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.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
With two strong six-dog heats to be run at Tara Raceway on Friday afternoon, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club looks set to be well represented in this year’s SA Country Cup final.
The two heat winners will then head to Strathalbyn on Sunday, November 20 and join representatives from Gawler, Strathalbyn and Port Augusta to contest the $7375 final over 536 metres.
Representing Gawler are Memory Assassin, which has since clocked 29.99 seconds for the 515 metre journey at Angle Park when winning a grade five final, and Jokowi, which followed up with a fourth at Gawler the week after the Country Cup heats.
And local trainer Tracie Price has already booked his ticket to Strathalbyn after Lyon Rose won the right to represent that club with a stirring win over Scottish Thistle in 31.99 seconds.
Lyon Rose, which continues to race well, turned in a top effort at Tara Raceway last Friday when leading until the home turn in The Border Watch Mixed Stake (512 m) before going down by only a couple of lengths to local Country Cup aspirant Homer.
The Port Augusta representatives were decided at the club’s Melbourne Cup meeting with the first two placegetters to make the trip to Strathalbyn.
In the first heat of the Mount Gambier division, two of the main hopes look to be box four runner Berry Bling and Cryer’s Fred, well drawn in the eight, which fought out a mixed stake over 512 metres at Tara Raceway on October 23.
On that occasion the Nicole Stanley trained Berry Bling quickly found the front from box seven and was never headed, eventually holding on to win by three-quarters of a length in a best of day 30.11 seconds.
Cryer’s Fred, trained by Tom Cryer, raced again last Friday, finishing fourth to Homer after finding plenty of trouble on the first turn, while Berry Bling also returned, stepping up to the 600 metre journey and running second after experiencing little luck throughout.
Fear The Rascal, Homer and Breakwater Bay – all winners at last Friday’s meeting – will clash in the second heat.
Fear The Rascal comes into the race on the back of two 400 metre wins at Tara Raceway and being beautifully drawn on Friday in box eight Price looks a great chance of lining up at Strathalbyn with representatives for two clubs.
He will also be attempting to win another Country Cup after Moorak Hope defeated Perfect Life in 2013 at Gawler in a time of 31.24 seconds for the 531 metres.
Portland trainer Robert Halliday is also chasing another Country Cup after Tickets Please had won at Gawler in 2008.
Halliday has had the Country Cup earmarked for a while now with Homer, which has drawn box four tomorrow, and the white and black dog couldn’t have been more impressive when running down Lyon Rose in 30.35 seconds last week.
Breakwater Bay did the job well when leading all the way last Friday in the ClassicBet Stake (512 m), bringing up his third win from 11 starts for Portland breeder-owner-trainer Andy Graham who now has his sights set on a first-time trip to Strathalbyn.
The fawn dog has drawn box two in what will be a decided step up in class for the promising youngster although being an on-pace runner he should be able to put himself into the race early.
The last Country Cup run at Strathalbyn was in 2014 when David Peckham’s kennelmates Thanks Tubby and Bourne Again represented Mount Gambier in the final won by $30 chance Morgan McLaren.
Last year the cup was back at Gawler with Peter Franklin’s Future Past and Thanks Tubby the local representatives finding the going pretty tough against long odds-on winner My Excuse.
Monday, October 31, 2016
There’s not too many weeks go by that Hamilton trainer Tony Harding doesn’t call into Bernie Rogers’ Tahara property, picks up the “travelling foreman” Shane Flink and then heads over to Tara Raceway with a few greyhounds.
Rogers is still hands-on at Tahara but rarely makes the trip to Mount Gambier on a race day, leaving that to Flink who earlier in the month had been successful with Fu Ling Shen.
For Harding, his last winner had been back in May when $30 chance Jen Shen (a litter sister to Fu Ling Shen) had opened her winning account at Tara Raceway at start number 32.
She’s the bitch Rogers had given Harding after the pair had been at a trial track one morning and Jen Shen, prior to the start of her racing career, had trashed his trailer.
Some 38 starts later, and still looking for her second win, Jen Shen lined up from box two in last Friday’s Rock’s Retreat Mixed Stake (600 metres) as a $40 chance – perhaps not all that surprising considering the black bitch had raced nine times over the middle-distance journey and had yet to run a place.
But after jumping straight to the front she was never headed in what turned out to be a rough race, eventually running out a 2½ length winner over long odds-on favourite Berry Bling in 36.42 seconds.
“Fair enough, she’d never run a place over 600 metres but she had copped a bit of trouble in some of the runs,” said a delighted Harding as an explanation to what on paper looked to be a pretty ordinary statistic.
Later in the day Flink boxed the Rogers-trained Ming Men Shen in the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m) with a pleasant trip back over the border being assured after the white and black dog led all the way to defeat Rico Jakit by a length in 23.66 seconds.
Jen Shen and Ming Men Shen are by Fear Zafonic out of Ren Shen which won eight races in Tasmania and Victoria. Besides Fu Ling Shen, others in the litter include Billy Congo, a winner this month at Rockhampton, and Roarsome, which has won eight races over 400 metres, 512 metres and 600 metres this year at Tara Raceway for Mount Gambier trainer Ralph Patzel.
Ren Shen is also the dam of Sweeney Miss (by El Grand Senor) which was successful at Tara Raceway’s previous meeting for Millicent trainer Smiley Gordon.
WILSON PAIR STEPS UP TO THE PODIUM
Training honours at last Friday’s Tara Raceway meeting belonged to Mumbannar mentor Monty Wilson who landed his first double in a 10-year involvement after give away greyhounds Podium Time and Podium Bound were successful.
A $13 chance, Podium Time kicked the meeting off with an impressive maiden win in the JB Irrigation Stake (512 m) when leading all the way from box seven, eventually running out a six length winner over odds-on favourite Brinza in 30.65 seconds.
Having her 21st race start, the first win came on the back of a couple of handy 600 metre efforts with her trainer now likely to step her up again in distance in the forthcoming weeks.
“I thought her past two starts over the middle-distance behind Rowdy Richard and Blazin’ Vicky were fair enough and now that she’s over her seasonal issues I’m confident her recent good form will continue,” Wilson said.
Podium Time, which landed at Mumbannar late last year via Jason Thomson of Boolite, is beautifully bred, being by Dyna Tron out of So Faithful, a daughter of Spiral Nikita x Leprechaun Yap, and a winner of eight races from 25 starts.
Littermates to So Faithful include Casey’s Angel, Bo Frazier, Talk’s Cheap and Glamorous (the dam of Magic Sprite).
Podium Bound, another Wilson pick-up from Boolite, hadn’t won a race in almost 12 months prior to 400 metre success a couple of week ago in a grade five heat.
And while the white and black daughter of Big Daddy Cool x Wadelock Sal failed to fire in the final, it took Wilson and his wife Jen only a fortnight to bring up another win – this time in the Metal Worx Masters (400 m).
Masters races, introduced at Tara Raceway earlier this year with a view to keep racers in the system longer, are non-penalty grade five events for greyhounds aged 3½ years and older – the older the better from a grading point of view with the concept having attracted five and six-year-olds.
As it turned out, in last Friday’s event it was the youngest and oldest runners – Podium Bound (February 2013) and Bourbon Club (June 2012) – which fought out the finish.
Podium Bound appeared to appreciate plenty of galloping room out wide and off the back worked into the race, throwing out the challenge to Bourbon Club before gaining the verdict by a head in 23.90 seconds.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
When it comes to greyhounds, pedigree and performance don’t always go together but the well-bred Baurna Sal certainly couldn’t have been any more impressive when winning the ClassicBet Maiden final (400 metres) at Tara Raceway last Sunday.
Into the final on the back of a fast-finishing third on debut at the previous meeting, the solid 31½ kilogram bitch was fairly away from box four before quickly taking up the running and powering away to five length win over Moth Attack in 23.34 seconds which as it turned out was the best of the day. Not bad for a 20-month-old pup having only her second race start.
And with a run home time of 12.40 seconds there certainly won’t be too many problems with her running out the 512 metre journey – or further – for Portland owner-trainer Brian Weis.
Baurna Sal is by Spring Gun out of Baurna Molly, a winner of 10 Victorian city races, and was bred at Portland by Robert Halliday who sold her as a pup to Weis for “a reasonable price”.
“Brian had been looking for a pup so I offered him a fawn bitch at the right price because he had been helping me out at the time. As it’s turned out, I reckon the price was very, very reasonable,” Halliday said.
Baurna Sal’s breeding is interesting with her 33 kilogram dam Baurna Molly being by the Irish-bred Baurnahulla Hero – which competed in Ireland, Australia and the US – out of the unraced Record Keeper.
Baurna Molly found her way over to Halliday after Grassmere breeder Peter Hubbard had bred a couple of handy types out of her by Superman – Cairnlea Deano and Cairnlea Lewis.
Cairnlea Deano was scratched from a heat of this year’s Mount Gambier Cup following his sale for $40,000. He was recently transferred to WA trainer Paul Stuart (of Miata fame) after winning at Shepparton and The Meadows.
Cairnlea Lewis kicked off his career at Tara Raceway with a resounding 11½ length win in 30.18 seconds in the Royal Fashion Maiden final (512 m) last December.
After a best of day 29.77 seconds Tara Raceway win in September, Cairnlea Lewis was sold and a nine length win over 600 metres at Bendigo followed earlier this month.
In July this year Baurna Molly whelped two dogs and two bitches to Kilty Lad (a son of Superman). And being an old coursing man, Robert Halliday would probably tell you that they are the perfect-aged pups.
PRESIDENT, SECRETARY TO CONTINUE
Steve Bartholomew and Barry Shepheard will continue in their roles as president and secretary of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. for an eighth consecutive year.
This follows the club’s Annual General Meeting at Tara Raceway last Sunday afternoon.
Bartholomew reported that major improvements continue to be undertaken at Tara Raceway while secretary/treasurer Shepheard said the club had enjoyed another successful year and was in a sound financial position.
Canteen manager Tania Charman and club life member Ralph Patzel are new committee members for 2016-17 while Lee Bartholomew has stepped down.
There was no joy for Glencoe owner-trainer Barry Shepheard and Galactic Viper in the third heat of the Gawler Gold Cup (531 m) on Tuesday afternoon when the lure lost power rounding the first turn.
With the race requiring to be re-run on the day due to Sunday night’s final, trainers were given the option by stewards of scratching with no penalty or lining up again after undergoing a veterinary inspection.
Seven greyhounds eventually contested the third of four heats with Shepheard scratching Galactic Viper from the re-run.
The remainder of the meeting was run without incident.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Mixed results early in the day at Tara Raceway last Sunday had Tarpeena greyhound trainer David Williams displaying the demeanour of a Marlboro Man who’d just lost his cigarettes.
But he was well and truly back on the horse come race six after Lektra Ash scored a hard-fought win in the Greyhound-Data.com grade six final over 512 metres.
Away fairly from box four, Lektra Ash found a forward spot going out of the first turn and once into the clear down the back set sail after tearaway leader Dimora Bekim which had finished a length clear of him in a heat the previous week.
The Tracie Price trained leader still held a handy lead turning for home but a powerful finish resulted in Lektra Ash gaining the verdict by the narrowest of margins in 30.70 seconds.
From the handy October 2014 Fabregas x Supreme Vision litter, the win was the black dog’s first since being purchased by Allen Williams prior to the final of the August Winter Classic in which he finished third behind litter brother Lektra Munster.
And according to David Williams, a couple of “pretty ordinary” runs from Lektra Ash in September had him re-assessing both the dog and himself.
“For sure, he was the best dog in the kennels and it’s probably fair to say that he was copping preferential treatment.
“But when he failed to fire at Horsham and then Tara Raceway I decided I’d start treating him like the rest of the team – in other words like a ‘normal’ greyhound – and see whether it would make a difference.”
Maybe no longer being the centre of attention out at Tarpeena worked because the win, his first since a maiden at the end of July for previous trainer Phil Lenehan, was full of merit particularly as he appears better suited when drawn out wide.
However, Lektra Ash will have to contend with box four again tomorrow when he clashes with Breakwater Bay (box one) in the ClassicBet Stake (512 m) for grade five greyhounds.
Owned and trained at Portland by Andy Graham, Breakwater Bay has run 30.19 seconds at Tara Raceway and returns to the local track after a couple of handy runs over 450 metres at Warrnambool.
GOOD YARN REWARDED FOR HER CONSISTENCY
Good Yarn hadn’t won a race since late July but her form since then hadn’t been too bad with a recent three length third to Brazen Bomber at Tara Raceway suggesting another win wasn’t far away.
And that’s how things panned out in last Sunday’s Metal Worx Stake (512 m) when Good Yarn was successful from box five as a $10 chance – a far cry from that February Monday afternoon at Ballarat when she won her maiden at odds of $60.
Bred, owned and trained by Penshurst identity John Burow, the fawn bitch was last early but down the back was starting to make ground before storming home to defeat Ari by 1¾ lengths in 30.66 seconds.
By Cosmic Chief, Good Yarn is out of Spin A Yarn which Burow raced on 97 occasions over all distances for 13 wins and 33 minor placings with a Tara Raceway 400 metre track record of 23.16 seconds on May 6, 2012 among her achievements.
Burow will have three of the litter engaged tomorrow – Vaudeville will jump from box five in the ClassicBet Stake (512 m), Spinach also from box five in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m), while Good Yarn will face one of her toughest tests to date from box eight in The Border Watch Mixed Stake (512 m).
IMPRESSIVE MAIDEN WINNERS TO CLASH
Redda and Cryer’s Bob, both 512 metre Tara Raceway maiden winners on debut, will clash in tomorrow’s Gordon Refrigeration Stake when lining up for their second starts from boxes four and five respectively.
Redda, a December 2014 son of Fabregas x Rookie’s Girl, led all the way on October 14 to comfortably defeat kennelmate Brinza in a smart 30.28 seconds for Portland owner-trainer Robert Halliday.
Cryer’s Bob, the second of the repeat Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget mating to win for Tom and Margaret Cryer, of Apsley, turned in a big effort in last Sunday’s JB Irrigation Maiden Stake.
Last early from box five, the brindle dog, having his first start in a full field, stretched out down the back straight behind Brinza which still looked the winner turning for home but was unable to hold out Cryer’s Bob in the run to the line.
Adding further interest to the race is the Tracie Price trained Dimora Bekim, a November 2014 son of Bekim Bale x Lucy’s Moment. The black dog is drawn awkwardly tomorrow in box six but is bursting to win another race after two consecutive seconds.
And keep an eye on Tara Raceway newcomer Born Billy – an August 2014 son of Velocette x Molly Grace which is owned by Noel Mugavin and trained at Koroit by Peter Byrne – if he happens to gain a start.
The black dog’s last win was back in June at Bendigo over 425 metres in a smart 24.11 seconds. Earlier that month he had won over 515 metres at Sandown Park in 29.84 seconds, a time that would put him right in this race.
Monday, October 24, 2016
It’s been 16 months since Brian “Smiley” Gordon last saw one of his greyhounds cross the line in first place.
That was on June 14, 2015 when Sweeney Miss was successful in a 400 metre maiden at Tara Raceway for the hobby trainer from Millicent who races the fawn bitch in partnership with former horse trainer Gavin Watts.
As it turned out, that win had broken an 18 month drought for Gordon whose previous winner had been with Bruised Banana at Tara Raceway.
On Sunday afternoon, Sweeney Miss lined up in box two in the Gordon Refrigeration Final – a 400 metre Pathway final for greyhounds that had been running outside a specified time standard.
The sizeable 31½ kilogram bitch had shown her first glimpse of form in six months at the previous meeting when qualifying for the final with a splendid second behind Podium Bound although Gordon believed they would probably go too quick for her in the short-course final.
Not so, though. Sweeney Miss actually found the front early before veteran chaser Peter Benz took over the running and down the back looked a chance of giving Tarpeena trainer David Williams a double after Lektra Ash had been successful earlier in the day.
Chasing Peter Benz until off the back, she took advantage of him shifting out and worked home solidly along the rails for a two length win in 23.66 seconds – a time that will now see Sweeney Miss out of the Pathway class for at least her next four starts.
Strictly speaking, it’s been 12 months, not 16 months, since Sweeney Miss won her last race. That was on October 4, 2015 when she ran second to Banger Regis but was later elevated to first spot when the winner was disqualified.
According to Gordon, that’s not the same as going over the line in first place.
Whelped in March 2013 and by El Grand Senor x Ren Shen, Sweeney Miss is Watts’ first involvement in greyhound racing.
He trained Royal Blevic to win the 2008 Mount Gambier Gold Cup at Glenburnie but has enjoyed his switch to the longtails and a day at the dogs.
And one could be excused for thinking Brian Gordon had won a Mount Gambier Cup and not a non-penalty Pathway on Sunday afternoon such was his enjoyment with the win.
For sure, they don’t call him Smiley for nothing.
ANOTHER TREBLE FOR STANLEY
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley landed her second treble this month when Amazing Gumball, Fiorelli Rose and Berry Bling were successful on Sunday and took her number of Tara Raceway wins this year to 56.
On October 2 Stanley had been successful with Rowchester Star, Berry Bling and Mr Caudo at Tara Raceway.
Stanley now looks set to play a strong hand in the forthcoming SA Country Cup heats with Fiorelli Rose finding winning form at the right time after three months without a win and Berry Bling winning her second race this month.
Away well from box three in the Trackside Meats Mixed Stake (512 m), Fiorelli Rose opened up a big break mid-race before defeating an improved Supreme Deal by three lengths in 30.28 seconds.
By Premier Fantasy out of Sandown Park winner Tarks Jewel, Fiorelli Rose has now won five races at Tara Raceway over 512 metres since joining Stanley’s kennels in late May.
Berry Bling, an excellent 2¼ length third behind Gawler Cup aspirant Galactic Viper and Cryer’s Fred at the previous meeting, ran right up to that form in The Border Watch Mixed Stake (512 m).
Away fairly from box seven, the daughter of Lochinvar Marlow x Lady Bling was in a forward spot going out of the first turn before taking the lead going into the back straight.
It was left to Cryer’s Fred to do the chasing but Berry Bling always looked to be travelling like a winner, eventually crossing the line with a length to spare in a best of day 30.11 seconds.
Amazing Gumball, a February 2015 son of Cosmic Chief and Our Vera, could develop into a Summer Classic hope judging by his impressive Rock’s Retreat Maiden Stake (400 m) win.
Having only his second race start, the black dog quickly rounded up first starter Judge Jed before finishing the race off strongly to defeat the early leader by 5½ lengths in 23.67 seconds.
Amazing Gumball is a half-brother to Rowchester King (by Premier Fantasy) which won 13 races in a 67-start career for Stanley.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Lyon Rose, trained by Mount Gambier’s leading greyhound trainer, Tracie Price, will represent Strathalbyn in next month’s SA Country Cup final.
This follows her determined all the way 536 metre win yesterday in Strathalbyn’s heat when she held out Scottish Thistle – also through to the final – to win by a neck in 31.99 seconds.
By Razldazl Jayfkay out of New Year’s Punch, a winner of 12 races and $53,000 in stakemoney, Lyon Rose had been eligible to contest the Strathalbyn division of the cup by virtue of the fact that she had raced there at least twice in the past 12 months.
The May 2014 black bitch has now won two races since joining Price’s kennels in late June – her previous win also at Strathalbyn over 536 metres in early August.
Bred in Victoria by Charlie Micallef and raced by his sons Gary and Phil, Lyon Rose has now won six races and recorded six minor placings from 27 starts.
New Year’s Punch has proven to be a handy producer with Lyon Rose’s half-brother Bruce Tycoon (by Cosmic Rumble) having won 24 races and $184,000 in stakemoney.
And speaking at Tara Raceway trials on Saturday morning, Price, who won the 2013 SA Country Cup at Gawler with Moorak Hope, said he was still unsure as to what he would have to run in Mount Gambier’s heat/s (two maximum) which will be conducted on Friday, November 4.
“I’ll probably have more idea after tomorrow’s Tara Raceway meeting,” he said. “There’s a few I’m looking at but even if they don’t measure up we’ll still have a runner in the final.”
Lyon Rose was the second leg of a 536 metre running double for Price after Spotted Gunn finished resolutely to defeat Another Mai – a 512 metre winner at Tara Raceway in 29.94 seconds earlier this month – by a neck in 32.10 seconds.
Yesterday’s double took the Compton trainer’s SA tally to 76 winners – 67 of those being at Tara Raceway.
The $7375 final of the SA Country Cup (536 m) will be run at Strathalbyn on the night of Sunday, November 20 in conjunction with the $10,000 Strathalbyn Cup (536 m).
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Locally bred, owned and trained greyhound Galactic Viper will be chasing another Group success when he jumps from box three in the third of four heats of the Gawler Gold Cup next Tuesday afternoon.
To be run over 531 metres, the $2500 cup heats will precede a big night of racing at the northern track on Sunday, October 30 with the highlight being the running of the $36,000 Group 3 Gold Cup final.
Whelped in February 2013, Galactic Viper, a son of Velocette x Magic Elite, was bred at Moorak by Robert Chuck and is now owned and trained at Glencoe by Barry Shepheard.
A winner of more than $42,000 in stakemoney, the black dog has raced on 58 occasions for 13 wins and 20 minor placings with the highlight to date being a win in last year’s Group 3 Howard Ashton (515 m) at Angle Park when he was owned by Chuck and trained in Victoria by Dave Geall.
And it was an impressive all-the-way 30.13 seconds win from box one over 33-race winner Cryer’s Fred in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday that convinced Shepheard to nominate for Gawler.
“There’s some smart greyhounds going around in the heats, and while Galactic Viper has never seen the track I believe he’s racing well enough down here to warrant having a crack at one of SA’s biggest races,” he said.
Shepheard, 55, who is also the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club secretary/treasurer, has been involved in greyhound racing for more than 20 years with Kirkstall Jane’s 2010 Mount Gambier Cup win being one of his biggest to date.
Galactic Viper will be Shepheard’s second Gawler Cup runner and he’ll be hoping for better luck this time around after his grand old chaser Rouse Flyer contested the 2013 series.
“Rouse Flyer looked to be in a winning position before being checked at a crucial stage of the race, subsequently finishing a 3½ length fourth behind Bogie Prince which then went on to win the final,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gawler’s SA Country Cup heat was run last Sunday night with Memory Assassin and Jokowi qualifying to represent that club in the $7375 final over 536 metres at Strathalbyn on Sunday, November 20.
Strathalbyn’s Country Cup heat will be run tomorrow with the interesting runner being Lyon Rose which has drawn box one for Compton trainer Tracie Price who won the 2013 Country Cup at Gawler with Moorak Hope.
Heats will follow at Port Augusta (503 m) on Tuesday, November 1 and at Tara Raceway (512 m) on Friday, November 4.
Mumbannar trainer Monty Wilson, who generally trains only giveaway greyhounds, pulled off another remarkable win at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when Podium Bound looked anything but a $15 shot in the Produce Store Stake (400 m) – a heat of a grade five series.
The white and black bitch led all the way from box one, eventually running out a 5½ length winner – her first success in almost 12 months – in a near best of the day 23.44 seconds.
The effort was a far cry from her first run for Wilson and his wife Jen when, back in August, Podium Bound ran a distant third in a 400 metre satisfactory trial in a steady time of 24.43 seconds.
The trial had come about after she had found trouble in a race at Horsham in June and was cited for failing to chase. That was enough for her previous trainer, hence the transfer to Mumbannar.
And while Podium Bound’s first two race starts for the new kennel were nothing flash, Jen Wilson’s efforts behind the scenes have eventually paid off with the February 2013 whelping now lining up from box seven in Sunday’s final – the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m).
By Big Daddy Cool out of Wadelock Sal, a winner of four races at Sandown Park, Podium Bound is a litter sister to Hello Ay Jay which has won 18 races in Tasmania, Victoria and WA.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Dennington greyhound Digger Two, a brilliant heat winner last Friday, will race at Sandown Park tomorrow night prior to contesting the grade six final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
The Ray Drew trained son of Spring Gun and Transcendence has drawn box six at Sandown in a grade six event over 515 metres with his trainer keen to try the November 2014 whelping in a city low-grade event .
And while it’s a fair step up from Tara Raceway to Sandown Park, Digger Two continued his excellent form at the local track last Friday when running a best of day 30.11 seconds in the Berringa Park Stake (the second heat of the grade six series).
Only fairly away from box six, the black dog chased tenaciously into the first turn before taking over from the well-supported Spinach going into the back straight and running out a comprehensive 9¼ length winner.
The win was Digger Two’s second at the track after an impressive effort earlier in the month in a maiden final with Drew believing Tara Raceway has been good for the dog.
“I’ve always reckoned he had his fair share of ability,” the veteran trainer said. “But it wasn’t until I brought him over here behind the finish-on-lure that he really started to get his act together.”
The locally owned and trained Azumi Swift will clash again on Sunday with Digger Two after defeating that greyhound in a heat of the maiden and then running unplaced in the final.
Raced by Lee and Steve Bartholomew and trained by the former at Worrolong, the February 2015 daughter of Cosmic Chief and Azumi Touch kept kicking up on the rails in what was a keenly-contested first heat of the grade six series before running out a 2½ length winner in 30.58 seconds.
Sunday’s final should be an interesting affair although Digger Two and Azumi Touch do look the main chances, particularly after drawing boxes one and two respectively.
BACK AMONG THE WINNERS
The introduction in SA of non-penalty Pathway Racing continues to work well at Tara Raceway with Fu Ling Shen and Bluey Benz afforded the opportunity of finding winning form again through the time-standard format.
For the pair, successful in the heats of the Pathway (400 m) last Friday, it was a case of Fu Ling Shen being back among the winners after a three-month run of outs and Bluey Benz back in the money after five months.
Fu Ling Shen, a daughter of Fear Zafonic and Ren Shen, is owned and trained at Tahara by Bernie Rogers but as is generally the case it was his right hand man in Shane Flink who was on track to handle the white and black bitch – and wasn’t there a spring in his step as he led back the winner!
Away fairly from box seven, Fu Ling Shen quickly took the lead off Bungaloo Pearl and from then on was never in any danger of defeat, eventually running out a three length winner over Tank Tank in 23.61 seconds.
She’s now drawn box one in Sunday’s final and looks the one to beat. But because her winning time was under the Pathway standard of 23.69 seconds she’ll then be back with the big boys until such time as she strings together four runs outside the designated time standard.
Bluey Benz, which will have to contend with box six in the final, virtually led all the way from box eight, hanging on to defeat Chelsea Bird by a neck in 23.72 seconds and retain his Pathway status.
Owned locally by Allen Williams and trained by his son David at Tarpeena, Bluey Benz should be better for the run after having been off the scene since June.
Chelsea Bird, which has drawn box eight for Allendale East trainer Connie Miller, also should be better for the run as she was another one that had not raced since June.
In fact, the well-bred daughter of Makeshift and Irish Fantasy had raced on only five occasions this year leading into last Friday’s heat. And a win in Sunday’s final would be her first in almost 12 months.
MITCHEM’S MAIDEN DOUBLE
A quick back-up seemed to work in Mayze’s favour at Tara Raceway’s meeting last Sunday when she led all the way to score a comprehensive 8¾ length victory in the Rock’s Retreat Maiden Stake (400 m).
Considering the weather conditions, the winning time of 23.64 seconds was more than handy and came two days after Mayze had run fourth behind Stout And Story for trainer Brad Mitchem.
Owned in NSW by John Atkinson, the black bitch has been in Mitchem’s kennels since May with the win over the short course coming at her 11th start after her past five runs had been over distances ranging from 319 metres to 600 metres.
By Magic Sprite out of Hurricane Luke bitch Kellmarg, Mayze is a member of a June 2014 litter that is turning out to be quite handy – Arena Magic having won seven races (including three at Wentworth Park) and Illusionary, a four-race winner, including two over 720 metres at Wentworth Park.
Mayze, which will jump from box five in Sunday’s Laser Electrical Stake (400 m), was the first leg of a Mitchem double, with Benji Girl finally overcoming seasonal and toe injury issues to win The Border Watch Maiden Stake (400 m).
The Sandford trainer’s last double had been on May 6 when Crazy Sprite and Julie’s Love had been successful. Mitchem has now trained 13 winners this year at Tara Raceway and is among the top 10 leading local trainers.
Monday, October 17, 2016
A treble last week at Tara Raceway, a Horsham double on Tuesday with Snap Hook and Kryptonian, followed by another local treble on Sunday with littermates Brazen Bomber, Paraphernalia and Kryptonian, wrapped up a big week of racing for Horsham trainer Jeff Guy.
Guy looked to hold a strong hand in Sunday’s JB Irrigation Feature Grade Five final (512 m) with Brazen Bomber, Frac Geek and McRay engaged.
It was Frac Geek which quickly found the front from box seven while Brazen Bomber settled in second spot as the field made its way out of the first turn.
Frac Geek, a beautifully bred daughter of Where’s Pedro x Proven Impala, looked to be making every post a winner down the back straight but approaching the home turn Brazen Bomber – a 600 metre winner in quick time at Tara Raceway – loomed ominously.
And as Frac Geek moved out turning for home Brazen Bomber took the rails run to finish powerfully for a 2¼ length win in 30.23 seconds.
A further three-quarters of a length back in third spot was the John Burow owned and trained Good Yarn which finished the race off in fine style.
A daughter of Cosmic Chief and former Tara Raceway 400 metre record holder Spin A Yarn, Good Yarn hasn’t won since July but there looks to be another race in her in the near future.
Paraphernalia, back after a record run of 34.99 seconds last week over 600 metres, looked the one to beat in the Williams Crane Hire Mixed Stake (600 m), more so after Stan’s Choice was scratched.
But Nicole Stanley’s evergreen four-year-old chaser Old Jock ensured the pace was on from the outset when going straight to the front from box one.
Old Jock, currently leading in the Greyhound of the Year award, gave a great sight before Paraphernalia took over off the back and went on for a 5¾ length win in an excellent 35.37 seconds on a rain-affected track.
Kryptonian, after an ordinary start from box four in the WinningFormula.net.au Mixed Stake (512 m), accelerated quickly to rail through on Rowchester Star going into the first turn before running away to an eight length victory in a best of day 30.01 seconds.
By Big Daddy Cool x Scrappy Coco, the three winners are now likely to venture to The Meadows on Saturday night with Guy earmarking heats of the Hume Cup (600 m) for Paraphernalia and Brazen Bomber.
VIPER ENDS FRUSTRATING RUN
Galactic Viper ended a frustrating run of minor placings for Glencoe trainer Barry Shepheard when leading all the way in Sunday’s Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (512 m).
Away well from box one, the black dog, which set up a nice break of three lengths over race favourite Cryer’s Fred down the back, still had 1¾ lengths to spare on the line when bringing up his 13th win in a smart 30.13 seconds.
Cryer’s Fred battled on well for second but it was the Nicole Stanley trained Berry Bling which caught the eye when flashing home in third spot.
Galactic Viper, a February 2013 son of Velocette and Magic Elite, had run four consecutive minor placings in top grade races at Tara Raceway prior to Sunday’s win.
In Shepheard’s kennels for almost 12 months, Galactic Viper last week was purchased by his trainer who is now looking at several options with the dog including the Gawler Cup and the SA Country Cup.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Port MacDonnell owner-trainer Kerry Howard made a successful return to the sport last Friday at Tara Raceway when Stout And Story won the Laser Electrical Open Maiden (400 metres).
Having his first race start, the black dog quickly found a forward spot from box one behind Cosmic Ann before taking the lead turning for home and running out a 1¾ length winner in 23.59 seconds.
For Howard, encouraged back into the training ranks by his daughter Amy, the win was his first since Flat Out Freddy won over 277 metres at Tara Raceway in July 2004.
And, according to Howard, it was simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time about five months ago when Koroit breeder Peter Byrne offered him a black dog as a give away.
“Turns out he was an August 2014 son of Fabregas x Mepunga Kirsty so I thought he might be worth a try after litter sister Lucky Holly had previously won at Tara Raceway.”
Unnamed at the time, Stout And Story was the first choice of racing names later submitted by Howard.
“The death of a mate of mine, Noel Blacksell, earlier this year prompted me to go with this name because of his great passion for a stout and a story.”
Stout And Story’s win followed on from Amy Howard’s two wins in late May with Any Silvers Bro at Tara Raceway.
Meanwhile, in the race prior, the Gambier Vets Maiden Stake (512 m), it was another first-starter in Redda that won on debut after leading all the way to defeat kennelmate Brinza (also a first-starter) by 3¾ lengths in 30.28 seconds.
It was a race quinella for long-time Portland trainer Robert Halliday who, it’s probably fair to say, spends more time conditioning his greyhounds than he does choosing racing names for them.
“Redda wears a red kennel collar, Brinza is a brindle dog and Yella (which ran third in race three) wears a yellow collar around the kennels,” Halliday said.
Whelped in December 2014, Redda, a son of Fabregas and Rookie’s Girl – a winner of four races at Warrnambool – was also bred and reared by his trainer.
The black dog did the job well on Friday with Halliday describing him as a pleasure to take to the track.
Brinza, a December 2014 son of Cosmic Rumble and Guru Doll, chased Redda throughout and also looks to be a coming winner.
After Brinza’s litter, Halliday obtained authority to breed with Guru Doll, a winner at Sandown Park and Angle Park, and in April she whelped to Fabregas.
Another first-starter success story was the Tracie Price trained Banjo Moment, a May 2015 youngster that quickly found the front in the Metal Worx Open Maiden Stake (400 m) before running out a 3½ length winner in 23.75 seconds.
By Banjo Boy out of Solved Moment, the black and white dog is a half-brother to Price’s prolific short-course performer Marlow Moment which has now won 18 races and recorded 15 minor placings from 73 starts.
Another litter member (by Lochinvar Marlow) is Mega Moment which won her first three starts at Tara Raceway over 512 metres in early 2015.
Speaking after the win on Friday, Price said Banjo Moment – the only member of the litter – had gone ahead in leaps and bounds after being broken-in.
“His breaking-in times were certainly nothing sensational but once he returned to Compton and started to trial at Tara Raceway he soon gave an indication of better things to come.”
Solved Moment, a daughter of Solve The Puzzle x Barely A Moment, won four races at Horsham, Warrnambool and Tara Raceway and in December 2015 whelped a litter of four dogs and two bitches to Nolen.