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

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, August 26 with GRSA. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, August 27 with GRSA. FREE TRIALS (for members/$10 non-members): Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track. PATHWAY RACING: All eligible greyhounds will be considered for some Pathway races at Sunday meetings. Trainers must advise NO PATHWAY if they do not wish to be considered. See GRSA website for Pathway conditions. WORK COMMENCES ON KENNELHOUSE UPGRADE: See “Gallery”.


News

Former top chaser on the comeback trail

Thursday, June 1, 2017

It’s now been close to 15 months since Ernest Bale strung together two wins over the 595 metre journey at Sandown Park.

Another 17 runs in Victoria were to follow without success before high-profile Adelaide owners Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman stepped in 11 months ago and purchased the son of Turanza Bale x Cara Bale.

Ernest Bale will make his long-awaited comeback at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

But after a frustrating run of injuries resulted in Ernest Bale still being off the track come the end of the year, Aloisi contacted Glencoe trainer Barry Shepheard to see if he was looking for a challenge.

“With a record of 69 starts for 18 wins, 21 minor placings and more than $105,000 in prizemoney I reckoned I didn’t have too much to lose,” Shepheard said this week.

For sure, Ernest Bale had been a seriously good greyhound, racing against the likes of Dyna Double One, Dundee Osprey, Moreira, Buck Forty and Dalgetty.

The rising four-year-old’s first public appearance for Shepheard was on May 14 when running a satisfactory trial over an unsuitable 400 metres in a pretty handy 23.33 seconds.

But it had been a painstaking five months of attention to detail and Tara Raceway trials leading up to that run, with Shepheard obviously having the dog about the mark from a weight point of view – 34.7 kilograms – the same as he had raced at back in July last year.

Ernest Bale’s long-awaited SA debut will take place at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when he lines up from box eight in the first heat of the Klaassens Contractors Feature Grade Five (512 metres).

Main interest in the second heat will be whether the David Peckham owned and trained box five runner Anti Dentite can string together four consecutive wins.

It’s a feat rarely achieved although the Peckham trained Thanks Tubby twice won four races in a row at Tara Raceway during 2014.

Barry Shepheard and Amanda Darmanin with Trademark Jet after his maiden win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Aloisi and Lehman will also be hoping for further success after the Shepheard-trained Trademark Jet won last Sunday’s JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (512 m) in 30.64 seconds.

By Bit Chili out of three-race winner Fredrina Bale (Bartrim Bale x Dyna Beauty), Trademark Jet was bred by Aloisi but found his way down to Glencoe at the end of March after bad box manners had been costing him any chance of winning in Adelaide.

And while his box manners haven’t improved much, the brindle dog did gain a nice rails run going into the first turn last Sunday, settling much closer than normal which allowed him to finish over the top of Vision Of Beauty.

Trademark Jet will step up to 600 metres in Sunday’s South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake and although the distance should suit both Col’s Wallett and Cryer’s Plugger look hard to hold out.

Meanwhile, at tomorrow’s time-graded meeting, Kongorong trainer John Little has an interesting 18-month-old first starter by the name of Bungaloo Ruby in race one, the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (512 m).

Bred by Little, the blue bitch is by Addis Boy, a Group-winning son of Token Prince and 14-race Wentworth Park winner Fantasy Fortune, out of Camo’s Prinny.

By Regal Thyme x Camo’s Dollars, Camo’s Prinny won seven races at Tara Raceway including the 2013 Anniversary Cup (512 m) in 30.19 seconds for Tahara trainer Bernie Rogers.

Camo’s Dollars, who had a stack of trainers during her 59-start racing career, won over the 732 metre journey at Tara Raceway in March 2008 when being trained by John Cameron of Penshurst.


Back to where it all began

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bill Ward has been taking in recent Tara Raceway meetings, no doubt marvelling at the progress the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club has made over the past 20 years.

Now 80, he was president of what was originally known as the South East Greyhound Racing Club from 1991 through to 1997, overseeing, together with a dedicated group of greyhound racing supporters, the switch of racing from Glenburnie to Lake Terrace East.

“The way the complex looks today is a real credit to the club,” Ward said this week. “And the fact that Tara Raceway is now able to run more than 70 race meetings a year speaks volumes for the many people involved.

Bill Ward at Glenburnie on opening day in 1979 with Courtoli who by then was standing at stud at a fee of $120.

“I can remember when we used to be allocated something like 22 non-TAB meetings a year and even then half the time we struggled to get nominations.”

Based at Mil Lel at the time, Ward and his wife Trish relocated to Adelaide 12 months after Tara Raceway commenced racing in January 1997 with Craig Collins subsequently taking over as president.

But Ward’s involvement in greyhound racing goes back to 1975, a time when the South East Greyhound Racing Club committee was still frantically searching for a venue for its first “tin hare” track and a strip of land was being prepared out at Mil Lel for drag lure coursing.

“At the time I’d undergone a knee operation and thought walking a couple of greyhounds might help in the recovery,” he recalled.

“I worked with a chap who was involved in greyhounds and he suggested that if I was walking dogs I might as well try and find a quick one.

“As it turned out, local breeder Bill Herring had a litter by Tivoli Chief out of a bitch called Modesty Court whose mother was a sister to a real flying machine in Bunyip Bint.

“She had a litter of 14 and with 10 to pick from I opted for a black dog and a brindle and white bitch.”

So began Ward and his family’s involvement in greyhounds with the pups being reared at their then place of residence on Jubilee Highway West.

The pups were later named Courtoli and Modesty Lee and with no track racing in Mount Gambier at the time they were sent to Melbourne to be trained.

Ward obviously heeded his workmate’s advice, finding not one but two quick ones.

Courtoli went on to win 22 races from 42 starts including a Young Star Classic at Wangaratta and success at Olympic Park and Sandown Park while Modesty Lee won 13 races from 22 starts.

Bill Ward pictured at home this week in Mount Gambier with the 1987 Sydney Cup and Black Tie Liqueur Cup won by Sonic Wave at Wentworth Park.

“I still reckon Courtoli was the best dog I ever had,” Ward said without any hesitation. “He was a fanatical chaser and always gave his all.”

Five years later the family moved to Mil Lel. Proven producer Main Model came down from Sydney and whelped a litter by Waverly Supreme with Ward rearing the pups until 12 months of age.

One of the pups he received for the whelping and rearing turned out to be a more than handy dog called Rickley who ran fourth in the 1983 Ardath National Derby final at Wentworth Park. Yes, back then cigarette companies were right into greyhound sponsorship and Ardath was a popular brand.

And later, when Model Belinda arrived from NSW for breeding, Ward ended up with a fair sort in return for his whelping and rearing efforts of the litter by Chief Dingaan.

“One of mine raced as Sonic Wave in NSW where she broke the 720 metre Wentworth Park track record and in 1987 won two premier staying races at that track – the Sydney Cup and the Black Tie Liqueur Cup.

“Then, in 1988, she was crowned the Bicentennial NSW Greyhound of the Year and this was a great thrill,” he said.

Perhaps fittingly, one of Ward’s last greyhounds was Toli Gold, by Silver Ball out of Sonic Wave. Trained in Adelaide by John Spoolder, the fawn bitch won the 1994 Gawler Patron’s Cup.

Following the death of Trish earlier this year, Ward recently returned to where it all began and now resides not all that far from Jubilee Highway West.

“When I go out to Tara Raceway and see what has been achieved I feel proud to have played a small part. More importantly, though, it’s great to see that the efforts of many dedicated people certainly weren’t in vain.”


Record number of meetings for Tara Raceway

Monday, May 29, 2017

SA greyhound racing dates released last week for the 2017-2018 season by Greyhound Racing SA has seen the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club allocated a record 78 meetings.

Sundays will remain the main day at Tara Raceway with 52 meetings to be conducted while 26 will be run on Fridays.

The allocation of the dates for July through to June came after what MGGRC secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard described as a successful two-month trial period when the club ran every Sunday and alternate Fridays.

Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard trained a winning double at Tara Raceway on Sunday. He is pictured with second leg winner Galactic Fox.

“As a club we were more than happy with the support we received from owners and trainers,” he said. “Nominations for the Friday-Sunday meetings held up very well with the time-graded fixtures on Fridays proving to be popular with participants.”

The time-grading concept, likely to be soon introduced in several other states, endeavours to group greyhounds of a similar ability together in races and has given them the opportunity of finding winning form again.

And as Shepheard pointed out, the MGGRC had been keen to introduce innovative forms of racing in order that participants had been able to gain starts with their greyhounds.

“We started with Pathway racing for dogs that were running outside a certain time and also ran Masters events for older greyhounds in order that they could stay on the track longer.”

But, according to Shepheard, it appears likely that the time-graded format will replace Pathway and Masters events.

“We’re now at a stage where not too many greyhounds are missing out on a start and this is good. And participants like the idea of all greyhounds receiving prizemoney in the time-graded races which are framed on a ‘worst to best’ basis for maiden through to grade five greyhounds.

“GRSA is now keen to take time-grading to another level and as a result on June 16 the meeting will be grouped into three categories – maiden, one to four wins and five wins and over.”

December will be the busiest month in the new racing season with eight meetings being run, the main one being Sunday, December 24 which will feature the Christmas Cup, Royal Fashion Maiden and the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet.

The time-honoured Anniversary Cup will be run on Sunday, July 23 and complemented by the John Reid Memorial Maiden and the Eric Lewis Memorial over 600 metres.

And the 2018 $20,000 Listed Mount Gambier Cup is set down to be run in late February and early March although this may change in order to avoid a clash with the Mount Gambier Harness Racing Gold Cup.

The MGGRC is also working in with GRSA in a bid to revamp the SA Country Cup and run the final at Angle Park on the night of the Adelaide Cup.

 

BELATED BIRTHDAY PRESENT

The wins of Cheyenne Black and Two Jobs at Tara Raceway on Sunday gave Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst his first double this year and also a belated birthday present after he turned 65 a few days ago.

For Brodhurst and his wife Valerie, who are popular regulars at Tara Raceway, Cheyenne Black’s win broke an exasperating run of four consecutive seconds when she was successful in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 metres).

Valerie and David Brodhurst with grade six final winner Two Jobs.

But the black bitch’s chances of winning her first race since last December took a hit soon after box rise when she copped a fair sort of check.

Off the back, though, she was back in the race and giving chase after Bob Wombwell’s front-running Red River Rufus who was looking to make it a hat-trick of wins.

And in the home straight it was Cheyenne Black who finished full of running to defeat Ridd’s Flyer by 1¾ lengths with Red River Rufus holding on for third spot in 23.58 seconds.

By Cosmic Chief x Eva’s Flame, a winner of 11 races from 107 starts, Cheyenne Black, who found her way down to Serviceton in November 2015 via Lewiston trainer Don Turner, has now won nine races for Brodhurst.

The easy-going trainer still hasn’t worked out how Two Jobs’ turnaround in form came about after her Tara Raceway efforts earlier in the year had Brodhurst reaching for the phone book and the Greyhound Adoption Program’s number.

“She’s another one that had come down from Don,” Brodhurst said. “But to be honest, her Tara Raceway form for the first four months of this year had been awful.

“He suggested I find someone to give her to or try the GAP. As luck would have it, time-graded racing was about to commence and no one was more surprised than me when she came out and won over 512 metres in a best of day 30.21 seconds.”

By Cosmic Rumble out of the unraced Enlightment, Two Jobs then ran the promising Miss Legality – all at sea at The Meadows last Wednesday – to 4¼ lengths before finishing a strong second behind Lady Vixyma in a grade six heat (512 m) last week.

The fawn bitch, after drawing box one in Sunday’s final, settled in second spot behind odds-on favourite Swift Limes before finding the front off the back and running away to a 2½ length win over Yaramundi Domino in 30.40 seconds.

Sunday’s double continued Brodhurst’s good run at Tara Raceway with his small team. He has now accumulated 43 points and sits in 16th spot on the Leading Trainers’ list.

And Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott, successful at Gawler on Tuesday with Mo Town Roy, ended a rewarding week when the diminutive Panalo was successful in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m) on Sunday afternoon.

By Cosmic Rumble out of Wentworth Park winner Tifia, Panalo, another greyhound earmarked for GAP after some indifferent performances, took the lead off the back and finished strongly to defeat OK Ollie by 3¼ lengths in 30.59 seconds.

Panalo’s win was Abbott’s first with the black bitch who tips the scales at around 24 kilograms. Her last win had been in November last year when successful in a maiden event at Ipswich.


Litter displays a touch of class

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wins by litter brothers Swift Limes and Swift Moment at Tara Raceway last Sunday saw their dam, Which Class, move further ahead on the local leading dams’ list.

And while Swift Limes was impressive enough in winning a heat of the grade six series over 512 metres it was Swift Moment who really set the track alight in the winningformula.net.au Mixed Stake (512 m).

By Swift Fancy, the September 2015 whelping had crossed from box eight by the time the field approached the back straight and from then on he simply powered away for an effortless 4¼ length win over Chilly Kiss and Col’s Wallett.

Handler Steve Patzel with Swift Moment after his quick 29.82 seconds run at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Swift Moment’s time of 29.82 seconds was the fastest run at Tara Raceway since Fabregal’s 29.78 seconds in this year’s Mount Gambier Cup. Not a bad effort for a 35 kilogram pup having only his tenth race start.

Compton owner-trainer Tracie Price was also suitably impressed and said he was now looking at the possibility of placing the black dog in Adelaide with a view to contesting July’s Champion Puppy Classic (515 m) at Angle Park.

The time-honoured classic, which has been conducted continuously for 36 years, is for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2015 and as such Swift Moment would be well placed from an age point of view.

Which Class is by Bombastic Shiraz out of Cosmic Goddess which makes her a half-sister to Cosmic Chief, a former champion on the track and now a leading sire.

Robert Chuck, of Moorak, purchased her late in 2010 after she had won a maiden heat and final over 390 metres at Ballarat and then sent her to race in WA where she won on four occasions at Mandurah before ending her 36-start career with a 400 metre win at Tara Raceway.

He later mated Which Class with Superman, the speedy Scorpion (currently six wins from 25 starts) being one of the litter, along with Tara Raceway winners Galactic Fox, Krypton Queen and Speedy Gonzales.

Due to time and space constraints, Chuck then farmed out Which Class to Price who used Swift Fancy, a prolific producing son of Collision for a second litter.

Three-race winner Baz’s Moment is another member of the litter as is Galactic Spirit who Chuck received as a pup as part of the breeding deal with Price.

Galactic Spirit won her first three races – all over 400 metres – at Tara Raceway in March-April and returns on Sunday after a six-week break from the race track to contest the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m) from box one.

But after only two litters the leading local dam’s breeding days are over with Which Class now leading of life of leisure after being placed into the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).

 

TWO IN A ROW FOR THE TRACKMAN

Tara Raceway trackman Tim Manterfield with Azumi Spice after her win last Sunday.

Worrolong-trained Azumi Spice, after taking 14 runs to open her winning account on May 14, quickly followed up with another impressive short course effort at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Stepping up to grade six company in the Berringa Park Stake (400 m), the black bitch was suited by box eight and quickly worked into second spot behind Summer Raine before finishing powerfully out wide to score by 2½ lengths in a handy time of 23.25 seconds.

By Cosmic Chief out of Azumi Touch, Azumi Spice is raced by Lee and Steve Bartholomew in partnership with their daughter Elysia and her partner Tim Manterfield.

And Manterfield, who is the Tara Raceway trackman, couldn’t jump off the Kubota quick enough in order to greet the winner upon her return and bask in the glory of a second win in as many weeks.

There could be more tractor jump-offs coming up, too, with the Steve Bartholomew trained strong-finishing bitch looking likely to be even better suited once switched to 512 metre racing.

Interestingly, as the trackman pointed out, Azumi Spice’s racing pattern is in direct contrast to that of her dam, Azumi Touch, whose 16 wins were all over the short course at Tara Raceway and Angle Park.

To follow for Azumi Touch is a litter, now 11 months old, by Dyna Tron.


The day Ashton’s circus rolled into town

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

When Charlton greyhound trainer Kevin Ashton and his partner Jan Neil headed off at some ungodly hour last Sunday morning to Tara Raceway – travelling trainers must love 11 a.m. race starts – they certainly wouldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams how the day was ultimately going to pan out.

Jan Neil and Kevin Ashton with Lady Vixyma after her Tara Raceway win last Sunday.

The couple has been making the four hour trip over to Mount Gambier on a regular basis this year with Ashton doing pretty well – eight winners and currently sitting in thirteenth spot on the leading trainers’ list.

The front-running Cullquin Nikki looked Ashton’s best chance on Sunday and after she had finished third behind Big Rough and Cee Jay’s Heart in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (600 metres) that looked to be about his lot.

Fair enough, he still had Lady Vixyma and Carrara Lad to come later in the day although surely they were only in their respective races to make up the numbers.

After all, Lady Vixyma’s record stood at one win from 53 starts and that win had come close to 18 months ago while rising five-year-old Carrara Lad’s last win had been in July last year.

A reserve at Friday’s meeting, Lady Vixyma lined up from box three in Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m), the second heat of a grade six series. But this was no time-graded race and as such the daughter of Kinloch Brae x Abby Shiraz was a $44 chance on the tote.

Jan Neil and Carrara Lad.

Reputations counted for nothing though. She went straight to the front, took advantage of first-turn interference and then never really looked like getting beaten, although Two Jobs finished well for a half-length second in 30.40 seconds.

Then Carrara Lad – a $52 tote chance – came out in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m), on the back of a third placing at Friday’s meeting, to virtually lead all the way from box six and hold out Monster Deeds to win by three-quarters of a length in a personal best time of 23.43 seconds.

Has there ever been a longer-priced training double on a greyhound track than this one? We’ll make the call and say probably not.

For sure, the circus had come to town and ringmaster Kevin Ashton well and truly cracked the whip under the big top at Tara Raceway.

 

BACK TO BACK WINS FOR ANTI DENTITE

While not of lot of greyhounds front up twice at Tara Raceway double-header meetings, even fewer manage to win on both days.

Anti Dentite . . . on a winning streak.

Anti Dentite, successful over 512 metres on the Friday and then over 400 metres on Sunday, became the first to go back to back since Connie Miller’s pair Bushman’s Faith and Lady Vixyma (then trained by Miller) ran the quinella on both August 26 and 28 last year.

The son of Turanza Bale and Sister Ping quickly found the front from box eight in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m) before engaging in a spirited battle with Lektra Ash, eventually winning by a length in 30.35 seconds.

And then two days later he finished strongly over the short course in the ClassicBet Mixed Stake to defeat Aston Morris by 1½ lengths in a quick 23.18 seconds.

Whelped in June 2013, Anti Dentite’s win on Sunday was his thirtieth from 103 starts and took his stake earnings to more than $70,000, the majority of that being won on Queensland tracks.

In fact, he’s a widely-travelled greyhound, having raced at Ipswich, Capalaba, Albion Park, The Meadows, Lismore, Casino, Grafton, Angle Park and Gawler prior to Allendale East trainer David Peckham taking him on as a giveaway early this year.

Anti Dentite, who has now won six races at Tara Raceway, will be attempting a hat-trick when he lines up from box one in the Berringa Park Free For All (400 m) on Sunday afternoon.

 

CHUCK SET TO MAKE AMENDS

Moyston greyhound Chuck McIvor looks well placed in Sunday’s Greyhound-Data.com final and is set to make amends for his defeat as an odds-on favourite in last week’s second heat of the grade six series over 512 metres.

Jumping from box one, the fawn son of Bella Infrared and Blonde Caviar all but came down on his nose in a rough-house run to the first turn before working home well to finish four lengths behind Lady Vixyma and Two Jobs in 30.40 seconds.

The final will see the Peter Franklin trained Chuck McIvor jump from the eight, a box that he has won from at Tara Raceway.

The David Brodhurst trained Two Jobs, who impressed with a 10 length 30.21 seconds time-graded win earlier this month, found herself well back early in last Sunday’s heat but worked home well and looks well suited in box one.

And Swift Limes, winner of the first heat in 30.27 seconds, has also drawn well in box two and should ensure the pace is on from the outset.


Serving up a bit of everything

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A trainer wins his first race at the track. Another trainer sees his greyhound finally run up to the form he knew it was capable of. The “Bear” wins his first race in 12 months. And a giveaway picked up off an internet greyhound site is successful in a best of day time.

Just another Friday meeting at Tara Raceway where 10 of the 11 races were time-graded.

Handler Mo Canala and Brendan McKenna with Oddball Quick, his first Tara Raceway winner.

Ecklin South trainer Brendan McKenna landed his first winner at Tara Raceway when Oddball Quick, on the back of two recent handy second placings, went right on with the job in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 metres).

Raced in the names of his children Olivia, 11, and Cooper, 6, Oddball Quick quickly found a forward spot from box six before taking the lead off the back and then holding out a fast-finishing Flash Deeds to win by a half head in 23.60 seconds.

The win was something of a family affair with the son of Billy The Sid x Troublemaker Bay being bred at Koroit by McKenna’s mother Carolyn who often makes the trip over to Mount Gambier with her husband Gerald.

Billy The Sid, a winner of 12 races and $40,000, boasts a pretty handy brother in Take It All who won 26 races, including the 2013 Darwin Cup, and $130,000 in prizemoney, while Troublemaker Bay was unraced.

Gerald actually had litter brother Cheetah Bay engaged in the same race on Friday but had to be content with a sixth placing behind his son and grandchildren’s dog.

A maiden 390 metre winner at Warrnambool in March, Oddball Quick is the third member of the litter to have won – Rosie Bay winning her maiden over 400 metres at Tara Raceway in January last year prior to Cheetah Bay opening his winning account four months later.

Involved with greyhounds for more than 10 years, McKenna, 40, made special mention of long-time Ecklin South owner-trainer-breeder Sam Bamford whom he said had been a big help in getting Oddball Quick to the track.

Penshurst trainer John Cameron with maiden winner Macarthur Road.

Macarthur Road, who had been beaten by some big margins at her only six unplaced race starts, was a $26 chance in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m) – the only race to carry normal prizemoney.

But Penshurst trainer John Cameron always reckoned that the 24 kilogram bitch, a $700 purchase at five months of age, had ability but just hadn’t had any luck in her races.

“In the end I sent her to the Koroit breaking-in track for a week of confidence-boosting re-education to see whether that would work,” he said.

As it turned out, it could well have been a winning move because she flew the start from box two and was never headed, running out a two length winner over Hong Shen in 30.67 seconds.

By the 2012 National Derby winner Sure As out of former Tara Raceway 400 metre record holder Spin A Yarn, Macarthur Road – the litter’s first winner – was bred at Rupanyup by Kath Brooks and is raced by Cameron’s brother Philip, of Geelong.

Glencoe trainer Barry Shepheard’s good year continued when the four-year-old Arbour Bear led all the way in the Berringa Park Stake (400 m) to easily defeat his rising five-year-old kennelmate Jett Setter by 3½ lengths in 23.40 seconds – another example of how time-grading is keeping older greyhounds in the system for a longer period.

Yaramundi Domino is another giveaway greyhound that has won at Tara Raceway for owner Amanda Darmanin and trainer Ralph Patzel.

By Cosmic Rumble out of Shepheard’s 2010 Mount Gambier Cup winner Kirkstall Jane, the 35½ kilogram Arbour Bear broke a long run of outs with his last win being 12 months ago when he defeated Small Spring in a 400 metre grade five event.

At the end of Friday’s meeting, Shepheard was sitting in fourth spot on the Leading Trainers’ list with 12 wins, 15 seconds and 12 thirds.

And local owner Amanda Darmanin’s passion for scouring internet sites in order to seek out giveaway greyhounds paid off again when Yaramundi Domino – previously a winner of five races on Victorian and Adelaide tracks – won the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m).

Trained in Mount Gambier by Ralph Patzel, Yaramundi Domino was only fairly away from box eight but railed through down the back before finishing too strongly for Rose Limes, winning by three lengths in a best of day 30.28 seconds.

In Patzel’s kennel since early April, the black dog is by sparingly-used sire Uncle Remus who raced on 82 occasions on Adelaide tracks for an impressive record of 26 wins and 28 minor placings.

 

KEV LANDS LONGEST-PRICED TRAINING DOUBLE

It was a day of doubles at Tara Raceway on Sunday with Nicole Stanley, Tracie Price, Monty Wilson and Kevin Ashton dominating the 12-race card.

Doubles are nothing new as far as Stanley and Price are concerned as they continue their battle for Leading Trainer honours at Tara Raceway while for Wilson, even though two winners in one day don’t crop up all that regularly, he’s still having a pretty good year.

But Ashton’s double with Lady Vixyma and Carrara Lad was something else – at tote odds of $44.80 and $55.20 respectively the longest-priced training double ever recorded at Tara Raceway.

 

LOCALS CHASING CITY SUCCESS

Local owner Dion Pannenburg was all smiles at Tara Raceway on Sunday after the run of Don Lesta at Shepparton the previous night.

Raced by the Southern Bar Boys Syndicate, of which Pannenburg is a member, the Victorian-trained Don Lesta ran a terrific race to pick up a cool $7000 when finishing second to Sure To Excite in the Listed Northern Districts Cup final (450 m).

Tarpeena trainer David Williams and Pannenburg will now head to The Meadows on Wednesday with Don Lesta’s litter sister Miss Legality.

By Red Lesta x Rellim Lilly, Miss Legality, who has drawn box five in a grade five event over 525 metres, will go into the race in good form after winning her past three starts in impressive fashion at Tara Raceway.


Slim continues to defy the odds

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Local trainer Tracie Price is still wondering where that 29.83 seconds run of Shannah’s Might – or Slim as he is known as around the Compton kennels – came from last Sunday at Tara Raceway.

Not that he’s complaining about the best of day time that actually ended up being the black dog’s fastest since his maiden win two years ago.

Karen Price pictured with Shannah’s Might after his 29.83 seconds win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Even though the 35 kilogram son of Fear Zafonic and Shannah’s Star had won only a grade five 512 metre event in something like four months his starting price of $26 in Sunday’s Rock’s Retreat Free For All (512 m) was probably still a little over the odds.

A fair bit over the odds as it turned out. By the time Slim had taken the lead down the back straight he was on his way to victory and starting to look like the Shannah’s Might of old.

Sunday’s success took his record to 14 wins and 18 minor placings from 53 starts for prizemoney just short of $14,000. It’s a record, though, that could have been so much better.

Back in May 2015, at only his second race start, the two-year-old Shannah’s Might ran one of the fastest maiden times recorded at Tara Raceway when winning by 11 lengths in 29.77 seconds.

But several months later he suffered what looked to be a career-ending injury after a three-race winning streak at Angle Park.

“It was a real blow,” Price recalled this week. “At the time he’d won eight races and had the potential to be anything before a cracked hock resulted in him being off the scene for six months.

“For sure, it’s been a battle because later we ran into tendon problems with him, hence the bandages he now wears when racing. And although he’d won a further five races after returning from the long break, Sunday’s run really came from nowhere and was his best effort in a long time.”

He is now engaged in Sunday’s Klaassens Contractors Open Stake (512 m) with his trainer not writing off another trip to Angle Park if the form holds up.

Shannah’s Might is owned locally by Don Nunn who also bred the litter which has now won 48 races. A second litter, by Fabregas, is currently being broken-in.

Shannah’s Might pictured after his 11 length maiden win in 29.77 seconds at Tara Raceway in May 2015.

Price’s outstanding run with his own breed continued in the last race when Dimora Bekim (Bekim Bale x Lucy’s Moment) won the ClassicBet Stake (400 m) for the Bouchier brothers while a couple of nights later litter brother Blazing Moment returned from a spell to win at Mandurah in WA for the Moment Syndicate and trainer Krystal Shinners.

Interestingly, Lucy’s Moment recently whelped a litter of six to the beautifully bred Master Havoc (Head Honcho x Wee Sal) after Price was able to obtain a straw for the 23-race winner who last raced 17 years ago.

There’s also much anticipation out at Compton at the moment as former top bitch Who’s Doing What’s first youngsters – by Fabregas – are now at breaking-in stage.

Who’s Doing What, a winner of 16 races, also has a second litter – by Knocka Norris – which was whelped in September 2016.

And Price reports another interesting pick-up from a brood bitch point of view in the form of Headline, formerly trained by Keith Hellmuth of Peter Rocket fame.

By Barcia Bale x Raya Riot, Headline won 16 races, including middle-distance events at The Meadows and Sandown Park, for more than $50,000 in prizemoney.

“What I like about her is the pedigree,” Price said. “On the dam’s side she traces back through Holly’s Gem and Intangible Gem to Emma’s Gem, a daughter of Tangairn and the legendary Hall Of Fame bitch Sydney Gem.”


Local club leading the way

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Racing returns to Tara Raceway on Friday with 10 of the 11 races being time-graded non-penalty events in what will be a lead-in to the Sunday weekly meeting.

Time-grading, which sets out to group greyhounds of the same ability, was introduced at Tara Raceway last month and has been well received by owners and trainers who are appreciating the increased opportunities of gaining a race start against comparable opposition and that all runners receive prizemoney.

Shaun Mathieson . . . “No dog too slow for racing”.

Shaun Mathieson, the racing manager of Greyhound Racing SA, said this week that nationally SA was leading the way with the time-grading concept.

“The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is now running time-graded races at its fortnightly Friday fixtures while Angle Park in Adelaide is running these types of races once a month on a Monday and Wednesday.

“The concept now has other states looking at time-grading with Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania keen to trial the format using the Mount Gambier and Angle Park criteria.

“We believe that time-grading fairly groups greyhounds of all abilities with no dog being considered too slow for racing.”

But time-grading is still in trial mode and as such a different format will be tried at Tara Raceway’s Friday, June 16 meeting when, except for maidens, greyhounds’ grades will not be considered.

“For this non-penalty meeting greyhounds will be graded into three categories – maidens, 1-4 wins and five or more wins with the ‘worst to best’ rating still applying along with Pathway prizemoney,” Mathieson said.

Peter Byrne is hoping a time-graded run on Friday can turn around the fortunes of Arabella Figg.

Tara Raceway’s time-graded meetings on Friday, June 2 and Friday, June 30 will be graded as has been the case previously with each grade assessed separately.

You never know what a time-graded meeting is going to throw up and tomorrow’s is no exception – Arabella Figg being a case in point.

She’s the bitch who a couple of months ago stormed into the Mount Gambier Cup final for Southern Cross trainer Peter Byrne with an upset heat win and then, at even longer odds, ran the flying Fabregal to two lengths when finishing second in a race record 29.78 seconds.

Fabregal has since ran a close second in the Traralgon Cup final and more recently strung four wins together at Traralgon, The Meadows and Sandown Park as her prizemoney creeps close to $200,000.

Arabella Figg, on the other hand, has since won  only a 600 metre event at Tara Raceway and tomorrow finds herself jumping from box two in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake, a grade five time-graded event over 512 metres.

Brazen Bomber defeats Old Jock and Fireball Jack in last year’s Koroit 600.

This could be just the sort of confidence-boosting race she needs to get back on track.

And speaking of Peter Byrne. The popular owner of the Koroit trial track will once again sponsor the Koroit 600, a 0-4 wins feature to be run next month over 600 metres.

Heats of the event will be run on Sunday, June 18 with the final – which also carries to the winner a four-week breaking-in package at the Koroit track – to be decided a week later.

Last year’s inaugural Koroit 600 was won by the Jeff Guy trained Brazen Bomber who defeated Old Jock and Fireball Jack in a time of 35.33 seconds.

 

ANOTHER LITTER FOR EX-RECORD HOLDER

Local breeder David Peckham reports that former Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder Striking Viking this week whelped a litter of three to the former superstar Dyna Double One.

Striking Viking’s three pups look to be doing well.

A winner of 15 races, Striking Viking was the inaugural middle-distance record holder with a time of 35.38 seconds which was recorded on November 30, 2014.

For the daughter of Superman x Irish Fantasy, this was her second litter, her first being by Barcia Bale – also the sire of Dyna Double One – and now 12 months old.

Also out at Allendale East is a two-month-old litter by Barcia Bale out of Striking Viking’s litter sister Thanks Tubby who has held the Tara Raceway 512 metre record at 29.60 seconds for the past three years.

Striking Viking’s litter is the third to be whelped at Peckham and Connie Miller’s Bourne Kennels this year with Young Gunner producing two dog pups by Shakey Jakey in February.


Trainers wrap up big week with Tara Raceway wins

Monday, May 15, 2017

Wins by McIvor Neville and Blazin’ Vicky in the middle-distance events at Tara Raceway on Sunday wrapped up a big week for Moyston greyhound trainer Peter Franklin and also Cap Abbott of Edenhope.

Turned out a treat by Franklin, McIvor Neville was a $2.80 favourite for the Williams Crane Hire Stake (600 metres) and although slowly away from box four the fawn son of Bella Infrared and Blonde Caviar was in front by the time the field raced into the back straight.

The Peter Franklin trained McIvor Neville could be city-bound after an impressive 600 metre win on Sunday.

From then on, favourite punters were always on good terms with themselves as McIvor Neville powered away to eventually win by 8¾ lengths in 35.31 seconds, a time bettered only once this year – by Gargle It in 35.15 seconds on March 10.

The win followed success for owner Barry Priest and Franklin at Bendigo on Wednesday when McIvor Neville’s litter sister McIvor Verna displayed her ability to also run over a bit of ground with an impressive win as a $1.80 favourite in a testing 660 metres 0 to 4 wins event in 37.95 seconds.

In fact, so impressive was her win that Priest later refused an offer for the 30 kilogram fawn bitch who won her maiden at Tara Raceway last month when defeating seasoned performer Cryer’s Jack in a Mixed 3/4/5 Stake over 600 metres.

Speaking after Sunday’s win, Franklin said he was now considering taking McIvor Neville, a winner of five races from 13 starts, to Angle Park.

“With his tendency to get well back early in his races I reckon he could be suited to the 731 metres at Angle Park where more often than not these types of races are run with smaller fields.”

Blazin’ Vicky put in a determined effort in the following event, the Gordon Refrigeration Mixed Stake (600 m), finding the front early and then defying all challengers – and there were plenty of them – to run her down.

A $17 chance, the daughter of Razldazl Jayfkay and New Year’s Punch held on to defeat Stylish Pursuit by a neck with Cryer’s Jack a similar margin back in third spot in a time of 35.55 seconds.

Cap Abbott with Blazin’ Vicky, an Angle Park winner last week prior to winning at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

At Angle Park last week, Blazin’ Vicky had taken the lead down the back straight in a 515 metre event before running away to a 7¼ length win at the nice odds of $26.

And Abbott was also serving up longshot winners at Strathalbyn last Friday when $20 chance Judge Jed won a grade six final over 416 metres by 3½ lengths in 24.37 seconds.

Meanwhile, later in the day, Miss Legality brought up her third successive win at Tara Raceway when leading all the way in the JB Irrigation Stake (512 m).

Raced by local owners Dion Pannenburg and Lyle Radan, and trained at Tarpeena by David Williams, Miss Legality clocked a smart 30.11 seconds to win what was a pretty handy grade six affair.

By Red Lesta x Rellim Lilly, the black bitch is a litter sister to Print The Money, who Pannenburg also has a share in through his involvement with the Southern Bar Boys Syndicate.

Trained in Victoria by Michelle Mallia-Magri, Print The Money won a heat last week of a Restricted Win (520 m) at Cranbourne and has drawn box seven in Wednesday night’s final.

 

MARSHMAN AIMS FOR ANOTHER FEATURE WIN

Heathmere trainer Garry Marshman is now looking to head to Bendigo on Friday with Shotgun Doll after her win in Sunday’s Allestree Holiday Units Feature Grade Five final (400 m).

Shotgun Doll, winner of the Allestree Holiday Units Feature Grade 5 final, pictured with trainer Garry Marshman, of Heathmere.

A $1.65 favourite on the strength of an impressive heat win and drawing box one in the final, Shotgun Doll led all the way to score by three-quarters of a length over the consistent Baz’s Moment with Fascinated a further two lengths back in third spot in a time 23.31 seconds.

The daughter of Collision and Flaming Doll has now won nine races and close to $17,000 in stakemoney for Marshman and fellow part-owner Clinton Jonasson of Warracknabeal.

Marshman hopes to build on that stakemoney when Shotgun Doll runs in a heat of a GRV Vic Bred Series over 425 metres at Bendigo on Friday and then hopefully qualifies for Friday week’s $3050-to-the-winner final.

Shotgun Doll’s half-sister Smouldering Doll (by Bekim Bale), a winner at The Meadows, is in pup to Magic Sprite and is due to whelp later this month at Warracknabeal.

 

NOTHING SUSPICIOUS ABOUT THIS WIN

Long-time trainer Connie Miller, of Allendale East, landed her first winner this year when prolific placegetter Suspicious Col brought up his second win in 32 starts in the winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m).

Connie Miller and handler John Little with Suspicious Col.

By Dyna Tron out of multiple Angle Park winner Suspicious Tina, the lightly-framed black dog railed through down the back to take the lead after an average start from box six before comfortably holding out Oddball Quick and Money Monster for a 23.51 seconds win.

Miller, who took over Suspicious Col last month after Rebecca Smith and Lizzie Boers had previously trained the 27 kilogram dog, said he wasn’t the greatest of kennel dogs.

“But they’re always a bit more tolerable after they win a race,” she said.

Sunday’s win was her first since Bushman’s Faith had been successful at Tara Raceway on December 18 last year.

And Miller’s now looking forward to soon having Bushman’s Faith back racing after winning seven races at the local track last year with the son of Magic Sprite x Cin Cin Shiraz.


Transport service to benefit local participants

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Greyhound transport services catering for the South East have come and gone over the years with participants more often than not hamstrung by a lack of a reliable means of moving their greyhounds in and out of the region.

As such, they welcomed the announcement last week of the newly-introduced On The Lure Transport which is run by Lance Simpson.

Simpson, who also works for Palmer trainer Michael Stewart, was at Tara Raceway last Sunday and outlined plans for the new service which also includes the transportation of straws.

Lance Simpson, of On The Lure Transport, pictured at Tara Raceway last Sunday with the Michael Stewart trained Queen Rachel.

“It’s been a while coming but we’d been waiting on delivery of our new eight-dog air-conditioned trailer. Anyway, we’re up and running with a weekly service from SA to Victoria via Mount Gambier now operational.

“On The Lure Transport, which will offer a safe and reliable service, certainly looks forward to working in with South East owners and trainers who for some time now have been crying out for a means of transporting their greyhounds.”

Ostensibly at Tara Raceway to handle several Stewart-trained dogs, Simpson took the opportunity to promote On The Lure Transport while at the same time leading in a winner for Stewart – Queen Rachel in the Gambier Vets Stake (600 metres).

Well drawn in box eight, Queen Rachel, who had won over 591 metres at Port Augusta last month, used plenty of the track throughout but still had plenty in reserve when finishing powerfully to defeat Big Rough by 2¼ lengths in 35.75 seconds.

Owned at Woodcroft by Paul Chester, Queen Rachel, who has now won four races, was purchased as a maiden late last year from the Dailly Greyhound Farms in Victoria.

Racecaller Ray Fewings was touting her as an ideal 732 metre type after the win and he could be on the money judging by her pedigree – Barcia Bale out of Queen Bluebird who is from the Bombastic Shiraz x Winsome Bluebird litter that also includes former champion stayer Miata.

The win completed a couple of good days for Stewart who on the Saturday had won the Whyalla Cup (591 m) in 35.97 seconds at Port Augusta with 129-start veteran Scottish Thistle, a daughter of Cosmic Chief and Flying Molly.

For On The Lure Transport enquiries, Lance Simpson can be contacted on 0412 415 529.

 

AN INTERESTING FIRST STARTER

An interesting first starter at Tara Raceway on Sunday is the Nicole Stanley trained Vision Of Beauty who will jump from box one in the Berringa Park Maiden Stake (512 m).

By Return The King, the March 2015 black bitch is out of the widely-travelled Jean Jeannie who raced on 41 occasions for 17 wins, 12 minor placings and more than $82,000 in prizemoney.

Jean Jeannie, who raced in Australia and the UK, is the dam of Sunday first starter Vision Of Beauty.

An SA-bred daughter of Surf Lorian x Flickering Lady, Jean Jeannie won 14 races on SA and Victorian tracks in 2009 before her owner returned to the UK and took her with him.

In the hands of legendary trainer Charlie Lister, she raced in the UK on six occasions during April-July 2010 for one win and five minor placings before resuming racing at the end of the year in Australia where she won a further two races in early 2011 at Warrnambool (650 m) and Sandown Park (715 m).

Stanley has enjoyed previous success with the Jean Jeannie breed, winning the 2014 John Reid Memorial at Tara Raceway with Eylandt Princess (by Bekim Bale).

Meanwhile, Peter Franklin’s cups king Mojito Mayhem returns to his favourite track on the back of a six length third to Barry Bomber over 500 metres at Bendigo last Friday.

He’ll take on Blitz And Bolt, a tearaway leader in the Greyhound of the Year, in the Rock’s Retreat Free For All (512 m). Adding further interest to the race will be Zuma Creek who lost no friends with his excellent second behind Blitz And Bolt last Sunday.