THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, September 17 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”.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Three heats of the time-honoured Val and Col Sims Memorial – run over 512 metres for maiden greyhounds – will highlight Friday’s meeting at Tara Raceway.
And the series will see some well-bred youngsters step out on to the racetrack for the first time.
Portland owner-trainer Robert Halliday has the April 2015 whelping Hutch engaged in the first heat, although the son of Premier Fantasy and Cairnlea Ellie has been afforded no favours with a box six to kick off his racing career.
But Hutch lacks for nothing when it comes to breeding with Cairnlea Ellie, raced by the late Peter Hubbard, winning 19 races and more than $50,000 in stakemoney.
By Mogambo x Della Bale, Cairnlea Ellie actually won her last race at Tara Raceway in September 2014 before being retired due to injury.
Halliday will now be hoping for a repeat of Monday night at Angle Park where litter brother Cairnlea Kenny, trained at Lewiston by Petar Jovanovic for Jan Hubbard, won on debut over 515 metres.
Jumping from box four in the same heat is McIvor Neville, raced by the formidable team of Barry Priest and Peter Franklin.
The pair also raced McIvor Neville’s dam, Blonde Caviar, a daughter of Where’s Pedro and Lemon Cruiser, who won nine races and $20,000 in stakes including wins over 600 metres and 570 metres at The Meadows and Horsham.
Whelped in May 2015, Nev is by the US sire Bella Infrared who was described as a “once in a generation” greyhound, dominating America’s top track, Southland, where he recorded 71 wins from 100 starts, including 19 in succession.
Priest and Franklin also didn’t fare too well at box draw time with litter brother McIvor Gordon drawing box four in heat two and Chuck McIvor to jump from the six in the final heat.
Portland trainer Brian Weis is not complaining though after his first starter Big Rough drew box one in the third heat.
Whelped in February 2015, the black dog is raced by local couple Noel and Heather Perry.
By Lochinvar Marlow, Big Rough is out of Albion Park distance winner Bogie Dawn (High Earner x Bogie Skye) who won 13 races, and $40,000 in stakemoney before rounding off her career with two wins at Angle Park.
The long-running Sims feature maiden series switched to a memorial in 2013 when it was won by the Cap Abbott trained Arbour Darby before being followed by Benara Cosmic (Tracie Price), Andy Jay (Toni Jones) and Rowchester Star (Nicole Stanley) last year.
Meanwhile, two heats of the Laser Electrical Feature Grade Five (512 m) will complement the Sims Memorial.
In the first heat, Nifty Lenehan’s Moth Attack was an impressive grade six final winner last Sunday and looks well placed in box one to make the step up in grade while Ray Drew will be hoping box seven runner Digger Two can recapture the form that saw him run 30.11 seconds at Tara Raceway back in October.
There’ll be plenty of interest in the second heat with trainer Tracie Price stepping box six runner Flying Flutter up to grade five company after an outstanding maiden 512 metre win in 30.03 seconds at last Sunday’s meeting.
And it will be interesting to see whether the ultra-consistent David Williams trained Penny Eagle can break through for a well-deserved win from box four after three consecutive seconds.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Scot’s Dunker turned her Tara Raceway form around for Lake Bolac greyhound trainer Kevin Breen at last Sunday’s meeting when scoring an impressive win in the Williams Crane Hire Stake.
The black bitch, who had been unplaced at her only three starts at the local track last year, was away quickly from box one in the Open 400 metre event and was never headed after initially holding out hot favourite Slipper’s Chance.
Scot’s Dunker, a winner in late November over 425 metres at Bendigo from the same box, skipped around Tara Raceway in a slick 23.33 seconds when defeating Gentle Moment by 2¾ lengths.
The win was Breen’s first at the local track since Financial Bonus defeated Evening In Paris in December 2015.
By Adelaide Cup winner Kilty Lad out of the unraced Taz’s Girl, Scot’s Dunker boasts beautiful breeding with her dam being by Jones Junior x Glamorous.
Glamorous, who is by Spiral Nikita x Leprechaun Yap, is also the dam of successful sire Magic Sprite.
Scot’s Dunker is raced by the Mark Valentine-managed 16-member One Spot Syndicate, all of whom are involved in a variety of positions at the Ballarat Minerdome basketball sports stadium.
Breen said it had been only by pure chance that last Sunday’s winner had found her way into his kennels.
“Prior to her racing, her previous trainer had been involved in a non-life threatening accident but was unable to continue with her.
“She’s certainly been a handy pick-up and given the One Spot team plenty of fun with six wins last year at Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo after success on debut at Warrnambool in February.”
Monday, January 2, 2017
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley kicked off Tara Raceway’s new season in stunning fashion on Sunday with five winners on the 12-race card.
Standing in for Stanley, unable to attend the meeting due to work commitments, was Scott Blacksell who strung together an early running treble with Evening In Paris, Travel Ticket and Stylish Pursuit before rounding off a memorable day with a running double from Fiorelli Rose and Old Jock.
Evening In Paris, out of the winner’s list since August, appreciated the drop back to the Masters class for older greyhounds when leading all the way in the ClassicBet Stake (400 metres).
The rising four-year-old daughter of Collision and 20-race winner Sassy Sprite was having her 88th start for her 13th win when holding out Dark Nemesis and Pocket Kings to win by a length in 23.65 seconds.
Travel Ticket, who had been struggling for several months to find winning form, maintained his Pathway status with a 2½ length win over Galactic Fox in a time of 23.70 seconds for the 400 metre journey.
The 36 kilogram fawn son of Where’s Pedro found the front from box five after a brief tussle with Galactic Fox, then just managed to stay outside the Pathway time standard of 23.69 seconds.
The Trackside Meats Stake, the first of the 0-4 wins special events to be run for 600 metre greyhounds, attracted a handy field of middle-distance chasers.
Stylish Pursuit, after a quick 600 metre win over Another Mai in 35.35 seconds at the final meeting of 2016, did look the one to beat although Penny Eagle was expected to throw out some sort of challenge on the strength of two recent fast-finishing seconds over 512 metres.
That’s the way the race panned out with the pair matching motors early before Stylish Pursuit found the front but was unable to really shake off Penny Eagle who came again in the home straight to go down by only a neck in 35.70 seconds.
Stylish Pursuit is owned in Victoria by Nic Beltran who also bred the daughter of Mogambo and 715 metre Sandown Park winner Butterfly Bling.
Beltran also races littermate Elusive Jewel who has won four races from 14 starts in Victoria, including running a 29.41 seconds over 515 metres at Sandown Park and 29.92 seconds for the 525 metre journey at The Meadows.
And earlier in the day, another Beltran-owned littermate in Flying Flutter, trained at Compton by Tracie Price, created a huge impression when winning the Laser Electrical Open Maiden final (512 metres).
The black bitch went straight to the front from box three, opening right up down the back before powering home for a 10½ length win over Gee She Roks in 30.03 seconds – and they didn’t run any quicker than that all day.
But back to Stanley and her winning day.
Fiorelli Rose, looking to make amends for a narrow second at Warrnambool last week, did well to find the fence down the back after jumping from box eight in the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (512 m).
The daughter of Premier Fantasy x Tarks Jewel then railed through on the front-running Slipper’s Shadow to ultimately score a 2½ length win over the consistent Bushman’s Faith in 30.37 seconds.
After a wonderful 2016, which saw him win the Greyhound of the Year, Old Jock was lining up for start number 100 when taking on a pretty fair field in the Produce Store Free For All (512 m) from box one.
Stanley’s fifth winner never looked in doubt. The four-year-old veteran son of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze went straight to the front, eventually running out a 2½ length winner over Glenville Jester in 30.17 seconds.
Her great start to the season follows on from her best year ever in 2016 when she trained 66 winners at Tara Raceway to finish second behind Tracie Price on 78.
Needless to say, Sunday was her most successful day on a race track with a treble being her previous best – the most recent being back in October with Berry Bling, Rowchester Star and Mr Caudo.
Others to have trained five winners at Tara Raceway in recent times include David Peckham, Tracie Price and Jeff Guy.
MAKING THE MOST OF HER OPPORTUNITIES
Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott reckoned he was a fair chance of being in the money with Irka Jakit in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m) – not a bad call considering, due to a variety of reasons, only four runners took their place in the grade six field.
But Irka Jakit, who gained a run as a reserve, ended up grabbing the major share of the prize when leading all the way to defeat Left Moment by 9¼ lengths in a personal best 30.29 seconds.
By Fabregas out of Another Request, a middle-distance winner at Sandown Park and Albion Park, Irka Jakit appreciated her return to Tara Raceway after a torrid time at Angle Park where she had found trouble at her past three starts.
The win completed a couple of good days for Abbott who last Friday had been successful with Mo Town Roy at Strathalbyn in the Christmas/New Year Cup (536 m).
Third approaching the home turn, Mo Town Roy gained a rails run to finish strongly to defeat Fayette by a length in 31.85 seconds.
The win followed a recent win at Angle Park over 600 metres with Abbott now likely to tackle a distance event at The Meadows on Saturday night with the son of Razldazl Jayfkay x New Year’s Punch.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
It has often been said that there’s a race for every greyhound.
Well, as far as Another Rouse was concerned, Penshurst owner and Tara Raceway regular Jack Casey must have been starting to wonder.
After all, when lining up in last Friday’s Berringa Park Maiden heat (512 metres) it had been 378 days since Another Rouse had made his debut at Tara Raceway on Friday, December 11, 2015 and following 22 starts he was still chasing his first win.
By Cape Hawke out of 2010 Mount Gambier Cup winner Kirkstall Jane, the black dog had been purchased as a six-month-old pup by Casey from Glencoe breeder-trainer Barry Shepheard.
The pair had previously teamed up to race the durable chaser Rouse Flyer, who all told had gone around 123 times for 26 wins and 44 minor placings.
Ultimately, Casey would name his latest purchase Another Rouse, no doubt hoping for more of the same.
But by September Shepheard had had enough and suggested to Casey that they have the dog assessed with a view to placing him in the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).
However, Another Rouse found himself back in work after being deemed unsuitable for re-homing when failing to pass the GAP assessment. Can’t this dog do anything right? Casey must have been asking himself.
The popular owner hadn’t missed too many of his dog’s runs – although at times he probably wished he had. But last week he opted not to make the trip over and take up his customary spot at the finish line fence.
Another Rouse, who had previously failed to run a place in three goes from box eight, came out running from the wide draw, leading all the way to win in 30.15 seconds, a time somewhat quicker than his previous personal best of 30.63 seconds.
It could be said that this had been a case of racing from GAP to glory!
In fact, his was the fourth fastest maiden run this year at Tara Raceway, being beaten only by Homer 29.84, Berry Bling 29.94 and King Obama 30.10.
Incidentally, not only had Casey been trying to win a race all year he had also been after one of the weekly meat trays which are drawn for members who are on-course.
And there are no prizes for guessing whose number came out first but was ineligible due to non-attendance!
Meat tray aside, it wasn’t a bad couple of the days for the Casey family with nephew Brendan being rewarded for his perseverance after Rizzocca won on debut over 390 metres at Warrnambool on the Saturday.
By Cosmic Chief, Rizzocca is out of Spin A Yarn, a winner of nine races at Tara Raceway for fellow Penshurst trainer John Burow.
Rizzocca, in fact, is only a month younger than Another Rouse but Burow had been having all sorts of problems with the then unnamed black dog’s temperament and several months ago gave him away to Casey.
Temperament, among other things, was indeed an issue as the dog’s new owner-trainer soon discovered – for starters, two stints at breaking-in establishments to finally get him chasing and then an operation for an undescended testicle.
Rizzocca, who ran a handy 22.38 seconds when winning his maiden heat, will line up from box three in Saturday night’s $1325 to the winner final at Warrnambool while Another Rouse looks to have drawn well in box two in the Laser Electrical Maiden final (512 m), which will be the first of 12 races in Sunday’s season opener at Tara Raceway.
Surely, Jack Casey will be back at the fence on Sunday, hoping Another Rouse can now go on with the job and win the first race run at Tara Raceway in 2017.
Hoping, also, to defy the meat tray odds and have his number drawn out of the barrel for a second consecutive week.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Uptown Man, a half-brother to Tara Raceway 512 metres record holder Thanks Tubby, made an impressive debut last Friday afternoon when winning the Trackside Meats Stake (400 metres) – the first heat of a maiden series.
Away well from box four, the David Peckham trained February 2015 whelping led all the way to defeat another first starter in Kevin Mugavin’s Another Value by 3¼ lengths in a more than handy maiden time of 23.36 seconds.
Peckham also guided Thanks Tubby (by Superman) to 20 wins over three distances at Tara Raceway including a still-standing record of 29.60 seconds on June 1, 2014.
Owned by the breeder, Ben Murphy of Fulham Gardens, Uptown Man is from a repeat mating by El Grand Senor x Irish Fantasy with the first litter producing smart type Senor Socks.
According to Peckham, who reared Uptown Man from a four-month-old pup at Allendale East, the black dog broke-in with a “Thursday night Angle Park” rating although he’s not getting too excited just yet.
“He’d been trialling pretty well leading into the race,” he said. “But we’ll get more of a guide on him when he’s tried over 512 metres.”
The win was the first leg of a double for Peckham who ended the year on a good note after Cosmic Lacey, appreciating the drop back to Pathway class, led all the way in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m) for a six length win in 23.27 seconds.
Ben Murphy’s involvement in breeding goes back a fair way and can in fact be traced back to the former Queenslander Perfect Bart who created a huge impression at his first Victorian start at Bendigo, also last Friday, when easily winning over 425 metres in 23.39 seconds – a fair effort considering Fernando Bale holds the track record at 23.38.
In 2004 Murphy had bred a litter by Token Prince x True Angel which included a bitch, later to race as Gorgas, who ended up with Steve Boody in Coominya, Queensland where she won 17 races, the majority being on country tracks in the north of the state.
And in what was a win 12 years in the making, Gorgas later whelped three litters with one of the offspring being Perfect Thrill who when mated with Knocka Norris produced last Friday’s near-record winner at Bendigo.
LADY MAKES UP FOR LOST TIME
Well-bred bitch Lady Shannah, having only her fourth race start, made up for lost time when winning the Gambier Vets Stake, the first heat of a maiden series over 512 metres.
Owned by Don Nunn and trained by Tracie Price, the black bitch led all the way from box one to run out a comfortable 3½ length winner over Gee She Roks in 30.34 seconds.
By Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star, Lady Shannah is a sister to proven performers Fear The Rascal, Shannah’s Might and Fear Helvetia but as Price explained the now 3½-year-old has endured a rocky start to her racing career.
“She broke a toe as a pup and didn’t come into the kennel until September,” he said. “She ran second on debut then came on season and didn’t get back onto the track until earlier this month.”
Price said Nunn was hoping the May 2013 black bitch could now go on with the job as she is the only bitch in what is a successful litter and at a later date he’s keen to breed with her.
Meanwhile, Price reports that Cee Me Burst, winner of the 2015 Winter Classic at Tara Raceway, has whelped a litter of eight to Cosmic Rumble.
By Nitro Burst x Oh Cee Ya, Cee Me Burst, a winner of eight races, is a litter sister to Smart Missile who won 12 races from only 26 starts for more than $64,000 in stakemoney.
MARCLING, LIL ARTHUR BACK AMONG THE WINNERS
The year ended well for seasoned chasers Marcling and Lil Arthur when they turned in best of day performances over 512 metres and 400 metres.
For Marcling, it was his first win in three months and his first in three starts at Tara Raceway for Serviceton owner-trainer David Brodhurst who recently purchased the son of Lochinvar Marlow x Clinga from Adelaide for a four-figure sum.
A chance scratching saw the black dog make every post a winner after gaining a run as a reserve from box two – finding the front going out of the first turn before holding off a fast-finishing Penny Eagle to win by 3¼ lengths in 30.00 seconds.
Brodhurst ended the year with 22 winners, his best-ever effort at Tara Raceway.
Mount Gambier owner-trainer Ken Feltus continues to do well with his small team – Lil Arthur being his latest success at the local track.
By Cosmic Chief x Ocean Magic, Lil Arthur hadn’t won for seven months but raced with renewed vigour in The Border Watch Masters Stake (400 m) when taking the lead off the back and powering away to a 9¾ length win in 23.20 seconds.
The February 2013 black dog’s winning time was well under the Masters time standard of 23.50 seconds which means he will have to run unplaced on two occasions before being considered again for the veteran-class events.
In Mount Gambier for only a few weeks, Lil Arthur’s win follows on from Cool Whipp and Playmaster – two other former interstate greyhounds that found success at Tara Raceway after joining Feltus’s kennels.
SUNRISE’S TIMELY WIN
Cee Sunrise’s win in the Metal Worx Pathway heat (400 m) came at a good time as far as Portland owner-trainer Andy Graham was concerned.
Always on the pace, the black bitch railed through on the home turn before striding away to an easy 4¼ length win over Carrara Lad in 23.42 seconds – well under the Pathway time standard.
By Cosmic Chief, Cee Sunrise – a winner of five races from 18 starts – is out of Cee Anna Rose, a daughter of Bombastic Shiraz x Senni Wendy, who won six races from only 18 starts and almost $20,000 in stakemoney.
And Graham recently mated Cee Anna Rose for a third time – this time to Magic Sprite.
In the Laser Electrical Stake (512 m) Cee Sunrise’s older half-brother Ocean Bay (by Collision) gave plenty of cheek when chasing Podium Time throughout to go down by 1¾ lengths in 30.18 seconds.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Some rough results on Christmas Cup day at Tara Raceway surely tested punters’ mettle although few would have begrudged Mount Gambier regulars Brad Mitchem, Connie Miller, Tony Harding, Monty Wilson and David Brodhurst their wins at one of the bigger local greyhound meetings of the year.
For Sandford trainer Mitchem the win of Elusive Linda in the Laser Electrical Stake (400 metres) made for a pretty handy long week-end after Ozi Power and Crazy Sprite had both won over 416 metres at Strathalbyn on the Friday.
A litter sister to Ozi Power, the lightly-raced Elusive Linda, a $26 chance, had punters reeling early in the day when leading all the way at only her fourth start in 23.55 seconds at the big odds of $26.
A daughter of Barcia Bale x Quick To Go, the black bitch defeated Goldie’s Run in her maiden at the local track back in August before resuming last week and finding the going pretty tough at Angle Park behind the boom youngster High Eden Snow.
Those keeping the faith with Allendale East trainer Miller were well rewarded when Bushman’s Faith at $11 led all the way in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m) to defeat $34 chance Good Yarn in 30.40 seconds.
Miller has done remarkably well with the son of Magic Sprite x Cin Cin Shiraz, a former Victorian chaser who won at his first start at Tara Raceway in August and has since gone on to win another six races.
It took Delcorn Potts, these days trained at Hamilton by Harding, 42 starts to win his first race but only another three to land his second – the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m).
Jumping from box five at $13, the black dog took the lead mid-race and despite finishing down the extreme outside of the track in the run home he still had 2½ lengths to spare in 30.61 seconds.
Mumbannar-based Wilson’s aim of training a winner a month for the second consecutive year looked somewhat remote a few months ago but a late surge now sees him not too far off the mark after Podium Time’s win.
By Dyna Tron out of the beautifully bred So Faithful, Podium Time went into the Produce Store Stake (512 m) with one win from 26 starts and a price of $31 to go with it.
However the brindle bitch looked anything but the rank outsider when showing plenty of early pace to lead all the way and hold out race favourite Stylish Pursuit.
Cheyenne Black, trained at Serviceton by Brodhurst for his wife Valerie, led all the way in the Allestree Holiday Units Mixed Stake (400 m) to defeat a pretty handy field in a pretty handy 23.14 seconds.
The daughter of Cosmic Chief x Eva’s Flame was an $8.50 chance, big odds considering her record this year at Tara Raceway resulted in her finishing just outside the top 10 greyhounds and contributing to her trainer’s 21 wins.
CLARISSA ON GREYHOUNDS
For Clarissa Miller, 15, a family involvement in greyhound racing made it pretty easy when it came to choosing a school project.
Clarissa made a 15-minute video titled Greyhounds: Greyhound racing and the back story of how they are looked after and trained.
In the video she appears on camera explaining aspects of the greyhound and greyhound racing, puts her views on various issues and posts pictures of greyhounds in kennel and racing environments.
Greyhounds also includes a piece on the 2012 Adelaide Cup and the sensational events leading up to the final which was won by Spud Regis.
Many will remember the car and trailer crash just outside of Nhill in the early hours after the running of the Adelaide Cup heats a week prior when Spud Regis escaped unscathed.
“This video is for school and Nana,” she said. Nana, of course, being Connie Miller of Allendale East.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
The finish line frivolity was once again in full play at Tara Raceway last Sunday after Cilla Brown kicked off the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s Christmas Cup meeting with a win in the Royal Fashion Maiden final (512 metres).
And while the Tara Raceway finish is “famous” for its across-the-line celebratory moments that are beamed around Australia via Sky Racing it’s doubtful that any have matched that of the winner’s trainer, David Williams.
Williams, quite simply, had been overjoyed to win the race with Cilla Brown who is owned by his 16-year-old daughter Angela. “That’s my biggest win,” he said. “And believe me, it felt like it!”
Cilla Brown did the job pretty well when winning a heat the previous week but even Williams had conceded that the other heat winner, the Bea Bryant trained Carry On Elvis, was going to be very hard to beat.
Lining up in the final from box three, the 28 kilogram black bitch jumped fairly in what was the 10th running of the feature maiden and was in front going out of the first turn.
Into the back straight Carry On Elvis loomed ominously, overcoming a check and then looking hard to hold out as he gave the leader a couple of lengths start.
But this was going to be Angela and David Williams’ day. Cilla Brown still had two lengths to spare on the line when running 30.63 seconds.
By little-known sire Ivan Brown out of Surfing Blonde, Cilla Brown found her way down to Tarpeena late last month after she had run a couple of minor placings from seven starts at Angle Park for Lewiston trainer John Spoolder.
To be fair though, she had been contesting some handy SA-bred features, with Spoolder happy to give the bitch to Angela Williams, believing she would be better suited down here.
The 39-year-old David Williams will now be hoping to wrap up what’s been a productive final three months of racing and add to his eight winners at Friday’s final meeting of the year.
Cilla Brown has drawn box eight in the first heat of a grade six 512 metre series – the Allestree Holiday Units Stake – while Carry On Elvis is also back and will contest the second heat – the South Eastern Hotel Stake – from box seven.
Quite conceivably, the pair could clash again in the final which will be run at the 2017 season opener on Sunday, January 1.
Also impressing in the Royal Fashion Maiden final was the Steve Bartholomew trained Azumi Spice who finished a half head behind Carry On Elvis in third spot – her sixth minor placing from only seven starts.
The black bitch worked home really well and now looks well placed in Friday’s second heat of a maiden series over 512 metres – the Berringa Park Stake.
By Cosmic Chief out of former local short-course specialist Azumi Touch, Azumi Spice is a February 2015 whelping and looks ideally suited to February’s Summer Classic (512 m) at Tara Raceway.
Making his debut on Friday will be Azumi Spice’s brother, Azumi Shadow, who will jump from box eight in the second heat of a maiden 400 metre series – the JB Irrigation Stake.
HALLIDAY’S HOMER ANSWERS THE CHALLENGE
Homer, owned and trained by Robert Halliday, has come a fair way since his debut at last year’s Christmas Cup meeting at Tara Raceway.
Twelve months ago in the South Eastern Hotel Open Maiden (512 m) the well bred son of Fear Zafonic and Flawless Tears ran a 10½ length third behind Lektra Goose and Southwood Hazel in 30.87 seconds.
As it turned out, it was another six months before Homer opened his winning account but after his win in last Sunday’s Rock’s Retreat Christmas Challenge (600 m) he’s now been successful on eight occasions this year.
Well back early from box six, the white and black dog was giving the tearaway leader Shannah’s Might a fair start down the back straight before finishing powerfully to defeat a fast-finishing Fascinated by 3½ lengths with a further 1¼ lengths to the early leader in a time of 35.60 seconds.
Homer’s win was the first leg of a running double for the Portland trainer with Redda taking over the running off the back in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m) and holding out Penny Eagle to win by a length in 30.37 seconds.
The double came on the back of a treble at the previous meeting and gave Halliday 13 winners for the final three months of the year.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Glenroy greyhound Glenville Jester’s amazing six weeks of racing continued at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when he defeated a classy field in the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final (512 metres).
This is the dog that last month won a Pathway Stake, then a heat and final of the Newman McDonnell Memorial before running second to Fiorelli Rose and then turning the tables on her prior to a Christmas Cup heat and final success.
Glenville Jester, trained by Richard Clayfield, was always going to be hard to beat after drawing box one although main interest focused on Mojito Mayhem who was attempting to win his third cup at Tara Raceway this year.
But before a large crowd, boosted by the attendance of members of the South Eastern Hotel Social Club, it was the Jester who surprised even his most ardent admirers when flying the lids and leading around the first turn with the Nicole Stanley trained Old Jock in hot pursuit.
Down the back straight the pair had opened up a handy break over the opposition and in the run home it was Glenville Jester who landed his 13th win for the year when defeating Old Jock by two lengths in 30.05 seconds – the second-fastest Christmas Cup winning time after Who’s Doing What’s 29.77 seconds in 2014.
The Robert Duncan trained Abbey’s Hand finished a further 3½ lengths back in third spot. Hers was a tremendous effort with the 4½-year-old veteran making up many lengths in the run home.
Abbey’s Hand just grabbed Mojito Mayhem and the Christmas Cup hoodoo continued for a second year for Peter Franklin’s Mount Gambier Cup and dual Anniversary Cup winner.
For Glenville Jester his 13th win on Sunday was a case of too little, too late as far as the Greyhound of the Year was concerned although he did win more races at Tara Raceway this year than any other greyhound.
But Old Jock’s wonderfully consistent year of 10 wins, 13 seconds and five thirds for 71 points saw him win the award by seven points over Glenville Jester.
Clayfield races the Christmas Cup winner in partnership with his brother Kevin and long-time racing cohort Dale Lewis. For Kevin Clayfield it was something of a mixed day after he took a tumble in the catching pen and later went to hospital for observation.
Lewis, just back in time from an overseas trip with wife Judy to witness the win, has been racing greyhounds with Clayfield since the mid-80s, a time when he was also involved with the South East Greyhound Racing Club as secretary.
By Vapour Whirl, Glenville Jester is out of Glenville Maggie which the pair also raced to win the 2011 Anniversary Cup at Tara Raceway.
“Glenville Maggie was pretty handy,” he said. “But Glenville Jester probably has to be right up there as one of the best we’ve raced together.
“The litter has had only two runners with Rowdy Richard winning at Horsham, Ballarat and Mount Gambier. As such, it’s probably a pity that she was never mated again.”
And Lewis still marvels at the success Glenville Jester has achieved at Tara Raceway.
“You know, if you could see him on our little track at home you wouldn’t think he was the same dog because he shows absolutely no interest in chasing the lure although thankfully he switches on once he hits Mount Gambier.”
The Christmas Cup win was the culmination of a good year for Clayfield who also won 11 races with Slipper’s Shadow and five with his litter sister Slipper’s Chance.
“Yes, it’s been a pretty good year,” he said. “Today’s win was certainly the icing on the cake and one of my biggest wins at the track.”
Clayfield said Glenville Jester would probably now be set for the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup (512 m), heats of which will be run at the end of February.
BRACELET FINAL A REAL THRILLER
Sunday’s Milla Laddrak-sponsored Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet final for grade five bitches over 400 metres lived up to its hype when Lektra Hutch and Brazen Beau once again matched motors.
The pair had fought out a closely-contested heat last week but the final turned out to be even tighter with Brazen Beau going straight to the front from box two while Lektra Hutch quickly worked into second spot from box eight.
And turning for home it was Lektra Hutch who took the rails opening before gaining the verdict in a slogging finish by a half head in 23.32 seconds – marginally quicker than Pintail’s 23.59 seconds win in last year’s inaugural Bracelet.
Owned and trained by Phil Lenehan, Lektra Hutch is by Vee Man Vane out of Lektra Angie, who won her maiden at Tara Raceway four years ago when defeating Moorak Hope in a very quick 29.93 seconds before going on to win a further eight races on Victorian tracks.
Sunday’s win was the black bitch’s ninth win from 35 starts for more than $14,000 in prizemoney.
Brazen Beau, a daughter of Shakey Jakey and proven producer Scrappy Coco, is turning out to be a more than handy pick-up for Allen and David Williams, having now won and been placed second on three occasions at Tara Raceway.
Filling third spot in the Bracelet was Lenehan’s other runner Lektra Aly who quickly settled in third position and finished the race off nicely to be beaten only 1½ lengths.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Mojito Mayhem’s successful comeback in a heat of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 metres) at Tara Raceway last Friday afternoon has made for a great story as far as local greyhound racing is concerned.
After wins earlier this year in the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup and the Anniversary Cup – the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s two biggest races of the year – Mojito Mayhem will now make an unprecedented bid for a cups clean sweep when jumping from box six in Sunday’s final.
Quite remarkably, the striking-looking black dog lined up from box one in a heat last week as an odds-on favourite at his first start after suffering what is generally a career-ending back leg injury at Ballarat in late August.
In last week’s heat, Mojito Mayhem and Galactic Viper matched motors to the first turn before the former shot away down the back straight, eventually running out a 4¼ length winner over McRay in 29.84 seconds – the fastest 512 metre time run at the track since Berry Bling’s 29.80 seconds on October 2.
Needless to say, Moyston trainer Peter Franklin, who had publicly stated that he believed Mojito Mayhem had probably lost three lengths, was delighted with the dog’s return to racing.
“Leading up to the cup heat he had been trialling pretty steadily over 450 metres at Ballarat where he hadn’t been breaking 26 seconds, although he’s certainly a different dog on the two-bend Tara Raceway track,” he said.
That he is, with last Friday’s win – his 20th overall – taking his local 512 metre record to 14 wins and four minor placings from 23 starts.
With a box six record of three wins and two minor placings from eight starts, Mojito Mayhem doesn’t look too badly placed in Sunday’s final although Franklin will be hoping for better luck in this year’s Christmas Cup than he experienced last year.
He looked to hold a strong hand in the 2015 cup with three finalists – Mojito Mayhem, his brother Future Past, and Vector – but failed to run a place in the race won by Fear The Rascal.
By Fear Zafonic x Graceful Amy, Mojito Mayhem was purchased by Bendigo owner Barry Priest as a pup with the dam, a staying type, having won 14 races.
And there’s certainly not a lot wrong with his damline – Graceful Amy being by Collide out of the unraced Amy Grace, a daughter of Flying Amy, one of Australia’s greatest greyhounds.
Glenville Jester’s strong finishing burst to defeat Old Jock and Cool Whipp in the second heat of the Christmas Cup was the culmination of an amazing five weeks for Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield with the April 2013 son of Vapour Whirl and Glenville Maggie registering five wins and a second from six starts.
The black dog has drawn the one in the final, and with a record from that box of two wins and two minor placings from five starts Glenville Jester is ideally placed to give Clayfield his biggest win at Tara Raceway since Glenville Maggie defeated Cryer’s Tiger and She’s A Jet in the 2011 Anniversary Cup.
And that would be a fair effort for a dog that only last month was running around in a Pathway race.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, after a double at Warrnambool on Tuesday with Ridd’s Flyer and Hay Miss, will be looking to wrap up a wonderful year in the Christmas Cup with either Old Jock or McRay who have drawn boxes three and eight respectively.
A four-year-old son of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze, Old Jock, who was a finalist in this year’s Mount Gambier Cup, can’t be beaten in the Greyhound of the Year award.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Sunday’s meeting at Tara Raceway promises to be one of the best for some time with four feature finals highlighting the 12-race card which will commence at 11.35 a.m. and conclude at 3.15 p.m.
The clash of last week’s impressive heat winners Carry on Elvis and Cilla Brown should make for an entertaining start to the meeting when they jump from boxes seven and three respectively for trainers Bea Bryant and David Williams in the Royal Fashion Maiden final (512 metres).
Adding further interest to the final will be Phil Lenehan’s Lektra Magic who will jump from box eight after displaying plenty of early pace in her heat before going down by a couple of lengths to Cilla Brown.
And flashing home to run third to Cilla Brown was the Steve Bartholomew trained Azumi Spice who has drawn box one and is close to her first win.
Portland owner-trainer Robert Halliday won both heats of the Rock’s Retreat Christmas Challenge (600 m) with Homer and Odd Boots but Sunday’s final looks to be anything but a two-dog race following Tuesday afternoon’s box draw.
Shannah’s Might, who found the front at the winning post the first time around for trainer Tracie Price in last week’s first heat, was still in front turning for home before being collared by Homer and going down by four lengths when finishing second.
By Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star, the litter brother to last year’s Christmas Cup winner Fear The Rascal was having his first middle-distance run in six weeks and should be better for the hit-out.
At last year’s corresponding meeting, Penshurst owner-trainer John Cameron scored an easy win with Jasmine Lilly while in the Royal Fashion Maiden Fascinated finished third behind Cairnlea Lewis.
A winner over 512 metres at Tara Raceway in late November, Fascinated worked home well to finish third in Homer’s heat at what was only her third run over the middle-distance journey.
Cameron was more than happy with the effort and while the daughter of Hutmaker x Spellbound is probably not ideally drawn in box two she’s another one who should be better for the run.
The same could probably be said for Nifty Lenehan’s King Obama who led for a long way from box one in the second heat before Odd Boots grabbed him in the run home.
By Kinloch Brae x Obama’s Girl, King Obama was having his first run over 600 metres and while likely to strip fitter he will have to contend with box seven in Sunday’s final.
Lenehan, who was successful with King Obama’s litter sister Herbilly in a best of day 23.17 seconds over 400 metres at Tara Raceway later in the day, followed up again at Warrnambool on Tuesday night when she won a grade five 390 metre event.
PRESIDENT CHASING ANOTHER FEATURE
Southern Greyhound Raceway president Tony Hinrichsen will be chasing his second Tara Raceway feature this year when Back Up Tiger lines up from box three in the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet final (400 m).
By Dyna Tron x Fighting Fury, the brindle bitch is a sister to Menzel Boys, winner of this year’s Summer Classic prior to running third to Mojito Mayhem in the Mount Gambier Cup final.
Back Up Tiger, a winner over 512 metres at Tara Raceway 12 months ago and also in February over 400 metres, was a solidly backed favourite from box five in the first heat of the Bracelet.
And punters taking the $2.60 wouldn’t have been overly happy when she was well back just after box rise. But in what was a remarkable exhibition of railing, Back Up Tiger never went around a dog, eventually running out a 1½ length winner over Brae’s Girl in 23.67 seconds.
The brindle bitch, who has drawn box three on Sunday, rounded off her final preparation with a 1½ length fourth behind Fatboy Norm in a 400 metre mixed 4/5 stake at Gawler on Tuesday afternoon.
Toolong trainer Phil Lenehan looks to hold a strong hand in the Bracelet with Lektra Aly and Lektra Hutch drawing boxes one and eight respectively.
Lektra Aly found the front down the back in Back Up Tiger’s heat but ran into trouble shortly after before finishing third.
Heat two winner Lektra Hutch, who returned to Tara Raceway on the back of some excellent short-course form at Warrnambool, took over the running down the back from another noted speedster in Brazen Beau with only three-quarters of a length separating the pair on the line in 23.43 seconds.
Brazen Beau will line up from box two for David Williams in a final that promises to be a keenly-contested affair while the Ken Gillespie trained Krypton Queen will jump from box four after qualifying with a nice third behind Lektra Hutch.
And highlighting the meeting will be the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m). Mojito Mayhem is through to the final and has drawn box six while Glenville Jester will be attempting to make it three wins on end when exiting from box one.