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, August 17, 2016
Lektra Ash, the second fastest of the eight qualifiers at Tara Raceway last Friday afternoon, will go into Sunday’s Banjo Boy Winter Classic final (512 metres) in new ownership after being purchased by Team Williams (Allen and David Williams).
The Tarpeena-based father and son team took over the black dog after he had run second to his litter sister Lektra Lucy, owned and trained at Toolong by Phil Lenehan, in the first heat of the age-restricted series.
Having only her second race start, and her first at Tara Raceway, the 28 kilogram Lektra Lucy led all the way to defeat her brother – which had moved into second spot down the back straight – by 1½ lengths in 30.39 seconds.
As far as the final goes, Allen Williams will be hoping for a case of third time lucky with Lektra Ash after Dr Danny had run second to Stylish Moment in the inaugural classic in 2014 and Lika Rockstar third behind Cee Me Burst and Houdini Spell last year – both winners being trained by Tracie Price.
Also through to the final from the first heat are the Nicole Stanley trained Ashdene Lass, a winner of two races at the track, and first starter Blitz And Bolt from David Peckham’s Allendale East kennels.
Ashdene Lass worked home reasonably well after showing early pace while Blitz And Bolt had little luck and should be better for the run.
Hay Miss, recent winner of the John Reid Memorial, was an even money favourite from box eight in the second heat but looked to be in a bit of bother as To The Choppar led the field into the back straight.
By mid-race, though, Lektra Munster had opened up a handy break with the Stanley-trained Hay Miss giving chase and eventually running down the leader to score by the narrowest of margins in 30.78 seconds.
The effort of Lektra Munster, a strapping 34 kilogram black dog and having only his second race start, pleased owner-trainer Lenehan who believed the youngster would be further improved by the run.
To The Choppar’s effort to hang on to third spot and qualify for the $3000 final also pleased Mortlake owner-trainer Paul Herry who purchased the August 2014 daughter of El Grand Senor x Chilly Patch as a pup from breeder Allen Williams at Tarpeena.
Making up the final eight is the Price trained I’m Hearing Ya which was doing her best work at the finish.
Two litters now hold a strong hand in the final with October 2014 whelpings Lektra Lucy, Lektra Ash and Lektra Munster being by Fabregas x Supreme Vision while Hay Miss and Ashdene Lass are from the August 2014 mating of Bekim Bale x Miss Stackhouse.
And following the draw for Sunday’s meeting Stanley fared well with Ashdene Lass and Hay Miss drawing boxes one and eight respectively while Lektra Ash, Lektra Lucy and Lektra Munster will jump from two, three and four.
ASHTON’S GOOD RUN CONTINUES
Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton continued on his winning way at Tara Raceway last Friday when Secret Mantra won his first race in 12 months and Saintly Miss took time honours in the heats of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five (512 metres).
This was his second training double in the space of a fortnight after Johnny Jaffa and Carrara Lad had been successful at Tara Raceway’s extra meeting on July 31.
Saintly Miss’s win was her first at the local track in more than 12 months and only her second this year after winning at Bendigo in late January.
But the black bitch had signalled a return to form the previous week when turning in a good effort to finish third behind Mo Town Roy.
That form subsequently held up in the first heat of the feature as Saintly Miss took over the running down the back straight from Crazy Sprite and then held off a fast finishing Fascinated to win in 30.38 seconds.
The win was the ninth for Saintly Miss, a litter sister to Harry Aztec which Ashton trained to win last year’s Eric Lewis Memorial at Tara Raceway. He’s now looking at breeding with the 3½-year-old daughter of Aston Galilee and Prince’s Faye once her racing days are over.
And there’s certainly not much wrong with the pedigree with a couple of other littermates being Sandown Park and The Meadows winner Hogganaught and Sapphire Crown Group 1 winner Naralee which won 17 races from 34 starts for $145,000 in stakemoney.
Fascinated put in her best run for a while for Penshurst owner-trainer John Cameron when running Saintly Miss to a couple of lengths and qualifying for Sunday’s final.
Purchased as a pup by Cameron from Portland breeder Cass Billington, Fascinated is by Hutmaker out of the ill-fated Spellbound which raced on 115 occasions in three states for 24 wins and 33 minor placings.
Spellbound, which recently lost a battle with cancer, was one of the better greyhounds racing around Tara Raceway in 2013 when trained by Billington who currently is pursuing other interests.
Future Past made it two wins in succession at Tara Raceway for trainer Peter Franklin – but only just.
Jumping from box six in the second heat, Future Past took over the running from Cheyenne Black turning for home and then in a desperate finish held out the fast finishing Homer and Julie’s Love in 30.53 seconds.
The final heat was run in driving rain with Dean Fennell’s Stampy Longnose weathering the storm after getting the better of litter sister Smirnoff Lass and charging home for a four length win in 30.49 seconds.
Fear Helvetia, originally a reserve for the final after running third behind Stampy Longnose, gained a start when Future Past was scratched prior to the draw on Tuesday and now looks well placed in box one for Coleraine owner-trainer Robert Wombwell.
Monday, August 15, 2016
For Mumbannar trainer Monty Wilson it’s now been close on 12 months since he enjoyed his first feature race success on a greyhound track.
That was with Boolite Bruiser which dead-heated in the Berringa Park Iron Dog three-distance series with the Richard Clayfield trained Upset Boy.
The white and black dog had come to Wilson’s kennels via Jason Thomson of Boolite, a small wheat farming town near Warracknabeal.
And now he’s looking at this year’s Iron Dog with the Warracknabeal bred Kylan Brae which continued the successful Thomson-Wilson association with a win in Friday’s Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m).
Kylan Brae turned in a big effort to open his winning account at his eighth start when storming home after being last early to run down tearaway leader Cee Righty and win by two lengths in 30.56 seconds.
According to Wilson, much of the credit for the win has to go to his wife Jen who also now owns the son of Kinloch Brae and Sionara Milly (which raced on only six occasions for three third placings).
“When he first arrived eight months ago he was so timid that we struggled to get him out of his kennel but over time he has responded to Jen’s efforts with him and he is now a different dog.
“Also, he has benefited from frequent gallops on the Tara Raceway slipping track – a terrific innovation on the part of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.”
Kylan Brae does, however, still have an issue with the hurly-burly of the catching area at the end of a race, sometimes taking off from his designated catcher before being rounded-up on the other side of the track.
But Wilson can live with the idiosyncrasy, believing that Kylan Brae has a future as a middle-distance performer.
“I’ve always been of the opinion that he would be better suited over a bit more ground and he certainly finished the race off well today,” he said.
“I reckon the Iron Dog would be good fit for him with the first round being over 600 metres, followed by the 400 metre dash and then a 512 metre final.”
Round one of the Berringa Park Iron Dog will be run on Sunday, August 28, with round two on Sunday, September 4 and the leading point scorers from these two rounds then contesting the final on Friday, September 9.
NEVER KNOCK A WIN, BUT . . .
As far as Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst and his greyhound Rally were concerned it was a case last Friday of what might have been.
Brodhurst had taken over the training of the daughter of Radley Bale and Izzy Mai in June for Lewiston owner Don Turner who had been keen to see Rally tried over the 600 metre journey at Tara Raceway.
An August 2014 whelping, the black bitch had been nominated for a 600 metre event last Friday with Brodhurst believing she would be graded into the Winter Classic if there was no middle-distance race.
Well, there was no 600 metre race but Rally ended up in the Metal Worx Stake, a 512 metre event for grade six greyhounds.
A $20 chance from box seven, Rally chased the leader Gentle Moment until railing through on the home turn and finishing like a middle-distance performer to win by 1¾ lengths in 30.36 seconds – a time quicker than either of the Winter Classic heats.
The win continued Brodhurst’s good run at Tara Raceway this year and took his training tally to 11 wins. It was also an early birthday present for his wife Valerie who turned 66 the following day.
He did admit, however, that he probably could have made his intentions a little clearer on Rally’s nomination form.
Also in the same boat as far as nomination intentions were concerned was Portland trainer Andy Graham who initially had the classic-aged Breakwater Bay engaged in the same race as Rally before he was scratched due to injury.
And litter brother Cee Righty found himself as a reserve in a maiden 512 metre race only to gain a start, leading the field into the home straight before running second in 30.69 seconds, a time that would have had him right in the mix from a classic point of view.
Fair enough, you never knock a win – or a second placing for that matter – but maiden and grade six races are run every week at Tara Raceway.
Greyhounds get only one crack at the Winter Classic.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Altona Green trainer Malcolm Davis seems to be making a habit of winning races at Tara Raceway with bitches that have produced a litter or two.
A couple of weeks ago he was successful with White Spyro which in January had whelped to Magic Sprite while last Sunday Hot Genetics led all the way to win the 400 metre Gambier Vets Masters Stake for older greyhounds.
By Bit Chili out of Cool Genetics, Hot Genetics will turn five next month and was back in the winner’s circle after having whelped a second litter in March.
The black bitch had won seven races on Queensland and NSW tracks but had been serving a 90-day suspension for marring when Davis picked her up at the end of 2014.
“I was hopeful of improving her racing manners,” Davis said. “But before I could get her back on the track she came on season and after mating her with Talk’s Cheap she whelped in April 2015.”
Hot Genetics was back on the track in September and in January this year won her first race for Davis when successful at Traralgon.
But another season soon after once again put her racing career on hold with Davis this time opting to mate her with Vee Man Vane.
Hot Genetics resumed racing again in July with Sunday’s win coming at her fourth run back and took her record to nine wins and 24 minor placings from 79 starts.
RECOGNITION FOR SPONSOR
Congratulations to Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club sponsor and greyhound owner Chris Klaassens who was recently recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow at the Rotary Club of Mount Gambier West’s changeover dinner.
Paul Harris Fellows are recognised to express appreciation for contributions to the humanitarian and educational programmes of the Rotary Foundation with Klaassens recognised for his work on various club projects.
WIN FOR ‘POOR RELATION’
With two wins from 53 starts going into last Sunday’s winningformula.net.au Stake (512 m) it’s probably not unkind to suggest that Ticked Off has been living in the shadows of his litter brothers Cryer’s Fred, Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Jack.
But the son of Spring Gun and Cryer’s Midget came out of the shadows for Glencoe owner-trainer Dean Fennell when leading all the way from box two to defeat kennelmate Ari in 30.64 seconds.
The win was his first over 512 metres in 30 starts with Fennell seemingly not all that perturbed over Ticked Off’s ordinary strike rate.
“Look, I know that was his first win in 15 months but really he’s just a pet so any win that comes along is a real bonus.”
And two nights later, Cryer’s Fred kept the flag flying for the litter, and Tom and Margaret Cryer, when bringing up his fourth win this year at Horsham.
Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott celebrated his 73rd birthday last Sunday with Mo Town Roy leading all the way to win the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) in a smart 30.15 seconds.
Abbott is now considering the upcoming Berringa Park Iron Dog series which kicks off on Sunday, August 28.
He won the three-distance series a couple of years ago with his former smart bitch Manila Express.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Top-four trainers Nicole Stanley and Phil Lenehan appear to hold the key to Friday’s two heats of the Banjo Boy Winter Classic (512 metres) with greyhounds that have previously won at Tara Raceway.
Portland-based Stanley will be represented by litter sisters Ashdene Lass in box four in the first heat while Hay Miss will line up from box eight in the second heat.
An August 2014 daughter of Bekim Bale and Miss Stackhouse, Ashdene Lass was well beaten at long odds at Warrnambool over 450 metres last week but did win impressively at Tara Raceway on July 24.
On that occasion she led all the way to defeat Gentle Moment on a heavy track in 30.75 seconds for the 512 metre journey – a time that compared favourably to a best of day 30.38 seconds.
And earlier on that same day Hay Miss led all the way from box five in the John Reid Memorial final (512 m) to defeat Saint Fox by four lengths in 30.53 seconds.
Lenehan will travel over from Toolong with three members of the October 2014 Fabregas x Supreme Vision litter – Lektra Lucy and Lektra Ash have drawn boxes seven and eight respectively in heat one while Lektra Munster will jump from box four in heat two.
Two other members of the litter – Lektra Utah (29.90 seconds at Tara Raceway last month) and Lektra Peck (a close second over 450 metres at Warrnambool last week) – will by-pass the classic and race at Warrnambool tomorrow night.
However, Lektra Ash, as highlighted by his smart maiden 512 metre win at Tara Raceway late last month, is a dead-set box eight dog and as such looks hard to beat in Friday’s opening heat.
Lektra Lucy and Lektra Munster both showed early pace when having their first race starts in June over 425 metres at Bendigo.
Tarpeena-based “Team Williams” (Allen and David) will launch an all-out attack on the classic with five August 2014 greyhounds – all carrying the Eagle tag – from the El Grand Senor x Chilly Patch litter.
Allen Williams ran second with Dr Danny in the inaugural Winter Classic in 2014 behind Stylish Moment and last year filled third spot with Lika Rockstar in the final which was won by Cee Me Burst.
SUCCESS FOR LONG-TIME SYNDICATE
A syndicate, formed some years ago by four local workmates, tasted further success at Tara Raceway last Sunday when Galactic Tsunami quickly found the front from box two before running out a 6½ length winner in the feature grade five final (400 m) in a quick 23.09 seconds.
By Fabregas out of Magic Elite, the 35 kilogram dog is owned by Steve Bartholomew, Ken Gillespie, Robert Chuck and the now-retired Jack Peacock, and trained by Steve Bartholomew jr.
Chuck, who bred and originally owned the winner outright, sold a three-quarter share in May to his fellow owners after their previous dog, Sharkarakis, was retired.
A winner of three races at Tara Raceway prior to the sale, Galactic Tsunami’s win on Sunday was the first for the syndicate and came on the back of a couple of handy seconds at the local track.
Speaking after Sunday’s win, Bartholomew recalled the group’s first greyhound almost 11 years ago.
“She was a little bitch called Next Trip. Certainly nothing special, but she did win a race at Tara Raceway before we purchased a bitch from Kevin Mugavin called Modern Joy which went on to win four local races.”
The syndicate’s association continued with the successful Killarney owner-trainer-breeder when they later purchased Magic State on the back of some impressive Warrnambool performances.
But Magic State, a son of Elite State and Killarney Magic, failed to live up to expectations, winning only one race at Tara Raceway.
“As a result, Kevin later offered us a litter sister to Magic State for $500,” Bartholomew said.
That bitch was Magic Elite which went on to win six races, including a free service to SA chaser Scull Murphy (a winner of 42 races and $133,000 in prizemoney).
Magic Elite, which was later mated with Scull Murphy, produced handy types Scullira, Wattaira, Black Bargain and Scull Magic which the syndicate won six races with.
Chuck then took over Magic Elite for breeding with three further litters producing smart types including Galactic Impact, Galactic Viper, along with Galactic Tsunami and Galactic Dragon (also successful last Sunday) in her final litter.
Meanwhile, Galactic Tsunami will line up again on Friday from the tricky box six in a pretty handy Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m) while Galactic Dragon, also sold recently by Chuck, has drawn box four in a heat of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five (512 m).
Monday, August 8, 2016
Leading local trainer Tracie Price was singing the praises of Blazing Moment at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon after his impressive debut in the Rock’s Retreat Maiden Stake (400 metres).
The heavily-backed 37 kilogram black dog was quickly into stride from box four and gave nothing else a chance when clearing away to a 10 length win in a quick 23.18 seconds.
There had been huge wraps on Blazing Moment after he had broken-in in brilliant fashion before later running race-winning times at Tara Raceway on trial mornings.
Such was Sunday’s effort that Price later in the day respectfully informed a prospective buyer that the dog – yet to be tried beyond 400 metres – was not for sale at any price.
“This is what you breed greyhounds for – to try and find one that’s something special. I know he’s still got a long way to go but I believe Blazing Moment will end up being the best greyhound to come out of Mount Gambier.”
By Bekim Bale, Blazing Moment is out of Lucy’s Moment (Bombastic Shiraz x Barely A Moment) which won five races at Angle Park, as well as two at Tara Raceway and one at Warrnambool when trained by Price.
And it was Lucy’s Moment’s litter brother Shiraz Moment that saw Price hit the headlines back in 2012 when he refused an offer of $50,000 for the dog prior to racing only to see him injured in a kennel mishap early in his racing career.
On course to watch Blazing Moment make his racing debut was local greyhound identity Alfons Couldrey, recently back in town after an around-Australia trip.
Couldrey had actually purchased the dog as a pup and left it with Price at Compton to be reared. However, the big, boisterous youngster proved to be something of a handful and as a result was returned to his owner in Mount Gambier.
But the pup was no less a handful for Couldrey who reluctantly was forced to relinquish ownership and hand him back to Price who refunded the purchase price.
Being a November 2014 whelping, Blazing Moment is eligible for Friday’s Winter Classic heats (512 m) although Price said he was doubtful that he would head down that path.
“To be honest I’m not really keen to run him in the classic as he’s had limited field experience and is yet to be tried over 512 metres.”
This year’s running of the Winter Classic will be the third with Price successful in 2014 with Stylish Moment and last year with Cee Me Burst.
Blazing Moment’s win rounded off a successful three days for the leading trainer after Lyon Rose had won at Strathalbyn on Friday and Skatey Perry was successful at the nice odds of $27 at Warrnambool on Saturday.
And he’ll hit the highway again on Wednesday when he heads to Angle Park with a strong team – Fear The Rascal (box eight), Skatey Perry (box one), Lyon Rose, Real Moment and Grimsby Girl.
NIFTY LANDS FIRST DOUBLE
Woolsthorpe owner-trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan landed his first double at Tara Raceway when litter sisters Herbilly and Rising Girl were successful in consecutive races.
In fact, Lenehan wasn’t all that sure whether he’d ever previously trained a double, although he did have very hazy recollections of one at Horsham some years ago.
Herbilly, which lined up from box one in the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (400 m) maiden final, looked the one to beat after an unlucky second in a heat the previous week.
And that’s the way the race panned out with the sizeable 31 kilogram bitch rounding up leader Raz’s Girl off the back before finishing strongly to score by 5¼ lengths in a smart 23.29 seconds.
Rising Girl, which was unplaced when well-fancied at last week’s meeting, made amends on Sunday in The Border Watch Stake (400 m) when leading all the way for a comfortable 2¼ length win over Spinach in 23.31 seconds.
Bred by Lenehan, the sisters are by Kinloch Brae out of Obama’s Girl, a winner of two 600 metre races at The Meadows and one over 550 metres at Ballarat.
And he wasn’t far off a two-state treble after litter brother King Obama gave plenty of cheek when running second in a heat of Mixed 6/7 (515 m) at Sandown Park on Sunday afternoon.
King Obama created a big impression at Tara Raceway back in May when he won a maiden (512 m) on debut in a quick 30.10 seconds.
Also landing a double with littermates was Peter Franklin, of Moyston, after Mojito Mayhem and Future Past both scored emphatic best of day victories.
Only fairly away from box two in the Klaassens Contractors Free For All (512 m), Mojito Mayhem pushed through on the first turn to take up the running and then hold out perennial second placegetter Old Jock (five in a row) to win by 2½ lengths in a brilliant 29.74 seconds.
By Fear Zafonic out of Graceful Amy, Mojito Mayhem has now won 13 races over the 512 metre journey at Tara Raceway from 22 starts. Among the wins are a Mount Gambier Cup and two Anniversary Cups.
Future Past broke a long run of outs when successful in the ClassicBet Free For All (400 m).
Out of the winner’s list since late January, the black dog quickly found the front from box six and looked anything but an $11 chance when racing away to a five length win in 22.93 seconds – a time rarely run at Tara Raceway.
Franklin said Future Past would now return on Friday for heats of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five over 512 metres.
CHANGE OF TRACK DOES THE TRICK
Warracknabeal trainer Ian Bibby’s decision to change track and distance with Yucatan paid off when the black dog scored a narrow win in the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (512 m).
According to Bibby, Yucatan had been having trouble negotiating the turns on one-bend tracks in Victoria so he decided to try the black dog on Tara Raceway’s two-bend track.
Away well from box six, Yucatan still allowed race favourite Saint Fox plenty of room to rail through on the first turn to take the lead but negotiated the final bend pretty well before finishing strongly to win by a half length in 30.33 seconds.
“He still moved out on the bends but I thought he handled the two-turn track reasonably well,” a delighted Bibby said after winning his first race locally since Crymelon Talon in a heat of the 2013 Mount Gambier Cup.
Yucatan is by Kynan’s Express out of Crymelon Miss – the first winner six years ago at Bendigo for Bibby who is now the Horsham Greyhound Racing Club president.
Crymelon Miss has since whelped to Bekim Bale and Cape Hawke.