FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, November 20 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Bungaloo Sunset caused a major boilover at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when upstaging a classy field of grade five greyhounds in the Allestree Holiday Units Grade Five final (512 metres).
Despite a fast-finishing second to Mo Town Roy in a heat last week, Bungaloo Sunset jumped from box four in the final as the rank outsider at $26.
But reputations counted for nothing after the solidly-built 31 kilogram bitch jumped straight to the front and was never headed, eventually running out a 1¾ length winner over the John Cameron trained Fascinated in a time of 30.03 seconds.
And it’s been a real roller-coaster ride recently for Bungaloo Sunset and Kongorong trainer John Little who in early April had little option but to run the blue bitch in a restricted Pathway race after her form had tapered off to such an extent that she couldn’t gain a start.
It seems a Pathway win acted as a catalyst for bigger and better things when she then came out nine days later and won over 400 metres in a blistering best of the day 23.05 seconds.
Now, some five weeks later, she has also run a best of the day over 512 metres and given Little his best win in 18 months of training greyhounds.
Raced by the Liz Newberry-managed Bungaloo Syndicate, Bungaloo Sunset is by Fear Zafonic out of four-race Victorian provincial winner Sun’s Up, which is a daughter of the imported Droopys Marco out of Shannah Widd.
Little purchased her 12 months ago after she had been advertised for sale on an internet greyhound site for $500 which would come from her first win.
“At the time I had a pup but was looking for something to train. She’d just been broken-in and even though the report was nothing to get excited about I figured she might be worth a try,” he said.
But Bungaloo Sunset belied her breaking-in report when quickly winning three races at Tara Raceway although it would then be a further eight months before she found winning form again in the Pathway.
For all that, though, she’s been a pretty handy pick-up, having now won five races with Sunday’s win taking her earnings to more than $5000.
Sunday’s win completed a couple of good days for Little who was successful at Strathalbyn on Friday afternoon with Banjo Breeze which led all the way to win the final of a grade six 400 metre event.
FIRST WIN FOR BANJO BOY
The Group-winning Banjo Boy sired his first Tara Raceway winner on Sunday when Lady Banjo was an impressive winner of the ClassicBet Maiden Stake (512 m).
A daughter of the Victorian city-winning Zoenah’s Entity, Lady Banjo is raced by the Banjo Syndicate which is managed by Andrew Varasdi, the owner of Banjo Boy.
Varasdi has supported the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, donating services to his former champion chaser for races such as last year’s Banjo Boy Middle Distance Championship won by Cheap Currency and the 2016 ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup (Mojito Mayhem).
He has also donated a Banjo Boy service for this August’s Winter Classic (512 m) with Lady Banjo, an August 2014 whelping, being an ideal age for the classic which is for greyhounds whelped on or after July 1, 2014.
Lady Banjo, which joined trainer Tracie Price’s Compton kennels after debuting over 515 metres at Sandown Park on April 24, led all the way from box two in Sunday’s first race to defeat Benji Girl by 6¾ lengths in a smart 30.24 seconds.
The win kicked off another big day for Price who then followed up with wins by Pintail, Real Moment and Whatta Moment – his second bag of four winners at Tara Raceway this year after Ari, Real Moment, Marlow Moment and Skatey Perry were successful on April 24.
Pintail, a daughter of Bekim Bale and Flying Machine, won her first race this year when leading all the way from box eight in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m) to defeat Westlake Rose by 2½ lengths in 30.35 seconds.
The Price-bred youngster Real Moment (Spring Gun x Suzy’s Moment) once again stepped up to the plate when holding out seasoned performer Cryer’s Fred to win the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (512 m) by three-quarters of a length in 30.09 seconds.
And Whatta Moment won his first race since last November with an all the way victory in the Berringa Park Stake (400 m) in 23.29 seconds to bring up 38 winners at Tara Raceway this year for Price.
It was also a couple of good days for Price who was successful at Strathalbyn on Friday with Spotted Gunn.
HUTCH MAKES AMENDS
Toolong owner-trainer Phil Lenehan didn’t have much luck with Lektra Dame in the Allestree Holiday Units Grade Five final but litter sister Lektra Hutch made amends a couple of races later in the Produce Store Stake (512 m).
By Vee Man Vane out of Lektra Angie, Lektra Hutch was another one to lead all the way when holding out Julie’s Love to win by 3¾ lengths in a smart 30.11 seconds.
The win, her second, came at her fifth run back after a five-month spell due to a paddock accident.
And when it comes to the racetrack, the black bitch also hasn’t been without her share of problems with Lenehan relating the story of the night he was called into the stewards’ room.
“Lektra Hutch had actually turned in the boxes and stewards called me in after the race to draw my attention to the fact that she had been facing the wrong way.
“I respectfully pointed out to them that she must have turned on her own accord because I certainly hadn’t placed her in the boxes the wrong way around.”
According to Lenehan, stewards weren’t all that impressed with his explanation!
Lektra Hutch’s win completed a good weekend for Lenehan whose Lektra Uncut, trained for him by Andrea Dailly at Anakie, was successful in a heat of the Walter Taylor Classic (600 m) at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
It’s fair to say that Pathway Racing, introduced on a trial basis at Tara Raceway in March, has been met with mixed reactions from industry participants.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, Pathway Racing is for greyhounds that have run outside a Greyhound Racing SA designated time standard at Angle Park, Gawler, Strathalbyn or Mount Gambier at their past four SA starts.
Currently, Pathway Racing is being trialled with the total stakemoney being distributed among the eight runners.
However, owners and trainers are yet to fully embrace Pathway Racing at Tara Raceway with so far only grade five 400 metre events being run and often with no reserves.
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club could perhaps look at time standards for near-Victorian tracks Horsham and Warrnambool in an endeavour to boost support and consolidate Pathway Racing’s local future – something GRSA is keen to see happen.
But for all that, betting turnover is holding up well and savvy punters, when looking past ordinary current form of the runners, have been able to come up with some well-priced winners.
Brazen Beauty, which went into the first Pathway back on March 11 with five wins to her name but not having won since the previous November, looked well placed and that’s how it turned out when she won at $6.
Since then, others to be successful after looking well placed, despite being out of the winner’s list for some months, have included Glenville Abbey ($11), Bourbon Club ($7) and Bungaloo Sunset ($6) which followed up at the next meeting with a sparkling 23.05 seconds run.
And Mega Moment, a winner of her first three starts in early 2015, won her first race in nine months when successful in last Friday’s Pathway.
The Tracie Price trained daughter of Lochinvar Marlow and Solved Moment, which last won over 400 metres in August at Tara Raceway in a best of day 23.26 seconds, was having only her second run in five months.
She was another one to look suited to a Pathway and from box eight led all the way at the nice odds of $9 to defeat Gun’s Miss by three-quarters of a length in 23.50 seconds.
Seems “form is temporary, class is permanent” also applies to Pathway Racing.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
A solid third in a heat of last Friday’s Allestree Feature Grade Five (512 metres) should have locally owned and trained greyhound Galactic Viper ready for Sunday’s outstanding $2025 final at Tara Raceway.
Having his first start in almost three months over 512 metres, the black dog showed plenty of early pace from box two before eventual winner Lektra Dame took over the running down the back straight.
Turning for home in second spot, Galactic Viper finally went down by 3¾ lengths after being narrowly beaten for second by Skatey Perry in a best of day 30.24 seconds.
A winner of almost $38,000, the son of Velocette and Magic Elite has won six of his nine races from the outside three boxes and looks well drawn on Sunday in the six.
Owned by his breeder Robert Chuck and trained at Glencoe by Barry Shepheard, Galactic Viper, in what has been an injury-plagued several months, hasn’t won since January 17 when successful in the Laser Electrical Feature Grade Five (512 m) over Cairnlea Deano which shortly after was sold for $40,000.
Phil Lenehan would have been hoping for a better start to last Friday’s meeting following $2 chance Lektra Destiny and her odds-on half-sister Lektra Kelly both running second.
But heading back to Toolong he would have been humming the catchy South Pacific tune There Is Nothing Like a Dame after Lektra Dame’s strong 3½ length win.
By Vee Man Vane, she’s out of Lektra Angie which won her maiden at Tara Raceway over 512 metres by 13 lengths in 29.93 seconds in November 2012.
Lenehan, who had previously described Lektra Dame as a “work in progress”, said the 30 kilogram black bitch was now finally starting to put it altogether.
“She was trialling really well prior to her first race and I thought then that she might have been better than average,” he said.
“However, after a maiden win at Warrnambool in October she had a season that seemed to go on forever and I was starting to wonder whether she would ever find winning form again.”
But with three wins at Tara Raceway and two at Horsham since March she’s starting to live up to her trainer’s early expectations and looks the testing material from box three in Sunday’s final.
And Lenehan’s day got even better last Friday after Lektra Dame’s litter brother Lektra Blicavs, trained for him at Lara by Jason Sharp, was successful at Geelong.
Mo Town Roy, which will jump from box one in the final, is chasing three successive wins following an impressive heat win in 30.35 seconds from the same box.
Trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, the son of Razldazl Jayfkay and New Year’s Punch chased outsider Brazen Beauty until the home turn where he railed through and then held out a strong-finishing Bungaloo Sunset.
MR CAUDO HITS A PURPLE PATCH
There was a time when the well-bred Mr Caudo hadn’t won a race in more than six months.
But he’s now hit a real purple patch and will line up from box seven in Sunday’s Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m) on the hunt for his third successive win.
Ray Keating, who had taken over the ownership of the Deville x Scrappy Coco dog before he raced, won three races with Mr Caudo at Tara Raceway but by the end of 2015 the veteran trainer, due to ill health, was looking for another trainer.
Fellow Portland trainer Nicole Stanley stepped in and by February this year a seven-month drought ended when Mr Caudo won over the 400 metre journey at Tara Raceway.
Another win followed in March, while his past two wins in May have come at the expense of a couple of handy chasers in Grimsby Girl and Marlow Moment which currently leads in the 2016 Greyhound of the Year.
And while Keating is still listed as the owner, he no longer receives any prizemoney Mr Caudo wins, happy all the same to see the black dog bring up his seventh win at the local track.
“I’ve retained ownership so that after Nicole’s finished racing him he can come back to me as a pet,” he said.
Monday, May 9, 2016
Don’t be fooled by the name. Westlake Blue is a black dog but Portland owner-trainer Cassandra Billington originally had the name picked out for a blue litter brother which died prior to racing.
And according to Alistair Billington, who stood in for his wife at Tara Raceway on Friday, they opted to go with the name anyway when the black dog was ready for naming.
Westlake Blue, a $6.50 chance from box five, brought up his second win from 17 starts when wearing down $3.80 favourite Lektra Hutch to win the Laser Electrical Stake (512 m) by a neck in 30.71 seconds.
Billington said it had been a real start-stop introduction to the track for the winner with a serious injury threatening to end the dog’s racing career after he had raced on only three occasions at Tara Raceway during May 2015.
“To be honest, we didn’t really think he would race again but he returned five months later and at his fourth run back he won his maiden.
“Then he was injured again in March and didn’t resume until the May 1 meeting where he ran a good one length third to Mo Town Roy.”
Bred by the Billingtons, Westlake Blue is by Hutmaker out of Spellbound which completed her final 12 months of racing in the hands of Cassandra.
Spellbound, a daughter of Talk’s Cheap and Mesmerizing, won five races at Sandown Park, two at The Meadows and one at Geelong before being transferred to Portland.
Fifteen wins at Tara Raceway and one at Warrnambool were to follow before Spellbound went out on a winning note on July 14, 2013 with an overall record of 24 wins and 33 minor placings from 115 starts.
And it was a good few days for Spellbound’s first litter – whelped in October 2013 – with Stan’s Choice bringing up his third successive win at The Meadows last Wednesday while a couple of hours after Westlake Blue’s win Fireball Jack gained a run as reserve at Bendigo and scored over 425 metres at the nice odds of $26.50.
A second litter for Spellbound appeared unlikely last year when she lost a leg to cancer but Billington said she had recovered well and there was no reason why she couldn’t be mated again.
“Due to our circumstances, we were never going to breed with her again but there has been some outside interest expressed in using her for another litter.”
TREBLE, DOUBLES DOMINATE MEETING
A treble – his third in as many meetings – to Tracie Price, and doubles to Brad Mitchem, Nicole Stanley and David Peckham, didn’t leave much for fellow trainers on the 12-race card.
Price’s treble kicked off in the first race, the ClassicBet Maiden Stake (400 m), when Spring Gun x Suzy’s Moment youngster Tricky Moment opened her winning account at her eleventh start with an all the way win in 23.85 seconds.
Second leg winner was Grimsby Girl while Mega Moment completed the treble when breaking a nine-month drought with an all the way win in the Pathway (400 m).
Grimsby Girl, chasing her first win since a Mount Gambier Cup heat win in late February, was under pressure going out of the first turn but found the front down the back before holding out Fascinated (another of the Spellbound litter) to win a heat of the Allestree Holiday Units Feature Grade Five (512 m).
Julie’s Love continued the Sandford-based Mitchem’s successful association with NSW owner-breeder Graham Ganderton when winning The Border Watch Maiden Stake (512 m).
Having only her fourth race start, the April 2014 white and fawn bitch was slowly away from box three but settled in third spot down the back before taking over the running and holding out Lektra Destiny to win by a neck in 30.97 seconds.
A half-sister to top NSW chaser Black Bear Lee, Julie’s Love is by Zulu Zeus out of Paua Of Love which is a daughter of Paua To Burn (a winner of 28 races and $242,000 in stakemoney).
And at Wentworth Park on Saturday night, Black Bear Lee, a strapping 36 kilogram son of Brett Lee, took his earnings to almost $170,000 when recording win number 18 from 40 starts for Ganderton and part-owner Jason Lymbery.
Mitchem’s second Tara Raceway double in the space of a fortnight came up in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m) when Crazy Sprite led all the way to defeat an improving Good Yarn by four lengths.
Crazy Sprite went into the race with only one win from 24 starts but when he does win he doesn’t look too bad as demonstrated back in February when he was successful at Tara Raceway in a maiden 400 metre event by eight lengths in 23.27 seconds.
Owned by Paul White, the black dog’s second win also saw him turn in an impressive gallop with the winning time of 30.31 seconds bettered by only Lektra Dame.
Friday, May 6, 2016
Glenroy trained greyhound Glenville Jester brought up his third 600 metre win in a month when upsetting a classy field in the Produce Store Mixed Stake at Tara Raceway this afternoon.
Despite his recent good form, he jumped from box two as a $13 chance and virtually led all the way to defeat Lektra Kelly by two lengths with Dark Nemesis a further two lengths back in third spot.
Glenville Jester and Lektra Kelly have dominated 600 metre racing at Tara Raceway this year with the pair having won four races and five races respectively.
A strong second over 570 metres at Horsham on Tuesday night, Lektra Kelly went to the boxes today as an odds-on favourite but once again she found trouble from box six and while making up many lengths on the leader never really looked like running him down.
A son of Vapour Whirl and Glenville Maggie, which won her maiden over 570 metres at Horsham almost six years ago, Glenville Jester is trained by Richard Clayfield who part-owns the black dog in partnership with his brother Kev and Dale Lewis.
Despite the winning time being a more than handy 35.32 seconds, Clayfield said he was reluctant to look too far afield with his enigmatic chaser.
“He’s certainly got a mind of his own so while he’s racing well at Tara Raceway I’ll probably keep him here.”
Glenville Jester’s win also completed a good couple of days for Lewis who was at the Murray Bridge gallops on Wednesday to see Bangs win.
Lewis is a shareholder in the Richard Jolly-trained two-year-old filly which scored an easy five length maiden win at her fifth race start.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, in a move designed to cater for younger and older racing greyhounds, has programmed Juvenile (512 m) and Masters (400 m) races for its Sunday, June 12 meeting.
Juvenile races are for greyhounds two years and under with eligibility stretching to the end of the relevant month. In other words, a dog whelped on June 1, 2014 would be eligible for Juvenile races until June 30, 2016.
These races take only a Juvenile penalty with greyhounds able to win two such events, or in the case of SA bred, six.
Maidens are also eligible although a Juvenile win would see it lose its maiden status but still be eligible to win a further two or six Juvenile races.
The Masters is an interesting concept with greyhounds being graded on age only and race form not being considered.
These non-penalty races are for grade five dogs with the grading criteria being oldest (four years and over) first and then down to 3½ years.
MGGRC secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard said this week that the programming of a Juvenile and Masters on June 12 would help to gauge owners and trainers’ interest in such events.
“There seems to be a lot of young dogs around at the moment,” he said. “Juvenile races would give them the opportunity of competing against dogs of similar age and experience before stepping up in the grades.
“The Masters would also give dogs the opportunity of racing against their own age and keep them on the track longer.”
Shepheard said the club was happy to programme the events on a regular basis if there was sufficient interest.
Meanwhile, heats of “The Koroit 600”, a middle-distance series for grade five and six greyhounds, have been programmed for Friday, June 17.
The $1500 final will be run on Sunday, June 26 with the winner also receiving a one-month breaking-in package, donated by Peter Byrne of the Koroit Breaking-in and Trial Track.
Unsub Andy, owned and trained by Byrne, currently holds the Tara Raceway 600 metre record at 35.04 seconds.
Hamilton trainer Tony Harding reckoned Jen Shen had been racing without any luck.
Well, she made her own luck at Tara Raceway last Sunday when leading all the way in the ClassicBet maiden final (512 m).
By Fear Zafonic out of Ren Shen, the black bitch was a $31 chance when winning her first race at start number 32.
Originally owned by breeder Robert English, Jen Shen was signed over to Harding after a trailer incident had been the last straw for her former trainer, Bernie Rogers of Tahara.
“Jen Shen was one I’d been helping Bernie trial prior to racing but after she trashed his trailer one morning he said I could have the bloody thing,” Harding recalled.
Harding, who took her over in August last year, said he there had been no trailer issues since with Jen Shen and while it taken a while he always believed she was capable of winning races.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Tara Raceway middle-distance specialist Lektra Kelly will have to overcome the tricky box six draw when she takes on a classy field in the Produce Store Mixed Stake (600 metres) on Friday afternoon.
With five wins this year, including the Fireball at cup time, the pint-sized 23 kilogram bitch has won more races than any other greyhound at the local track over the 600 metre journey.
But in the two years that middle-distance racing has been conducted at Tara Raceway, box six has produced only five winners at a pretty ordinary strike rate of 8.6 per cent.
And it was this box that helped to bring about Lektra Kelly’s undoing in the ANZAC Feature on April 24 when she found early trouble before storming home and going down by only a half length to track record holder Unsub Andy.
Owned and trained at Toolong by Phil Lenehan, who also bred the daughter of Bobby Boucheau and Dohtmann, Lektra Kelly goes into Friday’s race on the back of a second placing over 570 metres at Horsham on Tuesday night.
Box two runner Glenville Jester, which went six months without winning a race before Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield stepped him up to 600 metres, seems to have found his niche.
Raced by Clayfield, in partnership with his brother Kev, and Dale Lewis, the son of Vapour Whirl and Glenville Maggie, put in another solid performance at Tara Raceway last Sunday when winning his third middle-distance race.
On what was a rain-affected track, the black dog chased Saintly Miss until the home turn where he railed through and finished too strongly to defeat that greyhound by 2½ lengths in 35.97 seconds.
Lewis, whose family sponsors the annual Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m), will now be hoping that Glenville Jester lines up in this year’s event which is run in July in conjunction with the Anniversary Cup and the John Reid Memorial.
Saintly Miss’s run last Sunday was her first over 600 metres after a middle-distance 570 metre debut at Horsham a week prior when she finished third behind kennelmate Harry Aztec, winner of the 2015 Lewis Memorial.
Trained at Charlton by Kevin Ashton, Saintly Miss – a daughter of Aston Galilee and Prince’s Faye – has drawn box seven tomorrow and should be further improved by last week’s hit-out.
Lyon Rose found the going pretty tough last Sunday afternoon at Sandown Park when racing over 595 metres for Portland trainer Cass Billington, but prior to that she’d scored a terrific win over 512 metres at Tara Raceway and in March an equally as impressive 600 metre win.
Blazin’ Vicky, by Razldazl Jayfkay x New Year’s Punch, and a litter sister to Lyon Rose, will be having her first run over 600 metres for trainer David Peckham but should give them something to catch from box one.
Also, Peckham’s Dark Nemesis, unplaced over 600 metres at Launceston in March last year and behind Lyon Rose at Tara Raceway, has never been racing better and gives the impression he’s now ready for the middle-distance.
INTERESTING CLASHES IN FEATURE HEATS
Three heats of the Allestree Holiday Units Feature Grade Five (512 m) should serve up some keenly-contested racing.
Apsley trainer Tom Cryer will be chasing another feature race at Tara Raceway with his Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget litter when Cryer’s Jack jumps from box five in the first heat.
If the brindle dog can recapture the form that saw him win the March 20 Gambier Vets Feature Grade Five (512 m) final in 29.87 seconds then he should be able to claim a spot in Sunday week’s final.
Bluey Benz, which won his first race this year when leading all the way over 400 metres from the outside draw last Sunday for owner-trainer Allen Williams, has drawn box eight again and should ensure the pace is on from the outset.
And the Peckham-trained Mo Town Roy, another last start winner, has hit form with a vengeance and looks well drawn in box one.
Peckham, whose treble last Sunday took his winning tally to 19 for the year, holds a strong hand in the second heat with Weblec Angel.
The well-bred daughter of Dyna Tron and Snow Excuse ran Ponting’s Nail to 1¼ lengths in the recent Legacy Gift (512 m) at Tara Raceway and is well placed here from box eight.
Fascinated, owned and trained by John Cameron at Penshurst, looks one of the main dangers after defeating Mo Town Roy over 512 metres in 30.18 seconds on April 24.
Galactic Viper, which was run down by Skatey Perry over 400 metres in a quick 23.14 seconds on April 24, should be better for the outing and will be the testing material from box two in the final heat.
On that occasion the Barry Shepheard trained son of Velocette and Magic Elite was having only his second run in two months and tomorrow’s straight run to the first turn will suit the 35 kilogram chaser.
Adding further interest to the race is the fact that Galactic Viper is surrounded by greyhounds with plenty of early pace – Banjo Breeze, Slipper’s Shadow and Skatey Perry – while Vixyma and Big Black Rusty will be working home strongly.