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

THURSDAY, JUNE 4: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, JUNE 11: Nominations close at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9 with GRSA. SATISFACTORY TRIALS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512.



Veteran chaser takes narrow GOTY lead

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A smart all-the-way win by Galactic Viper at start number 102 in last Sunday’s Produce Store Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway has seen the veteran greyhound take a narrow lead in the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award.

Owner-trainer Barry Shepheard with Galactic Viper after his win last Sunday which saw him take the Greyhound of the Year lead.

Galactic Viper, who finished fifth in last year’s GOTY behind Old Jock, currently leads Baz’s Moment – also keeping himself in contention with an all-the-way win in the Williams Crane Hire Open Stake (400 m) – by one point, along with Big Rough who failed to pick up points last Sunday.

There are now 13 meetings left of the current season which will conclude on Sunday, December 31. However, five of these are time-graded fixtures and as such are unlikely to have much bearing on the GOTY result.

Barry Shepheard of Glencoe owns and trains Galactic Viper – who will turn five a few weeks into the new year – and he’s no stranger to getting older greyhounds over the line in GOTY awards, Rouse Flyer being a case in point.

Back in 2014 he had a keen tussle with Thanks Tubby throughout the year with Rouse Flyer virtually clinching the award with a win on December 5 which happened to be his fifth birthday.

By Velocette x Magic Elite, Galactic Viper was bred at Moorak by Robert Chuck who initially placed him with Lara trainer Dave Geall – no doubt still basking in the glory of last Saturday night’s Topgun win at The Meadows with Up Hill Jill.

Geall picked up races with the black dog at Horsham, Bendigo, Warrnambool and Sandown Park before winning the Group 3 Howard Ashton at Angle Park.

When Galactic Viper returned to Mount Gambier 12 months later, Shepheard soon took over his training, later purchasing the dog from Chuck. All told, he has now won 15 races (eight this year) since being kennelled at Glencoe.

Part-owner Baz Bruce with Baz’s Moment who is in contention for GOTY honours.

Baz’s Moment, 2½ years younger than Galactic Viper, has given local owner Baz Bruce a successful re-introduction to greyhound racing. He races the son of Swift Fancy x Which Class in partnership with Tracie Price who trains the black dog.

Price also bred Baz’s Moment after obtaining Which Class on loan from Chuck for one litter which has since gone on to produce six individual winners. She now dominates the Leading Dams’ list with 37 wins – Scorpion and Galactic Fox, from an earlier litter by Superman, also contributing to this tally.

These days there’s not much likelihood of finding a locally-based stud dog among the Leading Sires – or anywhere else for that matter. Spring Gun currently leads the way with 51 wins, followed by Cosmic Rumble (48½) and Fabregas (40).

A far cry from back in 1979 when mechanical lure greyhound racing kicked off down here and local sires including Kori Arc (Eric Lewis), Courtoli (Bill Ward), Forest King (Tom Pearce), Invercoe Snow (Drew McFarlane) and Kevin Jason (John King) were prominently advertised in the race books of the day.

Meanwhile, Nicole Stanley, who currently has Fiorelli Rose, Stylish Pursuit and Old Jock sitting in the GOTY top 10, is on track to become the first trainer to land 100 winners at Tara Raceway in a season – Hit The Runway bringing up win number 94 for her last Sunday.

Retirement put on hold

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Cryer’s Fred, who is the same age as Galactic Viper, won the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year in 2015. His younger full brother, Cryer’s Plugger, was right in the mix this year prior to recently joining Steve White’s kennels in Victoria. And their dam, Cryer’s Midget, was the 2011 GOTY.

Margaret Cryer pictured with Cryer’s Fred after he staved off retirement with a win at Tara Raceway a fortnight ago.

So there’s plenty of winning form around the two Spring Gun litters, especially in the case of Cryer’s Fred, who after 117 starts has won a record 31 races at Tara Raceway.

But after Cryer’s Fred and his litter brother Cryer’s Jack – close to knocking up 100 starts – were struggling to find winning form, Apsley couple Margaret and Tom Cryer reckoned it was probably time to make a call to the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).

The brothers were subsequently booked in for GAP assessments in November, however in the meantime Cryer’s Jack brought up win number 19 on October 8 while his brother was successful a fortnight later – at $21 if you don’t mind.

Still, nothing like going out on a winning note. But, hey, hang on. We’re talking about Tommy Cryer here.

“Margaret, I think you’d better ring GAP and cancel our November appointment!”

Brothers continue winning run for litter

Monday, October 30, 2017

Impressive wins by the Richard Clayfield trained brothers Lone Star and Solitary Lad at a blustery Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon continued a good few days for the Lonesome Cry x Up And Away litter.

The double, the first for the Glenroy-based greyhound trainer since Glenville Jester and Slipper’s Shadow were successful in early January, followed on from sister Solitary Girl’s win at Ballarat over 450 metres last Thursday.

Lone Star was the first leg of a double for trainer Richard Clayfield, pictured with brother Kevin.

Solitary Girl, now trained at Dennington by Ray Drew, created a huge impression when winning a 400 metre maiden at the local track in a quick 23.02 seconds back in June for Ann Sinnott who also owns the Clayfield-trained pair.

Lone Star lined up from box one in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m) after having raced over 485 metres on the Tuesday prior at Horsham. And while the brindle dog had been well beaten at his first look at the track, Clayfield said he believed the trip had worked in the dog’s favour.

“I didn’t think the run was all that bad but often the big plus with a run on another track is that they tend to race better when returning to the track they know, in his case Tara Raceway.”

And that’s how things panned out for Lone Star – who last won a maiden race two months ago –leading all the way to win by three-quarters of a length in 30.22 seconds after a keen tussle with Lektra Lucy, owned and trained at Toolong by Phil Lenehan.

Not that Lenehan would have been too upset after the few days he has just enjoyed with Lektra Forrest, trained for him at Anakie by Andrea Dailly.

By Walk Hard x Lektra Angie, Lektra Forrest won at Ballarat over 545 metres last Wednesday and then backed up with a brilliant 525 metre win at The Meadows on Saturday when running a best of night 29.78 seconds – Up Hill Jill clocking 29.88 seconds a couple of races earlier to win the Topgun and a cool $150,000 to go with it.

Solitary Lad – this year’s John Reid Memorial and Winter Classic winner – after a good start from box seven took the lead going out of the first turn in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) before holding off race favourite Xtreme Shine to win in a best of day 30.05 seconds.

Clayfield, who trained 31 winners in 2016, has now trained 22 winners this year and sits in tenth spot on the Leading Trainers’ list.

Xtreme Shine, a maiden winner at Horsham over 485 metres earlier this month, ran Solitary Lad to a head – fair sort of effort – but Portland trainer Robert Duncan’s day wasn’t yet over.

Robert Duncan and Janine Sullivan with Xtreme Gift, an impressive winner of the Gordon Refrigeration Stake at Tara Raceway on Sunday. Picture: Alexandra Filliponi.

He had Xtreme Gift – yet another member of the Barcia Bale x Xtreme Gretel litter to appear at Tara Raceway – engaged from box eight in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) and with two wins at Warrnambool and one at Horsham from only seven starts she looked well placed.

Xtreme Gift was fairly away and by mid-race had the front-running Cousin Ann’s measure, eventually running out a five length winner over that greyhound in a smart 23.23 seconds.

The win was Duncan’s first at Tara Raceway since January when Abbey’s Hand was successful. Four runs later she retired from racing when finishing fourth to Ridd’s Flyer at start number 100.

“Things had been pretty quiet since then so when Wagga breeder Matt Morris was looking to place some more of the litter of 10 down this way I thought I may as well have a go,” said Duncan, who won the 2007 Mount Gambier Cup with Army Officer.

Xtreme Gift was the second leg of another winning litter double on the day, Xtreme Rush scoring first up in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 m) for Morris and fellow Portland trainer Brian Weis.

Xtreme Rush went straight to the front from box four, with the other first-starter Wilbur Deeds doing the chasing, then working home well to be beaten 2½ lengths and looking a coming winner for Koroit owner-trainer Garry Anders.

Morris’s December 2015 litter has so far produced six individual winners.

Fiery Starlet makes amends

Monday, October 30, 2017

Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst, who along with wife Valerie regularly makes the three-hour trip to Tara Raceway, thought he might have purchased a dud after Fiery Starlet failed to fire on debut at the local track on October 15.

David and Val Brodhurst with Fiery Starlet at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

“She finished a well-beaten fourth and to be honest I was a little disappointed with the effort,” he said. “But at her second start she showed early pace and had no luck in running when finishing third so when she drew box one today I thought she would have to be some chance.”

A $5 chance in Sunday’s ClassicBet Stake (400 m), Fiery Starlet was away well, withstanding early pressure before running out a two length winner over Benny Big Head in 23.81 seconds.

By Bekim Bale out of Ice And Fire, a winner of two races at Geelong, Fiery Starlet was purchased by the Brodhursts via an internet greyhound site for $1000 after having won a maiden at Warragul.

The strategy of purchasing low-priced racing greyhounds has kept the winners turning over with Brodhurst successful on 11 occasions this year, his best performed dog being Cheyenne Black who has won five races.

Garku Bale’s in good company

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Garku Bale joined an illustrious winning litter that includes Brolly Bale, Erelda Bale, Diama Bale, Abed Bale, Helski Bale and, of course, Fanta Bale when successful in last Sunday’s Stake (732 metres) at Tara Raceway.

Paul Herry pictured with Garku Bale after he opened his winning account at Tara Raceway last Sunday over 732 metres.

Not that Mortlake owner-trainer Paul Herry was about to rate Garku Bale in the same company that had won 75 races and $1,142,294 in prizemoney but he was certainly very happy after his son of David Bale x Ucme Typhoon had finally won his first race.

Fanta Bale is on target to reach the magical $1m in prizemoney if successful in tomorrow night’s $75,000-to-the-winner Topgun Stayers (725 m) at The Meadows in Victoria.

On the other hand, Garku Bale’s prizemoney jumped to $1385 after his win last Sunday but he’s travelling alright for a dog that was picked up by Herry for only $500 a couple of months ago.

Sunday’s non-penalty stayers’ race lacked the likes of McIvor Verna and Cryer’s Plugger in the field but all the same it looked to have the makings of a competitive six-dog race – and that’s how it turned out, in the end only a neck separating Garku Bale and Bekim Lucy’s after 1½ laps of the Tara Raceway circuit.

Gee She Roks showed early speed from box two but when she went via the car park into the home straight the first time Garku Bale took up the running and from then on just kept finding, eventually winning in 44.56 seconds.

There’s no doubt about Cap Abbott – it’s a different woman for every win! This time it was track photographer Bronny Nicholson who got in on the act after Emily As won the final race.

And the Cap Abbott owned and trained Emily As should be ready to once again join the stayers in next month’s distance events judging by her win in the ClassicBet Mixed Stake (600 m) last Sunday.

The daughter of Sure As (a brother to former champion stayer Miata) and 630 metre Nowra winner Darmilou never looked like being beaten when leading all the way to defeat Big Rough by 1¼ lengths in 35.45 seconds.

The win was her first this year after she had run numerous placings at Tara Raceway – including seconds behind Silverali and McIvor Verna in the Back To Distance Racing series – when trained at Horsham by Kevin Jakobi.

Jakobi has since retired from greyhound racing with Abbott able to pick up Emily As in early September in an “everything must go” sale for $200.

Meanwhile, Abbott will be at Strathalbyn tomorrow with Emily As who will clash with kennelmates Blazin’ Vicky and Mo Town Roy in a mixed stake over 536 metres.

Making the right move

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The win of Banjo Boss, a son of Banjo Boy and Rustic Reeta, in last Sunday’s Greg Martlew Autos Maiden Stake (400 m) is part of a remarkable story that further highlights the old saying “you never know where a winner’s coming from”.

Banjo Boss, pictured after his maiden win at Tara Raceway last Sunday, is a son of prolific producer Rustic Reeta.

Back in late 2012 Rupanyup trainer Kath Brooks – successful recently at Tara Raceway with Iroquois Souljah and Call Me Crazy – won a grade six 400 metre race with Rustic Reeta in a steady 23.90 seconds.

By Pure Octane out of the unraced Wolfie, Rustic Reeta was picked up by Jamie Quinlivian of Merbein South in April the following year with the fawn bitch being retired soon after having won just the two races.

Fast forward 12 months and Quinlivian’s decision to mate Rustic Reeta with Cape Hawke turned out to be one of the smartest moves he’s ever made.

Posting recently on Greyhound-Data, Quinlivian reported that Rustic Reeta had just produced her 100th winner – the majority by Cape Hawke although the Banjo Boy youngsters were also starting to have an impact on the track.

“Not bad for a Tier Three 400 metre nut job!” he wrote. “What a good girl. I am blessed to have found her.”

Banjo Boss, incidentally, is raced by Banjo Boy’s owner Andrew Varasdi, a supporter of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.

Shep defies the odds at Tara Raceway

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Long-time Geelong greyhound trainer Mick Vaughan, in Mount Gambier last weekend to attend to some family matters, also took the opportunity of racing at Tara Raceway on the Sunday afternoon.

This was Vaughan’s first time at Tara Raceway and while suitably impressed with the complex, track and grassed surroundings, he was quickly reminded by the locals just how hard it was going to be for his greyhound Shep to win first-up on a track that had brought about the demise of many “out-of-towners” in the past.

Brian Zinner and Mick Vaughan pictured with Shep after his strong-finishing win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

As it was, things hadn’t quite gone to plan for the “back yard” trainer after Shep’s litter sister Eily West – a winner of 14 races and close to $45,000 in prizemoney – was injured and didn’t make the trip after looking well drawn in box seven in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 metres).

Not that Shep didn’t have a fair sort of race record of his own – eight wins and more than $30,000 in earnings. The trouble was the grader hadn’t missed his record either, with the black dog finding himself in box eight against an Open field that by and large knew every granule of sand on the track.

“He’s never won from box eight and I reckon he’s going to struggle to get across from the outside today,” said Vaughan on his return from inspecting the boxes at the 512 metre start prior to the running of the first race.

But the rising four-year-old Shep, who has seen a few different tracks in his 71 race starts, made light work of the outside draw, putting himself in the race down the back straight when ranging up into third spot behind Swift Limes and Glenville Phil.

By the time the field hit the home turn Glenville Phil, at only his eleventh start, was in front and running the race of his life for a greyhound stepping out of grade five company for the first time.

In the run to the line, though, it was Shep who finished over the top of Glenville Phil to win the Open Stake by a half length with Fiorelli Rose working home along the rails to finish a further three-quarters of a length back in third spot in a near best of day 30.27 seconds.

The winner, who was also bred by the trainer, is by the English greyhound Westmead Osprey , imported to Australia by Queensland couple Dennis and Nina Uhrhane, and is out of Eily McMahon’s only litter.

Vaughan also owned and trained Eily McMahon, a daughter of Trewly Special x Shirazamatazz, who won 15 races, mainly over the middle distance, for prizemoney of more than $37,000.

All smiles following the win was fellow-Geelong travelling companion Brian Zinner, who shortly after the race was spotted making a beeline for the TAB. Obviously, he hadn’t taken any notice of the locals – or the trainer for that matter – when it came to Shep’s winning chances!

Giving Harry another go

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hopalong’s win in a rough-house Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded Friday meeting and then a smart all-the-way win two days later in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m) highlighted another big weekend of racing for Tracie Price of Compton.

It had also been a big weekend for Cranbourne owner Scott Brandon who had been instrumental in getting Hopalong, or Harry as he is known around the kennels, into the hands of Price after what had been an eventful seven months as far as the brindle dog had been concerned.

Sarah Price (right), Brooklyn Winterfield, Steve Patzel, Luke Diegmann with 16-month-old Harper and Ra Hare pictured with Hopalong.

Originally, Hopalong had been owned by the K9 Racers Syndicate, Brandon paying an all-up fee of $350 for a five per cent share in the son of Crash x Gimme Range.

Crash, a beautifully bred son of Brett Lee and Elusive Rebel, won 12 races in Australia before being sent to Ireland where he became a success at stud while Gimme Range was a nine-race winner.

Hopalong broke in well in Victoria but after a costly operation to repair a damaged hock he found his way to WA where he won on debut at Mandurah in early January this year.

Another win followed at Mandurah three months later, however marring suspensions resulted in the dog being transferred to NSW where he raced only twice – at Gosford and the Gardens – before copping a three-month “holiday”.

It’s fair to say that by then the K9 Racers had had enough and Hopalong was offered to any of the syndicate who wanted him as a giveaway. This is where Brandon stepped in.

“I then rounded up my partner Debbie Scott, Danny Frazer, his 19-year-old son Ryan, and Jesse Cammarano with a view to Tracie – who has turned around wayward types before – training the dog for us once the suspension had been served out at Compton.”

So far, so good for Hopalong who will now line up from box two in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) at Sunday’s meeting. Let’s hope he keeps on the straight and narrow and continues to reward a group of owners who went out of their way to give Harry another go.

Battle intensifies for GOTY honours

Monday, October 23, 2017

Second placings at Tara Raceway’s Friday and Sunday meetings have seen the locally-owned Big Rough take a narrow lead in this year’s Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award.

Despite not having won since September 17 at Tara Raceway, Big Rough – owned by Noel and Heather Perry and trained at Portland by Brian Weis – has since run five minor placings from five starts at the track to take his overall point score to 48, made up of six wins, 11 seconds and two thirds.

Scorpion pictured with two of trainer Lee Bartholomew’s grandchildren, Harry and Paige Hicks, after winning his fourth successive race at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Big Rough currently enjoys a one point lead over the Nicole Stanley trained Fiorelli Rose and Tom Cryer’s Plugger who is unlikely to be back at the local track this year after being transferred to Buln Buln East trainer Steve White.

Fiorelli Rose, winner of this year’s Anniversary Cup, last won at the end of July but with five minor placings from her past five starts she still looks a strong chance of giving Stanley her second successive GOTY after Old Jock’s win last year.

Barry Shepheard, who won the 2014 award with Rouse Flyer, continues to hang in there with the 4½-year-old Galactic Viper who showed plenty of dash at Friday’s meeting to win the Produce Store Stake (512 m) in a best of day 30.13 seconds.

Galactic Viper, who has won seven races this year, has also run eight second placings and a third to give him 45 points (scored on a 4, 2, 1 basis).

And making a late charge is the Lee Bartholomew trained Scorpion who led all the way on Sunday to defeat a pretty handy field of short-coursers in The Border Watch Open Stake (400 m).

This was the black dog’s fourth consecutive win at the track, an effort last achieved back in February-March 2016 when Mojito Mayhem was in cup-winning form.

Scorpion has now won more races than any other greyhound at Tara Raceway this year – eight, plus two seconds and seven thirds for total points of 43 with Bartholomew also looking for another GOTY title after Just Humphrey was successful in 2013.

See “Statistics”.

Sharing the spoils at time-graded meeting

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Reserve greyhounds gaining a race start as a rule don’t warrant a huge amount of consideration. Unless, of course, the reserve happens to gain a run in a time-graded race.

Ben Boers (left) with Special Case and Liz Newberry and John Little with Bungaloo Thor after Friday’s dead-heat.

That’s when greyhounds are graded on a “worst to best” basis, meaning that in theory the reserve runners are actually the best dogs in the race.

So when Special Case, the first emergency in last Friday’s Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 metres), gained a start from box one punters were quick to jump in and take the $2.80 on offer about a greyhound that had run one second from 12 starts.

According to Cashmore owner-trainer Lizzie Boers, Special Case’s race record could have been considerably better but for the fact that she had a few issues with the starting boxes.

“I reckon that she’s gone up with the lids in at least half of her races,” Boers lamented.

That was certainly the case on Friday when the black bitch once again missed the start before railing through down the back to take the lead from Kynan’s Return and Bungaloo Thor.

Approaching the home turn, Special Case certainly looked to have the race in her keeping but a strong home straight charge from Bungaloo Thor resulted in a desperately tight finish, so tight in fact the judge could not split the pair – the first Tara Raceway winning dead-heat since Goldie’s Run and Maximum Bella on June 16.

Black Peer was the first leg of a double for Dean Fennell at Tara Raceway on Friday.

Picked up by Boers as a giveaway last year prior to racing, Special Case is by Nolen out of the nicely-bred Lektra Special (Trewly Special x Elektra), a winner of seven races and $22,000 in prizemoney.

Raced by the Bungaloo Syndicate and trained at Kongorong by John Little, Bungaloo Thor went into the race with four unplaced runs to his name but was always on the pace and brought up the third win for the Addis Boy x Camo’s Prinny litter – Castiel’s Magic and Bungaloo Ruby previously being successful.

Little also bred the litter with Addis Boy, a son of Token Prince and with a damline that goes back to greats such as National Lass and Shy Julie, while Camo’s Prinny won the 2013 Anniversary Cup at Tara Raceway.

Meanwhile, Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell, who landed a double on May 5 and a treble on June 30, led in another double on Friday with Black Peer and Ramified.

Owned by Ray Keating, the four-year-old Black Peer had a great battle early in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m) with Kevin Ashton’s five-year-old Carrara Lad before holding out that greyhound and Monty Wilson’s Takayo Fury in a tight three-way go.

In Fennell’s kennels for the past two years, the son of Cape Hawke x Sick Money has now won six races – his last win being back on March 24 at Tara Raceway.

Fennell’s double came up in the last race – the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) – when Ramified led all the way from box one to defeat kennelmate Surfing Moment by two lengths in 23.37 seconds.

A son of Magic Sprite x Hey Sexy Lady, Ramified was an odds-on favourite on the strength of a recent impressive satisfactory trial which had been required by stewards after the black dog had cramped at the completion of a race at Tara Raceway on August 13.

Andy Graham also landed a double with litter sisters Cee Sunrise (pictured) and Cee Hannah Rose.

And sharing training honours for the day with a double – his first at Tara Raceway this year – was Andy Graham who was successful with litter sisters Cee Sunrise and Cee Hannah Rose.

Cee Sunrise quickly crossed over from box six in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) to lead all the way, eventually running out a 3½ length winner in 23.28 seconds over Ms Genius.

The Portland owner-trainer’s double came up in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) when Cee Hannah Rose chased Mr Perfect for much of the journey before finishing the stronger to win by a length in 30.70 seconds.

The sisters are by Cosmic Chief out of Cee Anna Rose – twice a winner at The Meadows – who has an eight-month-old litter by Magic Sprite to follow.