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

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Monday, October 28 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. BORDER CHALLENGE: Mount Gambier v. Warrnambool. $4000 to the winner final at Warrnambool (450 m) on Thursday, December 5. Mount Gambier conditions: Trainer must be financial member of club. Greyhound must have been in the trainer’s kennel for the past three months and have raced at least twice in the past 12 months at Tara Raceway. Trainer must have raced on at least 15 occasions in the past 12 months at Tara Raceway. Maximum of two heats (512 m) with the first two from each heat to represent Mount Gambier. First four to represent the club if only one heat.

PLEASE NOTE: NO TRIALS ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29 DUE TO TRACK MAINTENANCE.


News

Veteran chaser back for another grade 5 feature

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Even though Horsham greyhound Smart Maxwell’s last win had been in a Veterans event over 410 metres at his home track last September, trainer Helen Hartigan wasn’t looking for a similar type of event for her November 2011 black dog at Tara Raceway last Friday.

As it turned out, there had been a veterans’ race in the form of a Masters Stake (400 metres) on the 12-race card and Smart Maxwell, at five years and three months of age, certainly wouldn’t have had any trouble gaining a start.

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Caitlin Hartigan with veteran chaser Smart Maxwell.

But Hartigan was back for a crack at another feature grade five after Smart Maxwell at his previous visit to Tara Raceway last November had run a close third to Glenville Jester in the Newman McDonnell Memorial final (512 m).

Lining up from box four in the last of four heats of the Metal Worx Feature Grade Five (512 m) on Friday, he found the front going into the back straight before running away to a comfortable four length win over fellow qualifier Lektra Munster in 30.43 seconds.

A son of Mogambo x Off Springer, the winner is raced by his breeder Len Jones, of Woodend, who was at Horsham for its cup meeting back in mid-2015 with Smart Maxwell and his litter brother Echelonic Action.

But when the pair failed to make the Horsham Cup final, Jones opted for the brothers to see out their racing careers with Hartigan and her husband Bill.

And some 18 months later, Smart Maxwell is still going strong – his success last Friday making him the oldest Tara Raceway winner since Malcolm Davis’s Hot Genetics in a Masters in August last year.

He’s now won 22 races and accumulated 45 minor placings from 149 starts for stakemoney close to $80,000 with Helen Hartigan, his fifth trainer, having won seven of those races.

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Master Tron, after his best of day 30.18 seconds win, is pictured with Ralph Patzel and Amanda Darmanin.

Echelonic Action has been as equally durable – 145 starts for 16 wins, 46 minor placings and $91,000 in stakemoney – with a couple of smart 27.08 seconds and 27.15 seconds 480 metre Horsham wins coming since joining the Hartigan kennels.

The brothers are members of an outstanding litter which also includes Go Mobo, a winner of $98,000, Mechatronic ($50,000) and Sweet It Is ($945,000 – and that’s no misprint).

Master Tron continued his outstanding form at Tara Raceway when winning the second heat in a best of day time of 30.18 seconds and took his local record to three wins from four starts.

The son of Dyna Tron x Katie Racoon chased Crackerjack Pete until the home turn before taking over the running and holding out the under-rated Lyon Rose to score by 1¼ lengths with the early leader running an improved race to finish a further three-quarters of a length back in third spot.

Raced by Amanda Darmanin and Ralph Patzel, and trained by the latter in Mount Gambier, Master Tron was having his first Tara Raceway start over 512 metres although this was never really going to be an issue as the widely-travelled greyhound had previously won over 600 metres at The Meadows.

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Wayne Verrall, looking much happier than the last time he was photographed at Tara Raceway, pictured with Wayne’s Error.

A winner of 11 races, along with 16 minor placings, Master Tron is one of the better local greyhounds going around at the moment, prompting the question to connections as to whether the forthcoming ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup was an option.

Not according to Darmanin who reckons the three-state winner isn’t running quick enough to warrant a cup start.

No comment, though, from Patzel who 20 years ago trained Ashanti Gem to win the first Mount Gambier Cup run at the Lake Terrace East venue.

Another impressive heat win was that of Wayne’s Error who railed through down the back before running out a 4¾ length winner over Gemma Eagle in 30.29 seconds.

Owned and trained at Lewiston by Don Turner, the fawn dog was having only his second start at Tara Raceway after running second in a Mount Gambier Cup heat 12 months ago to Mojito Mayhem.

Wayne’s Error, who boasts a pretty handy record of 22 wins from 87 starts and prizemoney of more than $30,000, is by Spring Gun out of Magic Castle, a bitch Turner won five races with at Angle Park along with one at Gawler and one at Port Augusta.

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Saint Flynn turned in another good effort at Tara Raceway for owner-trainer Robert Walsh.

Friday’s win was the start of a couple of successful days for Turner and his travelling companion Wayne Verrall who on Saturday headed in the opposite direction to Port Augusta where they were successful with He’s Innocent and Another Mai.

Also through to Sunday’s final are Saint Flynn, owned and trained at Koroit by Robert Walsh, and Redda – Saint Flynn winning by 5¼ lengths in 30.42 seconds after taking the rails running down the back straight.

And following Tuesday afternoon’s box draw for the excellent 12-race meeting, it was Master Tron who came up with the one, although from 53 starts this will be only the second time he has drawn the inside.

Smart Maxwell has drawn box five, but he has a fair record from the yellow, while Wayne’s Error didn’t fare all that well when drawing box four.


Peckham blitzes ’em at Tara Raceway

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Uptown Man and Blitz And Bolt kicked off a memorable day for Allendale East trainer David Peckham when winning the first two heats of the General Destini Summer Classic (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Friday.

A $20 chance, Uptown Man was slowly away from box four but quickly mustered pace to be well placed in third spot going out of the first turn before taking over the running off the back.

Having his first start over 512 metres, the black dog turned for home in front of former kennelmate Goldie’s Run, now trained by Tracie Price, and finished full of running to score by 1¾ lengths with a further head back to Peter Franklin’s McIvor Neville who was doing his best work at the finish.

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Part-owner Connie Miller with Blitz And Bolt and trainer David Peckham with Uptown Man after winning the first two heats of the General Destini Summer Classic.

Bred and raced by Ben Murphy, of Adelaide, Uptown Man is by El Grand Senor out of Irish Fantasy, also the dam of Peckham’s Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Thanks Tubby.

Uptown Man went into Friday’s race with only six starts to his name and having never been any further than 400 metres, winning a maiden over that distance at the local track in a pretty handy 23.36 seconds at the end of December.

And no one was more surprised than his trainer at the manner in which the 32 kilogram dog, whelped in February 2015, handled the step-up in distance.

“To be honest, I’d always thought he would struggle over 512 metres but with him being a good age for the classic I thought I’d put him in and see what happened. For sure, I was pleasantly surprised with the effort and the time – 30.51 seconds,” Peckham said.

Blitz And Bolt looked well placed from box two in the second classic heat and was always going to win after finding the front going out of the first turn, ultimately running out a 4¼ length winner over Quan’s Flash with Ima Caravan a further 1½ lengths back in third spot in 30.45 seconds.

Breathing a sigh of relief after the race was part-owner Connie Miller who still had recollections of Blitz And Bolt, a January 2015 whelping, taking a tumble on the first turn in a race at Tara Raceway on January 15.

“This was his first run since the fall and I was just hoping that he wouldn’t have any issues going into the first turn. Fortunately, all was good,” she said.

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Hutch, pictured with owner-trainer Robert Halliday, was the fastest General Destini Summer Classic heat winner.

With Cairnlea Olly and Cairnlea Kenny winning at Angle Park on the Monday night, Hutch rounded off a good week for the April 2015 Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie litter with a win in the third and final heat of the Summer Classic.

Owned and trained at Portland by Robert Halliday, Hutch, at only his fourth race start, went straight to the front from box seven and was never headed, running out a 6¼ length winner over the Cap Abbott trained Irka Jakit in 30.21 seconds.

The win was Hutch’s second in succession with Halliday believing he may have been a little hasty with the 32 kilogram black dog.

“I was really keen to have a crack at the Sims Memorial with him early last month but in hindsight I probably rushed things a bit.

“I have fond memories of my many clashes with Col (Sims) on the track and the coursing fields and as such I’m still very keen to win that race at some stage.

“But at the moment the Summer Classic is the priority. I was really pleased with Hutch’s heat win and look forward to what should be a terrific final,” he said.

The three placegetters from the first two heats, along with first and second from heat three, will now clash in the $3000 General Destini Summer Classic final on Sunday afternoon.

This will mark the third running of the Summer Classic – Cryer’s Ricky (Tom Cryer) successful in 2015 in 29.96 seconds and Menzel Boys (Lisa Rasmussen) last year in 30.01 seconds.

Meanwhile, Peckham’s day ended as it had begun – with a running double – Thanks Captain successful in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m) and Sweeney Miss in the ClassicBet Masters (400 m).

Thanks Captain, an enigmatic chaser at the best of times, was looking to make it two wins in a row for a second time in his 48-start career – successful on consecutive Sundays last September – when lining up from box eight in last Friday’s mixed stake.

He quickly put himself in the race before taking over the running down the back from Marcling and then, after tracking wide in the home straight, holding on to defeat that greyhound by a head in 30.42 seconds.

By Fabregas x Zadar Belle, nine-race winner Thanks Captain completed a good day for Happy Valley owner Ross Schurgott who is also a part-owner of Blitz And Bolt.

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Connie Miller, David Peckham and part-owner Smiley Gordon after Sweeney Miss’s Masters win.

A change of kennels seemed to do the trick for Millicent owners Smiley Gordon and Gavin Watts after Sweeney Miss, whose last win had been at Tara Raceway back in October in a Pathway (400 m), landed the final event.

Based at Allendale East for a month, the March 2013 daughter of El Grand Senor x Ren Shen settled in second spot from box two in Friday’s veterans’ race before taking over on the home turn and running out a 1½ length winner over Tank Tank in 23.91 seconds.

Peckham’s four winners gave him his biggest day at the track since Sunday, April 3, 2016 when he was successful with Blazin’ Vicky, Cousin Ann, Dark Nemesis and Any Silvers Bro.

Previously, Dash Dash Dot, Cool And Amazing, Young Gunner and Bourne Again had also given him a bag of four winners on Sunday, September 7, 2014.

And on Sunday, February 12, 2012 Peckham established a then Tara Raceway record of five winners with Many Of Mystery, Baurna Paddy, Hesket Harrier, Flako and Too Good Road.


SA-bred: How times have changed

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Greyhound Racing SA’s SA-bred incentive schemes continue to reward participants who are prepared to invest in the SA product.

Owners and breeders of SA-bred winners at SA TAB tracks currently pick up $50 each on top of the stakemoney as well as receiving a bonus from the $30,000 SA-bred pool – in the case of December something like $70 each.

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Elysia Bartholomew with the SA-bred Azumi Shadow.

Then there’s the SA-bred maiden payments which reward participants who get a greyhound to the track and win a race – and that’s never as easy as it sounds.

At the moment the maiden payment bonus stands at $175 but GRSA has announced that as of July 1 this will increase considerably to $1000 for the owner and breeder to share.

So, in other words, all greyhounds whelped in 2016 and onwards will be eligible for the bonus which will be paid on top of normal stakemoney.

And then there are the SA-bred races that clubs frame, with the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club programming a grade five SA-bred race over 400 metres and one over 512 metres for its meeting on Sunday, February 19.

GRSA’s SA-bred scheme was introduced as an incentive to breed more SA litters and for interested participants to purchase the local product.

But in the 2016 period of June to November only 20 litters were whelped – a far cry from 30 years ago when that many, or more, would be whelped in a month.

In fact, 23 were listed in the whelping notices for December 1986 with one litter – Ben Nerrin x Tara Rua – being bred by the now MGGRC president Steve Bartholomew who back then resided in Howard Street, Mount Gambier.

One of the pups, purchased by former local greyhound man Bert Hogan, raced as Ashanti Silver and at one stage strung together 11 wins in succession at Mount Gambier, Warrnambool and Horsham.

To this day, Bartholomew, now based at Worrolong, continues to breed and race greyhounds in partnership with his wife Lee – Azumi Shadow (Cosmic Chief x Azumi Touch) lining up in a heat of tomorrow’s General Destini Summer Classic.

Going back even further, it’s interesting to note that in the first six months of 1981, 48 SA stud dogs had sired 80 litters with these figures not taking into account litters whelped by SA bitches served by interstate sires.

No SA-bred incentives needed back then!

 

AGRC TO SPONSOR DAY AT TARA RACEWAY

The Adelaide Greyhound Racing Club is to sponsor a race day at Tara Raceway.

The support will follow previous involvement with the Gawler, Strathalbyn and Angle Park clubs.

AGRC secretary/treasurer Gavin Harris said this week it was anticipated that an extra $75 would be added to all but the main race of the day.

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AGRC secretary/treasurer Gavin Harris.

“As far as the main race is concerned – and that can be either a sprint or distance – we will add $150 and donate a presentation rug and trophy,” he said.

The AGRC-sponsored day is likely to be on Sunday, April 30, a week after the club’s ANZAC meeting.

Harris said the AGRC provided sponsorship to SA greyhound racing events and also contributed to the John Gray Memorial each year.

“In addition, we worked with GRSA on a project to provide cooler water to the wash down bays at Angle Park, donated money to the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) and to GRSA to provide matting for dogs in the Angle Park car park during hot weather.”

Harris’s involvement in greyhound racing is not simply confined to secretarial work as he is currently enjoying much success with Worm Burner’s sister Springvale Bryne, a winner of 26 races and $104,000 in stakemoney.

He also enjoyed tremendous success with recently-retired super stayer Luna Jinx who won 29 races and $260,000 in stakemoney.


Litter brothers better served this time around

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Litter brothers Goldie’s Run and Blitz And Bolt will line up in heats of Friday’s General Destini Summer Classic (512 metres) decidedly better served than when they contested the Winter Classic at Tara Raceway last August.

The 2017 Summer Classic is for greyhounds whelped on or after January 1, 2015 and there won’t be too many older or experienced runners in the three-heat series with the sons of Cosmic Rumble x Moonshine Sally having turned two years of age three weeks ago.

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David Peckham pictured with General Destini Summer Classic contender Blitz And Bolt.

The brothers actually made their race debuts in the Winter Classic but with the series being for greyhounds whelped on or after July 1, 2014 they were giving away plenty in age, not to mention experience.

At the time the pair was being trained at Allendale East by David Peckham and, while Goldie’s Run failed to qualify, Blitz And Bolt made it through to the final which was won by Lektra Munster.

Goldie’s Run, who was later sold to Will Kelly and is now trained at Compton by Tracie Price, has since won three races from 19 starts and will go into tomorrow’s first heat well-seasoned and not without a chance from box seven.

This is a pretty fair heat, though, with Lewiston trainer Don Turner back with Roxy Rolla after her impressive win over McIvor Neville and Big Rough at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

A winner of three races from 23 starts, Roxy Rolla doesn’t look badly placed from box eight in a heat that also includes the improving McIvor Neville and I’m A Princess, second in last Sunday’s maiden 512 metre final.

With three wins from 17 starts and a personal best 512 metre time of 30.22 seconds, Blitz And Bolt, now raced by Peckham in partnership with Connie Miller and Ross Schurgott, looks to be the testing material in the second heat from box two.

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Norm and Janis Rinaldi have donated to the winner of the Summer Classic final a service to General Destini (Where’s Pedro x Greys Destiny) who won 23 races and $270,600 in stakemoney.

The black dog has been competitive around fast-class dogs such as Glenville Jester and Fiorelli Rose and with that sort of form he should be able to make his way through to a second classic final at Tara Raceway.

Irka Jakit is ideally drawn in box one in heat three for Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott.

The February 2015 daughter of Fabregas x Another Request, who has a personal best of 30.29 seconds at Tara Raceway, comes into the race on the back of a 515 metre Juvenile win earlier this month over Cairnlea Kenny at Angle Park in 30.02 seconds.

Portland owner-trainer Robert Halliday will be hoping that success for the Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie litter will continue on Friday when Hutch lines up from box seven in the third classic heat.

A winner of the maiden final at Tara Raceway last Sunday, Hutch is a litter brother to Cairnlea Kenny and Cairnlea Ollie who both won at Angle Park on the following night.

The $3000 General Destini Summer Classic final will be run on Sunday, February 12.

 

NEWCOMERS ADD INTEREST TO FEATURE GRADE 5 SERIES

Robert Halliday, currently sitting in third spot on the Tara Raceway leading trainers’ list, has another strong team engaged on Friday with Redda looking one of his best chances.

Redda, who only just misses out on being eligible for the Summer Classic, is ideally drawn in box one in the first of four heats of the Metal Worx Feature Grade Five series (512 m).

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Redda looks a top chance in the first heat of the Metal Worx Feature Grade 5 (512 m) at Tara Raceway on Friday.

By Fabregas x Rookie’s Girl, the black dog has raced on 15 occasions for three wins – all coming from the inside two boxes.

Redda is yet to win this year but with a suitable box draw and back in grade five company he’s a strong chance of winning his way through to Sunday week’s $2100 final.

The popular monthly grade five series has once again attracted a strong line-up with further interest added by the inclusion of several newcomers to the track.

Horsham trainer Bill Hartigan is over with Jayco Bale, a winner of more than $50,000 in stakemoney. He’ll take on Redda from box seven while Cudgee’s Milo, a quick 390 metre Warrnambool winner, will step up to 512 metres and jump from box eight for Cudgee trainer Gary Hunt.

Talanjee Stiff, a winner of nine races at Warrnambool and Horsham, will be having his first run for Tarpeena trainer David Williams when he jumps from box one in the second heat of the feature grade five.

By Cosmic Rumble x Thomeli Diamond, Talanjee Stiff last won at Warrnambool on December 31 over 390 metres in a handy 22.27 seconds.

Jumping from box seven in the same race is Van Gisbergen, a winner of four races at Lismore and Grafton prior to recently joining Barry Shepheard’s Glencoe kennels.

And former Queenslander Blitz ‘Em, a winner of five races at Albion Park and Ipswich, has drawn box seven in the final heat for Lewiston trainer Don Turner.

A son of Barcia Bale x Size It Up, the blue dog made his SA debut at Gawler over 531 metres on Tuesday afternoon when working home quite well to run a 5¾ length third in 31.11 seconds.


Roxy Rolla leads classic charge

Monday, January 30, 2017

Lewiston greyhound Roxy Rolla, according to trainer Don Turner, is likely to return to Mount Gambier on Friday to contest a heat of the General Destini Summer Classic (512 metres).

This follows her win against a smart field of grade six dogs in the winningformula.net.au final over 512 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

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Trainer Don Turner and owner Wayne Verrall with Roxy Rolla after her impressive grade six final win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Obviously benefiting from her first look at the track when running a 2½ length second to Cee Rose Black in a heat at the previous meeting, Roxy Rolla led all the way from box one to defeat fellow classic contenders McIvor Neville and Big Rough by 3¾ lengths and 2½ lengths respectively in 30.25 seconds.

For greyhounds whelped on or after January 1, 2015, the $3000 General Destini Summer Classic final will be run on Sunday, February 12 and also carry a service to General Destini , a winner of 23 races and more than $270,000 in stakemoney.

Picked up by owner Wayne Verrall in the middle of last year from NSW at a time when the future of greyhound racing in that state looked anything but bright, Roxy Rolla is a March 2015 whelping by Cosmic Rumble out of the unraced Enlightment, a daughter of El Grand Senor x Jacinta Bale.

The fawn bitch has now won three races from 23 starts with the other two being over 515 metres at Angle Park in September and October last year.

“From an experience point of view she obviously holds an edge over some of the other classic contenders,” Turner said.

“You only get one crack at these age-restricted races so all being well with Roxy Rolla I reckon we’ll be back on Friday.”

McIvor Neville, recent heat and final winner of the Sims Memorial and Big Rough, the fastest heat winner and finalist in the same series, lost no friends with their efforts in running second and third.

Trained at Moyston by Peter Franklin, McIvor Neville, a May 2015 son of Bella Infrared x Blonde Caviar, worked home strongly at only his fourth race start.

And Franklin’s day ended even better when the four-year-old Future Past returned to racing after a five month break to easily win the ClassicBet Mixed Stake (400 m) by 6¼ lengths over Anti Dentite in 23.34 seconds.

February 2015 whelping Big Rough, trained at Portland by Brian Weis for local couple Heather and Noel Perry, was handy throughout at what was only his fifth race start.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day a couple of other classic hopefuls in Hutch and I’m A Princess fought out the Rock’s Retreat Maiden final (512 m).

Hutch, owned and trained at Portland by Robert Halliday, had been well-backed at his only two starts when running fourth but made amends on Sunday when defeating I’m A Princess by two lengths in 30.59 seconds.

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Future Past returned to racing after a long break to win the final event on Sunday. He is pictured with John Gale and trainer Peter Franklin.

Hutch, named after Halliday’s mate Lance Hutchinson who was on course to enjoy the win, is beautifully bred, being an April 2015 son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie.

Halliday purchased the black dog as a pup from breeder Peter Hubbard with the litter also including the Adelaide-trained Cairnlea Kenny, a winner at Angle Park last Wednesday.

Giving Halliday a clean sweep of the two maiden finals was Wee See (named after another mate in Brian Weis) who settled in third spot early before railing through on the home turn to score a 1¾ length win over Indi’s Fancy in 24.11 seconds for the 400 metre journey.

Wee See, a month too old for the classic, is by Collision out of Kokoda Spirit, a litter sister to Star Doll, a former 400 metre record holder at Tara Raceway.

Koroit trainer Robert Walsh confirmed that I’m A Princess, who has raced on only four occasions for a win and two minor placings, will return for the classic along with several of her littermates from the April 2015 Cape Hawke x Jamaican Ruby litter.

 

SAME BOX, BETTER RESULT

The scratching of Galactic Viper from box one in the final of the Berringa Park Grade Five final (400 m) resulted in the Tracie Price trained Lyon Rose gaining a start as a reserve from the inside draw.

As it was, Lyon Rose had already drawn box one in the next race, the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m), and it’s probably fair to say that Price would probably have gone with that option if he had had a choice.

Lyon Rose’s last win had been back in October when she won the Strathalbyn division of the SA Country Cup (536 m) before ultimately finishing seventh behind Mount Gambier’s representative Berry Bling in the final.

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Old Jock . . . on track for another Mount Gambier Cup campaign.

Sunday’s final boasted a fair line-up of sprinters but Lyon Rose never looked in danger of defeat as she went straight to the front, eventually running out a three length winner in 23.38 seconds.

As it turned out, there wasn’t much between the two races, time-wise, with Dean Fennell’s Gentle Moment winning the following event in 23.40 seconds.

But prizemoney-wise, Price definitely ended up in the right race with Lyon Rose collecting an extra $300 for winning the final.

In the race prior, the Produce Store Pathway final (400 m), Aston Morris drew box one and looked to have a mortgage on the race after a 23.15 seconds heat win.

And after finding himself in a spot of bother early, Aston Morris quickly found the front and ran away to a 4½ length win over the consistent Mega Max in 23.58 seconds.

The win was the final leg of a treble for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley who earlier in the day had been successful with Stylish Pursuit in the Gordon Refrigeration Mixed Stake (600 m) and Old Jock who looks destined for another Mount Gambier Cup campaign after defeating Marcling by 5¼ lengths in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (512 m) in a best of day 30.08 seconds.

Stanley kicked off the 2017 season in fine style, training 15 winners at the six meetings conducted at Tara Raceway in January.


Flying around Tara Raceway

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Compton trainer Tracie Price was in a flutter after the running of the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

Probably not surprising as his 28 kilogram black bitch Flying Flutter had just won by 14¾ lengths in a time of 29.66 seconds – less than a length outside the track record.

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Flying Flutter stops the clock at 29.66 seconds at Tara Raceway last Sunday afternoon. Picture: Todd’s Photographics.

Not a bad effort for a grade six performer having her ninth race start overall, but only her fifth at Tara Raceway for two wins and two seconds.

In fact, Flying Flutter is one of only four greyhounds to have run under 29.70 seconds at the track – the first being Tom Sinnott’s Dub Me In who lowered Half Way Home’s long-standing track record of 29.79 seconds with a flying run of 29.62 seconds on March 14, 2014.

The following month the Brendan Bunworth trained Sir Lenny went around in 29.64 seconds and then on June 1, 2014 Thanks Tubby ran a still-standing record time of 29.60 seconds for Allendale East trainer David Peckham.

Sunday’s time recorded by Flying Flutter is the fastest at Tara Raceway since Peter Franklin’s Mojito Mayhem ran 29.65 seconds on August 14, 2015.

By Mogambo out of city-winning stayer Butterfly Bling, Flying Flutter is owned in Victoria by Nic Beltran who bred the litter which also includes the Nicole Stanley owned and trained sister Stylish Pursuit who has won five races at Tara Raceway.

Actually, it was a good few days for the litter with the Beltran-owned Elusive Jewel winning a heat of the Damsels Dash (525 m) at The Meadows on Wednesday afternoon by 12 lengths in a quick 29.70 seconds.

And, after Flying Flutter displayed signs of Post Race Distress Syndrome (PRDS) before quickly recovering at Tara Raceway on Sunday, Price reported that the bitch had since gained a clean bill of health.

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2016 Mount Gambier leading trainer Tracie Price (centre) with Steve Bartholomew (left) and Allen Williams. Picture: Megan Manterfield.

“She underwent a thorough veterinary examination this week and is good to go,” he said.

Flying Flutter is now likely to tackle the Metal Worx Feature Grade Five series (512 m), heats of which will be run on Friday, February 3, prior to taking on the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup – a race Price is yet to win – later in the month.

Earlier in the day, Price had paid tribute to the team behind his training operation when receiving the award for the 2016 Mount Gambier Leading Trainer.

“My name’s listed in the race book as trainer but there are plenty behind the scenes including my wife Karen, our families, and of course Steve (Patzel) who’s out at Compton every morning at 6 o’clock.”

Price, who has been Tara Raceway’s leading trainer for the past two years, led in 78 winners, 69 seconds and 74 thirds to defeat Nicole Stanley, currently leading the way in 2017, and 2012-2014 leading trainer David Peckham.


Chasing another maiden series win

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Koroit greyhound trainer Robert Walsh will be hoping for further success at Tara Raceway when I’m A Princess lines up from box one in Sunday’s Rock’s Retreat Maiden final (512 metres).

Having her first race start at the local track last Friday – after two handy runs at Warrnambool – the black bitch justified her solid support from box eight when settling in third spot down the back behind Tipping Woody before railing through on the home turn and running out a 1½ length winner in 30.74 seconds.

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Trainer Robert Walsh’s wife Petina and five-year-old daughter Zara pictured with I’m A Princess after her maiden 512 metre heat win last Friday.

Walsh’s last Tara Raceway success had been back in late August-early September when Saint Flynn won a maiden heat over 400 metres and then followed up with another win in the final.

Whelped in April 2015, I’m A Princess is by Cape Hawke out of Jamaican Ruby, a strong type of bitch who raced on 43 occasions for five wins and 16 minor placings, including 600 metre wins at The Meadows and one over 650 metres at Warrnambool.

Walsh trained Jamaican Ruby, a daughter of Bombastic Shiraz x Call Me Shelley, for much of her career and also raced her litter brother, Ima Harley, who won nine races and in fact had his last race start at Tara Raceway on September 25, 2015 at six years of age.

But from a breeding point of view he probably got a bit more than he bargained for when Jamaican Ruby whelped her first litter – two dogs and 10 bitches!

I’m A Princess is the first of the litter to win with Walsh now looking towards the General Destini Summer Classic (512 m), heats of which will be run on Friday, February 3 with the $3000 final on Sunday, February 12.

 

STANLEY SET FOR ANOTHER BIG DAY

The only rug Old Jock had placed on him last Sunday at Tara Raceway was a presentation one for 2016 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year.

And while Hamilton syndicate manager Jock Middleton and Portland trainer Nicole Stanley were obviously pleased with the award, the black dog looked like he would have been much happier with a racing rug around his big frame.

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Stylish Pursuit looks a top chance in the Gordon Refrigeration Mixed Stake (600 m).

Well, the veteran chaser will be back in the boxes on Sunday, jumping from the three in what should be a keenly-contested Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (512 m).

Stanley also has Fiorelli Rose and last week’s 400 metre winner McRay engaged from boxes four and five respectively with the former back at Tara Raceway after running 25.52 seconds in a satisfactory trial over 450 metres at Warrnambool on January 17.

Adding further interest to the race are Horsham trainer Jeff Guy’s well-performed pair of Kryptonian and Brazen Bomber, who will jump from boxes six and eight respectively, while local hopes Glenville Jester (Richard Clayfield) and Supreme Deal (Ralph Patzel) look well placed in the inside boxes.

Stanley, already 29 points clear in the 2017 Mount Gambier Leading Trainer award, looks set for another big day on Sunday with Col’s Wallett jumping from box three in the Winningformula.net.au grade six final (512 m) after an outstanding heat win last week in 29.89 seconds.

Later in the day, in the Produce Store Pathway final (400 m), Aston Morris looks like he’ll be terribly hard to beat from box one after opening his Tara Raceway winning account for Stanley in a heat last week.

In carving out a quick 23.15 seconds, Aston Morris also ensured that after Sunday’s final it will be some time before he finds himself back in time-restricted company.

Stanley also looks to hold a strong hand in the Gordon Refrigeration Mixed Stake (600 m) with Hay Miss drawn well in box one and Stylish Pursuit, a recent quick 35.35 seconds winner, jumping from box eight.

And in the Berringa Park grade five final (400 m) main focus will be on the Ralph Patzel trained Master Tron who will be looking to maintain his unbeaten record at Tara Raceway after two impressive wins in 23.11 seconds and 23.05 seconds.


Making his own news

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Story and picture by Allen Williams

The Border Watch greyhound correspondent David Lewis temporarily traded his notebook, pen and camera for a collar and lead at last Friday’s Tara Raceway meeting.

Lewis looked resplendent in his newly-purchased white shirt, black trousers and black shoes as he led his first starter Quan’s Flash to the boxes for the Trackside Meats Stake (512 metres), the second heat of a maiden series.

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Jack Casey (left) and David Lewis after Quan’s Flash won on debut at Tara Raceway last Friday.

Carrying the same name as his first greyhound who raced behind the pilot dog at Waterloo Corner (north of Adelaide) more than 50 years ago, Quan’s Flash is part-owned by Lewis’s son Tim, a former general manager of Mount Gambier’s The Border Watch, who oversaw the re-introduction of greyhound racing coverage in the paper when TAB racing commenced in 2012.

Quan’s Flash displayed plenty of early speed to cross the field from box seven and on the line had three-quarters of a length to spare over Azumi Spice, who worked home well, in a time of 30.52 seconds which was the quicker of the two heats.

Taking a keen interest in the white and black bitch was regular Tara Raceway racegoer Jack Casey who, after the win, did absolutely nothing to dispel the unfounded rumours that he was also a part-owner.

Friday’s win was Lewis’s first since August 2014 when he was successful first-up with Gilmore Gun. But he’s no stranger to training the longtails, having run the quinella in the 1995 Mount Gambier Cup with Glorify and Nickelman.

Quan’s Flash, despite drawing box five, now looks a good chance in Sunday’s final and despite her lack of experience I reckon she wouldn’t be out of place in the upcoming General Destini Summer Classic.

But when I put this to Lewis he was reluctant to comment.

“I’ll have to talk to Jack first. After all, apparently he’s a part-owner.”


Jock the top dog at Tara

Monday, January 23, 2017

Jock Middleton of Hamilton is the first to admit that he should get over to Tara Raceway more often.

Middleton, the manager of the Jocks Lot Syndicate, races the 100-start veteran chaser Old Jock in partnership with John Mitchell and Bazz Tuppen.

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Steve Bartholomew, Jock Middleton, Allen Williams and Nicole Stanley with 2016 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year Old Jock. Picture: Megan Manterfield.

And there was no way he was going to miss being at Tara Raceway on Sunday for the crowning of Old Jock as the 2016 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year.

In a year that included the Iron Dog title and a spot in the Mount Gambier Cup final, Old Jock recorded 10 wins, 13 seconds and five thirds for a total of 71 points, seven clear of second placegetter Glenville Jester.

Speaking after the presentation, Middleton recalled a Saturday morning in early 2013 when he made a trip to Mortlake to check out a litter of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze pups at the property of Terry Payne.

“The original intention was to select two pups but in the end three were chosen,” he said.

The original selections ultimately raced as Miss Shirleen (28 starts for three wins and 12 minor placings) and Old Jock (102 starts for 16 wins and 39 minor placings).

The third selection turned out to be a pretty handy bitch called Temalor who raced on 51 occasions for 13 wins and 16 minor placings.

“Miss Shirleen whelped a litter of eight to Magic Sprite last September with a new syndicate called Jocks Lot No. 7 retaining two to race,” Middleton said.

Old Jock, who strutted around the presentation area on Sunday like he owned the joint, has started the year off well, winning at Tara Raceway on January 1 and since running third at Sandown Park.

Jock Middleton and trainer Nicole Stanley, of Portland, will now be hoping for another forward showing from the striking-looking 37 kilogram chaser in next month’s ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup.


Nothing suspicious about this win

Monday, January 23, 2017

Suspicious Col is another one of those greyhounds who has taken a fair while to open his winning account.

In fact, it was back on December 11, 2015 that the 27.5 kilogram black dog (relatively small for a male) made his debut at Tara Raceway over 400 metres.

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Ben, Trinity, Melody and Lizzie Boers pictured with Suspicious Col after his overdue win at Tara Raceway last Friday.

Not that he hadn’t been in the money since then, running 10 minor placings from 18 starts at Tara Raceway before relocating to Ballarat with former Portland couple Rebecca Smith and Callan Ward after a 1¾ length second to Dimora Bekim in early October.

Actually, Suspicious Col had run four consecutive seconds over 400 metres and had been having his first run since October 2 when jumping from box eight in a Laser Electrical maiden heat (400 m) at last Friday’s Tara Raceway meeting.

Smith and Ward, hard-pressed to train from their Ballarat location, had advertised the dog for sale for $500 but had been unable to find anyone interested.

And it was then that Portland couple Ben and Lizzie Boers stepped in about a month ago, forming a syndicate to include the two couples, with Lizzie assigned the task of training Suspicious Col.

Despite the long lay-off, he was well in commission on Friday, jumping a $4.40 second favourite and chasing former Allansford greyhound Joey Moetis – having his first local start for David Williams – for much of the journey before grabbing a head victory in 23.70 seconds.

By Dyna Tron out of Suspicious Tina, a winner of nine races at Angle Park and Gawler for former leading Broken Hill trainer Des Hockley, Suspicious Col was Lizzie Boers’s first winner since Sookie’s Fantasy had won at Tara Raceway in March 2016.

 

BREAKING LONG RUNS OF OUTS

Rising five-year-old Abbey’s Hand, trained at Portland by Robert Duncan, broke a long run of outs when successful in Friday’s Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m).

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Portland trainer Robert Duncan broke a run of outs with Abbey’s Hand.

The daughter of Cosmic Rumble x Perfect Hand was a $12 chance when jumping from box three and the renowned strong finisher was always going to be hard to hold out after settling a reasonably close third down the back straight behind Another Rouse and Saint Flynn.

That’s how the race panned out with Abbey’s Hand, at start number 96, swooping down the home straight to score a half length win in 30.32 seconds over the improving Another Rouse and Gassy’s Pride who dead-heated for second.

For Abbey’s Hand, who appreciated the drop back to grade five company, the win was her first since March 6, 2016 in a Mount Gambier Cup Consolation (512 m) when she defeated Fear The Rascal by two lengths in a quick 29.87 seconds.

Friday’s win was Duncan’s first since September after Monty Express had defeated Evening In Paris over 400 metres.

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Emily and Brad Mitchem and young Nathan with Dan Shen, a winner at big odds at Sunday’s meeting.

And punters copped a fair hammering late in the day at Sunday’s meeting when $40 chance Dan Shen quickly found the front from box six in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m), eventually running out a 1¾ length winner over Cryer’s Sid in 23.64 seconds.

A son of Fear Zafonic x Ren Shen, the black dog went into the race with one win from 27 starts – that success coming way back in December 2015.

The winning trainer on that occasion was Bernie Rogers of Tahara but Brad Mitchem then took over for the first eight months of 2016 before the dog returned to Tahara for another three months.

Back with Mitchem before year’s end, Dan Shen’s win on Sunday contributed to a good month for the Sandford trainer who had also won with Elusive Linda at Warrnambool and Tara Raceway.

Also, on the Saturday night, Simply Ready, bred and owned by Mitchem, won over the short course at Cannington in WA on the back of another short course win at that track at the meeting prior.