SUNDAY, MARCH 31: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, March 26 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Friday, March 29 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Portland owner-trainer Robert Halliday will hold a strong hand in Sunday week’s Rock’s Retreat Christmas Challenge final after kennelmates Homer and Odd Boots were successful in the heats of the 600 metre feature at Tara Raceway on Friday afternoon.
By Fear Zafonic x Flawless Tears, Homer is a half-brother to Halliday’s former Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Half Way home and has come a fair way since his debut 12 months ago when running a 10 length third in a maiden 512 metre event won by Lektra Goose.
The white and black dog, who had won on six occasions going into Friday’s race, looked well placed from box one in the first heat of the grade five feature but at the half-way stage still had plenty of work to do as Shannah’s Might was travelling well out in front.
Off the back, though, Homer started to put in the big strides and finished too strongly for Shannah’s Might, running out a four length winner in 35.54 seconds, while the 24 kilogram Fascinated, dwarfed by the first two placegetters, worked home well to finish third and qualify for the final along with Lektra Lucy.
Odd Boots, who won his maiden over the middle-distance journey late last month, was successful in similar style to that of Homer when finishing strongly in the home straight to defeat King Obama by 1½ lengths in 35.64 seconds while Ari and Lektra Ash will make up the final eight.
By Kinloch Brae x Obama’s Girl, King Obama, owned and trained at Woolsthorpe by Nifty Lenehan, gave plenty of cheek when attempting to lead all the way at his first attempt over the 600 metre journey.
But Lenehan, whose brother Phil was successful with Lektra Hutch in a heat of the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet, also ended the day well when King Obama’s litter sister Herbilly scored a brilliant win in the Trackside Meats Open Stake (400 m).
A well supported $3.30 favourite, Herbilly was expected to lead from box one but when noted speedster Slipper’s Chance quickly took up the running Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield looked odds-on to land a treble after Slipper’s Shadow and Glenville Jester had won earlier in the day.
However, Lenehan’s brindle bitch finished over the top of Slipper’s Chance, winning by a length in a best of day 23.17 seconds.
Halliday, after winning the two Christmas Challenge heats, wasn’t finished either after Yella stormed home to defeat Moth Attack, another one of Lenehan’s Kinloch Brae x Obama’s Girl litter, in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m).
And as far as the long-time trainer was concerned it was a Tara Raceway treble that had been a long time coming.
“The past couple of years have been pretty quiet although things have picked up a bit over the past few months,” he said.
“Look, I’ve had trebles at Tara Raceway, Horsham, Warrnambool and Sandown Park but don’t ask me when. All I know is that it’s been a long time since I trained three winners on one day.”
Thursday, December 8, 2016
The big story to come out of tomorrow’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup heats at Tara Raceway is the return of the Moyston greyhound Mojito Mayhem.
He’s the cups king around here, having previously won the 2015 Anniversary Cup, and then the 2016 Mount Gambier and Anniversary Cups for trainer Peter Franklin – one of the nicest people you could hope to meet on a greyhound track, or anywhere else for that matter.
Back in early August, Mojito Mayhem was still running hot, defeating this year’s likely Greyhound of the Year Old Jock over 512 metres in a quick 29.74 seconds. Even then Franklin was daring to dream also of back-to-back Mount Gambier Cups.
But a couple of weeks later the son of Fear Zafonic and Graceful Amy injured a hind leg at Ballarat and hasn’t raced since.
According to Franklin, Mojito Mayhem, who boasts a record of 19 wins and 18 minor placings from 65 starts, appears to have lost three lengths overall.
“Significantly, I think the loss of an early length or so might make it difficult for him to find a forward position through the first bend,” he said.
“His recent trials at Ballarat over 450 metres have been well below his best with only fair run-home times.”
However, Franklin said he believed Mojito Mayhem had done well to come back from two severe tears to his gracilis.
“And I’m hanging on to the fact that despite a loss of three lengths he still should be able to run sub-30 seconds with a clear run.”
Mojito Mayhem, who will be attempting to win the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s three cups in the one year, has drawn box one in heat one with the first four from each heat advancing to Sunday week’s 512 metre Christmas Cup final.
“I reckon if he can pull this one off it would make for a great movie script,” said Franklin, who stopped just short of suggesting that Brad Pitt would be a good fit in the lead role as Mojito Mayhem’s trainer.
Another nice story to come out of the Christmas Cup is that of Glenville Jester, raced by Richard and Kevin Clayfield in partnership with Dale Lewis.
Initially, trainer Richard Clayfield had been undecided whether to tackle the Christmas Cup or the Christmas Challenge (600 m) with Glenville Jester but after a powerful 1½ length best of day win over Fiorelli Rose in last Sunday’s Laser Electrical Mixed Stake (512 m) it was an easy decision.
By Vapour Whirl out of 2011 Mount Gambier Anniversary Cup winner Glenville Maggie, Glenville Jester had been wallowing in the wilderness mid-year and couldn’t win a race to save himself.
In fact, by early November he’d found himself in a time-restricted Pathway for out-of-form greyhounds, a race that he duly won before going on to win at three of his next four starts.
Whether that win boosted his confidence, Clayfield is not really sure. He’s just hoping the winning form continues because the black dog is unlikely to find himself back in a Pathway any time soon.
Glenville Jester looks well placed from box three in the second heat to advance to the Christmas Cup final after the seven-dog field was reduced to six with the scratching from box two of Cryer’s Fred due to split webbing.
Cryer’s Fred was a finalist in last year’s Christmas Cup prior to running second to Mojito Mayhem in the 2016 Anniversary Cup.
The first Christmas Cup was run in 2011 when won by Napoleon Wiz, trained by David Peckham who also won the 2013 event with Bourne Again. Allen Williams was successful in 2012 with Lika Gem while Tracie Price has trained the past two winners – Who’s Doing What and Fear The Rascal.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Tarpeena greyhound trainer David Williams, 39, fresh from a double at Tara Raceway last Sunday, will be hoping for continued success at Friday’s meeting which will be highlighted by heats of four feature events.
Williams’s double – with Star Eagle and Peter Benz – had been his first and came almost 10 years after Causin’ Havoc gave him his initial winner at Tara Raceway on February 17, 2007.
Star Eagle, after winning a maiden heat at the previous meeting, went right on with the job in the Metal Worx final (400 metres), leading all the way to defeat Cryer’s Sid and Panic Prone in a desperately tight finish.
Raced by Williams’s father, Allen, who also bred the black dog, Star Eagle is the kennel’s first winner with one of the El Grand Senor x Chilly Patch litter.
And Peter Benz obviously appreciated a 10-week break when leading all the way to defeat a pretty handy grade five field in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m).
Williams has Cilla Brown engaged from box one in the first heat of Friday’s Royal Fashion Maiden (512 m) and she looks a top chance after a handy second on debut behind Delcorn Potts at last Sunday’s meeting.
By little-known sire Ivan Brown x Surfing Blonde, the former Adelaide-based chaser hadn’t even trialled at Tara Raceway prior to making up ground in the run home and should be improved by the hit-out.
Ivan Brown, a son of Where’s Pedro x Suna Silence, raced on only 12 occasions for four wins over short courses at Albion Park and Maitland.
Williams will also be represented in the second heat of the Rock’s Retreat Christmas Challenge with Lektra Ash who is back for a second try over the 600 metre journey.
And Brazen Beau, who has drawn box eight in the second heat of the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet (400 m), looks well-placed in the bitches-only feature.
But he has no runners in the heats of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m).
“No, so far the closest I’ve come to the Christmas Cup is handling Lika Gem when he won the 2012 event for the old man,” David Williams said.
LADIES BRACELET ATTRACTS TOP LINE-UP
Friday’s Milla Laddrak-sponsored Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet has attracted two strong heats of grade five bitches.
Tony Hinrichsen, of Monarto South, returns to Mount Gambier with Back Up Tiger who close to 12 months ago won down here over 512 metres before returning a couple of months later for a 400 metre win.
A winner of 18 races, the daughter of Dyna Tron x Fighting Fury has won and been placed four times from her past five starts over short courses at Strathalbyn and Angle Park.
Back Up Tiger has drawn box five in the first heat of the Ladies Bracelet with Hinrichsen looking for further feature success at Tara Raceway after litter brother Menzel Boys’s outstanding win over Cairnlea Lewis in the Summer Classic in February.
But there’ll be plenty of competition in this heat for the four spots in the final – Bea Bryant’s Colden Girl worked home well last Sunday when running second to Dimora Bekim while Roarsome, trained locally by Ralph Patzel, has a touch of class and looks well graded.
And then there’s Penny Eagle who looked good a couple of weeks ago when running a best of day 23.34 seconds as did the John Burow-trained Good Yarn who flashed home last Sunday to run Peter Benz to a length.
The Phil Lenehan owned and trained Lektra Hutch, fourth at Bendigo over 425 metres on Tuesday after being on the pace early, looks well placed from box two in the second heat of the Ladies Bracelet.
By Vee Man Vane x Lektra Angie, Lektra Hutch had terrific form over 390 metres at Warrnambool during November and should be hard to hold out.
Evening In Paris, placed at her past five starts at Strathalbyn, Warrnambool and Tara Raceway for trainer Nicole Stanley, is well boxed in the seven while Brazen Beau, a 400 metre winner from box eight at the local track on November 20, will jump from the same box again on Friday.
ADDING SPICE TO THE MAIDEN SERIES
Two heats of the Royal Fashion Maiden (512 m), also sponsored by Milla Laddrak, will kick off racing at Tara Raceway on Friday.
In the first heat, box eight runner Azumi Spice, a daughter of Cosmic Chief and Azumi Touch, has been placed at her past four starts and looks one of the hardest to beat for Worrolong couple Steve and Lee Bartholomew.
An interesting runner in this heat is the Tracie Price trained Snizort, a son of Cosmic Rumble and local bitch Moorak Hope who won the 2012 Royal Fashion for owner Allan Holmes and Price.
Price also has an interesting runner in the second heat in the form of Lady Shannah, who will be lining up for only her second race start.
By Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star, the Don Nunn-owned 3½-year-old bitch is a sister to his proven performers Shannah’s Might and Fear The Rascal.
Lady Shannah’s only run was back in September when she finished strongly to run second to Goldie’s Run who has won his past two starts at Tara Raceway.
Cryer’s Plugger is well drawn in box eight and with seconds at his past two starts looks ready to open his winning account while Bea Bryant’s Carry On Elvis, who finished seventh on debut at Warrnambool in November, should be better for the run.
Nescia Patzel reports that tickets for the Christmas hamper raffle are selling well.
Currently laid-low with injury, the popular kennel steward is helping out the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club by selling raffle tickets at the Tara Raceway weekly race meetings.
There are three prizes with tickets costing $2 each.
The draw will be conducted at the club’s Christmas meeting on Sunday, December 18.
Monday, December 5, 2016
Hamilton greyhound Delcorn Potts found the going pretty tough at Strathalbyn last Friday when he took on a much better than average maiden/grade six field in the Les Newton Trophy (536 metres) at Strathalbyn.
A $41 chance, the black dog was slowly away from box eight and never got into the race, eventually being beaten by 18½ lengths by the Cap Abbott trained Mo Town Roy which had been successful over 600 metres at Tara Raceway’s previous meeting.
However, a couple of days later trainer Tony Harding, a regular at the local track, was on his way to Mount Gambier with Delcorn Potts for The Border Watch Maiden Stake (512 m).
The son of Jarvis Bale and Nirra Meg had drawn box one in Sunday’s first race and while this was a much easier affair he had yet to win in 41 starts.
But he was away much better, went straight to the front and despite using plenty of the track was never headed, eventually running out a comfortable five length winner over former Adelaide chaser Cilla Brown in a time of 30.84 seconds.
Raced by Boggy Creek dairy farmer Andrew Delaney, Delcorn Potts joined Harding’s kennels after having had 15 starts in maiden events on Victorian tracks.
“Lismore trainer Norm Wynd made contact with me back in July to see if I wanted to have a go with the dog because he wasn’t what he was looking for,” Harding said.
“It’s taken a while for him to break through but hopefully he can now go on with the job.”
DOUBLE FOR RECENTLY-SOLD LITTERMATES
The recent sale of littermates Blitz And Bolt and Goldie’s Run has seen Allendale East trainer David Peckham retain the former while Goldie’s Run is now out at Compton with Tracie Price.
The pair originally joined Peckham’s kennels in August after being sent down by David Pringle of Clergate in NSW.
And when Pringle was later looking to sell the pair, Price picked up Goldie’s Run for young Kongorong owner Will Kelly while Peckham joined forces with Connie Miller and long-time kennel client Ross Schurgott to purchase Blitz And Bolt.
Blitz And Bolt lined up from box three as a $9 chance in Sunday’s South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m), leading all the way to comfortably defeat Fear Helvetia by 3¾ lengths in 30.42 seconds and give his owners a quick return on their investment.
Meanwhile, in the following race, the Trackside Meats Grade Six final (512 m), Goldie’s Run quickly found a forward spot from box five before chasing Irka Jakit until off the back where he took over and ran home well for a two length win in 30.67 seconds.
The win followed on from a heat win at last week’s meeting with the 15-year-old Kelly, a grandson of well-known local greyhound identity Bernie Bouchier, surely now wondering how long this game has been going on.
By Cosmic Rumble out of Moonshine Sally, a daughter of Brett Lee x Kiacatoo Pearl, the January 2015 brothers are a perfect age for February’s Summer Classic (512 m) which is for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2015.
Goldie’s Run’s win was the third leg of a treble for Price, who earlier was successful with Dimora Bekim – raced by Kelly’s uncles, Bernie jr. and Kevin Bouchier – and Smirnoff Lass.
Dimora Bekim led all the way in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m), holding out a fast finishing Colden Girl to win by a half length in 23.60 seconds.
Smirnoff Lass, having her first run over 600 metres, quickly found the front in the Berringa Park Mixed Stake and held out Ari to win by 1¼ lengths in 36.07 seconds.
CRAZY SPRITE FINDS WINNING FORM IN PATHWAY
Sunday’s ClassicBet Pathway final (400 m) resulted in another greyhound hopelessly out of form able to get back among the winners.
This time it was the Paul White owned Crazy Sprite who is trained at Sandford by Brad Mitchem.
Jumping from box five at the nice odds of $12 after a fast-finishing second to Red River Rufus in a heat last week, Crazy Sprite quickly moved into second spot behind that greyhound before running away to an easy 2¼ length win over Tanjira in 23.60 seconds.
Following four consecutive runs outside of the Pathway time standard, Crazy Sprite, a son of Magic Sprite x Our Nanz Awesome, was able to gain some confidence from last week’s heat and went right on with the job on Sunday.
The black dog, despite three impressive wins this year, had been out of the winner’s circle for six months with Mitchem believing it had been a confidence thing.
“These couple of Pathways have been real confidence boosters for him so I’m now hoping he’ll continue to race with the endeavour he showed today,” Mitchem said.
‘WHY WOULD YOU GO ANYWHERE ELSE?’
Clarrie Parfrey of Wentworth, in Mount Gambier to visit his mother-in-law, took the opportunity to attend Tara Raceway’s meeting on Sunday afternoon.
This was his second visit in the past three months and he still marvels at the number of nominations received and the prizemoney paid at the Lake Terrace East track.
Parfrey, now 77, was on the committee that set up the Wentworth straight track and helped to establish greyhound racing at Barmera and Robinvale.
“Back in the 70s our closest track was Broken Hill,” he said. “Now with Wentworth, Barmera and Robinvale long gone we’re virtually back to where it all began – Broken Hill being our closest track.
“When I see the number of meetings that are run here at Tara Raceway and the amount of prizemoney that is being paid to owners and trainers why would they want to go anywhere else unless they have a really good greyhound?”
The Barmera track closed on June 6, 2011 with Riverland Greyhound Racing Club president Leo O’Leary saying at the time that he suspected trainers in the area would go to other sports.
“Some will stay and keep travelling to other race tracks but I believe others, once their dogs have gone through their racing career, will start dropping out.”
Thursday, December 1, 2016
There’s a long-held theory in greyhound folklore that when it comes to repeat matings the odds of the litter resulting in something special is minimal.
So, regardless of how good a first mating may have been, some breeders refuse to take their dam back to the same sire.
Even Paul Wheeler, one of Australia’s most successful breeders, has been quoted as saying that in general he was not a big fan of repeat matings.
But there are enough statistics, and plenty of examples to suggest that repeat matings do indeed work.
Back in November 2014 when Apsley breeder Tom Cryer’s bitch Cryer’s Midget came on season for a second time he didn’t have too many issues about going back to Spring Gun.
After all, February 2013 whelping Cryer’s Fred had kicked off his racing career in fine style, winning seven races by the time his dam was ready to be mated again.
Cryer always reckoned that Cryer’s Bob was the pick of the second litter – whelped in January 2015.
The brindle dog was to make his debut at Tara Raceway on October 14 but in somewhat unusual circumstances was scratched at the track prior to racing due to a nondescript cough.
Cryer’s Bob received a 10-day suspension however a nonplussed Cryer was able to have it reduced to seven days with the dog subsequently winning on debut over 512 metres at the next meeting.
He won again three starts later before really drawing attention to himself in last Friday’s Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m).
Stepping up to grade five company at only his sixth race start, Cryer’s Bob chased early leader Jasmine Lilly down the back straight before finishing too strongly for that greyhound in a best of day time of 30.37 seconds.
Such was the effort that some track regulars have predicted he could well become the next Cryer’s Fred – a fair call considering that the older brother has now won 33 races.
Two other members of the second litter will race at Tara Raceway on Sunday – Cryer’s Plugger in the Gambier Vets Maiden final (512 m) and Cryer’s Sid in the Metal Worx Maiden final (400 m).
Cryer’s Plugger was having only his second start in last Friday’s heat and should be improved on his half length second behind Mummy’s OK while Cryer’s Sid looks well drawn in the eight after having led all the way from that box in a heat last Friday.
And the last word on repeat matings probably has to go to Irishman Declan Murphy who posted on Greyhound-Data: “Anyone who thinks that a repeat mating is not right is either the eldest or an only child.”
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
A $500 three-pup purchase from a litter by Golden Mike x Leeor Girlie – bred by Claude Merrett of Serviceton – was how Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell initially became involved in greyhound racing.
This was back just before the new track on Lake Terrace East was opened on January 25, 1997.
As it turned out, one of the pups – Claude’s Mistake – won five races at the new track with Fennell later having plenty of success with Merrett-owned dogs carrying the Leeor tag.
In fact, he still rates Leeor Sid (Kyasha x Janet Jay) and Leeor Sam (Where’s Pedro x Jakaia) as his two best dogs with the former still winning races at five years of age and retiring after 101 starts for 18 wins and 33 minor placings while Leeor Sam won 19 races.
Fennell, 66, reckons he hasn’t made too many purchases since those initial three pups but he’s had his share of success with greyhounds from other kennels.
In fact, it’s been an association with leading local trainer Tracie Price that has helped him enjoy his best year ever – three wins over the weekend with John Limes, Gentle Moment and Whatta Moment taking his tally to 28 wins.
“About three years ago I received a package from work and finished up out at Trackside Meats doing a bit for Tracie. One thing led to another and I took a few of his dogs that he was looking to move on in order to bring in younger stock,” Fennell said.
“It’s just gone on from there but with 14 dogs currently in work it’s a real team effort with wife Edna and young Mo (Canala) making significant contributions.”
Gentle Moment and Whatta Moment, all the way winners in last Sunday’s grade five 400 metre heats, have drawn boxes three and seven respectively in this Sunday’s final at Tara Raceway.
And Fennell looks to hold a strong hand in the final as he will supply half the field after Black Peer and Stampy Longnose also qualified.
John Limes, who finished strongly in a grade six heat last Friday, will be looking to make it three wins in succession when he jumps from box eight in the Trackside Meats Grade Six final (512 m).
It’s an interesting final with Cap Abbott’s box one runner Irka Jakit racing well, the Price-trained Goldie’s Run (box five) also a smart heat winner and Brian Weis’s Baurna Sal, despite drawing box six, expected to improve on her heat fourth placing.
RUFUS ON THE RIGHT PATH
It’s taken a while, but Red River Rufus finally broke through for his fourth win when successful in a Pathway heat (400 m) at Tara Raceway last Friday.
Away well from box two, the son of Spring Gun and Wentworth Park winner Carmina led all the way to defeat the fast finishing Crazy Sprite by 1½ lengths in 23.79 seconds.
The win was Red River Rufus’s first in 14 months and even back then owner Ray Aslin and Coleraine trainer Bob Wombwell had had to share the prizemoney after a dead-heat was declared with Glenville Abbey.
Wombwell, successful early last month at Tara Raceway with the Aslin-owned Rocksferry Road, said he was starting to wonder whether Red River Rufus would ever win another race.
“He certainly doesn’t win out of turn but with 18 seconds he’s the sort of dog that’s often about the place. Hopefully, now that he’s broken through again he can go on with the job,” he said.
And with his early pace he certainly looks hard to beat in Sunday’s Pathway final after drawing box one.
Also likely to be in the mix on Sunday for Wombwell are Fear Helvetia in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m) and Rocksferry Road in the Gordon Refrigeration Open Stake (400 m).
Fear Helvetia, purchased by Wombwell after a Tara Raceway maiden win, has won a further six races but has been out of the winner’s list since May when successful at Horsham.
However, the son of Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star looks well boxed in the one and get his chance to atone for a second behind Bushman’s Faith at last Sunday’s meeting.
Also adding interest to the grade five affair are box two runner Odd Boots, a winner over 600 metres for Portland owner-trainer Robert Halliday at last Friday’s meeting, and the Allen Williams owned and trained Penny Eagle.
By Cosmic Rumble x Guru Doll, a litter sister to former Tara Raceway 400 metre record holder Star Doll, Odd Boots was purchased as a pup (along with Brinza and Guru Doll) by Halliday who now has an eight-month-old litter out of Guru Doll by Fabregas.
Penny Eagle impressed in her best of day 23.34 seconds win over 400 metres in a grade six last Friday with Williams saying after the race that he was now looking at the grade five bitches only Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet (400 m), heats of which will be run on Friday, December 9.
Rocksferry Road has also drawn well in box two in a race that also includes proven speedsters Slipper’s Chance, Cheyenne Black, Scorpion and Colden Star.
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.