THURSDAY, AUGUST 6: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, AUGUST 13: Nominations close at 9 a.m. on Monday, August 10 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY TRIAL MORNINGS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512 before 6 p.m. on the day prior. SATISFACTORY TRIALS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512.
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Thursday, August 31, 2017
If race times count for anything – and they usually do – then Sunday’s Destini Fireball Back to Distance Racing final (732 metres) looks likely to develop into a two-dog war between Silverali and McIvor Verna.
Last week’s two heat winners ran 43.99 seconds and 44 seconds respectively, the fastest times run at Tara Raceway over the staying distance since Nellie Noodles ran a record 43.45 seconds in March 2011 when defeating Bowstreet Secret by 17½ lengths in what would be her eleventh and last win.
Peter Byrne, of Southern Cross, has been training Silverali for Noel Mugavin since mid-July after the son of Velocette x Molly Grace found the going pretty tough behind super stayer Burn One Down over 715 metres at Sandown Park.
All the same, he’ll go into Sunday’s final with a fair sort of form line – 12 wins, 13 minor placings and prizemoney of $72,000 from 50 starts – seven of those starts with Byrne for two wins at Mount Gambier and one at Warrnambool.
And while Byrne is quick to concede that Silverali is unlikely to get any better, he is more than happy that the brindle dog has drawn box two in Sunday’s final.
“Look, it’s doubtful that there’s any more improvement in him while McIvor Verna is a terrific young bitch and has it all before her,” he said.
“Silverali will probably need to lead to win and the way the box draw has panned out I think he’s a good chance to find the front, especially with Trademark Jet, a notoriously slow beginner, drawing box one.”
The Peter Franklin trained McIvor Verna – Tara Raceway’s 600 metre record holder in addition to having won at Bendigo and The Meadows – has drawn box four in the final and while likely to be giving Silverali a start is sure to be finishing the race off strongly.
By US sire Bella Infrared out of Blonde Caviar, McIvor Verna is owned by Barry Priest who said this week that her dam, when next on season, would be mated with the high profile sire Barcia Bale.
Sunday’s final also carries to the winner a service to five-time Group 1 winner Destini Fireball (by Where’s Pedro out of US import Greys Destiny) who between 2012 and 2014 raced on 65 occasions for 25 wins, 18 minor placings and more than $640,000 in prizemoney.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
It had been a while since Tara Raceway’s popular on-course Pick 6 had been won – more than two years in fact – and by last Sunday’s meeting the prize pool had jackpotted to $1340. Not bad for a free competition.
Sponsored by Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club president Steve Bartholomew and his wife Lee, the Pick 6 requires entrants to select the winners of races three through to eight.
The last winner had been Horsham owner Chris Johnson who collected $960 when Brazen Beauty, Marlow Moment, Mi Diablo, Mega Moment, Paranoia and Brazen Bull won on March 13, 2015. The fact that he had owned three of the six probably gave him a bit of an edge!
But last Sunday’s meeting looked to be an ideal chance for Pick 6 players to break the drought with odds-on favourites McIvor Verna and Silverali well placed in the two Destini Fireball Back to Distance Racing heats (732 metres) and subsequently ensuring the majority of players were at least into the third leg without too many worries.
This was always going to be the tricky leg with both Azumi Swift and last year’s Greyhound of the Year Old Jock having their admirers. A rising five-year-old, Old Jock won by seven lengths at what was start number 122.
Two more odds-on favourites followed – Lektra Stomp winning the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m) by 11¾ lengths in an outstanding time of 29.67 seconds and Away We Go also an easy winner of the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m) in 30.31 seconds.
The ClassicBet Mixed Stake (600 m) was the last leg, with three live tickets all on different dogs – Miss Lava, Hay Miss and Mo Town Roy – the former opening her Tara Raceway winning account with a comfortable win over Hay Miss.
Cheering the loudest was Mount Gambier-based Pick 6 winner Ken Feltus who wrapped up a few good days after Quick Sensation, a dog he trains, had won at the Tara Raceway Wednesday meeting.
Feltus said he generally filled out a Pick 6 entry form but more often than not was out after the first leg.
The Pick 6, which jackpots $10 every week, now reverts to $10. Not much reward for picking six winners. But Pick 6 players can blame Ken Feltus for that.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Wins by Baz’s Moment and Banjo Queen at Angle Park on Tuesday afternoon ended a productive five days for Compton trainer Tracie Price after Shannah’s Might and Banjo Queen were successful at Angle Park last Friday and Blonde Barbados and Black Fields at Tara Raceway on Sunday.
From the successful Swift Fancy x Which Class litter, Baz’s Moment has now won or been placed at his past 13 starts, boasting an overall record of seven wins and 11 minor placings from 21 starts.
And Banjo Queen, picked up in July by Price – her fifth trainer – for “next to nothing” for local owners John and Kerry Hawker, made it five wins in succession when leading all the way over 388 metres.
A winner of two races over 440 metres in Canberra late last year, the daughter of up and coming sire Banjo Boy and Black Traminer will face a tough test in her bid at Tara Raceway on Sunday for six wins in succession.
Drawn in box five in The Border Watch Free For All (400 m), Banjo Queen will run into noted speedsters Cheyenne Black, Oh No Beta, Colden Star and the evergreen Cryer’s Fred.
Blonde Barbados opened her winning account at her second start when quickly finding the front from box six in the Trackside Meats Maiden Stake (400 m) and then holding out Over And Away to win by a length in 23.72 seconds.
Raced by Gary and Phil Micallef, Blonde Barbados is from a repeat mating by Cosmic Rumble out of New Year’s Punch, herself a winner of 12 races and more than $53,000 in prizemoney.
The first mating includes the mighty 111-start Group winning Bruce Tycoon who has won 32 races and run 35 minor placings for more than $246,000 in prizemoney.
Blonde Barbados’s litter brother Copper Tycoon opened his winning account a few days earlier for the Micallefs and Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott at the Wednesday meeting when leading all the way in the Williams Crane Hire Maiden Stake (400 m), scoring by 7¾ lengths in 23.74 seconds.
Both Price and Abbott have enjoyed success with New Year’s Punch’s previous litter – by Razldazl Jayfkay – Price with Lyon Rose and Abbott with Blazin’ Vicky and Mo Town Roy.
Price’s son, Ben, also got among the action as an owner on Sunday with his give away greyhound Black Fields, having his first start for the new kennel from box one in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m).
Black Fields matched motors early with Lektra Jenny before drawing clear to win by 1½ lengths in a more than handy 23.33 seconds.
Monday, August 28, 2017
Distance racing over 732 metres returned to Tara Raceway on Sunday and threw up no surprises when long odds-on favourites McIvor Verna and Silverali were successful in the heats of the Destini Fireball Back to Distance Racing series.
McIvor Verna, the Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder and fresh from a top win over 600 metres at The Meadows a week prior, was chasing her first win beyond 660 metres when jumping from box one in the first heat.
Always handy in running, the daughter of Bella Infrared x Blonde Caviar railed through on Lektra Destiny down the back before finishing strongly for a 5¾ length win in a hand-timed 44 seconds.
Trained at Moyston by Peter Franklin, the fawn bitch has raced on 18 occasions for six wins and five minor placings for Bendigo owner Barry Priest who was on track with wife Julie to witness McIvor Verna win the first staying race run at Tara Raceway in more than three years.
Speaking after the race, Priest said Blonde Caviar, also a winner over 600 metres at The Meadows, would be mated – for a second time – when next on season.
City-winning stayer Silverali never looked in any danger of defeat when leading all the way in the second heat, eventually defeating the consistent chaser Emily As by 4¾ lengths in virtually the same time as the first heat – a hand-timed 43.99 seconds.
Raced by Noel Mugavin of Warrnambool and trained at Southern Cross by Peter Byrne, Silverali, a son of Velocette x Molly Grace, brought up his twelfth win at start number 50.
The final of the Destini Fireball Back to Distance Racing series will be run this Sunday and carry total prizemoney of $2000.
Silverali’s win was also the first leg of a double for Byrne who later in the day was successful with Miss Lava in the ClassicBet Mixed Stake (600 m) for the Mugavin-managed Lava Street Syndicate.
The daughter of Djays Octane x Born On Lava led all the way to defeat Hay Miss by four lengths in 35.51 seconds and bring up her first success at Tara Raceway after previous wins at Sandown Park and Geelong.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
A race record of 62 starts for 11 wins, 24 minor placings and prizemoney of more than $53,000 had Charlton greyhound Dream Edition looking well placed at last Wednesday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway.
After all, this is the dog who not all that long ago had been racing competitively on Victorian tracks against top class chasers such as Burn One Down, Fanta Bale, Blazin’ Bomber, Pantera Nera and Buck Forty, to name just a few.
However, when he lined up last week from box four in the Produce Store Stake, a non-penalty grade five event, it had been more than 12 months since the well-bred son of Barcia Bale and Victorian and WA city winner Dream Chick had last won.
Long-time owner-trainer Kevin Ashton and his partner Jan Neil hadn’t been any part Dream Edition’s 11 wins, taking him over earlier this year but quickly finding themselves with a pretty sick dog on their hands.
“We spent the next five months nursing him back to health, not really knowing whether he would ever race again,” Ashton said.
Dream Edition did get back to the track, though, albeit after a break of some seven months, resuming at the end of July over 545 metres at Ballarat where he finished a well beaten eighth.
Certainly not the return Ashton had been hoping for but, after a further four handy runs at Tara Raceway, Dream Edition looked like he had finally found his race last week and the chance to find winning form again.
Another Rouse took up the early running although Dream Edition always had the leader in his sights, taking the lead approaching the home turn before finishing the race off nicely to defeat Lektra Dame by 3½ lengths in 30.49 seconds.
Ashton conceded his 35 kilogram black dog probably won’t return to the form that saw him once run 29.43 seconds over 515 metres at Sandown Park, however he was still delighted with the effort.
“I know it’s a far cry from Sandown Park to Tara Raceway but it’s still nice to know that our efforts weren’t in vain and that Dream Edition was able to make it back to the track and win another race. We’re very proud of him,” he said.
Meanwhile, local trainer Ken Feltus’s successful winning strike rate with greyhounds purchased via internet site Greyhound-Data looked like taking a hit.
Back in July he’d purchased a dog from Shepparton called Quick Sensation who had raced on 15 occasions for a provincial win at The Meadows plus a few minor placings.
From a repeat mating by Bombastic Shiraz, Quick Sensation is out of Smashing Amy, a full sister to Graceful Amy, the dam of Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Mojito Mayhem.
Certainly nothing wrong with the lines, the first mating producing the smart Bookkeeper, a winner of 19 races and $149,000 in prizemoney.
But Quick Sensation came down with salmonella poisoning soon after arriving in Mount Gambier and according to Feltus it had been a touch and go situation as far as the June 2014 black dog was concerned.
“He was on a drip for a week and for sure things didn’t look too good for a while,” he said.
Three months later Quick Sensation – who had started out as a well-priced purchase for Feltus and his co-owners Michael and Norma Juda – was ready to return to the track.
A heavily-backed favourite at his Tara Raceway debut at the previous Wednesday meeting, he enjoyed no luck in running, eventually finishing an eight length sixth.
At last week’s mid-week meeting, early signs in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m) suggested a similar sort of result when he suffered a severe check soon after jumping from box six.
In the end, though, he was able to overcome the setback, railing through on Outlaw Dave turning for home and running out a 1¼ length winner in 23.53 seconds.
The win followed on from previous success at Tara Raceway for Feltus, a former harness racing trainer, with Playmaster, Cool Whipp and Lil Arthur.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
It’s now been 3½ years since Maccaboy won the last distance race over 732 metres at Tara Raceway.
But staying races are back on the programme this Sunday following the installation of set of refurbished starting boxes sourced from the Sale Greyhound Racing Club.
Greyhound Racing SA steward Josh Evans signed off on the boxes at last Sunday’s meeting and after 11 nominations were received the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club opted to run two heats of the Destini Fireball Back to Distance Racing series – the final to be run on Sunday, September 3.
No doubt, McIvor Verna will be the headline act.
Raced by Barry Priest and trained at Moyston by Peter Franklin, McIvor Verna served notice of bigger and better things to come when winning her maiden over 600 metres at Tara Raceway in April against a field of grade 3/4/5 greyhounds.
She’s been back twice since then, winning two more 600 metre races, one of them in track record time.
And Sunday’s distance won’t be a problem as McIvor Verna – a winner at The Meadows over 600 metres last Saturday night – served it up to Adelaide’s best in the Stayers Cup (731 m) at Angle Park in June.
The 30 kilogram fawn bitch has drawn box one in the first heat with Lektra Destiny – second at Angle Park over 731 metres in May – the only other dog in the race to have run over the distance.
Enigmatic chaser Silverali, trained at Southern Cross by Peter Byrne, won two 725 metre races at The Meadows late last year and looks well placed from box two in the second heat.
He failed to fire in last week’s 600 metre event behind Cryer’s Plugger and the pair will clash again on Sunday with the Tom Cryer trained dog, despite having never run over the distance, sure to give a good sight from box one.
Back in 2003, Kevin Mugavin’s More Reward held the 732 metre Tara Raceway record at 44.78 seconds before Nicole Stanley’s Trailer Trash lowered it to 44.66 seconds 12 months later.
Bearing in mind that very few 732 metre races were run throughout the year, it was six years before Gary Lane’s Mantra Miss ran 44.20 seconds.
By Malfoy out of the city-winning stayer Al Fresco, Mantra Miss would later produce Miss Jacovella, a former Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder, when mated with El Grand Senor.
And the following year saw the Robert Britton trained Nellie Noodles, when winning by the proverbial length of the straight, lower the record to 43.45 seconds – a time no other greyhound came close to in the ensuing period prior to 600 metre racing being introduced.
By the US sire Flying Penske out of Classy Creek (who failed to win a race in 10 starts), Nellie Noodles also held track records at The Meadows (600 m) and Shepparton (650 m).
A winner of 11 races and $80,000 in prizemoney, she came from the same litter as the top stayer Symmetry (24 wins, $253,000 prizemoney). A repeat mating also produced a couple of more than handy types in Czar and Mimicking.
McIvor Verna, also by a US sire in Bella Infrared (a grandson of Flying Penske), has now won five races and run 5 minor placings from 17 starts over distances ranging from 600 metres to 660 metres at The Meadows, Mount Gambier and Bendigo.
It will now be interesting to see how Sunday’s 732 metre times stack up against Nellie Noodles’ 43.45 seconds run on Sunday, March 27, 2011 given that track conditions at Tara Raceway are generally regarded as somewhat superior than that of six years ago.
But there couldn’t have been too much wrong with the track on that day with Banger Harvey running a then race record of 30.06 seconds when winning the Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) while Half Way Home clocked 29.81 seconds to win the Gambier Vets Maiden Stake.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Two points for a second placing at Tara Raceway last Sunday has seen the Portland trained Fiorelli Rose edge one point clear in this year’s keenly-contested Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award.
With scoring compiled on a 4, 2, 1 basis, Fiorelli Rose, winner of the 2017 Anniversary Cup, has now accumulated 40 points after recording six wins, six seconds and four thirds at the local track this year for the Champagne Syndicate and trainer Nicole Stanley.
But with only three points separating the top six on the leader board, the award is still wide open, especially with the return this week of one-time GOTY leader Blitz And Bolt to the Allendale East kennels of part-owners Connie Miller and David Peckham.
Blitz And Bolt had won seven races at Tara Raceway prior to a two-month stint of racing in Adelaide where he won three races over 515 metres at Angle Park.
Peckham also trains top six GOTY contender Anti Dentite who is ready to return to racing after a six-week break.
Stanley, who has a big lead in the Leading Trainer award, also has another GOTY contender in Stylish Pursuit sitting only one point off the lead. It’s certainly not out of the question that she could collect consecutive GOTY titles after Old Jock’s memorable win in 2016.
Young gun Baz’s Moment has burst the pack wide open with three recent wins and is now only two points off the lead for trainer Tracie Price who has the son of Swift Fancy x Which Class engaged at Angle Park on Friday.
Just out of the top six, and likely to finish the year off strongly, is Cryer’s Plugger who returned to racing last Sunday after a six-week break to win first-up over 600 metres in brilliant style for trainer Tom Cryer.
By Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget, the brindle dog is a younger brother to Cryer’s Fred, winner of the 2015 Greyhound of the Year for Margaret and Tom Cryer.
The 2017 Greyhound of the Year scoring commenced at Mount Gambier’s first meeting on January 1 and will conclude at the final meeting on December 31.
Greyhound of the Year: Fiorelli Rose (6 wins, 6 seconds, 4 thirds: 40 points); Galactic Viper (6, 7, 1: 39); Stylish Pursuit (7, 5, 1: 39); Blitz And Bolt (7, 4, 2: 38); Baz’s Moment (6, 4, 6: 38); Anti Dentite (7, 3, 3: 37); Cryer’s Plugger (4, 6, 5: 33); Big Rough (5, 5, 2: 32); Raz’s Girl (6, 3, 2: 32).
As of August 20, 389 greyhounds had accumulated points in the GOTY award.
CLASSIC CONTENDER WELL PLACED
Susan Lenehan’s Winter Classic contender Lektra Stomp looks well placed in the Metal Worx Stake (512 metres) at tomorrow’s Tara Raceway time-graded meeting.
Having his first race start at the track on August 13, the well-named son of Walk Hard settled in third spot in a grade six 512 metre event behind fellow classic contenders Gateway To Eden and Away We Go.
Ultimately, Gateway To Eden ran out a 3¼ length winner over Lektra Stomp who finished well to take second spot from Away We Go – a 29.92 seconds winner at Tara Raceway seven days later.
Whelped in July 2015, Lektra Stomp has raced on nine occasions for two wins – and pretty smart ones at that – Ballarat 450 m in 25.39 seconds and The Meadows 525 m in 29.88 seconds.
Litter sister Lektra Jenny also looks well placed later in the day for Lenehan in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m).
She’ll be having her first race start at the track but comes into the grade six non-penalty event with a nine-start record of three wins and a second over 400 metres at Geelong.
Lektra Stomp and Lektra Jenny are out of Lektra Angie who won her maiden over 512 metres at Tara Raceway in November 2012 by 13¼ lengths in a quick 29.93 seconds.
And it could turn out to be a handy litter with Lektra Forrest winning at Sandown Park last week and Lektra Stroll recently successful at The Meadows.
Their sire, Walk Hard, a winner of 26 races, is by Bit Chili x Miss Bling and a litter brother to Butterfly Bling, the dam of GOTY contender Stylish Pursuit.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Worrolong owned and trained greyhound Azumi Swift moved up another level at Tara Raceway on Sunday with a strong win in the Trackside Meats Free For All (512 metres).
A grade five winner last week in a best of day 30.10 seconds, the black bitch was chasing her first open class win when lining up from box two.
Away fairly, Azumi Swift settled in third spot going down the back straight before pulling wide on the home turn and finishing strongly to edge out Fiorelli Rose and Swift Limes in another good time of 30.08 seconds.
The February 2015 daughter of Cosmic Chief x Azumi Touch is raced by Steve and Lee Bartholomew and trained by the latter who confirmed that the SA Country Cup was now firmly in their sights.
“The local heats are still six weeks away but we’re certainly keen to try and be one of the Mount Gambier representatives in the $7375 series final at Angle Park in October,” she said.
Mount Gambier has a good record in the Country Cup since its re-introduction to the SA racing calendar in 2013 – Tracie Price successful in that year at Gawler with Moorak Hope and Nicole Stanley’s Berry Bling winning at Strathalbyn last year.
Local heats will be run on Sunday, October 1 with two Mount Gambier representatives to contest the $5000-to-the-winner final at Angle Park on Friday, October 13 – Adelaide Cup final night.
LOW GRADE NO SOFT TOUCH
Many of the grade six races, only one step up from maiden class, have been particularly strong at Tara Raceway in recent times and Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) was a case in point.
Away We Go, a nicely bred November 2015 son of Lonesome Cry x Up And Away, led all the way at only his fifth race start to defeat Summer Storm by 1¾ lengths in a quick 29.92 seconds.
Both the winner and runner-up had been nominated for the Winter Classic which ultimately was held over until next month due to a shortage of nominations.
All things being equal, the final would have been run at this meeting, a fact not lost on Away We Go’s trainer Tom Sinnott of Yambuk as he led back his best of day winner.
From a classic point of view, Compton trainer Tracie Price would have been happy with Summer Storm’s time of 30.04 seconds behind Away We Go and also Swift Limes’ effort to run 30.11 seconds when a close third to Azumi Swift and Fiorelli Rose.
These efforts were on top of a day that saw him also land his second successive Tara Raceway treble with Fabregas x Who’s Doing What first starter Same Scenario in the Produce Store Maiden Stake (400 m), Scott Brandon’s MTM Syndicate’s Surfing Moment in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m) and John and Kerry Hawker’s Banjo Queen who made it three wins in a row in the Laser Electrical Mixed Stake (400 m).
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Moyston trainer Peter Franklin’s successful run with members of the Bella Infrared x Blonde Caviar litter continued with a running treble at last Wednesday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway.
McIvor Gordon, after being well back early, started the ball rolling when finishing over the top of the speedy Outlaw Dave in the JB Irrigation Stake (400 metres), running out a two length winner in 23.74 seconds.
McIvor Patsy, having her first start at the distance, displayed plenty of fortitude in her all the way win in the Trackside Meats Stake (600 m), holding out seasoned performers Spring Ripper and Yaramundi Domino to win by less than a length in 36.01 seconds.
Chuck McIvor then took full advantage of box one in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m) to quickly find the front and comfortably defeat the Peter Fulton trained pair of Wonder Doug and Ain’t My Fault in 30.27 seconds.
Franklin, who regularly makes the three-hour trip to Tara Raceway, has now trained 23 winners at the local track this year – no day being bigger than that of Sunday, June 18 when Mojito Mayhem, Future Past, McIvor Verna and McIvor Neville were successful.
The long-time trainer also left the track that day with two track records – Mojito Mayhem (29.52 sec. 512 m) and McIvor Verna (34.84 sec. 600 m).
And McIvor Verna, from the same litter as Wednesday’s winners, continued Franklin’s terrific week when finishing powerfully to score an outstanding win over 600 metres on Saturday night at The Meadows.
Meanwhile, Mortlake owner-trainer Paul Herry landed a win in the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m) with the SA-bred To The Choppar.
A winner of two races at Warrnambool over 390 metres, the black bitch had run two minor placings from seven starts at Tara Raceway prior to last week’s comfortable all the way win in 23.92 seconds.
By El Grand Senor out of Chilly Patch, a winner of four races at Tara Raceway, including one over 732 metres in July 2013, To The Choppar was purchased as a pup by Herry from local breeder Allen Williams.
According to Herry, To The Choppar, after a run of outs, had been destined for the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP), although he figured he had nothing to lose by first trying a stint of re-education.
“I booked her in for a couple of weeks at the Koroit Breaking-in Track, hoping that a change of environment might perhaps brighten her up a bit,” he said.
“It seemed to work because she came back a different dog after Peter (Byrne) and the boys had spent some time with her.”
So, it’s marvellous what a difference a win can make. To The Choppar has gained a reprieve from the GAP while Herry, after what has been an ordinary period – greyhound-wise – is now looking to get another dog or two as company for last week’s winner.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Meningie greyhound owner-trainer Cameron Butcher hit Tara Raceway last Sunday morning on the back of a fair sort of week.
First of all there had been a double with Dawning Hope and She’s A Looper at Gawler on the Tuesday before things got even better at Angle Park on Thursday night when On Fire won the SA division of the National Sprint Championship.
He’s now won 29 races from 46 starts for $114,690 in prizemoney and will fly to Queensland on Sunday to prepare for the $75,000-to-the-winner final which will be run at Albion Park next Friday night.
Also on Thursday night, Butcher’s champion chaser Worm Burner – winner of last year’s National Sprint Championship at Angle Park – finished an unlucky third over 515 metres at Sandown Park.
She’s A Looper, a litter sister to Worm Burner and herself a winner of 20 races and close to $50,000 in prizemoney, was one of four greyhounds Butcher brought down for last Sunday’s Mount Gambier meeting.
After her impressive Gawler win over 643 metres she looked to be well placed from box eight in the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (600 m) but Tara Raceway can be a daunting prospect for the uninitiated.
As it was, She’s A Looper was slowly away and looked to be in trouble early when forced very wide on the first turn. But by the time the field had hit the back straight she’d sorted herself out, eventually running away to a 6¾ length win in a quick 35.13 seconds.
And Molly Be Nimble, another 20-race winner, made it a double for Butcher when virtually leading all the way in the ClassicBet Mixed Stake (512 m) to defeat the local legend Cryer’s Fred in 30.20 seconds.
Accompanying Butcher last Sunday was Adelaide-based Fred Versari, actively involved in the sport since its early days in various forms including owning and training, running a pet shop and the transport of greyhounds between Adelaide and Melbourne.
Versari, who has seen plenty of dog tracks in his 80 years, still reckons Tara Raceway is one of the best country tracks anywhere in terms of its lay-out, atmosphere and conviviality. Butcher, a first-time visitor, agreed.
REAPING THE REWARDS
Greyhound of the Year contender Baz’s Moment will be chasing his fourth consecutive win when he lines up from box seven in Sunday’s Laser Electrical Mixed Stake (400 m).
He was part of a winning treble for Compton trainer Tracie Price – his second in a fortnight – at Tara Raceway last Sunday when Gangster Of Love and Banjo Queen were also successful.
Price is now reaping the rewards of an intensive breeding programme which should see him play a strong hand in the Destini Fireball Winter Classic, held over until September 17.
Classic age Baz’s Moment, a son of Swift Fancy x Which Class, has won his past three over 400 metres but is certainly capable over the classic distance of 512 metres while his litter brother and kennel mate Swift Limes has been more than competitive in higher grades – his 2¼ length third to Molly Be Nimble last Sunday a fair sort of effort.
Price won the 2014 Winter Classic with Stylish Moment (the dam of Sophie’s Moment, another genuine contender for this year’s event), and followed up again in 2015 with Cee Me Burst who now has an eight-month-old litter by Cosmic Rumble.
Gateway To Eden finally drew in close and served notice that he also will make his presence felt come classic time for trainer Nicole Stanley with an impressive 512 metre win last Sunday over fellow classic contenders Lektra Stomp and Away We Go.
Meanwhile, the debut of the Price-trained Same Scenario from box eight in the Produce Store Maiden Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday will attract plenty of interest.
The black bitch, whelped in January 2016, is by Fabregas out of 16-race winner Who’s Doing What, a former top local bitch and a litter sister to Star Recall (40 wins, $445,000 prizemoney).
By High Earner x No Recall, Who’s Doing What has a second litter to follow – a September 2016 whelping by Knocka Norris with Price on record as saying these are the best-looking pups he’s ever seen.