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

THURSDAY, JUNE 21 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JUNE 24: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Wednesday, June 20 with GRSA. FRIDAY, JUNE 29 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, June 25 with GRSA. SUNDAY, JULY 1: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, June 26 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.


Tony clocks up the kilometres

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tara Raceway regular Tony Harding, of Hamilton, has lost count of the number of kilometres he clocks up every year carting his greyhounds to Victorian and SA tracks.

But with regular trips to Horsham, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Ballarat, Shepparton, Geelong, Strathalbyn and Mount Gambier he reckons it’s probably around the 60,000-70,000 mark.


The widely-travelled Tony Harding, of Hamilton, with Swift Lacey which is off to Strathalbyn tomorrow.

Harding, 70, and involved with greyhounds for 50 years, landed a popular win at Tara Raceway last Sunday when Swift Lacey was successful in The Border Watch Stake (400 metres).

Away well from box one, the blue bitch was headed by Golden Fang down the back straight but fought back strongly to eventually run out a 1½ length winner in 23.63 seconds.

By Swift Fancy out of city-winning stayer Pyfo Mostly, Swift Lacey was bred at Mingbool by Don Nunn and is owned by Mount Gambier car dealer Rory Button.

Harding, who took over her training in mid-December after she had won a maiden at Ballarat, was successful with Swift Lacey in January at Strathalbyn over 319 metres.

However, despite rarely missing a Tara Raceway meeting, he struggled to recall the last time he had trained a winner at the local track.

“I reckon Gitcha Rich won over 400 metres round about the middle of last year but that may be giving myself a bit of undue credit as I only took possession of the dog on the day of the race,” Harding joked.

It turns out his last “real” winner at Tara Raceway had been in a heat of the John Reid Memorial with Cosmic Quest in July 2014.

And the kilometres will continue to be clocked up with Harding, who generally has five or six greyhounds in work, off to Strathalbyn tomorrow with Swift Lacey which will run in a grade five final over 319 metres.

Also making the trip are kennelmates Supersonic Bob and Dwayne’s Shout with the latter returning to Mount Gambier on Sunday for a Pathway race.




Clarissa and Connie Miller and David Peckham with Thanks Tubby after her win in the ANZAC Gift in 2014.

Tara Raceway’s ANZAC meeting will be run on Friday, April 22 with the ANZAC Sprint (400 m), the ANZAC Gift (512 m) and, for the first time, the ANZAC 600 (600 m) highlighting the day’s racing.

This will be the third year the ANZAC meeting has been conducted, with the Richard Clayfield trained former record holder Slipper’s Might a 23.48 seconds winner of the 2014 Sprint and current 512 metre record holder Thanks Tubby, trained by David Peckham, successful in the Gift in a time of 29.94 seconds.

On what was a pretty ordinary day weather-wise, Allen Williams’ Bluey Benz won the Sprint in 23.63 seconds at last year’s meeting.

And Sunday Shoes clocked 30.50 seconds to defeat a smart field in the Gift for Parilla owner-trainer Nathan Wilson.

As has been the case at the two previous ANZAC meetings, gate takings will be donated to Legacy.



Portland owner-trainer Andy Graham is enjoying some success at Tara Raceway with youngsters he’s bred from two litters – Spring Gun x Senni Wendy and Collision x Cee Anna Rose (a daughter of Senni Wendy).


Andy Graham’s Back Road was an impressive winner over 480 metres at Horsham on Tuesday night.

But he may well have unearthed one that is better than average in the form of Back Road.

One of the Collision litter, Back Road did little in his first three starts at Warrnambool and Tara Raceway but looked pretty good when Graham took him to Horsham where he won a 480 metre maiden by a big space in the good time of 27.23 seconds.

In fact, so good did he look that successful Mount Mercer trainer Sam Bonaccurso quickly put up his hand to train the black dog for Graham.

And Back Road turned in another top effort on the one-bend track on Tuesday night when finishing strongly to win in 27.37 seconds.

He will now race on Sunday afternoon at Sandown Park where he has drawn box three in a GRV Vic Bred heat over 515 metres.

New prizemoney structure for Tara Raceway

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Greyhounds racing over 512 metres and 600 metres at Tara Raceway, a Category 3 track, will be going around for extra prizemoney at Sunday’s meeting.

The move follows a Greyhound Racing SA objective of promoting racing beyond 500 metres which will see prizemoney for these races increase by 10 per cent at all Category 2 and Category 3 meetings.


From a 1980 Tara Raceway programme when a Grade Four Stake over 476 metres was paying a total of $65.

Prizemoney will range from $865 total for a maiden through to $1130 for high grade events while 400 metre racing levels will remain unchanged at $785 through to $1025.

The changes are certainly a far cry from 2014 when all races, irrespective of grade and distance, were paying a total of $785.

Trainers will also be better off with a $60 rebate and $15 for all unplaced greyhounds.

At the other end of the scale are the Pathway races which are now non penalty but distribute prizemoney among all runners – $215, $170, $130, $120 for the first four placegetters and $60 each for fifth through to eighth.

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is still to run a Pathway race over 512 metres but Sunday’s 400 metre non-penalty event has attracted a full field with box one and two runners, Viscount Vane and Bourbon Club, looking two of the hardest to beat.

Meanwhile, MGGRC president Steve Bartholomew and secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard, will be in Adelaide tomorrow to meet with the GRSA board.

One issue to be discussed will be ways and means of giving more greyhounds the opportunity of gaining a race start at Tara Raceway following recent record nominations.

“We can appreciate the frustration some owners and trainers have been experiencing in gaining a start at race meetings over the past few weeks,” Shepheard said.

“We will throw a few ideas around with the board tomorrow and hopefully they will be looked upon favourably.”

Such were the nominations for Sunday’s meeting that another 12 races will be run with the club once again attracting new trainers from far and wide, all keen to try their luck at Tara Raceway.

Making the six-hour trip from Merbein South will be Jamie Quinlivian with a four-dog team which includes 13-race winner Disaaci.

By Disraeli out of Wooloo, the black and white dog, on the back of three recent minor placings at Angle Park over 600 metres,  has drawn box four in the Laser Electrical Mixed Stake (600 m).


John Cameron with Saint Oaks which has drawn box three in Sunday’s Laser Electrical Mixed Stake (600 m).

This should be an interesting race with the Tracie Price trained Full Effect well drawn in box one, Kevin Ashton’s Harry Aztec also well drawn in box two and John Cameron’s Saint Oaks (box three) back after a smart middle-distance win over Fear The Rascal at Tara Raceway on March 20.

Actually, it was a somewhat bemused Penshurst-based Cameron who led the black dog off the track that day after a week earlier having tried unsuccessfully to place him with any number of local trainers in order that Saint Oaks could race regularly at Tara Raceway.

The Cameron-trained Fascinated also looks well placed from box one in The Border Watch Stake (512 m).

By Hutmaker out of Spellbound, the 24 kilogram bitch flew home to grab second spot behind One Stormy Night over 400 metres on March 20 and should be suited by the extra distance.

Also making a six-hour trip from over Shepparton way will be Wendy Connell and Gavin Gledhill while Warracknabeal trainer Robert Taylor returns for the first time in two years.

The last time Taylor was at Tara Raceway was on April 6, 2014 when he was successful with Noble Haste which won by nine lengths over 512 metres in a best of day 29.77 seconds.



Lektra Oscar looks set to make amends for a close second to Karagiozis at last Sunday’s meeting when he jumps from box seven in the Metal Worx Mixed Stake (512 m).

Trained by Phil Lenehan, the son of Bekim Bale and Miss Gabby went down by a head but looks ready to bring up his second win at Tara Raceway on the strength of a brilliant win two days later at Horsham.


Phil Lenehan . . . a double at Horsham on Tuesday night.

The black dog virtually led all the way over 480 metres when recording the smart time of 27.18 seconds.

In what is the main 512 metre race of the day, two of the hardest to beat look to be Future Past and Direwolf Ghost which have drawn boxes one and two respectively.

The Peter Franklin trained Future Past, which has never won from box one, is better than his recent form suggests as is Direwolf Ghost which hasn’t won since October for trainer Nicole Stanley.

Lektra Oscar was the second leg of a double for Lenehan at Horsham on Tuesday night with Lektra Dame earlier scoring an easy win over 410 metres.

Lektra Dame, which also won at Tara Raceway last Sunday, doesn’t look too badly placed this Sunday in the Stake (512 m).

Lenehan, who is based at Toolong, is now racing more regularly in Mount Gambier with the result being that he is currently sitting in equal third spot on the leading trainers’ list (see “Statistics”).

Cryer’s everywhere as Fred storms home to win Easter Gift

Monday, March 28, 2016

A decision by Apsley trainer Tom Cryer to run Cryer’s Fred at Horsham last Tuesday night paid dividends when the reigning Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year scored a brilliant win in the Easter Gift (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.


Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club committee member Allen Williams and owner Margaret Cryer pictured with Cryer’s Fred after his Easter Gift win on Sunday.

The win wrapped up a big week for Cryer and his wife Margaret, who owns the son of Spring Gun and Cryer’s Midget, after Cryer’s Fred had also been successful at Horsham over 480 metres.

Cryer had been unable to race the brindle dog at last week’s Tara Raceway meeting as a lead-up to the Easter Gift due to a mandatory 10-day injury suspension incurred on March 11 but was free to race by last Tuesday night.

“The injury-break was probably a blessing in disguise,” Cryer said. “Prior to last Tuesday night Cryer’s Fred had raced on 67 occasions with 65 of those starts at Tara Raceway so I figured a change of track certainly wouldn’t do him any harm.”

But he was returning to take on an outstanding field in Sunday’s Easter Gift, a field that included recent Mount Gambier Cup winner Mojito Mayhem, a $1.60 chance, and looking to bring up his sixth consecutive win.

Cryer also went into the race with Cryer’s Fred’s litter brothers Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Jack and it was Cryer’s Ricky that led Cryer’s Fred, Fluke Of Fantasy and Cryer’s Jack down the back straight.


Allen Williams and Margaret Cryer with Cryer’s Fred.

Turning for home, Cryer’s Fred, racing with renewed vigour, railed through on his brother and at odds of $15 finished strongly to defeat Fluke Of Fantasy by 1¼ lengths with Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Jack close up in third and fourth spots.

“There were Cryer’s everywhere,” declared race caller Jim Jacques in what was a frantic finish.

For Cryer’s Fred it was his twenty-seventh win – 26 of those being at Tara Raceway – with the Cryer brothers having now collectively won $53,000.

Tom and Margaret Cryer have a 14-month-old repeat mating litter to follow later this year while Cryer’s Midget, a daughter of Texas Gold and Shady Grove Fox, is due to whelp again, this time to Spud Regis, at the end of next month.

Four-year-old Fluke Of Fantasy ran a terrific race for Frank Kenna’s Kings Choice Syndicate and Mortlake trainer Peter Crawley.

Last early after an ordinary start from box two, the black dog railed through on the first turn but was giving the leaders a fair start down the back straight before finishing the race off strongly at his ninety-eighth race start.


Peter Crawley and Southwood Hazel.

Fluke Of Fantasy, a Mount Gambier Cup finalist, was successful at Tara Raceway last week over 512 metres and Crawley continued his good run on Sunday when a couple of races earlier Southwood Hazel scored a narrow win in the Stake (512 m).

Raced by Geoff Kenna’s Southwood Park Syndicate, the daughter of Nitro Burst and Southwood Minty quickly found the front from box eight and after opening up a big break down the back held on to defeat Dark Nemesis by a head in a smart 30.29 seconds.

Taken over by Crawley after she had been broken-in, Southwood Hazel’s win was her second, following on from a maiden win at Warrnambool last month.

The Peter Franklin trained Mojito Mayhem, after only a fair start from box three, never really got into the race but lost no friends with his 3½ length fifth.



Long-time Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield enjoyed his best day at Tara Raceway this year when Glenville Jester and Glenville Abbey both won their first races since last October.


Dale Lewis (left) and Kev and Richard Clayfield pictured with Glenville Jester after his shock 600 metre win.

Placed three times over 600 metres from seven starts, Glenville Jester was a $30 chance, despite drawing box one, in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake.

And on the back of a quick 512 metre trial at Tara Raceway last Tuesday morning, the black dog led all the way, eventually running out a 4½ length winner over Weblec Angel in a handy 35.64 seconds.

Owned by Clayfield in partnership with his brother Kevin and Dale Lewis, Glenville Jester is by Vapour Whirl out of Glenville Maggie which won the 2011 Mount Gambier Anniversary Cup for the trio.

Glenville Abbey, a winner of seven races, found winning form again through the 400 metre Pathway race.


Kev Clayfield with Pathway winner Glenville Abbey.

Jumping at $10 from box eight, the fawn bitch chased Rumbled and short-priced favourite Major Lachy into the home straight before finishing too strongly to score by a length over first-time Tara Raceway starter Major Lachy in 23.63 seconds.

Both winners were bred by Clayfield with Glenville Abbey being by Mogambo out of Honey Bird, who is also the dam of Glenville Maggie.

Also in Glenville Abbey’s litter is Beau Mambo, a winner of 11 races and $41,000 in stakes on Victorian tracks.



Paul Fish, 31, of Dennington, landed his first Tara Raceway winner when Ka Kooo was successful in the Trackside Meats Maiden Stake (512 m).


Barney Fish stood in for son Paul with Ka Kooo at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Having only her second race start, the rank outsider at $30, after a quick beginning from box eight, chased first starter Lady Yorgi down the back before scoring by a half head in 30.93 seconds.

By Jarvis Bale, Ka Kooo is out of city-winning stayer Scusami Hotel and has been with Fish since being purchased as a pup by the Tim Smith-managed Ka Koo Syndicate.

The closest Fish had previously come to winning a race at Tara Raceway was when Rouse Flyer ran second to Keep Looking in a heat of the 2012 Mount Gambier Cup.

Meanwhile, Toolong owner-trainer Phil Lenehan’s good run of late continued when Lektra Dame turned in a determined effort to win the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m).

Described by Lenehan as a “work in progress”, Lektra Dame found the front going out of the first turn and was never headed from there on, eventually holding out a fast-finishing Winter Is Coming to win by 1¼ lengths in 30.48 seconds.


Lektra Dame continued Toolong trainer Phil Lenehan’s good run with a determined win over 512 metres.

The black bitch is by Vee Man Vane out of Lektra Angie which won her maiden at Tara Raceway in a quick 29.93 seconds in November 2012 before going on to win city middle-distance events.

Also in Lektra Dame’s litter is Lektra Blicavs, a winner of nine races, including two in succession at Horsham and Shepparton, before running fourth at Bendigo later on Sunday.

The Lenehan-owned Lektra Danger, which impressed at The Meadows last Wednesday with a six length maiden heat win over 525 metres in 30.15 seconds, is out of Lektra Scarlett, a litter sister to Lektra Angie.

Sookie’s Fantasy on the right path

Thursday, March 24, 2016

All things being equal, Sookie’s Fantasy shouldn’t have even been running in last Sunday’s Pathway 400 metre event at Tara Raceway.

Because, as Portland trainer Lizzie Boers tells it, the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Sookie had been all set to go to Adelaide and join the Greyhound Adoption Programme (GAP).

“We’d arranged to take her over to Mount Gambier where the GAP representative would pick her up and take her back to Adelaide,” Boers said.


Ben Boers with last Sunday’s Pathway winner Sookie’s Fantasy.

“But as it turned out the GAP representative experienced car trouble and was unable to make the trip down to pick up Sookie’s Fantasy.

“Around this time Mount Gambier was about to introduce Pathway Racing at Tara Raceway so we decided to have a go at one of those events while waiting for the GAP.”

Pathway is a form of lower grade racing introduced by Greyhound Racing SA to cater for greyhounds with recent racing form which falls outside an identified time standard.

A give away after winning four races at Tara Raceway, Sookie’s Fantasy was taken over by Boers in September but by January this year the 29 kilogram black bitch had failed to win another race in 15 starts.

“She’d run some good placings for us, however she was experiencing a few niggling little injuries so we then decided to place her into the GAP.”

With her past four starts all being well outside the Pathway identified time standard, Sookie’s Fantasy lined up from box three for what would be her first race start in almost three months.

And the break had obviously done her good as she quickly found the front and raced away to a four length win in 23.60 seconds – a time only marginally slower than her personal best.

The win was Boers’ second as a trainer, with Cee Port her first back in August 2014 at Tara Raceway.

Sookie’s Fantasy’s win was the first leg of a double for the litter with Penny Blossom bringing up her tenth win when successful in The Border Watch Stake (400 m).

Meanwhile, Lizzie Boers’ husband, Ben, reports that his 2015 Mount Gambier Cup winner Lots Of Yap has been retired.

By Premier Fantasy out of Have A Yap (a winner of 37 races from 60 starts in NZ), Lots Of Yap raced on 63 occasions for seven wins and 19 minor placings.

However, Lots Of Yap won’t be joining Sookie’s Fantasy any time soon in the GAP as Boers is keen to breed with her, using a service to former champion chaser Glen Gallon which was part of the cup winner’s prize.

In the meantime he has high hopes for a 12-month-old blue bitch by Sure As out of Starpic, a winner of 13 races at Cranbourne, Angle Park, Gawler and Tara Raceway.

Top field to tackle Easter Gift

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mojito Mayhem, a brilliant winner of the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup at Tara Raceway three weeks ago, returns on Sunday afternoon to contest the Easter Gift.


Peter Franklin with Mojito Mayhem after his Mount Gambier Cup win earlier this month.

Trained at Moyston by Peter Franklin for Bendigo owner Barry Priest, Mojito Mayhem will be attempting to win his sixth consecutive race when he takes on a classy field in the free-for-all event over 512 metres.

By Fear Zafonic out of Graceful Amy, his winning run commenced in late January when he was successful at Ballarat over 545 metres prior to maintaining his unbeaten record at Tara Raceway this year with four successive wins.

Sunday’s Easter Gift run will be Mojito Mayhem’s first since the cup with the black dog drawing box three in a field that also includes cup finalists Fluke Of Fantasy and Old Jock which have both since won.

Fluke Of Fantasy, which will be lining up for start number 98 on Sunday, won his seventeenth race when leading all the way over 512 metres in a best of day 29.82 seconds at Tara Raceway last week.

By Premier Fantasy out of Lady Juma, the black dog, which is trained by Mortlake mailman Peter Crawley, looks ideally drawn in box two.


Peter Crawley and Fluke Of Fantasy.

Old Jock, a son of Bekim Bale and Swift Blaze, has never been racing in better form, bouncing back with a 29.81 seconds win over 512 metres at Tara Raceway five days after a Mount Gambier Cup fifth placing.

And then four nights later the 36 kilogram black dog was an impressive second over 480 metres at Horsham where he clocked a smart personal time of 27.20 seconds before recording similar time at Horsham on Tuesday night when once again finishing well for second.

Drawn in box five on Sunday, Old Jock is trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley who last week landed her fourth double this year at Tara Raceway to take her tally to 17 wins, two clear of Tracie Price.

Apsley trainer Tom Cryer holds a strong hand in the Easter Gift with the Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget litter brothers Cryer’s Fred, Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Jack.


Cryer’s Fred (No. 8) scores a terrific win at Horsham on Tuesday night.

Box four runner Cryer’s Fred, yet to win over 512 metres at Tara Raceway this year, missed last Sunday’s meeting due to injury suspension, but found top form again at Horsham on Tuesday night when bringing up his twenty-sixth win.

The brindle dog, which came out hard from box eight, turned for home in front but looked beaten in the testing home straight before digging deep to gain a narrow verdict in 27.39 seconds for the 480 metre journey.


Robert Duncan with the ultra-consistent Abbey’s Hand.

Cryer’s Ricky, which hasn’t won since recording a 22.78 seconds 400 metre track record on February 19, has drawn box six while Cryer’s Jack, an impressive all-the-way winner of last week’s Gambier Vets Feature Grade 5 final, looks well drawn in box eight.

Jumping from box one will be the Portland trained Abbey’s Hand which won a Mount Gambier Cup Consolation (512 m) from the same box.

Into the main consolation after running third to Mojito Mayhem in a heat, the black and white bitch led all the way to defeat Fear The Rascal in a time only a half length slower than that of the cup final.

Trained by Robert Duncan, the daughter of Cosmic Rumble and Perfect Hand has been a model of consistency at Tara Raceway this year, winning one race and running nine minor placings from her past 10 starts.

A dead-heat with a difference

Monday, March 21, 2016

Greyhound racing kicked off to an exciting start at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when Penny Eagle and Dark Eagle dead-heated in the Produce Store Maiden.

But this was a dead-heat with a difference.


It was a real family affair when litter sisters Penny Eagle and Dark Eagle dead-heated in the first race at Tara Raceway on Sunday. Also pictured are Angela, Ethan, Allen and Ros Williams.

Penny Eagle, which was having her first race start, jumped from box six while Dark Eagle soon discovered it doesn’t take long to fall out of favour at Tara Raceway after a sixth placing at her first race start nine days earlier saw her listed as a reserve for Sunday’s 512 metre race.

As luck would have it, though, Dark Eagle, owned and trained at Tarpeena by Allen Williams, gained a start when the box three runner was scratched.

So the litter sisters were now set to clash, as were father and son, with the training of Penny Eagle entrusted to David Williams, of Mil Lel.

The money came for the reserve runner to such an extent that she jumped at around the $5 mark with Allen Williams believing she would be greatly improved by her first run.

Both the Eagles – maybe they should be referred to as Eaglets due to their young age (June 2014) – jumped fairly and worked around the first turn in a manner that belied their limited race experience.

And down the back straight Dark Eagle and Penny Eagle looked comfortable behind Ari with the former appearing some sort of chance of landing a sizeable plunge.


David and Allen Williams pictured with Penny Eagle and Dark Eagle.

But off the back she brushed the rail, lost momentum and from thereon it was always going to be tough.

Approaching the home turn, Ari led narrowly but Penny Eagle, looking anything but a $17 chance, swept wide and looked to have the leader’s measure as they settled down for the run home while Dark Eagle stuck to the rails and somehow was still in the mix.

On the line, the judge couldn’t split the Eaglets while the Tracie Price trained Ari stuck on well to finish a half length third in a time of 30.83 seconds.

So here was a dead-heat by litter sisters trained by father and son. A first on an Australian greyhound TAB track? Probably. We’ll make the call anyway and wait to be corrected.

The dead-heaters, which were bred by Allen Williams, are by Glen Gallon, a former top chaser which won more than $600,000 in prizemoney, out of Keep Looking, a daughter of Where’s Pedro and Keep Token.

Keep Looking, a winner of 11 races, had been trained by Williams when defeating Rouse Flyer in a heat of the 2012 Mount Gambier Cup.

This is her first litter after she missed at an earlier mating to the imported Westmead Osprey.

However, Williams would later enjoy considerable success with Westmead Osprey stock through a number of the “Benz” greyhounds.


Allen Williams pictured with some of the Glen Gallon x Keep Looking litter back in November 2014.

Keep Looking’s litter to Glen Gallon produced two dogs and seven bitches with Williams keeping the lot and rearing them at Tarpeena.

And he’s the first to admit that it’s been a long haul.

“There’s a fair amount of work involved in rearing a litter,” he said. “And then when they were broken-in their times were nothing startling.

“Also, their early trials at Tara Raceway were only average but gradually the times started to come down and I was confident then that we would have a bit of fun with the litter.”

There are more of the litter to follow with Williams believing there are still some promising types to make their debut.

“I don’t know how far they’ll all go but I’ll tell you this, irrespective of what the litter does in the future it’s doubtful anything will match the thrill of today’s dead-heat.”



Cryer’s Jack picked the right race to find form again when winning the Gambier Vets Feature Grade Five final (512 m).


Owner Margaret Cryer pictured with Cryer’s Jack after his stunning win in the Gambier Vets Feature Grade 5 final.

Owned at Apsley by Margaret Cryer and trained by husband Tom, Cryer’s Jack had been out of the winner’s list since last October when lining up from box five in Sunday’s feature.

Away well, the son of Spring Gun and Cryer’s Midget found the front going out of the first turn before matching motors with Lika Rockstar down the back straight.

But turning for home, Cryer’s Jack, an $8.50 chance, really let loose, powering to the line with seven lengths to spare over David Brodhurst’s Cheyenne Black in a quick 29.87 seconds.

And Tom Cryer believes some extra education at Apsley contributed to Cryer’s Jack’s improved run.

“He’d been coming out slowly in recent races so I gave him some starting box work during the week and while I don’t know whether it was good training or just good luck he did come out much better.”

Cryer has litter brother Cryer’s Fred engaged at Horsham tomorrow night.



Lyon Rose made an impressive 600 metre debut when winning the Laser Electrical Mixed Stake at only her race start.

The daughter of Razldazl Jayfkay and New Year’s Punch has now won two races from only four starts at Tara Raceway for Portland trainer Cass Billington.


Alistair Billington, of Portland, with Lyon Rose which impressed on debut over the 600 metre journey.

And according to Alistair Billington, standing in for his wife on Sunday, they weren’t really sure how Lyon Rose would handle the step-up in distance.

“About all we had to go on was the fact that her half-sister Charley Arabali had won over 600 metres at Tara Raceway,” he said. “But we figured there was only one way to find out and that was to run her in a middle-distance event and see what happened.”

Away well from box four, the black bitch quickly put herself into the race and down the back straight looked a winning chance when moving into second spot behind Lektra Boots.

But off the back Lyon Rose checked off heels, lost a couple of lengths and also looked to lose all hope of winning.

However, any doubts Billington may have had regarding Lyon Rose running out the distance were quickly dispelled when she got going again and finished too strongly in the run home to score by a half length over Lektra Boots in a handy 35.60 seconds.

Participant viability boosted at Tara Raceway

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Greyhound Racing SA’s announcement this week of State-wide changes to participant returns has been welcomed by trainers racing greyhounds at Mount Gambier’s Tara Raceway.

Of some significance is the revamping of the trainers rebate which currently sees participants receiving $50 “appearance” money along with $5 for every greyhound they have racing on any given day.

81dc85a5172490c63202197a236c62a9 (1)As from Sunday, April 3 the rebate at Tara Raceway will increase to a flat payment of $60 coupled with the introduction of a $15 payment for unplaced greyhounds across all races.

So, to further get behind participant viability, the GRSA changes will ensure, for example, a trainer with one greyhound engaged that fails to run a place will still collect $75.

With a view of supporting its underlying strategic objective of promoting racing beyond 500 metres, GRSA will increase stakemoney for all Category 3 (Mount Gambier) meetings by 10 per cent.

This will mean that a maiden 512 metre event which previously carried total stakemoney of $785 will now be worth $865 with increases through to $1130 (previously $1025) for higher grade racing.

As far as 600 metre races are concerned, maiden events will rise to $900 through to $1175 for the higher grades.

And while stakemoney will remain unchanged for all 400 metre racing, higher grade events (grade three and above) over 512 metres and 600 metres will be paid at the same level as open class and free for all events.



Portland trainer Rebecca Smith was pretty happy last Friday after Brazen Beauty became the first Pathway winner at Tara Raceway when she defeated Viscount Vane and Rumbled over 400 metres in a time of 24.02 seconds – well outside the Pathway time standard of 23.63 seconds.


Rebecca Smith, of Portland, with Brazen Beauty, Tara Raceway’s first Pathway winner.

While Pathway racing is obviously not for everyone, the initiative is part of a broader review of industry strategy which places animal welfare outcomes as its focus.

GRSA believed there had been a need for lower grade greyhounds with recent racing form which fell outside an identified time standard to be able to compete against opposition of a similar ability.

Currently, Pathway races carry a penalty but as from Sunday, April 3 the grade five events will be non-penalty and run on a “flattened” stakemoney basis with trainers being required to specifically nominate for these events.

The new structure will see all runners in the money with the winner receiving $215, second $170, third $130, fourth $105 and fifth through to eighth $60.

Greyhounds must have run outside the identified time standard at either Angle Park, Gawler, Strathalbyn or Mount Gambier at their past four starts to be eligible for Pathway selection.

At the moment, Pathway time standards in place at Tara Raceway are: 400 m 23.63, 512 m 30.98, 600 m 35.75.

A grade five 400 metre Pathway race will be run at Tara Raceway on Sunday with the David Brodhurst trained Viscount Vane looking to be one of the hardest to beat.



The SA-bred maiden payment has been popular with participants who have been involved with greyhounds reaching the track and winning a race.

Currently this payment is $175 but GRSA is now looking to increase this to $1000 ($500 breeder, $500 owner) as from July 1, 2017.

This means all SA-bred greyhounds whelped in 2016 will be eligible for the bonus. Surely there’s never been a better time to purchase an SA-bred pup.

In other breeding news, GRSA will also be implementing changes to the Breeder Support Programme.

Among the changes will be a combined claim limit of $800 for all veterinary and transport expenses along with the removal of the advanced application process for the breeders rebate now that both sires and dams must be registered.

Also to be removed is the cap on litters in anticipation of national breeder licensing.

Trainer looking for another ‘satisfactory performance’

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Devon Meadows trainer David Jones will be hoping his enigmatic greyhound Sage Jay once again comes out running when she lines up from box one in Sunday’s Gambier Vets Feature Grade Five final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.

A despised $16 chance in a heat last week, the 27 kilogram black bitch flew the start from box seven and led all the way to defeat $2.80 favourite Shannah’s Might by 8¼ lengths in an outstanding equal best of day 29.72 seconds.


Devon Meadows couple David and Toni Jones pictured with Sage Jay after her outstanding Gambier Vets Feature Grade 5 heat win at Tara Raceway last Friday.

The run was in direct contrast to several runs late last year in Victoria when Sage Jay was beaten by 30 lengths at Cranbourne and then tailed off at The Meadows and again at Cranbourne.

Such were the efforts that stewards cited her for “unsatisfactory performances” with Jones now believing that the finish-on-lure was the key to her performing to the best of her ability.

“You only have to look at her record of six starts for two wins and three minor placings at Tara Raceway (which operates with a finish-on-lure) to realise just how much better she races.

“I thought her effort the previous week in a Mount Gambier Cup Consolation (512 m) to go down by only a length to Miss Petrova in 30.03 seconds was a terrific effort. She certainly ran right up to that in her heat.”

By Nitro Burst, the Jones-bred Sage Jay is out of Cranbourne maiden winner Padstow Pattie which in her first litter (to Best Score) produced the smart chaser Not Out, a winner of 10 races.

And while Jones is delighted at drawing box one, the Gambier Vets final has brought together a strong field of grade five greyhounds.

The David Peckham trained Weblec Angel, which has drawn box two, hadn’t won since last October but did the job well when defeating Ray’s Rosie in the other heat by 4¼ lengths in a smart 30.08 seconds.

Tracie Price’s Shannah’s Might, which has drawn box three, has now had two runs back after a seven-month injury break while the Tom Cryer trained Cryer’s Jack (box five), looking for his first win since the end of October, worked home well for third behind Sage Jay.

Trainer’s best day for 18 months

Monday, March 14, 2016

David Peckham, leading trainer at Tara Raceway in 2012, 2013 and 2014, enjoyed his best day in 18 months when leading in a treble last Friday with Dark Nemesis, One Stormy Night and Weblec Angel.

After three minor placings at his only three starts at the local track, Dark Nemesis was looking to open his winning account at start number 30 when jumping from box eight in the Williams Crane Hire Maiden Stake (512 metres).


Connie Miller with Dark Nemesis, the first leg of a winning treble for Allendale East trainer David Peckham.

And after finding a forward spot early, the black dog took over the running off the back, eventually going on to score by 3¼ lengths over Jen Shen, another well-seasoned maiden performer, which ran home well at her twenty-eighth race start.

By the US-bred sire Kinloch Brae, Dark Nemesis is out of Angel Millie, a daughter of Betty’s Angel which won 20 races from 43 starts and $440,000 in prizemoney.

The length of time it has taken Dark Nemesis to open his winning account is perhaps a little surprising insomuch that 14 months ago he had reached the final of the time-honoured Hobart Maiden Thousand (461 m) when being trained in Tasmania.

Peckham brought up a running double when One Stormy Night, at start number 18, found the front down the back in the Maiden Stake (400 m) before going on to an easy six length win over My Names Rhonda in 23.53 seconds.

For the son of Collision and Western Pearl it was a triumphant return to the track as he hadn’t raced since last May at Ballarat where he sustained a badly torn calf muscle.

Both Dark Nemesis and One Stormy Night are owned by NSW owner-breeder Mark McIntosh who transferred the pair from Adelaide to Peckham’s Allendale East kennels in December.

“I had received a call, totally out of the blue, from Mark asking me if I was interested in training a couple of greyhounds for him,” Peckham said.

“Speaking with Mark on Friday night, he was delighted that the pair had finally broken their maiden status and reckoned it had been a huge effort from all concerned.”

Weblec Angel overcame seasonal and injury issues to land her fourth win at Tara Raceway when successful in the first heat of the Gambier Vets Feature Grade Five (512 m).


Amy Howard and One Stormy Night.

Away well from box eight, the fawn bitch chased last week’s Formula 400 winner Cerrone into the back straight before rounding him up approaching the home turn and going on for a comfortable 4¼ length win over Ray’s Rosie and Cerrone in a smart 30.08 seconds.

By Dyna Tron out of Snow Excuse, Weblec Angel is owned at Bow Hill by Jeff Weber in partnership with Nev Loechel, whose involvement in greyhound racing goes back a number of years.

And it was at a sixtieth birthday party at Bow Hill some three years ago that Loechel, in general conversation with Weber, suggested they purchase a couple of greyhound pups.

They eventually settled on three pups out of Snow Excuse, which had won 12 races at Angle Park and Gawler, and then reared them at Bow Hill.

It turned out to be a profitable birthday party with Weblec Belle winning 19 races and $166,000 in prizemoney, Weblec Rose eight races and $43,000 while Weblec Angel has done all her racing at Tara Raceway for four wins and $4000 in prizemoney.

Peckham’s last treble had been on September 21, 2014 when Bourne Cheeky, Thanks Tubby and Young Gunner were successful.




Nicole Stanley was all smiles after another treble at Tara Raceway last Friday. She is pictured with $45 winner Mr Caudo.

Portland trainer Nicole Stanley’s treble at Tara Raceway’s cup day meeting last week was her first in 20 years’ involvement in greyhound racing.

But her second treble took only another five days after My Only Sunshine, Old Jock and $45 chance Mr Caudo were successful at last Friday’s meeting.

Stanley and Compton trainer Tracie Price, who was successful with Real Moment on Friday, lead the way with 15 winners each at Tara Raceway this year.

600 metre record falls at Tara Raceway

Friday, March 11, 2016

A brilliant win by Unsub Andy in the Bartholomew Mixed Stake at Tara Raceway this afternoon resulted in the breaking of Miss Jacovella’s 600 metre record which had stood at 35.08 seconds since August 14 last year.

Away well from box three, the 34 kilogram black dog, which is trained at Koroit by Peter Byrne, quickly took up the running while odds-on favourite Fear The Rascal, on debut at the distance, settled into a close-up second.


Koroit owner-trainer Peter Byrne with Unsub Andy after his 600 metre record-breaking run at Tara Raceway this afternoon.

Off the back Unsub Andy still had the Tracie Price trained favourite’s measure and in the run home he was able to hold out John Cameron’s Saint Oaks which finished strongly to go down by 2¾ lengths while Fear The Rascal held on well a further length back in third place.

The winning time of 35.04 seconds is the fourth 600 metre record to be posted with Striking Viking the initial record holder at 35.38 seconds, followed by Cheap Currency (35.11) before Miss Jacovella’s record run.

And for Byrne, who is kept busy training a few greyhounds, running the Koroit trial track and milking cows, the track record was actually his second at Tara Raceway.

“Quite a few years ago I had a dog called Shadwell Express that I reckon at one stage held the 277 metre record,” Byrne recalled.

Turns out that was 16 years ago, long before 400 metre racing was introduced at Tara Raceway, with Shadwell Express running a record 16.32 seconds in April 2000.

By College Causeway out of 16-race winner Naawy Naawy, Unsub Andy was purchased by Byrne after being advertised on Greyhound-Data for $8000 in August last year.

Even though he’d won seven Victorian provincial races prior to the sale, it would be another six months before Unsub Andy won his first race for Byrne.

“Illness kept him off the track for close to three months. Then he started to trial alright but was doing everything wrong in races,” he said.

“Eventually he won his first race for me at Ballarat over 545 metres in late February before running second at Warrnambool over 650 metres prior to today’s win.”

Byrne said he was now considering sending Unsub Andy to race in WA where he believed he would be well placed in middle-distance events.

And news on former 600 metre record holders. Striking Viking (Superman x Irish Fantasy) is currently in Adelaide to be mated with Barcia Bale while Miss Jacovella (El Grand Senor x Mantra Miss) earlier this month whelped a litter of 11 to Pure Octane.