THURSDAY, JUNE 27 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JUNE 30: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, June 25 with GRSA. THURSDAY, JULY 4 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, July 1 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Allendale East greyhound Anti Dentite displayed some of the form that saw him win 22 races and more than $60,000 in prizemoney on Queensland tracks when he easily accounted for a classy field of grade five performers in the Gambier Vets Feature final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
Owned and trained by David Peckham, the black dog went straight to the front from box one and was never headed, eventually running out a 6¾ length winner in 30.22 seconds over Andy Graham’s Cee Rose Black and the winner’s kennelmate Sweeney Miss.
By Turanza Bale out of Sister Ping, a winner of eight races on NSW and Queensland tracks, Anti Dentite, by the middle of last year, had found himself in Adelaide where he won a couple of races at Angle Park.
But by December, connections had been looking to move him on and when he failed to meet the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) requirements Peckham was contacted to see if he wanted a giveaway greyhound to race at Tara Raceway.
“I figured with his pretty impressive record he might be worth a try down here, especially with the finish-on-lure in operation, although his early trials were certainly nothing flash and had me wondering whether I’d made the right call,” Peckham said.
By cup time, though, he was racing quite well with a fourth behind Mojito Mayhem in a cup heat and a subsequent second to kennelmate Blitz And Bolt in the consolation looking to be a good lead-in to the grade five series.
Peckham said he had been asked on several occasions as to the origins of the name Anti Dentite and that he had been unable to shed any light on its origins.
Well, it turns out former Toowoomba owner-trainer Mark Saal, who is a huge fan of the iconic US television comedy Seinfeld, had a couple of handy greyhounds back in late 2014 and named them Yada Yada Yada and Anti Dentite, names he had taken from the show’s episode titled “The Yada Yada”.
Earlier on Sunday, Peckham was successful in the Produce Store Mixed Stake (512 m) with recent Mount Gambier Cup Consolation winner Blitz And Bolt who finished too strongly in a busy finish for kennelmate Maximum Bella, having her first Tara Raceway start, and the ever-consistent Lyon Rose in 30.25 seconds.
Maximum Bella, a winner of nine races from 63 starts, hadn’t raced since the end of January and led pretty well everywhere but on the post, giving the impression that she should be better for the run.
Peckham finished the day with two wins, two seconds and two thirds and in what is one of the most interesting local trainers’ tussles in years stays in touch on 110 points behind Tracie Price and Nicole Stanley who share the lead with 122 points.
SYNDICATE SUCCESS CONTINUES
No one seems to be quite sure how many owners are in the syndicate that races Bluestone, winner of the winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
It’s probably around the 20 mark with many of them having previously been involved with a greyhound called Spangher who won five races.
Deb Hicks and Trev Finnis, involved in both ventures, were on track to see Bluestone win his first local race at his seventh Tara Raceway start.
Also on track to witness the blue dog lead all the way and win by six lengths in a quick 23.10 seconds was fellow syndicate member Jeff Cranage who had not previously raced a greyhound but after Sunday’s impressive effort is now probably wondering why.
By 32-race winner Kalden Komoto out of WA bitch Frantic Fusion, Bluestone was selected for the syndicate by Hicks’s husband Craig who found the 32 kilogram dog advertised for sale for $3000 on Greyhound-Data after having won four races at Angle Park and Gawler.
The win was the second leg of a running double for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley who previously had been successful with Hay Miss in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m).
Hay Miss had lined up from box three in a more than handy field that included Mount Gambier Cup finalist Hutch but was never headed after quickly finding the front, eventually running out an 8¼ length winner in a best of day 29.88 seconds – the first time she had broken the 30-second barrier at Tara Raceway.
And while she can be hard to catch at times, the daughter of Bekim Bale x Miss Stackhouse – a winner of 18 races and $32,000 in prizemoney – has been a handy little money spinner for connections, winning seven races from 32 starts.
A bag of five winners, two trebles and five doubles in less than three months of racing highlight Stanley’s terrific year so far at Tara Raceway.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
A bag of four winners last Friday – his second this year at Tara Raceway – has seen Compton greyhound trainer Tracie Price take a narrow lead over Nicole Stanley, of Portland, in this year’s Leading Trainer award.
And with five of those eight winners being bred at Compton, Price, along with wife Karen and Milla Laddrak and John Dargue, of Ozenkadnook, should be well pleased that three litters to commence racing this year out of Hey Sexy Lady (who has since died of cancer), Stylish Moment and Which Class have all produced winners.
Also sharing in the kennel’s success last Friday was WA father and son team Peter and Andrew Haines who own Gangster Of Love (Magic Sprite x Hey Sexy Lady) a smart winner of the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (512 metres) by five lengths in a quick 30.02 seconds.
They also raced Hey Sexy Lady, a winner of 13 races, and trained for them for much of her career by Price who has enjoyed a successful partnership with the pair over the past few years.
In fact, that success continued through to race five, the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (600 m), when the team combined again to win with Gargle It who defeated kennelmate Lyon Rose in 35.15 seconds – the fastest time run this year at Tara Raceway.
By champion Irish sire Spiral Nikita, Gargle It is out of West On Bluebird who also lacks nothing when it comes to pedigree, being a litter sister to the former champion stayer Miata, along with Deville and Sure As.
But according to Price it could be that the best is still to come with high hopes for three dogs and two bitches whelped in January 2016 by Fabregas out of Who’s Doing What.
From a local point of view, it could be said that Who’s Doing What is probably better known for the race she didn’t win rather than the 14 she did for Price and the Haines’.
Back in 2015, Price looked a good chance of winning his first Mount Gambier Cup when, after a brilliant heat win, Who’s Doing What drew box one in the final.
It’s now history how she came on season on the eve of the race and how rookie trainer Ben Boers gained a start with his reserve runner Lots Of Yap and duly won the cup.
“The Fabregas youngsters will be going off to breaking-in next month,” Price said. “They’re nice pups but I tell you what, her next litter – four dogs and one bitch by Knocka Norris – are probably the best looking pups we’ve ever bred.”
By High Earner x No Recall, Who’s Doing What is from an outstanding litter that includes Star Recall, a winner of 40 races and $445,000 in prizemoney.
In pup, and due to whelp out at Compton next month, is Lucy’s Moment, the dam of Blazing Moment, currently racing in WA and a winner of five races.
This is an interesting mating, with Milla Laddrak and Karen Price using a straw from the 1997 whelping Master Havoc.
By Head Honcho x Wee Sal, Master Havoc raced on 70 occasions for 23 wins and 23 minor placings before running his last race in September 2000.
Lucy’s Moment is by Bombastic Shiraz x Barely A Moment and traces back to Laddrak’s foundation bitch, Milla’s Wish, a daughter of Head Honcho and Sobbing Sal (New Tears x Wee Sal).
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Carrying the same surname as the New Zealand racing driver, Glencoe greyhound Van Gisbergen finally found top gear at Tara Raceway last Friday.
Contesting the second heat of the Gambier Vets Feature Grade Five (512 metres), Van Gisbergen turned in a dominant performance from box seven to lead all the way for a 5¼ length win – his first in four months – over Shannah’s Might in a best of day 29.92 seconds.
It’s probably fair to say that neither trainer Barry Shepheard nor owners Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman had seen this win coming after the black dog, despite trialling well, had failed to really flatter at his first three Tara Raceway race starts.
By Magic Sprite out of Black Sambuca – a half-sister to Blonde Caviar, the dam of the “McIvor” dogs – Van Gisbergen arrived in the South-East in early January after having won two 520 metre races at Lismore and two over the 610 metre journey at Grafton.
But he also arrived with three strikes against his name, subsequently cleared, although only up to 599 metres.
“He’s run a pretty handy 35.46 seconds for the 610 at Grafton (the record is 34.89 seconds) so I wouldn’t mind getting him in a 600 metre event at Tara Raceway,” Shepheard said.
“The only problem is he still has to run a satisfactory trial over that distance and I’m struggling to find a few runners to go around with him in order to satisfy stewards’ requirements.”
And perhaps it’s Tara Raceway, one of only two tracks in Australia to conduct racing behind the finish-on-lure, that has assisted Van Gisbergen to find winning form again.
As Bruce Teague, writing in Australian Racing Greyhound, noted: “The FOL allows the dogs to complete their mission. Chasing is what they are all about. With the FOL they can succeed in that. With a conventional lure system, they can’t. Why wouldn’t they chase better with the FOL? It makes for a fun afternoon for them.”
Joining Van Gisbergen and Shannah’s Might in Sunday’s $2100 Gambier Vets final will be Sweeney Miss and Master Tron.
Mount Gambier owner-trainer Ken Feltus landed his first Tara Raceway win this year when Lil Arthur defeated Cee Rose Black, Brazen Beau and Anti Dentite in heat one of the feature grade five.
Away well from box four, Lil Arthur couldn’t match the early pace of Brazen Beau but took over the running down the back straight and held off a fast finishing Cee Rose Black and the early leader to win by a half length in 30.50 seconds.
The winner, a four-year-old by Cosmic Chief out of Ocean Magic – a litter sister to 2012 Mount Gambier Cup winner Rich Shiraz – has now won 13 races overall with two for Feltus who took over the black dog late last year.
And while his winning time was somewhat slower than Van Gisbergen in the second heat, Feltus was more than happy with the effort.
“Lil Arthur had been finding plenty of trouble in 400 metre events so I decided to bite the bullet and try him for the first time over the 512 metre journey,” he said.
“He hadn’t trialled over the distance or even trialled post to post so I reckon he’s still got a bit of improvement in him.”
The minor placegetters’ trainers wouldn’t have been too disappointed with the efforts of Cee Rose Black and Brazen Beau, either.
Cee Rose Black, which hadn’t run a place since last winning at Tara Raceway back in late January, pleased Portland trainer Andy Graham with the manner in which she finished off the race.
And Brazen Beau, another one having her first start over 512 metres, surprised Team Williams by the manner in which she battled on in the home straight, going down by only 1½ lengths.
Time-wise it’s hard to go past Van Gisbergen in Sunday’s final although the box draw hasn’t done him too many favours as he’ll jump from the six.
The David Peckham trained Anti Dentite and Ralph Patzel’s Master Tron, short-priced favourites in their respective heats, scraped into the final after both running fourth.
But they’ve drawn well – Anti Dentite in one and Master Tron next to him – boxes that both greyhounds have excellent records from.
Despite disappointing in last week’s heats, they both performed extremely well at Mount Gambier Cup time and a repeat of that sort of form should see them right in the mix.
The Gambier Vets Feature Grade Five final is one of the highlights of what looks to be another outstanding 12-race card at Tara Raceway on Sunday.
Three Mount Gambier Cup finalists – Thanks Captain, Colden Girl and Hutch – return for the meeting with the Peckham-trained Thanks Captain, well boxed in the eight in the Allestree Holiday Units Mixed Stake (512 m), taking on Hit The Runway who will be attempting to win three straight at the track for Nicole Stanley.
Colden Girl, trained by Bea Bryant, will take on a pretty handy field from box eight in the Produce Store Mixed Stake (512 m) while Robert Halliday’s Hutch, who will race at Warrnambool tomorrow night, doesn’t look too badly placed in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m).
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Cap Abbott, the 70-something greyhound trainer, was at Tara Raceway on Saturday morning in time for the start of the 9 o’clock trials after making the 120 kilometre trip from Edenhope.
He’s the bloke who draws the line at catching his own dogs when they’re trialling over 512 metres but makes a quick 150-metre dash from the 400 metre boxes around to the catching area when his charges are tackling the short course distance.
“He’s puffing more than I am,” said Abbott of the dog he was leading off the track after he had previously put three others through their paces and knocked up something like 450 metres in doing so.
Twenty-four hours earlier he had also been at Tara Raceway with a team of four for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s 12-race programme.
The day didn’t start off all that well for Abbott and in fact had become even worse by race nine, the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m), after Judge Jed, when partaking in a preview for the race, jumped up and scratched him quite extensively on the arm.
But by race 12 the unperturbed trainer was ready for a last roll of the dice with Just Like Fire, a daughter of Barcia Bale x Dyna Gee, in the winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m).
Raced by the Craig Trickett-managed Chasing Gold Greyhound Syndicate, the black bitch had been in Abbott’s kennels since January, winning first-up for him at Strathalbyn over 319 metres before posting a best of day 23.03 seconds win (400 metres) at Tara Raceway in late February.
In Friday’s grade five sprint, Just Like Fire led all the way from box three to defeat Lektra Excess by 3¾ lengths in another best of the day time of 23.06 seconds.
The win was Abbott’s fifth at Tara Raceway this year and now sees him sitting in sixth spot on the Leading Trainers’ list.
And tomorrow he hits the highway again, this time travelling to Adelaide with a team of four, including Just Like Fire, for the Angle Park meeting.
MAKING EVERY POST A WINNER
It wasn’t that Cee Sunrise’s form was all that bad – on the contrary, five wins and three minor placings from only 21 starts doesn’t make for a bad strike rate.
But after unplaced runs at her past three starts Portland owner-trainer Andy Graham had found himself in the wilderness for a couple of months with the daughter of Cosmic Chief and Cee Anna Rose.
So when she gained a start from box three in Friday’s Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m) she needed to make every post a winner – no easy task considering her grade five status and some of the opposition’s higher rankings.
Reputations counted for nothing though as the $50 chance Cee Sunrise quickly wrested the lead from Whatta Moment and then held off an unlucky Galactic Viper to win by a neck in 23.52 seconds.
The win was Graham’s second this year at Tara Raceway after Cee Sunrise’s half-sister Cee Rose Black (by Collision) had won in January.
Cee Anna Rose, who is by Bombastic Shiraz out of Graham’s prolific-producing bitch Senni Wendy, raced on only 18 occasions for six wins (including two at The Meadows) and nine minor placings.
Last month she whelped a third litter – four dogs and two bitches – to high profile sire Magic Sprite.
TRAINERS ON A ROLL
Scott Blacksell, of Cape Bridgewater, is better known at Tara Raceway for helping out successful Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, currently in second spot on the Leading Trainers’ list, with her large team on race and trial days.
But from an owner-trainer point of view Blacksell is on something of a roll himself after Travel Ticket, who he took over from Stanley last month, was successful on cup day prior to Money Back Zac opening his winning account at Friday’s meeting.
Money Back Zac was away well from box one in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 m) and looked anything but a dog that had yet to run a place in eight starts as he careered away to a 6¼ length win in a more than handy 23.48 seconds.
By Cosmic Chief, the black dog is out of Our Vera, a winner of six races and trained for most of her 23 starts by Blacksell.
Speaking after the win, Money Back Zac’s trainer said the dog had been plagued with bad box draws since making his debut last October.
“He’d been finding trouble every time he ran from poor draws but on Friday he showed his true ability when finally drawing a decent box,” he said.
Portland trainer Brian Weis also landed a winner on cup day with Lektra Munster and followed up again on Friday with Spring’s Over in the ClassicBet Stake (512 m).
By Spring Gun x Gone Baby Gone, Spring’s Over led all the way from box one, holding out Chuck McIvor to win by 1¼ lengths in 30.32 seconds.
Owned at Lake Albert, a suburb of Wagga Wagga, by Matt Morris, Spring’s Over and his litter sister Miss Zorro joined Weis’s kennels late last year and had both won at Warrnambool prior to Friday’s success.
The owner and trainer had previously successfully combined in 2013-2014 to race Spring’s Over’s half-brothers In This Way and Out This Way (by Premier Fantasy) who collectively won 13 races.
Earlier, on Friday, in the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (512 m) Morris and Weis had Chilly Kiss engaged from box seven in what would be her first Tara Raceway start.
By Spring Gun out of Gone Baby Gone’s half-sister Chilly Babe – a multiple Victorian city winner at both Sandown Park and The Meadows – Chilly Kiss had been placed on three occasions from six starts at Sandown Park and looked the one to beat.
But the $2.70 favourite never got into the race after missing the start hopelessly, although there’s most certainly a Tara Raceway win in the 25 kilogram bitch if she can jump in the same manner as she did at Sandown Park last month when running second.
Weis has now trained four winners, along with 10 minor placings, this year at Tara Raceway and is equal ninth on the Leading Trainers’ list.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Worrolong greyhound Sookie’s Lad landed his first feature race win in a 57-start career when successful in last Sunday’s Formula 400 Sprint (400 metres) at Tara Raceway’s Mount Gambier Cup meeting.
Sookie’s Lad, who turned four years old earlier this month, settled in a forward spot from box two and after railing through on the home turn finished too well to defeat Ming Men Shen by a neck with a further half-length back to Slipper’s Chance.
By Premier Fantasy out of Sookie, a winner of 14 races and a litter sister to the Group-winning Kilty Lad, Sookie’s Lad is owned locally by Craig Hicks and trained by his father-in-law Steve Bartholomew.
The win made this year’s cup day even more special for Bartholomew, president of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, who handled Tara Topar, the inaugural cup winner in 1981, and has not missed a cup meeting in the ensuing 36 years.
And while Sookie’s Lad has now won 10 races and recorded 26 minor placings his trainer recalls that the black dog’s racing career back in July 2015 looked to be all but over after only 23 starts.
“He suffered a nasty foot injury at the end of a 400 metre race and was off the scene for six months,” he said.
“It actually required two bouts of surgery and to be honest at the time we doubted whether he would ever race again as the foot developed a deformed appearance.
“We were keen to persevere, though, as Sookie’s Lad had always shown potential and was a keen chaser. Not the fastest greyhound we had at the time but a pleasure to have in the kennels.”
And as a testament to the dog’s fortitude – and connections’ patience – he won upon returning to racing at the beginning of 2016 with a further four wins to follow prior to last Sunday’s cup-day success.
The Formula 400 was first run in 2015 when Tom Cryer’s Cryer’s Fred was successful, while last year’s event was won by the Dean Fennell trained Cerrone.
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY
Last year’s cup day 600 metre feature, the Fireball, was won by the Phil Lenehan owned and trained Lektra Kelly.
This year the middle-distance feature was run as the Blue Lake 600 and it was Lenehan’s brother, Neville, or Nifty as he is better known, who was successful with King Obama.
By Kinloch Brae x Obama’s Girl, King Obama had defeated the highly-rated Texas Titan over 600 metres at Tara Raceway last month and as such had jumped a long odds-on favourite in his heat.
But the 35 kilogram black dog never fired a shot after finding plenty of trouble from box three and ultimately went down by 15 lengths to Lektra Kelly’s half-sister Lektra Destiny.
That effort saw King Obama relegated to a reserve, although as luck would have it there was a scratching and he lined up from box two in Sunday’s $2000 final.
And it was pretty clear a long way from home that Nifty Lenehan was going to win his first feature race as a trainer – he actually struggled with the presentation dais procedure – when King Obama careered away to a six length win in a personal best time of 35.60 seconds.
Not that there hadn’t been success in the past with Lenehan, now 51, enjoying heady times back in the late 1990s when he raced Star Of Mine.
By Head Honcho x Hoppy’s Star, Star Of Mine went around on 64 occasions for 23 wins and 18 minor placings and more than $74,000 in prizemoney.
Lenehan derived extra pleasure from Sunday’s success as he also bred the winner. He now has high hopes for Obama’s Girl’s next litter – by Cosmic Rumble and 16 months old.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Ross Schurgott and members of the Viking Syndicate had no luck in last Sunday’s ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup final with Thanks Captain but they quickly regrouped for the following race – a $2000 cup consolation (512 metres).
Late last year, together with Allendale East trainer David Peckham and Connie Miller, Schurgott had bought into the former NSW-based Blitz And Bolt who now looks to have been a pretty reasonable buy at only $1500.
The David Pringle-bred son of Cosmic Rumble x Moonshine Sally found himself in a more than handy consolation after a half-length second to Harry Aztec in a cup heat the previous week.
And despite two excellent seconds prior to that behind Hutch in the Summer Classic and Gargle It, Blitz And Bolt jumped from box seven on Sunday at around the $16 quote.
Peckham also had Anti Dentite engaged in the consolation after he had run a handy fourth behind Mojito Mayhem the week before at what had been his first Tara Raceway 512 metre hit-out.
A son of Turanza Bale x Sister Ping, the black dog landed in Mount Gambier late last year after stints in Queensland and Adelaide where he had raced on 84 occasions for 24 wins and prizemoney totalling more than $60,000.
Away well from box four, Anti Dentite was in front going out of the first turn and took advantage of some interference to open up a handy break over his kennelmate down the back straight.
But approaching the home turn, Blitz And Bolt was looming ominously. And this is where the Viking Syndicate factor came into play.
Appropriately decked out in their Viking Syndicate shirts, the members boisterously punched home the Bolt in such a manner that on the line he had 4¾ lengths to spare over Anti Dentite in a personal best time of 30.02 seconds.
Currently involved in an interesting three-way go for training honours with Nicole Stanley and Tracie Price, Peckham concluded the three-meeting Mount Gambier Cup carnival with five winners – a running treble on the opening day followed by a cup heat win with Thanks Captain and the consolation quinella last Sunday.
One of the treble winners was Still We Believe, a lightly-raced son of Heston Bale x Tandar Lass, who had won at Geelong and Bendigo before successful on debut at Tara Raceway over 400 metres in a tidy 23.25 seconds for Schurgott and the Viking Syndicate.
The purchase of the black dog from Victoria came via the internet advertising site Greyhound-Data and was the result of the syndicate re-investing some of the proceeds from the sale of a couple of pups by Barcia Bale out of their former 600 metre record holder Striking Viking at last year’s Angle Park auction.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
With six runners in Sunday’s Produce Store Feature Maiden final (512 m) it was always going to be a fair bet that Compton breeder-trainer Tracie Price would at least win the event if not make a clean sweep of the affair.
Price had provided the quinella in the three heats with the standout being Magic Sprite x Hey Sexy Lady youngster Summer Storm, a 7½ length winner in a best of day 29.98 seconds.
But the switch in the final from the inside to the outside brought about the August 2015 whelping’s undoing. Starting a warm favourite from box eight, Summer Storm found trouble wherever he went and did a good job to finish fourth.
Meanwhile, kennelmate Rumbling Moment, a son of Cosmic Rumble and former smart bitch Stylish Moment, appreciated the switch from the outside to the inside when railing through on the first turn and then defying the opposition to run him down in a time of 30.66 seconds.
Rumbling Moment, who had been grabbed on the line at his first race start in a heat the previous week, now looks a likely type for the August-run Winter Classic, a race his dam won in 2014.
Gee She Roks upset the Price clean sweep when, despite using plenty of the track, she finished strongly to grab second spot for Ross Schurgott and David Peckham who must be wondering whether the daughter of Cape Hawke x Freestyle Lass will ever win a race after having now run eight minor placings from 14 starts.
Baz’s Moment, who won a heat on debut for Barry Bruce and Price, ran another good race to finish third with the son of Swift Fancy x Which Class giving Kongorong-based Bruce a successful re-introduction to greyhound racing.
Price also enjoyed plenty of cup carnival success, training six winners over the three meetings.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Greyhound Racing SA chairman Michael Fabbro, along with fellow directors David Spear, Paul Preiss, Chris Doyle and Grantley Stevens, were in town at the weekend to catch up with the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club committee, take in the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup and then the Port v. Richmond game at Malseed Park which would have buggered up an otherwise top couple of days.
Also making the trip were CEO Matt Corby, Sarah Webster (Chief Operating Officer), Scott Wuchatsch (Strategic Projects Manager), Dianne Dumanovic (Marketing Manager), Lisa Michalanney (Acting Head of Integrity) and Shaun Mathieson (Racing Manager).
These are good people who would have been suitably impressed with the running of Sunday’s cup meeting, witnessed by one of the biggest crowds seen at Tara Raceway in a long time.
From a board point of view, the Mount Gambier club hasn’t done much wrong in the past five years or so – going from 10-race weekly TAB meetings to a situation next month when they’ll be running 12-race programmes (nominations permitting) every Sunday with a couple of Fridays thrown in for good measure.
Speaking on Saturday night, Fabbro described the club as GRSA’s “jewel in the crown” and suggested that after the board had met on Sunday morning there could be some “breaking news” forthcoming later in the day.
But it’s probably fair to say that he caught most by surprise when announcing after the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup presentation to Robyn Mackellar and Fabregal plans for next year’s event.
Even the usually unflappable MC for the day, Kevin “KD” Douglas – well-versed in all things racing – appeared taken aback when Fabbro calmly hit the masses with the news that the 2018 Mount Gambier Cup would be a Listed event and carry $15,000 to the winner – more than double the amount paid for the past three years.
This is seriously good money and as such will attract seriously good greyhounds. Not that this year’s winner is not a seriously good greyhound.
So as from next year the Mount Gambier Cup will join time-honoured races such as the SA Sprint Championship, the Maidment Memorial, the Sandown Easter Gift and the Flying Amy Classic, to name just a few, as a Listed event.
And Michael Fabbro’s announcement on Sunday afternoon has ensured that next year’s Mount Gambier Cup will be the start of a new and exciting era for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s major event which has already enjoyed a colourful and successful 37-year history.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Lewiston-trained Fabregal ran right up to her reputation with a brilliant win in Sunday’s $10,000 ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
One of the best-credentialled greyhounds to ever contest the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s major event of the year, the black daughter of Fabregas x Allinga Aye Jay took her race record to 34 wins from 58 starts and more than $160,000 in prizemoney.
Fabregal was expected to improve after her first look at the track last week when winning a heat in 29.87 seconds – and improve the $2.60 favourite did – in front rounding the first before running away to score a 2¼ length win over the $34 rank outsider Arabella Figg with a further 2½ lengths back to Mojito Mayhem.
And the winner’s time of 29.78 seconds was a race record, eclipsing the 29.81 seconds run by the Kevin Mugavin trained Rich Shiraz back in 2012.
Owned at Tumby Bay by Terry McCallum, Fabregal is trained by Robyn Mackellar who broke a 20-year Lake Terrace East venue male training dominance when becoming the first female to win the Mount Gambier Cup.
Female trainers had fared slightly better at the original greyhound track out at Glenburnie with Joan Cruise successful in the inaugural event in 1981 with Tara Topar and Connie Miller winning the 1987 and 1988 cups with Durafi and Mitchell Boy.
Mackellar’s Mount Gambier Cup quest started back in 2014 when second-placed Dee Dee Corsair ran Veetee Express to two lengths in a then near-record 29.82 seconds.
Then the following year Barnes Bay and Lobo Loco ran third and fourth respectively behind Lots Of Yap and Bourne Again.
As far as this year was concerned it was a case of Mackellar going out on a winning note with Fabregal confirmed as changing kennels as early as next week.
“Yes, due to some health issues I’m cutting my team back and she’ll be relocating to Lyn Smith who is based at Nambrok in Victoria,” she said.
Arabella Figg, who chased Fabregal throughout, ran a terrific race for Southern Cross trainer Peter Byrne.
By Kinloch Brae, she is out of 12-race winner Finlandia’s fourth litter and owned at Buckley by Ian Cockerell who also owns and trains a couple of handy littermates in Igor Karkaroff (15 wins, $100,000) and Polijuice Potion (18 wins, $140,000).
And how about Mojito Mayhem – he gave it his best shot for owner Barry Priest and trainer Peter Franklin when travelling in third spot throughout.
Returning from usually career-ending injuries, the black dog won a heat of the Christmas Cup and then a cup heat last week before attempting to become the first greyhound to win two Mount Gambier Cups.
He lost no friends with his effort on Sunday and with two Anniversary Cups and a Mount Gambier Cup to his credit there haven’t been too many better greyhounds than Mojito Mayhem go around Tara Raceway.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Fabregal, nominal favourite for the Mount Gambier Cup, will be transferred to Victoria after Sunday’s $10,000 final at Tara Raceway.
Lewiston trainer Robyn Mackellar said this week that the black bitch, a 29.87 seconds heat winner last Sunday, would be transferred to Lyn Smith of Nambrok.
“I’m cutting back in numbers and suggested to the owner that Fabregal would now be better placed in Victoria,” she said.
A winner of more than $150,000, the daughter of Fabregas x Allinga Aye Jay is owned at Tumby Bay by Terry McCallum who purchased her as a five-month-old pup prior to rearing her.
The litter was bred by Morphett Vale couple Tracey and Trevor Davey who have been well rewarded for taking the punt with a well-bred bitch that won only one race.
There are litters by Glen Gallon and Nitro Burst to follow while the Daveys also have a Dyna Double One straw.
Fabregal was broken-in at 14 months of age but according to Mackellar the report was nothing special.
“It wasn’t until she returned from breaking-in that she actually started to put it altogether. But by the time she was ready for her first start I knew we had something special.”
And so began the continuation of a successful owner and trainer association after they had previously combined to win 20 races and more than $30,000 in stakemoney with former NSW greyhound Just Shine.
So Robyn Mackellar, whose grandmother Betty Brown started blazing a trail for female greyhound trainers all those years ago, will be looking to blaze her own trail in this year’s cup.
Twenty years of Mount Gambier Cups at the Lake Terrace East venue have yet to deliver a female-trained winner.
Mackellar, along with Nicole Stanley, Bea Bryant and Yvonne King, will all be out to create their own piece of history at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.