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

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, September 25 with GRSA. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, October 1 (public holiday) with GRSA. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, October 2 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.


News

A classic win to the Munster

Monday, August 22, 2016

Toolong greyhound Lektra Munster’s brilliant mid-race burst in Sunday’s Banjo Boy Winter Classic at Tara Raceway set the scene for an impressive win in the $3000 age-restricted final over 512 metres.

A $7.50 chance from box four, he was the least favoured of three littermates contesting the third running of the classic, with Lektra Lucy and Lektra Ash both well fancied at $3 and $3.60 respectively.

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Owner-trainer Phil Lenehan with Lektra Munster after his Banjo Boy Winter Classic win. The $3000 final also carried a service to Group winner Banjo Boy.

Owned and trained by Phil Lenehan, the Munster had shown similar mid-race dash to find the front in a heat at the previous meeting but had been unable to hold out Nicole Stanley’s Hay Miss in the run to the line, eventually going down by a nostril.

In Sunday’s final, though, despite being in traffic and wide on the first turn, once he let loose down the back he was always going to be hard to run down.

Again it was the Portland trained Hay Miss, winner of last month’s John Reid Memorial, doing the chasing after momentarily hitting the front down the back, and while running home well, this time Lektra Munster had 1½ lengths to spare.

Lektra Ash, now based at Tarpeena with David Williams, finished the race off nicely in third spot and will be a more than handy addition to the local ranks while Lektra Lucy, favourite on the strength of an impressive heat win, found trouble going out of the first turn and never really got into the race for Lenehan.

The “Lektra” finalists were also bred at Toolong and are by Fabregas out of Supreme Vision, a winner at The Meadows, Sandown Park and Cannington.

Supreme Vision’s previous litter (by Where’s Pedro) includes former smart Melbourne chaser Lektra Concord, which has since been sold to New Zealand, and Supreme Deal, recent winner of the Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) for Mount Gambier trainer Ralph Patzel.

The October 2014 Fabregas litter consists of six dogs and three bitches with six having already won.

And it’s been a pretty fair few days for Lenehan and the litter after Lektra Utah was successful at Horsham on Tuesday, Lektra Aly won at Warrnambool on Thursday night before Sunday’s classic success with Lektra Munster and Lektra Peck’s all-the-way win in the ClassicBet Stake (512 m).

The litter and training double continued his good run at Tara Raceway this year and brought up his 24th local win.

While conceding that Lektra Utah is the pick of the litter at this stage, Lenehan said he had been delighted with Lektra Munster’s effort in the Winter Classic.

“I certainly thought he would improve on his heat effort but I was really pleased with his mid-race dash today and it will now be interesting to see how far that takes him.”

With the winner’s time of 30.89 seconds being indicative of the wet conditions, this was certainly a winter classic in the true sense of the word.

 

STAMPING HIS AUTHORITY IN THE WET

While the past two Tara Raceway meetings have been pretty ordinary from a weather point of view, one greyhound that has really adapted to the conditions is Stampy Longnose.

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Catcher Mo Canala and trainer Dean Fennell pictured with Stampy Longnose after his Produce Store Feature Grade 5 win.

By Fabregas out of Lemon Cruiser, Stampy Longnose braved atrocious weather conditions from box eight last meeting in a heat of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five (512 m) when defeating litter sister Smirnoff Lass in a surprisingly quick 30.49 seconds.

And box eight and another heavy track were no deterrent on Sunday when the 35 kilogram black dog found the front going into the back straight and once again held out his litter sister, trained by Tracie Price, to win by 1¾ lengths in 30.66 seconds.

The win was his seventh since being taken over by Glencoe-based Dean Fennell in September last year for first-time owner Jack Davies who races Stampy Longnose in partnership with fellow Millicentites Paul Whitford and Fennell’s son Hayden.

The win also continued a good year for Fennell who has now trained 16 winners and been successful with Ticked Off and Stampy Longnose at the past three meetings.

The monthly Feature Grade Five heats and final events over 512 metres, which are funded by a $10,000 Greyhound Racing SA subsidy, have proven to be popular with owners and trainers.

And one of those trainers is certainly Fennell who said after the race that he believed the first prize of $1415 was probably the most he had ever collected from a single race.

Heats of next month’s Gordon Refrigeration Feature Grade Five (512 m) will be run on Friday, September 9 with the $2100 final on Sunday, September 18.

 

RUNNING DOUBLE

Recently-retired David Brodhurst of Serviceton is another trainer who is having a good year at Tara Raceway.

While working he had been limited to the number of meetings he could take in but with his greyhounds now able to race on a more regular basis he and wife Valerie are reaping the benefits.

Like on Sunday when Miss Murderous and Major Lachy sent the couple home on a happy note after winning the final two races.

Miss Murderous, a $7.50 chance in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m) led early from box five before being head by Fu Ling Shen but finished too strongly for that greyhound in the run home to score by a length in 23.53 seconds.

Another winner for Fabregas, Miss Murderous is out of former Queensland stayer Tango Tapper and is owned by one-time Tara Raceway caller Chris Buttigieg.

And Major Lachy brought up Brodhurst’s 13th Tara Raceway winner this year when leading all the way in the Berringa Park Mixed Stake (400 m) to defeat Marlow Moment in 23.64 seconds.

Starting at the nice odds of $21, the son of Cape Hawke and Gifted Glory has now won four races since relocating to Serviceton in February this year.


Twistex just keeps on keeping on

Thursday, August 18, 2016

It’s now been almost three years since David and Toni Jones’s Twistex appeared for the first time at Tara Raceway where he finished a close-up second to Explosive Arrow over 400 metres at what was his second race start.

Last Friday, the black dog was back in Mount Gambier for the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m), having raced a further 164 times since that October afternoon back in 2013.

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David Jones pictured at Tara Raceway last Friday with Twistex after his 167th start.

So, with not too many racing greyhounds hitting the 100-start mark, Twistex’s record after race 12 stood at 167 starts for 29 wins and 45 minor placings – a real testament to his tenacity and durability.

By Dyna Lachlan out of Victorian city winner Avery Bale, he’s been at the Jones’s Devon Meadows property since day one.

“We actually whelped the litter for the owners,” David Jones recalled this week. “But it was only by pure chance that we happened to end up with Twistex.

“We had picked out a pup to purchase from the litter but it turned out the owners wanted to keep him so we had to make another choice.”

But the rising 4½-year-old is soon to embark on a different sort of journey.

“We currently have our property on the market and by Christmas we’re hopeful that we’ll be hitting the highway in a motor home and travelling around Australia,” Jones said.

“And yes, Twistex will be making the trip with us.”

 

CONFUSION OVER TRACK RECORD

Unsub Andy’s 600 metre track record at Tara Raceway will continue to be recognised by the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.

Owned and trained at Southern Cross by Peter Byrne, Unsub Andy lowered Miss Jacovella’s previous record when clocking 35.04 seconds on March 11 this year.

Brazen Bomber

Brazen Bomber defeats Old Jock and Fireball Jack in the Koroit 600 final at Tara Raceway in June. Picture: Todd’s Photographics.

However, confusion has arisen since the running of the Koroit 600 which was conducted on Sunday, June 26 and won by the Jeff Guy trained Brazen Bomber.

Due to a timing malfunction for that race, Brazen Bomber’s winning time was posted as a hand-timed 35.33 seconds.

But Greyhound Racing SA has Brazen Bomber winning the race in a hand-timed 35 seconds and now lists this time on its website and in all official form as the track record.

MGGRC secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard said this week that he was trying to resolve the issue of the two track records for the same distance with GRSA.

“I’ve been in touch with GRSA stewards in regard to the anomaly but I’m still waiting for an explanation as to where this 35 seconds time actually came from.

“We don’t accept any hand times as track records so as far as we are concerned Unsub Andy’s 35.04 seconds is still the 600 metre track record.”

 

FIRST CITY WIN FOR THE RASCAL

Locally owned and trained fast-class performer Fear The Rascal won his first city race when defeating kennelmate Skatey Perry over 515 metres in a good 29.94 seconds at Angle Park on Monday night.

By Fear Zafonic out of Shannah’s Star, Fear The Rascal has now won 15 races and recorded 16 minor placings from 39 starts for Mingbool breeder-owner Don Nunn and trainer Tracie Price of Compton.

And Price was back at Angle Park for the Wednesday afternoon meeting with boom youngster Blazing Moment which recently won on debut at Tara Raceway.

The 37 kilogram son of Bekim Bale and Lucy’s Moment was slowly away from box six in a grade six 515 metre event but found the front turning into the back straight before running out a 3¾ length winner in a near best of the day 30.15 seconds.


Winter Classic finalist changes hands

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lektra Ash, the second fastest of the eight qualifiers at Tara Raceway last Friday afternoon, will go into Sunday’s Banjo Boy Winter Classic final (512 metres) in new ownership after being purchased by Team Williams (Allen and David Williams).

The Tarpeena-based father and son team took over the black dog after he had run second to his litter sister Lektra Lucy, owned and trained at Toolong by Phil Lenehan, in the first heat of the age-restricted series.

LEK LUCY LEK ASH

Lektra Lucy defeats her brother Lektra Ash in the first heat of the Banjo Boy Winter Classic at Tara Raceway last Friday. Picture: Todd’s Photographics.

Having only her second race start, and her first at Tara Raceway, the 28 kilogram Lektra Lucy led all the way to defeat her brother – which had moved into second spot down the back straight – by 1½ lengths in 30.39 seconds.

As far as the final goes, Allen Williams will be hoping for a case of third time lucky with Lektra Ash after Dr Danny had run second to Stylish Moment in the inaugural classic in 2014 and Lika Rockstar third behind Cee Me Burst and Houdini Spell last year – both winners being trained by Tracie Price.

Also through to the final from the first heat are the Nicole Stanley trained Ashdene Lass, a winner of two races at the track, and first starter Blitz And Bolt from David Peckham’s Allendale East kennels.

Ashdene Lass worked home reasonably well after showing early pace while Blitz And Bolt had little luck and should be better for the run.

Hay Miss, recent winner of the John Reid Memorial, was an even money favourite from box eight in the second heat but looked to be in a bit of bother as To The Choppar led the field into the back straight.

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Hay Miss, winner of heat two of the Banjo Boy Winter Classic, has drawn box eight again in Sunday’s final. She is pictured with trainer Nicole Stanley.

By mid-race, though, Lektra Munster had opened up a handy break with the Stanley-trained Hay Miss giving chase and eventually running down the leader to score by the narrowest of margins in 30.78 seconds.

The effort of Lektra Munster, a strapping 34 kilogram black dog and having only his second race start, pleased owner-trainer Lenehan who believed the youngster would be further improved by the run.

To The Choppar’s effort to hang on to third spot and qualify for the $3000 final also pleased Mortlake owner-trainer Paul Herry who purchased the August 2014 daughter of El Grand Senor x Chilly Patch as a pup from breeder Allen Williams at Tarpeena.

Making up the final eight is the Price trained I’m Hearing Ya which was doing her best work at the finish.

Two litters now hold a strong hand in the final with October 2014 whelpings Lektra Lucy, Lektra Ash and Lektra Munster being by Fabregas x Supreme Vision while Hay Miss and Ashdene Lass are from the August 2014 mating of Bekim Bale x Miss Stackhouse.

And following the draw for Sunday’s meeting Stanley fared well with Ashdene Lass and Hay Miss drawing boxes one and eight respectively while Lektra Ash, Lektra Lucy and Lektra Munster will jump from two, three and four.

 

ASHTON’S GOOD RUN CONTINUES

Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton continued on his winning way at Tara Raceway last Friday when Secret Mantra won his first race in 12 months and Saintly Miss took time honours in the heats of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five (512 metres).

This was his second training double in the space of a fortnight after Johnny Jaffa and Carrara Lad had been successful at Tara Raceway’s extra meeting on July 31.

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Jan Neil and Kevin Ashton with Saintly Miss, the quickest Produce Store Feature Grade 5 heat winner at Tara Raceway last Friday.

Saintly Miss’s win was her first at the local track in more than 12 months and only her second this year after winning at Bendigo in late January.

But the black bitch had signalled a return to form the previous week when turning in a good effort to finish third behind Mo Town Roy.

That form subsequently held up in the first heat of the feature as Saintly Miss took over the running down the back straight from Crazy Sprite and then held off a fast finishing Fascinated to win in 30.38 seconds.

The win was the ninth for Saintly Miss, a litter sister to Harry Aztec which Ashton trained to win last year’s Eric Lewis Memorial at Tara Raceway. He’s now looking at breeding with the 3½-year-old daughter of Aston Galilee and Prince’s Faye once her racing days are over.

And there’s certainly not much wrong with the pedigree with a couple of other littermates being Sandown Park and The Meadows winner Hogganaught and Sapphire Crown Group 1 winner Naralee which won 17 races from 34 starts for $145,000 in stakemoney.

Fascinated put in her best run for a while for Penshurst owner-trainer John Cameron when running Saintly Miss to a couple of lengths and qualifying for Sunday’s final.

Purchased as a pup by Cameron from Portland breeder Cass Billington, Fascinated is by Hutmaker out of the ill-fated Spellbound which raced on 115 occasions in three states for 24 wins and 33 minor placings.

Spellbound, which recently lost a battle with cancer, was one of the better greyhounds racing around Tara Raceway in 2013 when trained by Billington who currently is pursuing other interests.

Future Past made it two wins in succession at Tara Raceway for trainer Peter Franklin – but only just.

Jumping from box six in the second heat, Future Past took over the running from Cheyenne Black turning for home and then in a desperate finish held out the fast finishing Homer and Julie’s Love in 30.53 seconds.

The final heat was run in driving rain with Dean Fennell’s Stampy Longnose weathering the storm after getting the better of litter sister Smirnoff Lass and charging home for a four length win in 30.49 seconds.

Fear Helvetia, originally a reserve for the final after running third behind Stampy Longnose, gained a start when Future Past was scratched prior to the draw on Tuesday and now looks well placed in box one for Coleraine owner-trainer Robert Wombwell.


Another Iron Dog for Monty?

Monday, August 15, 2016

For Mumbannar trainer Monty Wilson it’s now been close on 12 months since he enjoyed his first feature race success on a greyhound track.

That was with Boolite Bruiser which dead-heated in the Berringa Park Iron Dog three-distance series with the Richard Clayfield trained Upset Boy.

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Monty Wilson is now looking at the Berringa Park Iron Dog with Kylan Brae, an impressive maiden winner at Tara Raceway last Friday.

The white and black dog had come to Wilson’s kennels via Jason Thomson of Boolite, a small wheat farming town near Warracknabeal.

And now he’s looking at this year’s Iron Dog with the Warracknabeal bred Kylan Brae which continued the successful Thomson-Wilson association with a win in Friday’s Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m).

Kylan Brae turned in a big effort to open his winning account at his eighth start when storming home after being last early to run down tearaway leader Cee Righty and win by two lengths in 30.56 seconds.

According to Wilson, much of the credit for the win has to go to his wife Jen who also now owns the son of Kinloch Brae and Sionara Milly (which raced on only six occasions for three third placings).

“When he first arrived eight months ago he was so timid that we struggled to get him out of his kennel but over time he has responded to Jen’s efforts with him and he is now a different dog.

“Also, he has benefited from frequent gallops on the Tara Raceway slipping track – a terrific innovation on the part of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.”

Kylan Brae does, however, still have an issue with the hurly-burly of the catching area at the end of a race, sometimes taking off from his designated catcher before being rounded-up on the other side of the track.

But Wilson can live with the idiosyncrasy, believing that Kylan Brae has a future as a middle-distance performer.

“I’ve always been of the opinion that he would be better suited over a bit more ground and he certainly finished the race off well today,” he said.

“I reckon the Iron Dog would be good fit for him with the first round being over 600 metres, followed by the 400 metre dash and then a 512 metre final.”

Round one of the Berringa Park Iron Dog will be run on Sunday, August 28, with round two on Sunday, September 4 and the leading point scorers from these two rounds then contesting the final on Friday, September 9.

 

NEVER KNOCK A WIN, BUT . . .

As far as Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst and his greyhound Rally were concerned it was a case last Friday of what might have been.

Brodhurst had taken over the training of the daughter of Radley Bale and Izzy Mai in June for Lewiston owner Don Turner who had been keen to see Rally tried over the 600 metre journey at Tara Raceway.

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Birthday girl Val Brodhurst pictured with Rally which finished strongly to win over the 512 metre journey.

An August 2014 whelping, the black bitch had been nominated for a 600 metre event last Friday with Brodhurst believing she would be graded into the Winter Classic if there was no middle-distance race.

Well, there was no 600 metre race but Rally ended up in the Metal Worx Stake, a 512 metre event for grade six greyhounds.

A $20 chance from box seven, Rally chased the leader Gentle Moment until railing through on the home turn and finishing like a middle-distance performer to win by 1¾ lengths in 30.36 seconds – a time quicker than either of the Winter Classic heats.

The win continued Brodhurst’s good run at Tara Raceway this year and took his training tally to 11 wins. It was also an early birthday present for his wife Valerie who turned 66 the following day.

He did admit, however, that he probably could have made his intentions a little clearer on Rally’s nomination form.

Also in the same boat as far as nomination intentions were concerned was Portland trainer Andy Graham who initially had the classic-aged Breakwater Bay engaged in the same race as Rally before he was scratched due to injury.

And litter brother Cee Righty found himself as a reserve in a maiden 512 metre race only to gain a start, leading the field into the home straight before running second in 30.69 seconds, a time that would have had him right in the mix from a classic point of view.

Fair enough, you never knock a win – or a second placing for that matter – but maiden and grade six races are run every week at Tara Raceway.

Greyhounds get only one crack at the Winter Classic.


Veteran chaser has the right genetics

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Altona Green trainer Malcolm Davis seems to be making a habit of winning races at Tara Raceway with bitches that have produced a litter or two.

A couple of weeks ago he was successful with White Spyro which in January had whelped to Magic Sprite while last Sunday Hot Genetics led all the way to win the 400 metre Gambier Vets Masters Stake for older greyhounds.

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Five-year-old Masters winners Hot Genetics pictured with owner-trainer Malcolm Davis.

By Bit Chili out of Cool Genetics, Hot Genetics will turn five next month and was back in the winner’s circle after having whelped a second litter in March.

The black bitch had won seven races on Queensland and NSW tracks but had been serving a 90-day suspension for marring when Davis picked her up at the end of 2014.

“I was hopeful of improving her racing manners,” Davis said. “But before I could get her back on the track she came on season and after mating her with Talk’s Cheap she whelped in April 2015.”

Hot Genetics was back on the track in September and in January this year won her first race for Davis when successful at Traralgon.

But another season soon after once again put her racing career on hold with Davis this time opting to mate her with Vee Man Vane.

Hot Genetics resumed racing again in July with Sunday’s win coming at her fourth run back and took her record to nine wins and 24 minor placings from 79 starts.

 

RECOGNITION FOR SPONSOR

Congratulations to Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club sponsor and greyhound owner Chris Klaassens who was recently recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow at the Rotary Club of Mount Gambier West’s changeover dinner.

Paul Harris Fellows are recognised to express appreciation for contributions to the humanitarian and educational programmes of the Rotary Foundation with Klaassens recognised for his work on various club projects.

 

WIN FOR ‘POOR RELATION’

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Mo Canala and Shane Flink pictured with the Dean Fennell owned and trained Ticked Off after his overdue win last Sunday.

With two wins from 53 starts going into last Sunday’s winningformula.net.au Stake (512 m) it’s probably not unkind to suggest that Ticked Off has been living in the shadows of his litter brothers Cryer’s Fred, Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Jack.

But the son of Spring Gun and Cryer’s Midget came out of the shadows for Glencoe owner-trainer Dean Fennell when leading all the way from box two to defeat kennelmate Ari in 30.64 seconds.

The win was his first over 512 metres in 30 starts with Fennell seemingly not all that perturbed over Ticked Off’s ordinary strike rate.

“Look, I know that was his first win in 15 months but really he’s just a pet so any win that comes along is a real bonus.”

And two nights later, Cryer’s Fred kept the flag flying for the litter, and Tom and Margaret Cryer, when bringing up his fourth win this year at Horsham.

 

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Cap Abbott celebrated his birthday with a win by Mo Town Roy.

BIRTHDAY WIN

Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott celebrated his 73rd birthday last Sunday with Mo Town Roy leading all the way to win the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) in a smart 30.15 seconds.

Abbott is now considering the upcoming Berringa Park Iron Dog series which kicks off on Sunday, August 28.

He won the three-distance series a couple of years ago with his former smart bitch Manila Express.


Leading trainers hold key to Winter Classic

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Top-four trainers Nicole Stanley and Phil Lenehan appear to hold the key to Friday’s two heats of the Banjo Boy Winter Classic (512 metres) with greyhounds that have previously won at Tara Raceway.

Portland-based Stanley will be represented by litter sisters Ashdene Lass in box four in the first heat while Hay Miss will line up from box eight in the second heat.

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Phil Lenehan with Lektra Ash which looks ideally boxed in the eight in heat one of the Winter Classic.

An August 2014 daughter of Bekim Bale and Miss Stackhouse, Ashdene Lass was well beaten at long odds at Warrnambool over 450 metres last week but did win impressively at Tara Raceway on July 24.

On that occasion she led all the way to defeat Gentle Moment on a heavy track in 30.75 seconds for the 512 metre journey – a time that compared favourably to a best of day 30.38 seconds.

And earlier on that same day Hay Miss led all the way from box five in the John Reid Memorial final (512 m) to defeat Saint Fox by four lengths in 30.53 seconds.

Lenehan will travel over from Toolong with three members of the October 2014 Fabregas x Supreme Vision litter – Lektra Lucy and Lektra Ash have drawn boxes seven and eight respectively in heat one while Lektra Munster will jump from box four in heat two.

Two other members of the litter – Lektra Utah (29.90 seconds at Tara Raceway last month) and Lektra Peck (a close second over 450 metres at Warrnambool last week) – will by-pass the classic and race at Warrnambool tomorrow night.

However, Lektra Ash, as highlighted by his smart maiden 512 metre win at Tara Raceway late last month, is a dead-set box eight dog and as such looks hard to beat in Friday’s opening heat.

Lektra Lucy and Lektra Munster both showed early pace when having their first race starts in June over 425 metres at Bendigo.

Tarpeena-based “Team Williams” (Allen and David) will launch an all-out attack on the classic with five August 2014 greyhounds – all carrying the Eagle tag – from the El Grand Senor x Chilly Patch litter.

Allen Williams ran second with Dr Danny in the inaugural Winter Classic in 2014 behind Stylish Moment and last year filled third spot with Lika Rockstar in the final which was won by Cee Me Burst.

 

SUCCESS FOR LONG-TIME SYNDICATE

A syndicate, formed some years ago by four local workmates, tasted further success at Tara Raceway last Sunday when Galactic Tsunami quickly found the front from box two before running out a 6½ length winner in the feature grade five final (400 m) in a quick 23.09 seconds.

By Fabregas out of Magic Elite, the 35 kilogram dog is owned by Steve Bartholomew, Ken Gillespie, Robert Chuck and the now-retired Jack Peacock, and trained by Steve Bartholomew jr.

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Jack Peacock, Ken Gillespie, Steve Bartholomew and Deb Hicks with Galactic Tsunami after his win last Sunday.

Chuck, who bred and originally owned the winner outright, sold a three-quarter share in May to his fellow owners after their previous dog, Sharkarakis, was retired.

A winner of three races at Tara Raceway prior to the sale, Galactic Tsunami’s win on Sunday was the first for the syndicate and came on the back of a couple of handy seconds at the local track.

Speaking after Sunday’s win, Bartholomew recalled the group’s first greyhound almost 11 years ago.

“She was a little bitch called Next Trip. Certainly nothing special, but she did win a race at Tara Raceway before we purchased a bitch from Kevin Mugavin called Modern Joy which went on to win four local races.”

The syndicate’s association continued with the successful Killarney owner-trainer-breeder when they later purchased Magic State on the back of some impressive Warrnambool performances.

But Magic State, a son of Elite State and Killarney Magic, failed to live up to expectations, winning only one race at Tara Raceway.

“As a result, Kevin later offered us a litter sister to Magic State for $500,” Bartholomew said.

That bitch was Magic Elite which went on to win six races, including a free service to SA chaser Scull Murphy (a winner of 42 races and $133,000 in prizemoney).

Magic Elite, which was later mated with Scull Murphy, produced handy types Scullira, Wattaira, Black Bargain and Scull Magic which the syndicate won six races with.

Chuck then took over Magic Elite for breeding with three further litters producing smart types including Galactic Impact, Galactic Viper, along with Galactic Tsunami and Galactic Dragon (also successful last Sunday) in her final litter.

Meanwhile, Galactic Tsunami will line up again on Friday from the tricky box six in a pretty handy Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m) while Galactic Dragon, also sold recently by Chuck, has drawn box four in a heat of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five (512 m).


Singing the praises of first-up winner

Monday, August 8, 2016

Leading local trainer Tracie Price was singing the praises of Blazing Moment at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon after his impressive debut in the Rock’s Retreat Maiden Stake (400 metres).

The heavily-backed 37 kilogram black dog was quickly into stride from box four and gave nothing else a chance when clearing away to a 10 length win in a quick 23.18 seconds.

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Tracie Price and Blazing Moment.

There had been huge wraps on Blazing Moment after he had broken-in in brilliant fashion before later running race-winning times at Tara Raceway on trial mornings.

Such was Sunday’s effort that Price later in the day respectfully informed a prospective buyer that the dog – yet to be tried beyond 400 metres – was not for sale at any price.

“This is what you breed greyhounds for – to try and find one that’s something special. I know he’s still got a long way to go but I believe Blazing Moment will end up being the best greyhound to come out of Mount Gambier.”

By Bekim Bale, Blazing Moment is out of Lucy’s Moment (Bombastic Shiraz x Barely A Moment) which won five races at Angle Park, as well as two at Tara Raceway and one at Warrnambool when trained by Price.

And it was Lucy’s Moment’s litter brother Shiraz Moment that saw Price hit the headlines back in 2012 when he refused an offer of $50,000 for the dog prior to racing only to see him injured in a kennel mishap early in his racing career.

On course to watch Blazing Moment make his racing debut was local greyhound identity Alfons Couldrey, recently back in town after an around-Australia trip.

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Blazing Moment had plenty of supporters – young and old – after his impressive first-up win.

Couldrey had actually purchased the dog as a pup and left it with Price at Compton to be reared. However, the big, boisterous youngster proved to be something of a handful and as a result was returned to his owner in Mount Gambier.

But the pup was no less a handful for Couldrey who reluctantly was forced to relinquish ownership and hand him back to Price who refunded the purchase price.

Being a November 2014 whelping, Blazing Moment is eligible for Friday’s Winter Classic heats (512 m) although Price said he was doubtful that he would head down that path.

“To be honest I’m not really keen to run him in the classic as he’s had limited field experience and is yet to be tried over 512 metres.”

This year’s running of the Winter Classic will be the third with Price successful in 2014 with Stylish Moment and last year with Cee Me Burst.

Blazing Moment’s win rounded off a successful three days for the leading trainer after Lyon Rose had won at Strathalbyn on Friday and Skatey Perry was successful at the nice odds of $27 at Warrnambool on Saturday.

And he’ll hit the highway again on Wednesday when he heads to Angle Park with a strong team – Fear The Rascal (box eight), Skatey Perry (box one), Lyon Rose, Real Moment and Grimsby Girl.

 

NIFTY LANDS FIRST DOUBLE

Woolsthorpe owner-trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan landed his first double at Tara Raceway when litter sisters Herbilly and Rising Girl were successful in consecutive races.

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Herbilly pictured after her maiden final win with owner-trainer Nifty Lenehan.

In fact, Lenehan wasn’t all that sure whether he’d ever previously trained a double, although he did have very hazy recollections of one at Horsham some years ago.

Herbilly, which lined up from box one in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (400 m) maiden final, looked the one to beat after an unlucky second in a heat the previous week.

And that’s the way the race panned out with the sizeable 31 kilogram bitch rounding up leader Raz’s Girl off the back before finishing strongly to score by 5¼ lengths in a smart 23.29 seconds.

Rising Girl, which was unplaced when well-fancied at last week’s meeting, made amends on Sunday in The Border Watch Stake (400 m) when leading all the way for a comfortable 2¼ length win over Spinach in 23.31 seconds.

Bred by Lenehan, the sisters are by Kinloch Brae out of Obama’s Girl, a winner of two 600 metre races at The Meadows and one over 550 metres at Ballarat.

And he wasn’t far off a two-state treble after litter brother King Obama gave plenty of cheek when running second in a heat of Mixed 6/7 (515 m) at Sandown Park on Sunday afternoon.

King Obama created a big impression at Tara Raceway back in May when he won a maiden (512 m) on debut in a quick 30.10 seconds.

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Future Past found winning form again for Peter Franklin with a smart sub-23 second 400 metre effort.

Also landing a double with littermates was Peter Franklin, of Moyston, after Mojito Mayhem and Future Past both scored emphatic best of day victories.

Only fairly away from box two in the Klaassens Contractors Free For All (512 m), Mojito Mayhem pushed through on the first turn to take up the running and then hold out perennial second placegetter Old Jock (five in a row) to win by 2½ lengths in a brilliant 29.74 seconds.

By Fear Zafonic out of Graceful Amy, Mojito Mayhem has now won 13 races over the 512 metre journey at Tara Raceway from 22 starts. Among the wins are a Mount Gambier Cup and two Anniversary Cups.

Future Past broke a long run of outs when successful in the ClassicBet Free For All (400 m).

Out of the winner’s list since late January, the black dog quickly found the front from box six and looked anything but an $11 chance when racing away to a five length win in 22.93 seconds – a time rarely run at Tara Raceway.

Franklin said Future Past would now return on Friday for heats of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five over 512 metres.

 

CHANGE OF TRACK DOES THE TRICK

Warracknabeal trainer Ian Bibby’s decision to change track and distance with Yucatan paid off when the black dog scored a narrow win in the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (512 m).

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Horsham Greyhound Racing Club president Ian Bibby kicked off the day in winning fashion with Yucatan.

According to Bibby, Yucatan had been having trouble negotiating the turns on one-bend tracks in Victoria so he decided to try the black dog on Tara Raceway’s two-bend track.

Away well from box six, Yucatan still allowed race favourite Saint Fox plenty of room to rail through on the first turn to take the lead but negotiated the final bend pretty well before finishing strongly to win by a half length in 30.33 seconds.

“He still moved out on the bends but I thought he handled the two-turn track reasonably well,” a delighted Bibby said after winning his first race locally since Crymelon Talon in a heat of the 2013 Mount Gambier Cup.

Yucatan is by Kynan’s Express out of Crymelon Miss – the first winner six years ago at Bendigo for Bibby who is now the Horsham Greyhound Racing Club president.

Crymelon Miss has since whelped to Bekim Bale and Cape Hawke.


Well-bred youngsters to boost Winter Classic

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club will be hoping for a boost in numbers for this year’s Banjo Boy Winter Classic.

To be run over 512 metres, heats of the classic for all dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2014 will be conducted tomorrow week (Friday, August 12) with the $3000 final (which includes a service to Group winner Banjo Boy) on Sunday, August 21.

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Last Friday’s Tara Raceway 512 metre maiden winner Lektra Ash is in line for a Winter Classic start.

This will be the third running of the age-restricted classic with the club in the past having struggled to attract sufficient nominations to make up the required minimum of two heats.

However, there does appear to be sufficient youngsters of the right age around this year with hopefully many of them in the mix when nominations close on Monday morning.

Toolong breeder-owner-trainer Phil Lenehan said this week he expected to be nominating several of his October 2014 Fabregas x Supreme Vision litter which includes Lektra Ash, a winner on debut over 512 metres in a handy 30.57 seconds at Tara Raceway last Friday.

But, according to Lenehan, Lektra Ash’s appearance in the classic will hinge on his performance in a Mixed 6/7 heat (515 m) at Sandown Park on Sunday afternoon.

“He’s drawn box two and will have to run in the first two to make it through to the following Thursday night’s $6260-to-the-winner final at Sandown.

“It’s good money for a low-grade race but it will be a fair step up in class for him. If he doesn’t qualify on Sunday then he will line up alongside some of his littermates in next Friday’s Winter Classic heats.”

Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, who continued on her winning way when Col’s Wallett was successful at Horsham on Tuesday night, said she had the classic earmarked with August 2014 Bekim Bale x Miss Stackhouse litter sisters Hay Miss and Ashdene Lass, both recent 512 metre Tara Raceway winners.

And Andy Graham, also of Portland, said he was looking at the classic with members of his October 2014 Cosmic Chief x Cee Anna Rose (a winner of two races at The Meadows) litter which includes recent Tara Raceway winner Breakwater Bay.

David and Allen Williams, of Tarpeena, have also intimated that they will be nominating August 2014 youngsters from the litter by El Grand Senor out of former versatile chaser Chilly Patch.

 

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Jack Casey (left) and John Burow pictured with Good Yarn, the first leg of a weekend double for the Penshurst owner-trainer.

LONGSHOT LITTERMATES

Penshurst owner-trainer John Burow was well rewarded for his two trips to Mount Gambier last weekend when Good Yarn was successful at Tara Raceway on Friday and her litter sister Vaudeville at the Sunday meeting.

They’re by Cosmic Chief out of former 400 metre Tara Raceway record holder Spin A Yarn, a daughter of Talk’s Cheap and Hi Hopes Barbie which won 13 races and ran 33 minor placings in a 97-start career for Burow.

The sisters seem to make a habit of winning at big odds with Good Yarn a $19 chance on interstate markets, although much shorter locally, and there had been plenty of $19 on offer Australia-wide for Vaudeville.

Back in February, Good Yarn won her maiden at Ballarat at odds of $60 while Vaudeville was a $23 chance when successful in a Tara Raceway maiden in May.


Trainer’s ‘lucky’ run set to continue

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Long-time Southern Cross greyhound trainer Garry Elliott, who first raced at Tara Raceway in June this year, is probably now wishing he’d made the trip over to the Mount Gambier track somewhat earlier.

This follows the success he is enjoying with half-sisters Kirsty’s Me Mum and Lucky Holly which are out of five-race Sandown Park winner Mepunga Kirsty.

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Garry Elliott with last Friday’s fastest maiden heat winner Lucky Holly.

Bred by neighbour Peter Byrne, who runs the Koroit trial track, Kirsty’s Me Mum is by Magic Sprite and Lucky Holly by Fabregas, with Elliott also in possession of a pup from an 11-month-old third litter by Cosmic Rumble.

Kirsty’s Me Mum presented Elliott with his first Tara Raceway winner when turning in an impressive front-running exhibition to win over 600 metres last month before backing up three weeks later with a strong-finishing 512 metre win.

And in a maiden heat (400 m) at last Friday’s meeting, Lucky Holly raced into this Sunday’s final with a dashing win over Jam Lady and Tally Ho Jack.

Having her second run at the track, the August 2014 black bitch led Jam Lady for much of the race, eventually scoring by 3¾ lengths in 23.55 seconds – easily the quickest of the three heats.

Following the box draw for Sunday, Elliott’s winning run could well continue with Lucky Holly looking well suited in box eight.

One of the hardest to beat looks to be box one runner Herbilly which is trained 10 kilometres down the road from Southern Cross at Woolsthorpe by Nifty Lenehan.

Having her first race start on the track, and only her third overall, the daughter of Kinloch Brae and Obama’s Girl ran home strongly to qualify for the final with a head second to the Andy Graham trained Rebel Bay in 23.88 seconds.

 

BUSY TIME FOR PRICE

Leading trainer Tracie Price, of Compton, will be chasing his second successive grade five 400 metre final win on Sunday when fastest heat winner Grimsby Girl lines up from box three in the Berringa Park Stake.

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Grimsby Girl looks a top chance in Sunday’s grade 5 final. She is pictured with handler Elisha Antunov.

But Price has a couple of busy days leading up to Tara Raceway’s meeting, with dogs engaged at Strathalbyn on Friday and Warrnambool on Saturday.

He’ll hit the highway on Friday with I’m Hearing Ya, Smirnoff Lass, Lektra Boots, Lyon Rose and Real Moment (last month’s grade five final winner) before border-hopping with last weekend’s Tara Raceway winners Fear The Rascal and Skatey Perry.

Grimsby Girl, a finalist in this year’s Mount Gambier Cup (512 m), quickly found the front from box four in last Sunday’s heat and did a good job to hold off a determined Galactic Tsunami to win by a half length in 23.31 seconds, the quickest of the four heats.

Galactic Tsunami, which looks to be well drawn in box two on Sunday for trainer Steve Bartholomew Jnr, was having his first run for a couple of months and should be improved by his heat run.

Cousin Ann, which shook off injury and illness to impressively win the first heat for Allendale East trainer David Peckham, has drawn box five in the final.

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Connie Miller and David Peckham with Cousin Ann which was an impressive grade 5 heat winner last Sunday.

Having her fifth run back after the enforced lay-off, the daughter of Cape Hawke and High Class Love led all the way from box four, stopping the clock in 23.33 seconds when winning by 6¼ lengths over Galactic Viper which ran second to Real Moment in last month’s final.

The David Williams trained Peter Benz won his first race this year and his first over the 400 metre journey when leading all the way in the final heat from box one, just hanging on by a neck over Miss Freelove which gave Price his second finalist.

Peter Benz, which has drawn box one again on Sunday, clocked a handy 23.47 seconds and is another likely to be better for the run after being off the scene for six weeks.

 

RETIREMENT ON HOLD

Cheap As is another one to stave off retirement as a result of the introduction of Pathway racing – non-penalty events for greyhounds that have run outside nominated time standards – at Tara Raceway.

Raced by Peter Angeloni’s  Nine Darter Syndicate, Cheap As hadn’t won a race in almost 12 months (at Strathalbyn) when she lined up from box one in last Friday’s Pathway race over 400 metres.

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Brad and Jordan Mitchem with last Sunday’s Pathway winner Cheap As.

And Sandford trainer Brad Mitchem had more or less resigned himself to the fact that this would be her last run with the daughter of Talk’s Cheap and Boom Boom Shiraz returning to her owners in Victoria.

But the black bitch had other ideas, chasing Lika Rockstar into the home straight before finishing strongly to score by three-quarters of a length in 23.77 seconds.

With Cheap As having raced as light as 20.9 kilograms – 22 kilograms last Friday – it could be said that she was punching well above her weight.

But in this case the old adage once again rang true – they’re always big enough if they’re good enough.

Cheap As now returns to Strathalbyn on Friday before backing up again on Sunday at Tara Raceway from box five in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m).


Big weekend for veteran trainer

Monday, August 1, 2016

A win by $34 chance Carrara Lad in a heat of Sunday’s feature grade five (400 metres) was the culmination of a successful weekend for long-time Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton.

Earlier in the day he had won with Johnny Jaffa while at the Friday meeting another roughie in Ollie Aztec had given Ashton his first winner at Tara Raceway since January when the Ed Kowalewski owned Harry Aztec was successful.

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Jan Neil and Kevin Ashton with Johnny Jaffa.

Jumping from box two in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m), which was the third heat of a feature maiden series (400 m), Ollie Aztec took over the running mid-race from Raz’s Girl and subsequently held her out to win by 2¼ lengths in 23.84 seconds.

By Full Circle – which won a race at Tara Raceway a couple of years ago when trained by David Peckham – the black October 2014 youngster, also raced by Kowalewski, is out of Prince’s Faye which makes him a half-brother to Harry Aztec.

Ashton has also enjoyed success on the track with Harry Aztec’s sister Saintly Miss and now plans to mate her with Dyna Double One.

Johnny Jaffa, relegated to the bench at Friday’s meeting, took full advantage of box one in the Klaassens Contractors Open Maiden (400 m) on Sunday when an easy 5¼ length winner in 23.69 seconds.

Owned at Echuca by John Accurso, the September 2014 son of Dyna Steal and Negated (a winner over 600 metres at The Meadows), which was having only his fourth race start, has been with Ashton for two months and is the first time the owner and trainer have combined for success.

The Trevor Catt owned Carrara Lad was looking for his first win since last September when he jumped from box eight in the Allestree Holiday Units heat.

Now well and truly eligible for Masters events, the July 2012 son of Mantra Lad and Dadda Poppa led his rivals a merry dance early before holding out a determined Blazin’ Vicky to score by a length in 23.53 seconds.

 

PLENTY OF HIGHLIGHTS

It was also a good weekend for Toolong owner-trainer Phil Lenehan’s Fabregas x Supreme Vision litter with first starter Lektra Ash using plenty of the track but looking pretty good in his maiden 512 metre win on Friday.

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Phil Lenehan pictured with Lektra Utah after his outstanding 512 metre grade 6 win in 29.90 seconds.

But that effort paled into insignificance after his brother, a big black 36 kilogram dog going by the name of Lektra Utah, made a mess of the South Eastern Hotel Stake grade six field (512 m) on Sunday.

Having only his second race start, after winning on debut at Horsham over 480 metres in 27.46 seconds, Lektra Utah ran out an 11¼ length winner in 29.90 seconds.

And in the following race, the ClassicBet Mixed Stake (512 m), how good was Cryer’s Fred when bringing up his 28th Tara Raceway win by 8¼ lengths in a best of day 29.77 seconds for Tom and Margaret Cryer.

Ralph Patzel, following the success of Supreme Deal (Lektra Utah’s half-brother), looks to have another handy middle-distance type in Roarsome.

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Cryer’s Fred, pictured with owner Margaret Cryer, brought up his 28th win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Roarsome, a daughter of Fear Zafonic and Ren Shen, quickly found the front in the Metal Worx Mixed Stake (600 m) before scoring by 4¼ lengths in a more than handy 35.37 seconds.

Sunday’s win was her sixth (over three distances) at Tara Raceway since joining Patzel’s Mount Gambier kennels in May.

The Tracie Price trained Fear The Rascal maintained his outstanding 400 metre record – now five wins from six starts – when too good in the four-dog The Border Watch Stake in a best of day 23.09 seconds.

The win completed a top couple of days for Price who was successful on Friday with Skatey Perry and Real Moment while Grimsby Girl won earlier over 400 metres on Sunday.