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

THURSDAY, JULY 9: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, JULY 16: Nominations close at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 13 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.

OWNERS AND MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC ARE NOW PERMITTED TO ATTEND RACE MEETINGS AT TARA RACEWAY. Food and beverage service and on-course TAB currently unavailable. 


News

Local syndicate’s change of luck

Monday, July 3, 2017

It’s taken a while, but Bull Battle Born finally broke through for the four-member Holmes Klaassens Syndicate in Friday’s South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m).

Allan Holmes, Amy Widdicombe, Chris Klaassens and Tim Holmes pictured with Bull Battle Born after her Tara Raceway win on Friday.

Second-up after a five-month break, the black bitch showed good early pace from box eight to quickly round up race favourite Golden Gown before holding out Arolok Jax in the run to the line to win by a length in 23.45 seconds.

Bull Battle Born was purchased by the locally-based syndicate members – Rex and Chris Klaassens and Allan and Tim Holmes – after being advertised for sale last November on Greyhound-Data for $2000.

By Magic Sprite, she’s out of Borgata – a winner of 10 races at Albion Park, Lismore, Grafton and Casino – with Bull Battle Born herself having won at Warrnambool and Bendigo prior to relocating to long-time trainer Allan Holmes’ Moorak kennels.

But at her fifth start for her new owners in late January in a 319 metre final at Strathalbyn she sustained an injury and, coupled with subsequent seasonal issues, the lightly-raced December 2013 whelping was off the track for close to five months.

So for Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club sponsor Chris Klaassens and his fellow syndicate members this was a win to savour especially as their last win as a group had been a fair while ago – 18 months in fact with a bitch called Lady Tarc in a 512 metre maiden at Tara Raceway.

 

SUCCESSFUL RETURN FOR HEATHMERE TRAINER

Heathmere trainer Bea Bryant, back at Tara Raceway for Sunday’s meeting after holidaying in Darwin with husband Roger, didn’t take long to find winning form again when Colden Blu Boy and Colden Star both scored impressive wins.

Bea Bryant with the big boy of racing, Colden Blu Boy, after his maiden win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

The three-year-old Colden Blu Boy, who was having only his second race start after a first-up second at Tara Raceway back in April, handled himself well – despite his hulking 38 kilogram frame – from box two in the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (400 m).

The odds-on favourite chased Bob Wombwell’s Outlaw Dave until the home turn where he took advantage of the leader running wide and then finished full of running to win by a length in 23.38 seconds.

A three-year-old greyhound with only two runs to his name is somewhat unusual but Bea Bryant said the blue dog was very highly strung and continued to be a work in progress.

“We found that he was damaging his feet in his original kennel so we had to change the set-up as far as floor coverings were concerned and he now seems to be more settled,” she said.

Colden Blu Boy’s win on Sunday sees all members of the Farmor Las Vegas x Soul Calibur litter (bred by Bryant) to race having now won – Carry On Elvis, Carry On Pendles, Carry On Quinney and Colden Girl (a 2017 Mount Gambier Cup finalist) all successful on Victorian city tracks.

And Colden Star’s all the way 5¼ length win over Ming Men Shen in The Border Watch Mixed Stake (400 m) in 22.92 seconds made her the third fastest short-course winner at Tara Raceway.

Only Cryer’s Ricky and Ireland’s Oyster have run quicker than 12-race winner Colden Star, a daughter of Collision x Express Links.

Both of the Colden greyhounds are raced by Bea and Roger Bryant in partnership with Colleen and Dennis Rose.


Fennell’s top day at Tara

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Glencoe greyhound trainer Dean Fennell enjoyed his best day at the track in a number of years when Stampy Longnose, Morris Peer and Whatta Moment were successful at last Friday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway.

The treble was, in fact, his first in more than seven years after litter brothers Mao and Kruzer Lad, along with prolific-winning short-course specialist Leeor Sam, had won at the local track on Saturday, January 30, 2010.

Kerry Hawker (left), Dean Fennell and Mo Canala with Whatta Moment, Morris Peer and Stampy Longnose.

Interestingly, Mao and Kruzer Lad were out of Barely A Moment, also the grand-dam of Friday’s winner Whatta Moment.

Stampy Longnose, chasing his first 512 metre win in close to 12 months, lined up from box six in the Produce Store Stake – a race that realistically wouldn’t have been out of place at Sunday’s main meeting.

Away fairly, the black dog settled in third spot down the back although he looked to have the job ahead of him when chasing Galactic Viper and last start Warrnambool winner Chilly Kiss.

But in a busy finish, Stampy Longnose finished powerfully to grab the pair, winning by a neck in a personal best time of 30.07 seconds.

Trained by Fennell since September 2015, the winner is raced by Millicent trio Jack Davies, “Rubbish” Whitford and Hayden Fennell who have now won nine races with the son of Fabregas x Lemon Cruiser.

Lemon Cruiser is also the dam of Blonde Caviar who has produced McIvor Verna, the Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder, and who put in another solid effort at Angle Park last Thursday night when running a 3½ length fifth in the Stayers Cup final (731 m).

Ken Gillespie reported on Dean Fennell’s last treble back in 2010 in an issue of “The Border Watch”.

Morris Peer, a maiden winner back in May, appreciated the time-graded format on Friday when contesting the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m) from box five.

In Fennell’s kennels since late last year, the black dog chased Spirit Of Pat into the back straight before taking over mid-race and then holding out In Our Time and the early leader to score comfortably in 30.44 seconds.

Owned by long-time participant Ray Keating, of Portland, Morris Peer – by Deville out of two-race winner Nubian Princess – is the first of the litter to win.

Box one specialist Whatta Moment broke a three-month losing streak when leading all the way from the inside draw in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) to defeat last start winner Eye Spy Emma and five-year-old Jett Setter in 23.27 seconds.

By Bit Chili out of Devil Moon, the black dog has now won four races for Fennell who took over his training 12 months ago.

Friday’s treble gave the laid-back trainer eight wins for June and sees him now sitting in fourth spot on the Leading Trainers’ list with 17 wins, 17 seconds and 14 thirds.


Send-off for ‘Smiley’

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Popular local greyhound identity Brian “Smiley” Gordon, after more than 35 years with Banner Mitre 10 at Millicent, reckoned it was probably time to move on and recently took up employment with Millicent Industrial.

Brian “Smiley” Gordon is farewelled by former Banner Mitre 10 workmates at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

And what better venue for his long-time former workmates to give him an appropriate send-off – fluffy dog and all – but at last Sunday’s Tara Raceway greyhound meeting.

For seasoned supporters of the sport in Mount Gambier, the Millicent presence would have brought back memories of a time when the running of the Millicent Cup was one of the feature days on the racing calendar.

A race programme for the Millicent Cup Day run on Saturday, December 19, 2009 at Tara Raceway surfaced recently when the clubhouse was undergoing a major clean-up.

Major sponsors featuring on the programme’s cover were Kimberly-Clark Australia, Spider’s Carpentry, Seebohm Sportspower, the Grand Hotel and Valcarcel-Fuentes & Sons Scrap Metal Recyclers.

The 2009 Millicent Cup Day race programme cover.

Brian Gordon actually sponsored a mixed stake on this day with the 512 metre event being won by the Tracie Price trained Slipaway Tommy.

Portland trainer Cassie Billington held a strong hand in the $1200-to-the-winner Kimberly-Clark Australia Millicent Cup final (512 m), with litter brothers Swarming and Singing Bee (Kiowa Sweet Trey x Beekeeper) and Kulu Jewel.

Other finalists were Broadway Angel (Richard Clayfield), Call Me Tilly (Josie Kelly), Drone (Brian Weis), Cryer’s Tiger (Tom Cryer) and Our Rule (Monty Wilson).

Drone, another of the Beekeeper litter, was attempting to win his second cup for the year after having previously won the Mount Gambier Cup but it was Swarming who scored an easy win over Cryer’s Tiger in a quick 29.96 seconds.

Disappointingly, the 2009 Millicent Cup Day would be one of the last, the race programme highlighting the fact that the once-strong greyhound area had no runners in any of the 10 races that day.

 

SOLITARY GIRL IS OUT ON HER OWN

Solitary Girl and Rumbling Moment, both quick winners over 400 metres at Tara Raceway earlier this month, continue to race well and look top chances at Sunday’s meeting.

Raced by Yambuk couple Ann and Tom Sinnott, Solitary Girl created a huge impression when winning her maiden by 6½ lengths at only her second race start in 23.02 seconds – the fastest maiden time recorded at Tara Raceway.

Beautifully bred, being by Lonesome Cry out of Up And Away, the fawn bitch then turned in another tremendous effort at Warrnambool on Tuesday when winning over the 450 metre journey by 12 lengths in a smart 25.38 seconds.

Solitary Girl looks well placed from box one in Sunday’s Greyhound-Data.com Stake, the second heat of a grade six series over 400 metres.

Mo Canala with Rumbling Moment after he’d turned in another brilliant 400 metre performance at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

And being a November 2015 whelping, she could add further interest to the forthcoming Winter Classic (512 m), for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2015, if trainer Tom Sinnott opts to go down that path.

Also adding interest to the first race, the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (400 m), will be Solitary Girl’s litter brother, Solitary Lad, who will make his racing debut from the tricky box six.

Rumbling Moment, trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell, will be chasing a hat-trick of wins when he jumps from box two in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m).

The white and black son of Cosmic Rumble and Stylish Moment became one of a few greyhounds to break 23 seconds for the 400 metre journey when running 22.97 seconds in a 7½ length win earlier this month.

Rumbling Moment then followed up with an equally as impressive eight length win in 23 seconds at last Sunday’s meeting.

Being whelped in September 2015, he’s another classic-aged youngster and Moment Syndicate manager Karen Price confirmed this week that he was a likely starter in the Winter Classic.

“His mother won the event in 2014 so it would be nice if one of her pups could also win the classic,” she said.

Another classic contender is litter sister Sophie’s Moment who will jump from box seven in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m), the first heat of the grade six series.

Raced in the same interests but trained by Peter Whitehead, her recent 512 metre form has been outstanding – two sub-30 second runs certain to put her right in the mix.


Escaping the long, cold nights of Stawell

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

She might be owned in Bendigo and trained at Moyston – 2½-hours away from Mount Gambier – but the promising McIvor Verna has a special affiliation with the Tara Raceway track.

After all, this is where she defeated a field of open class greyhounds over 600 metres to win her maiden back in April and where she recently ran a track record of 34.84 seconds.

McIvor Verna breaks the 600 metre track record at Tara Raceway on Sunday, June 18. Picture: Bronwyn Nicholson/Todds Photographics.

Sandwiched in between the two runs, though, was a win at Bendigo over 660 metres – impressive enough to attract a $20,000 offer which owner Barry Priest refused.

Four days after McIvor Verna had run the record, trainer Peter Franklin, in a change of plans, opted to make the seven-hour trip to Angle Park for a heat of the Stayers Cup (731 m).

The nicely-bred daughter of Bella Infrared and Blonde Caviar had never raced at Adelaide’s city track but after looking totally lost in the early stages of the race she finished the race off in splendid fashion, running a three length fourth and grabbing a spot in tomorrow night’s final.

Franklin was delighted with the first-up city run and while conceding the $7000 final will be the 26-month-old McIvor Verna’s toughest test in 13 runs he’s expecting further improvement now that she’s seen the track and has drawn box one.

Blonde Caviar pictured in John and Diane Gale’s Stawell backyard this week.

Also making the trip to Angle Park last week was Franklin’s “right-hand man” John Gale, of Stawell. This is where Blonde Caviar currently resides, in the care of Gale and his wife Diane, enjoying the run of the house with the couple’s faithful old Labrador.

By Where’s Pedro out of Lemon Cruiser, Blonde Caviar raced on 45 occasions for Priest and Franklin, winning nine – including 525 metre and 600 metre wins at The Meadows – and running 17 minor placings.

And Lemon Cruiser (Awesome Assassin x Empty Schooner), a lightly-raced winner of nine races in Victoria and NSW, traces back to Big Romance, a litter sister to 1982 Australian Cup winner Royal Rumpus.

When it came to Blonde Caviar’s first litter, which Franklin whelped, he’d recommended using the US sire Bella Infrared who dominated America’s top track Southland to the extent that he won 71 races – including 19 in succession – from 100 starts.

So far, though, there has been no second litter.

“The decision on another litter will be up to Barry,” Gale said. “From a breeding point of view, all her relevant paperwork is up-to-date. In the meantime, we still try and treat her like a racing dog in some respects with regular exercise and feed her what could be classed as a racing diet.”

But John and Diane Gale unashamedly concede that Blonde Caviar does spend a fair share of her time in one of the family’s lounge chairs and does come inside to escape the long, cold nights of Stawell.

 

TRAINER HOPING FOR A BETTER DAY

Horsham trainer Kevin Jakobi will be hoping for a better day at Tara Raceway on Friday when he lines up with the Donald-bred Emily As in the Trackside Meats Stake (600 m).

Earlier this month, Jakobi’s greyhounds, including Emily As, had been late scratchings at Tara Raceway after a mix-up regarding the length of time between race starts.

Prior to that, Emily As had run a promising third behind Col’s Wallett and Cryer’s Plugger in a 600 metre event at Tara Raceway – the winner carving out an outstanding 35.03 seconds.

On that occasion, Jakobi’s daughter of Sure As x Darmilou battled on well to be beaten 7½ lengths and run a personal time of 35.56 seconds.

The black bitch looks well placed in tomorrow’s five-runner time-graded event and could give the veteran trainer a welcome change of luck.


Koroit 600 win for Two Jobs

Monday, June 26, 2017

Serviceton greyhound Two Jobs has come a fair way since winning a maiden 447 metre event in slow time at Port Augusta last November.

This is the dog who found her way down to the kennels of David and Valerie Brodhurst soon after that win and who, after failing to win another race by the end of April, had become a sure-fire contender for the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).

Owner Val Brodhurst braves the elements after Two Jobs had won Sunday’s Koroit 600 at Tara Raceway.

As luck would have it, early the next month saw the introduction of time-graded meetings at Tara Raceway and it was this form of low-grade racing that David Brodhurst believes helped to turn around the fortunes of Two Jobs.

“She found herself in a non-penalty time-graded grade six over 512 metres,” he said. “To be honest, I thought I was watching the wrong dog when she led all the way to win by 10 lengths in a best of day 30.21 seconds.”

Brodhurst had said at the time that he was still to be convinced that the daughter of Cosmic Rumble x Englightment had turned the corner.

But after a couple of handy performances behind Miss Legality and Lady Vixyma she was back among the winners, defeating Yaramundi Domino over 512 metres before defeating Bekim Lucy’s in 35.36 seconds in what was an impressive 600 metre effort.

With heats of the Koroit 600 set down for June 18, this 0-4 wins feature – which also carried a four-week breaking-in package at the Koroit Breaking-In Complex, donated by Peter Byrne – looked to be an ideal series for Two Jobs.

However, while she was no longer under GAP consideration, there were still a few greyhounds at Serviceton that were and Brodhurst had been committed to a trip to Bendigo on that week-end in order that those dogs could be assessed.

So, all things being equal, Two Jobs would have missed the Koroit 600 but insufficient support resulted in nominations being recalled for the feature event which was ultimately reduced to a one-off final at Sunday’s meeting.

And while scratchings saw the final reduced to five runners, it was a terrific little race all the same with only four lengths separating the field on the line.

The Cap Abbott trained Panalo, a recent time-graded 512 metre winner and having her first start over the distance, quickly took up the running from Marcado while Two Jobs settled in third spot.

The field bunched approaching the home turn and it was here that Two Jobs took a rails run before finishing the race off nicely to bring up a hat-trick of wins and defeat a gallant Panalo by a length with Cryer’s Plugger, doing his best work at the finish, a further half length back in third spot in 35.67 seconds.

Eye Spy Emma was the second leg of a double for Val and David Brodhurst when winning over 400 metres.

Abbott turned the tables on Brodhurst in the following race, the Trackside Meats Free For All (512 m) when Just Like Fire led all the way from box one to defeat Cheyenne Black, who chased the leader throughout, by 1¼ lengths in 23.21 seconds.

The win was the daughter of Barcia Bale x Dyna Gee’s first in three months after 515 metre success at Angle Park although Abbott said she was better served over shorter distances.

The Brodhursts’ day got even better come race 11, the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m), when Eye Spy Emma won her first Tara Raceway race.

Another one sired by Cosmic Rumble, she’s out of Aston Aditi, a winner of four races at Sandown Park, Albion Park and Ipswich.

Having only her second run at the local track, Eye Spy Emma chased Baron Destini until the home turn where she railed through to take the lead before running out a three length winner in 23.40 seconds.

The white and black bitch, who landed some nice wagers, is another of David Brodhurst’s internet purchases via the greyhound site Greyhound-Data.

“She’d won at Cranbourne and Warragul by the time I received her,” he said. “It looks like she’s only a short-courser but after today’s win she went a fair way towards recouping her purchase price as she was an $1100 pick-up.”

 

YOU LITTLE RIPPER

After three minor placings in Victoria, Spring Ripper made a solid debut at Tara Raceway on Sunday in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m) for Wagga owner Matt Morris and Portland trainer Brian Weis.

Sally and Brian Weis and granddaughters Alex and Zoe pictured with Spring Ripper after his maiden win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Away slowly from box three, the brindle dog worked into fourth spot down the back, railing through on the home turn to take the lead when leader Kolora Posie ran extremely wide.

Spring Ripper finished the race off nicely to defeat Kolora Posie by a length in 30.31 seconds with a further length back to Vision Of Beauty – both minor placegetters looking to be coming winners.

By Spring Gun out of former handy chaser Chilly Babe, Spring Ripper is a brother to Chilly Kiss, a winner of two Tara Raceway races for Morris and Weis.

Later in the day the Weis-trained Ms Genius followed up on a recent time-graded win to score in a keenly-contested Berringa Park Stake (512 m).

Ms Genius found the front early but surrendered the lead down the back to Trigger Lee before finishing the strongest to defeat Cee Jay’s Heart and Trigger Lee by a neck and head respectively in 30.60 seconds.

Ms Genius is owned locally by Noel and Heather Perry who also own the winner’s litter brother Big Rough, a winner of four races at Tara Raceway and currently racing in Victoria.

The beautifully bred Golden Gown (Head Bound out of Gold Affair Two – 106 starts for 20 wins and 35 minor placings and more than $126,000 in prizemoney) kicked off another good day for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley when leading all the way to win the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m) in 23.48 seconds.

Hay Miss . . . one of three winners for Nicole Stanley at Sunday’s meeting.

Stanley followed up with another two winners – Hay Miss leading all the way in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m) to defeat Maximum Bella and a fast-finishing Yaramundi Domino in a quick 30.02 seconds while Tiger Bite Turbo, after a spirited battle with Cryer’s Sid, scored in the winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m) in 23.27 seconds.

Supreme Deal, the 97-start veteran, was always going to be hard to beat when he came out running from box two in the Produce Store Mixed Stake (512 m).

And that’s how the race panned out with the March 2013 son of Where’s Pedro and Supreme Vision never looking like being beaten, eventually running out a 4½ length winner in a best of day time of 29.83 seconds.

Supreme Deal has now won seven races since being taken over 12 months ago by a local syndicate comprising Ralph and Darryl Patzel, Amanda Darmanin and first-time owner Bob White.

Trained by Ralph Patzel, the fawn dog was the winner of the 2016 Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m). Heats of the 2017 memorial will be run on Sunday, July 16 with the final on July 23.


This Dude’s no slacker

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Big Lebowski is a 1998 Coen brothers American film starring Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski – a Los Angeles slacker – with other Hollywood heavyweights in the comedy including Julianne Moore, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Nicole Stanley with Big Lebowski after his win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

And there are few cult films revered by its audience more than The Big Lebowski – Portland trainer Nicole Stanley being one of that audience.

So when she purchased, sight unseen, a big gangly 15-month-old unbroken black youngster by Spring Gun out of Ginsue Too for $800 from David Jones of Korumburra she already had a racing name earmarked – Big Lebowski.

Ginsue Too raced on 29 occasions for three wins and seven minor placings, two of her wins – one in 30.02 seconds – being at Tara Raceway over 512 metres.

Her breeding is interesting as she’s by High Earner out of Gorgeous I Daire, a winner of 16 races, including 11 in succession at Warrnambool, Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo during 2007 for Woodford owner-trainer Stuart Bishop who is a part-owner of last Friday’s Tara Raceway maiden winner Kooka Jak.

Stanley said she had been more than happy with her purchase after a promising breaking-in report although at one stage it appeared as if the August 2015 whelping was unlikely to ever see a race track.

The Big Lebowski . . . a cult movie of the 90s.

“He’d been diagnosed with acidosis and veterinary advice suggested a bleak future for him. But I’d never been convinced that it was acidosis and fortunately for all concerned it turned out to be nothing more than a stress-related setback,” she said.

Big Lebowski made his debut at Tara Raceway last Sunday from box four in the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (400 m). He led all the way, won by eight lengths and ran 23.19 seconds. This Dude’s no slacker.

He was the first leg of a treble for Stanley who followed up with Tiger Bite Turbo in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m) and then rising five-year-old Old Jock continued to stave off retirement with a dashing 400 metre win in The Border Watch Stake.

Stanley may now head towards August’s Destini Fireball Winter Classic (512 m) – for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2015 – with Big Lebowski who is well placed from an age point of view.

The leading trainer will be looking to go one better this year after Hay Miss’s second to Lektra Munster in the 2016 Winter Classic.

 

BELLA FINALLY OPENS WINNING ACCOUNT

While Maximum Bella had previously won at The Meadows, Cranbourne, Horsham, Geelong, Warrnambool, Ballarat and Traralgon, success at Tara Raceway had been a while coming for Allendale East owner-trainer David Peckham.

Trainer Spider Whitehead and handler Shane Flink pictured with Friday’s dead-heaters Goldie’s Run and Maximum Bella.

But after three months and 14 starts, the black bitch finally broke through last Friday, albeit in the form of a dead-heat with Spider Whitehead’s Goldie’s Run – both greyhounds coming from a fair way back in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m).

By Magic Sprite, Maximum Bella is out of proven producer Lil’s Memory, the dam of Cracker Jack Lil (by Go Wild Teddy) who won 26 races and more than $115,000 in prizemoney.

Lil’s Memory raced on only 10 occasions for two wins at Cannington in WA but it was her success as a dam that prompted Peckham to answer an advertisement placed by Lethbridge breeder Jordan Cooper in regard to the sale of Maximum Bella.

“Lil’s Memory had produced quite a few winners to Go Wild Teddy, Magic Sprite and Mogambo so I figured Maximum Bella mightn’t be a bad buy for $1400 – any win being a bonus – but primarily with a view to later breeding with her,” he said.

Goldie’s Run completed a good week for the Cosmic Rumble x Moonshine Sally litter after Blitz And Bolt had won at Angle Park on the Monday night.


First Tara Raceway winner for Jackson

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Woodford trainer Jackson Bell landed his first Tara Raceway winner when Kooka Jak put in a big effort to win the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m) at last Friday’s time-graded meeting.

For Bell, 22, it had been a case of second time lucky after the son of Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie had run an unlucky first-up third at the local track late last month.

Jackson Bell with Kooka Jak, his first Tara Raceway winner.

Away fairly from box four, Kooka Jak copped a check on the first turn and heading into the back straight had a fair amount of work to do as Outlaw Greg bowled along in front, looking to make every post a winner.

But by the time the field approached the home turn, Kooka Jak had put himself well and truly in the race, railing through as Outlaw Greg moved out to finish strongly along the rails for a two length win in 30.36 seconds.

The winner, who was purchased as a pup, along with litter brother Premier Zed, is raced by the South Pole Syndicate which includes well known Warrnambool greyhound identities Phil Mitchem and Stuart Bishop.

Bell, whose first involvement in the sport was when he was still at school and catching greyhounds at Warrnambool meetings to earn a few dollars, said Friday’s win had been a real team effort – girlfriend Stacey Graham being singled out for special mention.

And on Saturday night Premier Zed lined up in a maiden final over 525 metres at The Meadows although it was Bishop who made the trip to Melbourne as the talented footballer Bell was playing for Warrnambool against Camperdown.

Premier Zed, still yet to win in 13 starts, made the trip worthwhile when running second and picking up $1430 in prizemoney.


Plugger set to get the job done

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

After some recent consistent middle-distance performances at Tara Raceway, Apsley greyhound Cryer’s Plugger, with a 10-start track and distance record of one win and seven minor placings, looks the one to beat from box seven in Sunday’s Koroit 600 (600 metres).

Owned by Margaret Cryer and trained by husband Tom, the January 2015 son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget was a well-beaten third behind McIvor Verna in 600 metre track record time last Sunday but prior to that had run Col’s Wallett to 1¾ lengths in a quick 35.03 seconds.

Margaret Cryer and Cryer’s Plugger.

Tom Cryer will be keen for Cryer’s Plugger to win his first race in close to three months with the Koroit 600 also carrying to the winner a four-week breaking-in package at the Koroit Breaking-In and Trial Track, donated by Peter Byrne.

Cryer has a brindle half-brother and two black half-sisters – by Spud Regis – to follow and at 14 months of age they aren’t far away from being broken-in.

One of the hardest for Cryer’s Plugger to beat in Sunday’s added-money feature will probably be Two Jobs, owned and trained at Serviceton by Valerie and David Brodhurst.

Although awkwardly drawn in box six, the daughter of Cosmic Rumble x Enlightment has won three races from her past five Tara Raceway starts and looked impressive when defeating Bekim Lucy’s by 4¼ lengths in 35.36 seconds – the same day Paraphernalia ran a track record 34.97 seconds.

Of the others, Rowdy Richard, trained at Horsham by Bill Hartigan, doesn’t look badly drawn in box eight and should find this a bit easier than last Sunday when he ran a 12½ length second behind McIvor Verna in 600 metre track record time.

And Peter Franklin’s McIvor Gordon, who has drawn box two, has the pedigree to run a strong 600 metres, being by Bella Infrared x Blonde Caviar and a litter brother to the record holder.

This will be the second year the Koroit 600 has been run, the Jeff Guy trained Brazen Bomber defeating Old Jock last year in an unofficial track record time of 35 seconds.

Byrne, incidentally, had a fair week on the track himself, successful at Tara Raceway last Friday with Black Fields in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m) and, as caretaker trainer, also winning three races in the space of seven days at Sandown Park with Saint Flynn for Robert Walsh of Koroit.

 

FRIDAY WINNERS TO CLASH

Free Bee, Rumbling Moment and Outlaw Eddie, all winners at last Friday’s meeting, have drawn boxes three, four and six respectively on Sunday and will clash in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m).

Deb Hicks pictured with first-up winner Free Bee.

There was plenty of interest surrounding Free Bee, having her first start in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m) as she was the first local runner for her sire Fernando Bale, regarded as one of Australia’s best-ever greyhounds and a winner of $1.3m in prizemoney.

And with Free Bee being out of Witch Fantasy, also the dam of Blurred Lines (27 wins and more than  $110,000 in prizemoney), she would have been a high-priced pup.

But the white and black bitch, now raced by Deb Hicks and trained at Worrolong by her father Steve Bartholomew, found her way to the South-East as an unraced giveaway after failing to make the grade in Victoria.

Rumbling Moment’s win in the winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m) was full of merit – a 7½ length winning margin in a flying 22.97 seconds says it all.

Rumbling Moment after his quick 400 metre run is pictured with trainer Dean Fennell.

Taken over last month by Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell, the son of Cosmic Rumble x Stylish Moment is a littermate to Sophie’s Moment, a recent 512 metre sub-30 second winner.

Rumbling Moment now joins a select group of greyhounds to have broken the 23-second barrier over 400 metres at Tara Raceway – Cryer’s Ricky heading the list with a record 22.78, followed by Ireland’s Oyster 22.83, Future Past and Slipper’s Might 22.93 and Colden Star 22.97.

Outlaw Eddie came out all guns blazing from box one for Coleraine owner-trainer Bob Wombwell in the ClassicBet Maiden Stake (400 m).

By Spring Gun out of Coleraine Flame, who five years ago won a 480 metre maiden at Horsham for Wombwell, Outlaw Eddie led all the way to defeat Azumi Chief and What A Buzz in 23.37 seconds.

Bob Wombwell and Outlaw Eddie.

The win came at his fifth race start with his trainer now confident that the 35 kilogram black dog has fully recovered from a groin operation.

Outlaw Eddie’s win gave the litter, and Wombwell, their second success for the week with Fire Eyes, a nicely-conformed 30 kilogram black bitch, winning at Tara Raceway at the previous Sunday’s meeting and now lining up from box two in this Sunday’s Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m).

Wombwell, whose involvement in South-East greyhound racing goes back to the Glenburnie days, is enjoying a good year with his small team at the local track, having now trained seven winners.


Kylan Brae breaks long run of outs

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Kylan Brae is the greyhound well known at Tara Raceway as the one who refuses to congregate with the throng around the lure at the end of a race but trots back to the other side of the track where, somewhat begrudgingly, he allows himself to be caught by his trainer.

And at Friday’s meeting, he took full advantage of the lower-grade time-graded format when breaking a long run of outs to win the Gambier Vets Stake (512 metres).

Kylan Brae after his win at Tara Raceway last Friday.

Well drawn in box eight, Kylan Brae used plenty of the track throughout but finished too powerfully to defeat Spotted Gun and Cee Jay’s Heart in a personal best time of 30.21 seconds.

The black dog’s only other win had been back in August last year when he had come from a long way back to defeat the tearaway leader Cee Righty – himself a winner last Thursday night at Warrnambool when successful in a 1-4 wins final over 450 metres.

Owned at Mumbannar by Jen Wilson and trained by her husband Monty, Kylan Brae is by Kinloch Brae out of Sionara Milly who was placed on only three occasions for $420 prizemoney but traces back to top producer Gravel Rash.

According to Monty Wilson, while Kylan Brae is still tricky to catch at the end of his races, his overall temperament is nothing compared to how he was when he first arrived at the kennels some eight months prior to his first race start.

“We were flat out getting him out of his kennel,” he said. “But thanks to a lot of patience and perseverance on the part of Jen we were finally able to win him round.”


Franklin’s amazing day at Tara Raceway

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wins by McIvor Verna, Mojito Mayhem, McIvor Neville and Future Past at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon gave long-time Moyston trainer Peter Franklin his best day ever at a greyhound track.

And that’s without even throwing in the fact that McIvor Verna and Mojito Mayhem established track records over 600 metres and 512 metres.

John Gale (left), Peter Franklin and Brian Gordon with McIvor Verna, Mojito Mayhem, Future Past and McIvor Neville who were successful for Franklin at Sunday’s meeting.

It was the second week of record-breaking runs at the local track after Brazen Bomber and Paraphernalia, trained at Horsham by Jeff Guy, had set new 512 metres and 600 metre time standards of 29.55 seconds and 34.97 seconds respectively at the June 11 meeting.

And while McIvor Verna turned in an outstanding effort to win the Williams Crane Hire Stake (600 m) by 12½ lengths in 34.84 seconds, it was Mojito Mayhem’s 29.52 seconds that further highlighted a greyhound who has virtually made Tara Raceway his own since winning at his first race start over 400 metres at the local track in a best of day 23.14 seconds on October 24, 2014.

The son of Fear Zafonic boasts the fabulous Flying Amy as his great-granddam and with an overall race record of 77 starts for 23 wins, 21 minor placings and $37,000 in prizemoney he’s been a more than handy money spinner for Barry Priest who owns Sunday’s four winners.

Mojito Mayhem has also won at Angle Park and Ballarat but it is at Tara Raceway where he has really excelled, accumulating 16 wins – including two Anniversary Cups and the 2016 Mount Gambier Cup – from 28 starts over 512 metres.

Peter Franklin with Mojito Mayhem after running a 512 metre track record on Sunday.

Back at his favourite track on Sunday after an unplaced run over 390 metres at Ballarat last Wednesday, Mojito Mayhem went straight to the front from box two in the Klaassens Contractors Free For All, eventually running out a 3¼ length winner over Lektra Uncut.

Short term, Franklin is now looking at his 4½-year-old black dog trying for a third consecutive Anniversary Cup – something that has never been done before. Heats will be run on Sunday, July 16 with the final a week later.

When maiden performer McIvor Verna, at only her sixth race start, knocked over a classy 600 metre mixed 3/4/5 field at Tara Raceway in April she gave the impression of bigger and better things to come.

Well, the bigger and better things certainly came on Sunday with the 30 kilogram daughter of US sire Bella Infrared and Blonde Caviar quickly rounding up the field before going on to a mammoth win – her third from only 11 starts.

Franklin has long held the view that staying would be the May 2015 whelping’s forte and as such after Sunday’s performance he was giving serious thought to nominating McIvor Verna for the heats of the Stayers Cup which will be run over 731 metres at Angle Park on Thursday night.

As far as McIvor Verna’s litter brother McIvor Neville was concerned it was always going to be a matter of whether he could stay in touch early before unleashing his powerful finishing burst.

McIvor Verna looks set for a promising staying career after breaking Tara Raceway’s 600 metre record on Sunday.

McIvor Neville, winner of this year’s Sims Memorial at Tara Raceway, looked close enough down the back when in third spot and that’s how it panned out as he finished too powerfully for Seabrook Noisey to win the Berringa Park Stake (512 m) in a quick 29.77 seconds.

Attention then focussed on the final race, the Allestree Holiday Units Free For All (400 m), and whether Future Past could give Franklin four winners for the day.

Or taking it even further, could Franklin actually make a track record clean sweep of the three distances?

Future Past, a litter brother to Mojito Mayhem, took over the running from Raz’s Girl mid-race to eventually win by 1¾ lengths in 23.17 seconds and give Franklin a career-best four winners. No track record, but a pretty handy run all the same.

However, there was a time when a Franklin-trained dog did hold the 400 metre record, that being Ireland’s Oyster who ran 22.83 seconds at the end of January 2015.