blue had made contact.
“I never really thought any more about the call but about six months later John was on the phone again and the association has just gone on from there,” he said.
By Fabregas out of 11-race winner Another Request, Irka Jakit, which had been purchased by Dihm as a pup, later arrived at Edenhope with a very good breaking-in report.
“The only problem with her at the time was that she was very timid,” Abbott said. “But she soon got over that trait.
“To be honest I was pleasantly surprised when she ran 30.87 seconds at her first trial over 512 metres at Tara Raceway. In fact, she’s the quickest pup I’ve had first up over that distance.”
Whelped in February 2015, the 26 kilogram black bitch – a litter sister to Lobster Falls which has had 10 starts in Tasmania for five wins and four minor placings – is likely to next run in a grade six at Tara Raceway before venturing to Angle Park.
Abbott, who had a small all-up bet running with Irka Jakit, Late One Night and Rico Jakit, chose to exclude Blazin’ Vicky, a $19 chance in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m).
A 600 metre winner last month at Tara Raceway, Blazin’ Vicky couldn’t hold out Lektra Boss going into the back straight but finished strongly in the run home to defeat Gassy’s Pride and the early leader in a handy 30.23 seconds.
Late One Night, an Angle Park 515 metre winner in 29.96 seconds in April, later found his way down to Abbott – the sixth trainer to have a crack with him – after losing all form and being eligible for Pathway Racing.
“He’d trialled pretty well when I put him around Tara Raceway but I’d had a few weight issues with him so opted for the 400 metres today although I reckon he’ll get 600 metres,” he said.
Having his first start at the track, the son of Collision x Western Pearl was slowly away from box two in the Pathway Stake before railing through and finishing too strongly for Our Spinner in 23.71 seconds.
Abbott’s treble was the best day he’d had at the track since March 25, 2012 when the Kevin Mugavin trained Rich Shiraz won the Mount Gambier Cup.
On that particular day Paramount Steel won the Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m), Cool Pick a Mount Gambier Cup Consolation (512 m) while Surfin’ Flirt and Paramount Lee both dead-heated for first in their respective events.
So the all-up bet came down to Rico Jakit which had drawn box one in the final race – the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m).
However, it was Herbilly, trained by Nifty Lenehan who was also enjoying a good day, that impressed with a 23.20 seconds best of day win after litter sister Brae’s Girl had earlier opened her winning account in the Rock’s Retreat Maiden Stake (400 m).
Rico Jakit ran fifth so that was the end of the all-up although Abbott wasn’t overly concerned.
“It’s still been a bloody good day.”
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
With a 9½ point lead in the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, four-year-old chaser Old Jock looks a fair chance of holding on for owner Jock Middleton and trainer Nicole Stanley.
The 36 kilogram son of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze is a winner of nine races this year at Tara Raceway and together with 15 minor placings has accumulated 62 points.
And Old Jock, which will go around tomorrow for a 95th time, looks likely to hit the hundred this year with eight more meetings to be run after tomorrow.
In second place is the David Peckham trained Fred Of Lidsdale, off the scene for a couple of weeks, while Old Jock’s kennelmate Mr Caudo is only a point behind in third spot.
The kennelmates will clash tomorrow in the Berringa Park Masters (400 m) with Mr Caudo seemingly looking to be better suited by the short-course.
Another one likely to pick up points tomorrow is the Barry Shepheard owned and trained Galactic Viper which is sitting in fourth spot on 50 points.
Galactic Viper, a winner of seven races at the track this year, looks well placed in the Gordon Refrigeration Open Stake (512 m) from box seven.
Also on 50 points is Real Moment which won’t race again but bowed out with an outstanding local record this year of 11 wins and four minor placings.
Other greyhounds currently in the top 10 are Fear The Rascal, Cryer’s Fred, Slipper’s Shadow, Evening In Paris and Marlow Moment.
Recent GOTY winners include: 2012 Maldini’s Motion (Cass Billington), 2013 Just Humphrey (Lee Bartholomew), 2014 Rouse Flyer (Barry Shepheard), 2015 Cryer’s Fred (Tom Cryer).
With the SA Country Cup final to be run at Strathalbyn on Sunday week, there’s a couple of young greyhounds making a timely debut tomorrow at Tara Raceway – Left Moment in the JB Irrigation Maiden (400 m) and Snizort in the Rock’s Retreat Maiden (400 m).
Whelped in April 2015, the pair is by Cosmic Rumble out of Moorak Hope, being bred at Moorak by Allan Holmes and now trained at Compton by Tracie Price.
By Bond x Loveless Girl, Moorak Hope won nine races in a 41-race career.
And in what was a big night for SE greyhound racing – not to mention Holmes and Price – the highlight of her career was her all-the-way win in the 2013 SA Country Cup final (531 m) at Gawler.
In the same race as Snizort is another Price-trained dog called Rooftop Romeo which fell on debut at Tara Raceway last month.
He’s by Banjo Boy x Nicky’s Moment and wouldn’t connections be happy if they could come up with one to match the ability of his namesake from an era long gone.
Trained at Horsham by Barbara Lovitt, the original Rooftop Romeo raced on 86 occasions between early 1997 and mid-2000 for 30 wins and 21 minor placings.
By Wild Pirate, he was out of Spiritual Lady, a half-sister to the legendary Highly Blessed.