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Thursday, December 22, 2016
Some rough results on Christmas Cup day at Tara Raceway surely tested punters’ mettle although few would have begrudged Mount Gambier regulars Brad Mitchem, Connie Miller, Tony Harding, Monty Wilson and David Brodhurst their wins at one of the bigger local greyhound meetings of the year.
For Sandford trainer Mitchem the win of Elusive Linda in the Laser Electrical Stake (400 metres) made for a pretty handy long week-end after Ozi Power and Crazy Sprite had both won over 416 metres at Strathalbyn on the Friday.
A litter sister to Ozi Power, the lightly-raced Elusive Linda, a $26 chance, had punters reeling early in the day when leading all the way at only her fourth start in 23.55 seconds at the big odds of $26.
A daughter of Barcia Bale x Quick To Go, the black bitch defeated Goldie’s Run in her maiden at the local track back in August before resuming last week and finding the going pretty tough at Angle Park behind the boom youngster High Eden Snow.
Those keeping the faith with Allendale East trainer Miller were well rewarded when Bushman’s Faith at $11 led all the way in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m) to defeat $34 chance Good Yarn in 30.40 seconds.
Miller has done remarkably well with the son of Magic Sprite x Cin Cin Shiraz, a former Victorian chaser who won at his first start at Tara Raceway in August and has since gone on to win another six races.
It took Delcorn Potts, these days trained at Hamilton by Harding, 42 starts to win his first race but only another three to land his second – the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m).
Jumping from box five at $13, the black dog took the lead mid-race and despite finishing down the extreme outside of the track in the run home he still had 2½ lengths to spare in 30.61 seconds.
Mumbannar-based Wilson’s aim of training a winner a month for the second consecutive year looked somewhat remote a few months ago but a late surge now sees him not too far off the mark after Podium Time’s win.
By Dyna Tron out of the beautifully bred So Faithful, Podium Time went into the Produce Store Stake (512 m) with one win from 26 starts and a price of $31 to go with it.
However the brindle bitch looked anything but the rank outsider when showing plenty of early pace to lead all the way and hold out race favourite Stylish Pursuit.
Cheyenne Black, trained at Serviceton by Brodhurst for his wife Valerie, led all the way in the Allestree Holiday Units Mixed Stake (400 m) to defeat a pretty handy field in a pretty handy 23.14 seconds.
The daughter of Cosmic Chief x Eva’s Flame was an $8.50 chance, big odds considering her record this year at Tara Raceway resulted in her finishing just outside the top 10 greyhounds and contributing to her trainer’s 21 wins.
CLARISSA ON GREYHOUNDS
For Clarissa Miller, 15, a family involvement in greyhound racing made it pretty easy when it came to choosing a school project.
Clarissa made a 15-minute video titled Greyhounds: Greyhound racing and the back story of how they are looked after and trained.
In the video she appears on camera explaining aspects of the greyhound and greyhound racing, puts her views on various issues and posts pictures of greyhounds in kennel and racing environments.
Greyhounds also includes a piece on the 2012 Adelaide Cup and the sensational events leading up to the final which was won by Spud Regis.
Many will remember the car and trailer crash just outside of Nhill in the early hours after the running of the Adelaide Cup heats a week prior when Spud Regis escaped unscathed.
“This video is for school and Nana,” she said. Nana, of course, being Connie Miller of Allendale East.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
The finish line frivolity was once again in full play at Tara Raceway last Sunday after Cilla Brown kicked off the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s Christmas Cup meeting with a win in the Royal Fashion Maiden final (512 metres).
And while the Tara Raceway finish is “famous” for its across-the-line celebratory moments that are beamed around Australia via Sky Racing it’s doubtful that any have matched that of the winner’s trainer, David Williams.
Williams, quite simply, had been overjoyed to win the race with Cilla Brown who is owned by his 16-year-old daughter Angela. “That’s my biggest win,” he said. “And believe me, it felt like it!”
Cilla Brown did the job pretty well when winning a heat the previous week but even Williams had conceded that the other heat winner, the Bea Bryant trained Carry On Elvis, was going to be very hard to beat.
Lining up in the final from box three, the 28 kilogram black bitch jumped fairly in what was the 10th running of the feature maiden and was in front going out of the first turn.
Into the back straight Carry On Elvis loomed ominously, overcoming a check and then looking hard to hold out as he gave the leader a couple of lengths start.
But this was going to be Angela and David Williams’ day. Cilla Brown still had two lengths to spare on the line when running 30.63 seconds.
By little-known sire Ivan Brown out of Surfing Blonde, Cilla Brown found her way down to Tarpeena late last month after she had run a couple of minor placings from seven starts at Angle Park for Lewiston trainer John Spoolder.
To be fair though, she had been contesting some handy SA-bred features, with Spoolder happy to give the bitch to Angela Williams, believing she would be better suited down here.
The 39-year-old David Williams will now be hoping to wrap up what’s been a productive final three months of racing and add to his eight winners at Friday’s final meeting of the year.
Cilla Brown has drawn box eight in the first heat of a grade six 512 metre series – the Allestree Holiday Units Stake – while Carry On Elvis is also back and will contest the second heat – the South Eastern Hotel Stake – from box seven.
Quite conceivably, the pair could clash again in the final which will be run at the 2017 season opener on Sunday, January 1.
Also impressing in the Royal Fashion Maiden final was the Steve Bartholomew trained Azumi Spice who finished a half head behind Carry On Elvis in third spot – her sixth minor placing from only seven starts.
The black bitch worked home really well and now looks well placed in Friday’s second heat of a maiden series over 512 metres – the Berringa Park Stake.
By Cosmic Chief out of former local short-course specialist Azumi Touch, Azumi Spice is a February 2015 whelping and looks ideally suited to February’s Summer Classic (512 m) at Tara Raceway.
Making his debut on Friday will be Azumi Spice’s brother, Azumi Shadow, who will jump from box eight in the second heat of a maiden 400 metre series – the JB Irrigation Stake.
HALLIDAY’S HOMER ANSWERS THE CHALLENGE
Homer, owned and trained by Robert Halliday, has come a fair way since his debut at last year’s Christmas Cup meeting at Tara Raceway.
Twelve months ago in the South Eastern Hotel Open Maiden (512 m) the well bred son of Fear Zafonic and Flawless Tears ran a 10½ length third behind Lektra Goose and Southwood Hazel in 30.87 seconds.
As it turned out, it was another six months before Homer opened his winning account but after his win in last Sunday’s Rock’s Retreat Christmas Challenge (600 m) he’s now been successful on eight occasions this year.
Well back early from box six, the white and black dog was giving the tearaway leader Shannah’s Might a fair start down the back straight before finishing powerfully to defeat a fast-finishing Fascinated by 3½ lengths with a further 1¼ lengths to the early leader in a time of 35.60 seconds.
Homer’s win was the first leg of a running double for the Portland trainer with Redda taking over the running off the back in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m) and holding out Penny Eagle to win by a length in 30.37 seconds.
The double came on the back of a treble at the previous meeting and gave Halliday 13 winners for the final three months of the year.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Glenroy greyhound Glenville Jester’s amazing six weeks of racing continued at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when he defeated a classy field in the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final (512 metres).
This is the dog that last month won a Pathway Stake, then a heat and final of the Newman McDonnell Memorial before running second to Fiorelli Rose and then turning the tables on her prior to a Christmas Cup heat and final success.
Glenville Jester, trained by Richard Clayfield, was always going to be hard to beat after drawing box one although main interest focused on Mojito Mayhem who was attempting to win his third cup at Tara Raceway this year.
But before a large crowd, boosted by the attendance of members of the South Eastern Hotel Social Club, it was the Jester who surprised even his most ardent admirers when flying the lids and leading around the first turn with the Nicole Stanley trained Old Jock in hot pursuit.
Down the back straight the pair had opened up a handy break over the opposition and in the run home it was Glenville Jester who landed his 13th win for the year when defeating Old Jock by two lengths in 30.05 seconds – the second-fastest Christmas Cup winning time after Who’s Doing What’s 29.77 seconds in 2014.
The Robert Duncan trained Abbey’s Hand finished a further 3½ lengths back in third spot. Hers was a tremendous effort with the 4½-year-old veteran making up many lengths in the run home.
Abbey’s Hand just grabbed Mojito Mayhem and the Christmas Cup hoodoo continued for a second year for Peter Franklin’s Mount Gambier Cup and dual Anniversary Cup winner.
For Glenville Jester his 13th win on Sunday was a case of too little, too late as far as the Greyhound of the Year was concerned although he did win more races at Tara Raceway this year than any other greyhound.
But Old Jock’s wonderfully consistent year of 10 wins, 13 seconds and five thirds for 71 points saw him win the award by seven points over Glenville Jester.
Clayfield races the Christmas Cup winner in partnership with his brother Kevin and long-time racing cohort Dale Lewis. For Kevin Clayfield it was something of a mixed day after he took a tumble in the catching pen and later went to hospital for observation.
Lewis, just back in time from an overseas trip with wife Judy to witness the win, has been racing greyhounds with Clayfield since the mid-80s, a time when he was also involved with the South East Greyhound Racing Club as secretary.
By Vapour Whirl, Glenville Jester is out of Glenville Maggie which the pair also raced to win the 2011 Anniversary Cup at Tara Raceway.
“Glenville Maggie was pretty handy,” he said. “But Glenville Jester probably has to be right up there as one of the best we’ve raced together.
“The litter has had only two runners with Rowdy Richard winning at Horsham, Ballarat and Mount Gambier. As such, it’s probably a pity that she was never mated again.”
And Lewis still marvels at the success Glenville Jester has achieved at Tara Raceway.
“You know, if you could see him on our little track at home you wouldn’t think he was the same dog because he shows absolutely no interest in chasing the lure although thankfully he switches on once he hits Mount Gambier.”
The Christmas Cup win was the culmination of a good year for Clayfield who also won 11 races with Slipper’s Shadow and five with his litter sister Slipper’s Chance.
“Yes, it’s been a pretty good year,” he said. “Today’s win was certainly the icing on the cake and one of my biggest wins at the track.”
Clayfield said Glenville Jester would probably now be set for the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup (512 m), heats of which will be run at the end of February.
BRACELET FINAL A REAL THRILLER
Sunday’s Milla Laddrak-sponsored Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet final for grade five bitches over 400 metres lived up to its hype when Lektra Hutch and Brazen Beau once again matched motors.
The pair had fought out a closely-contested heat last week but the final turned out to be even tighter with Brazen Beau going straight to the front from box two while Lektra Hutch quickly worked into second spot from box eight.
And turning for home it was Lektra Hutch who took the rails opening before gaining the verdict in a slogging finish by a half head in 23.32 seconds – marginally quicker than Pintail’s 23.59 seconds win in last year’s inaugural Bracelet.
Owned and trained by Phil Lenehan, Lektra Hutch is by Vee Man Vane out of Lektra Angie, who won her maiden at Tara Raceway four years ago when defeating Moorak Hope in a very quick 29.93 seconds before going on to win a further eight races on Victorian tracks.
Sunday’s win was the black bitch’s ninth win from 35 starts for more than $14,000 in prizemoney.
Brazen Beau, a daughter of Shakey Jakey and proven producer Scrappy Coco, is turning out to be a more than handy pick-up for Allen and David Williams, having now won and been placed second on three occasions at Tara Raceway.
Filling third spot in the Bracelet was Lenehan’s other runner Lektra Aly who quickly settled in third position and finished the race off nicely to be beaten only 1½ lengths.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Mojito Mayhem’s successful comeback in a heat of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 metres) at Tara Raceway last Friday afternoon has made for a great story as far as local greyhound racing is concerned.
After wins earlier this year in the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup and the Anniversary Cup – the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s two biggest races of the year – Mojito Mayhem will now make an unprecedented bid for a cups clean sweep when jumping from box six in Sunday’s final.
Quite remarkably, the striking-looking black dog lined up from box one in a heat last week as an odds-on favourite at his first start after suffering what is generally a career-ending back leg injury at Ballarat in late August.
In last week’s heat, Mojito Mayhem and Galactic Viper matched motors to the first turn before the former shot away down the back straight, eventually running out a 4¼ length winner over McRay in 29.84 seconds – the fastest 512 metre time run at the track since Berry Bling’s 29.80 seconds on October 2.
Needless to say, Moyston trainer Peter Franklin, who had publicly stated that he believed Mojito Mayhem had probably lost three lengths, was delighted with the dog’s return to racing.
“Leading up to the cup heat he had been trialling pretty steadily over 450 metres at Ballarat where he hadn’t been breaking 26 seconds, although he’s certainly a different dog on the two-bend Tara Raceway track,” he said.
That he is, with last Friday’s win – his 20th overall – taking his local 512 metre record to 14 wins and four minor placings from 23 starts.
With a box six record of three wins and two minor placings from eight starts, Mojito Mayhem doesn’t look too badly placed in Sunday’s final although Franklin will be hoping for better luck in this year’s Christmas Cup than he experienced last year.
He looked to hold a strong hand in the 2015 cup with three finalists – Mojito Mayhem, his brother Future Past, and Vector – but failed to run a place in the race won by Fear The Rascal.
By Fear Zafonic x Graceful Amy, Mojito Mayhem was purchased by Bendigo owner Barry Priest as a pup with the dam, a staying type, having won 14 races.
And there’s certainly not a lot wrong with his damline – Graceful Amy being by Collide out of the unraced Amy Grace, a daughter of Flying Amy, one of Australia’s greatest greyhounds.
Glenville Jester’s strong finishing burst to defeat Old Jock and Cool Whipp in the second heat of the Christmas Cup was the culmination of an amazing five weeks for Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield with the April 2013 son of Vapour Whirl and Glenville Maggie registering five wins and a second from six starts.
The black dog has drawn the one in the final, and with a record from that box of two wins and two minor placings from five starts Glenville Jester is ideally placed to give Clayfield his biggest win at Tara Raceway since Glenville Maggie defeated Cryer’s Tiger and She’s A Jet in the 2011 Anniversary Cup.
And that would be a fair effort for a dog that only last month was running around in a Pathway race.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, after a double at Warrnambool on Tuesday with Ridd’s Flyer and Hay Miss, will be looking to wrap up a wonderful year in the Christmas Cup with either Old Jock or McRay who have drawn boxes three and eight respectively.
A four-year-old son of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze, Old Jock, who was a finalist in this year’s Mount Gambier Cup, can’t be beaten in the Greyhound of the Year award.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Sunday’s meeting at Tara Raceway promises to be one of the best for some time with four feature finals highlighting the 12-race card which will commence at 11.35 a.m. and conclude at 3.15 p.m.
The clash of last week’s impressive heat winners Carry on Elvis and Cilla Brown should make for an entertaining start to the meeting when they jump from boxes seven and three respectively for trainers Bea Bryant and David Williams in the Royal Fashion Maiden final (512 metres).
Adding further interest to the final will be Phil Lenehan’s Lektra Magic who will jump from box eight after displaying plenty of early pace in her heat before going down by a couple of lengths to Cilla Brown.
And flashing home to run third to Cilla Brown was the Steve Bartholomew trained Azumi Spice who has drawn box one and is close to her first win.
Portland owner-trainer Robert Halliday won both heats of the Rock’s Retreat Christmas Challenge (600 m) with Homer and Odd Boots but Sunday’s final looks to be anything but a two-dog race following Tuesday afternoon’s box draw.
Shannah’s Might, who found the front at the winning post the first time around for trainer Tracie Price in last week’s first heat, was still in front turning for home before being collared by Homer and going down by four lengths when finishing second.
By Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star, the litter brother to last year’s Christmas Cup winner Fear The Rascal was having his first middle-distance run in six weeks and should be better for the hit-out.
At last year’s corresponding meeting, Penshurst owner-trainer John Cameron scored an easy win with Jasmine Lilly while in the Royal Fashion Maiden Fascinated finished third behind Cairnlea Lewis.
A winner over 512 metres at Tara Raceway in late November, Fascinated worked home well to finish third in Homer’s heat at what was only her third run over the middle-distance journey.
Cameron was more than happy with the effort and while the daughter of Hutmaker x Spellbound is probably not ideally drawn in box two she’s another one who should be better for the run.
The same could probably be said for Nifty Lenehan’s King Obama who led for a long way from box one in the second heat before Odd Boots grabbed him in the run home.
By Kinloch Brae x Obama’s Girl, King Obama was having his first run over 600 metres and while likely to strip fitter he will have to contend with box seven in Sunday’s final.
Lenehan, who was successful with King Obama’s litter sister Herbilly in a best of day 23.17 seconds over 400 metres at Tara Raceway later in the day, followed up again at Warrnambool on Tuesday night when she won a grade five 390 metre event.
PRESIDENT CHASING ANOTHER FEATURE
Southern Greyhound Raceway president Tony Hinrichsen will be chasing his second Tara Raceway feature this year when Back Up Tiger lines up from box three in the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet final (400 m).
By Dyna Tron x Fighting Fury, the brindle bitch is a sister to Menzel Boys, winner of this year’s Summer Classic prior to running third to Mojito Mayhem in the Mount Gambier Cup final.
Back Up Tiger, a winner over 512 metres at Tara Raceway 12 months ago and also in February over 400 metres, was a solidly backed favourite from box five in the first heat of the Bracelet.
And punters taking the $2.60 wouldn’t have been overly happy when she was well back just after box rise. But in what was a remarkable exhibition of railing, Back Up Tiger never went around a dog, eventually running out a 1½ length winner over Brae’s Girl in 23.67 seconds.
The brindle bitch, who has drawn box three on Sunday, rounded off her final preparation with a 1½ length fourth behind Fatboy Norm in a 400 metre mixed 4/5 stake at Gawler on Tuesday afternoon.
Toolong trainer Phil Lenehan looks to hold a strong hand in the Bracelet with Lektra Aly and Lektra Hutch drawing boxes one and eight respectively.
Lektra Aly found the front down the back in Back Up Tiger’s heat but ran into trouble shortly after before finishing third.
Heat two winner Lektra Hutch, who returned to Tara Raceway on the back of some excellent short-course form at Warrnambool, took over the running down the back from another noted speedster in Brazen Beau with only three-quarters of a length separating the pair on the line in 23.43 seconds.
Brazen Beau will line up from box two for David Williams in a final that promises to be a keenly-contested affair while the Ken Gillespie trained Krypton Queen will jump from box four after qualifying with a nice third behind Lektra Hutch.
And highlighting the meeting will be the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m). Mojito Mayhem is through to the final and has drawn box six while Glenville Jester will be attempting to make it three wins on end when exiting from box one.
Monday, December 12, 2016
The 2015 Royal Fashion Maiden series unearthed a pretty handy type in the form of Cairnlea Lewis and this year Carry On Elvis gave notice of bigger and better things to come when turning in a powerhouse display to win the second of two heats at last Friday’s meeting.
Having only his second race start, the June 2014 black dog was first out and first home from box seven, running out a 6¾ length winner over Lady Shannah with Another Rouse and Gee She Roks also making it through to Sunday’s final.
Owned and trained at Heathmere by Bea Bryant, Carry On Elvis is by Farmor Las Vegas, a winner of close to $200,000, out of Victorian city winner Soul Calibur.
Bryant also bred and retained the litter which is turning out to be quite handy with Carry On Quinney recently winning at Sandown Park and Carry On Pendles running consecutive thirds at the same track, one of those behind his litter brother.
The pair is trained at Lara by leading Victorian trainer Robert Britton who also had a crack with Elvis but sent him back after reckoning he was “18 lengths off the pace”.
And according to Bryant’s husband, Roger, Britton had been spot on with his assessment.
“He was one of those dogs that took little interest in anything,” he said. “In fact, we had just about given up on him in regard to a racing career.
“But I suppose it was about three months ago that the penny just seemed to drop, his whole attitude changed and all of a sudden he was trialling in times that would make him competitive in races.”
Carry On Elvis’s time last Friday of 30.29 seconds for the 512 metre journey held up well for the day against higher-grade races.
Cilla Brown’s run of 30.45 seconds in winning the first heat was a couple of lengths slower than Carry On Elvis although there wasn’t too much wrong with her effort either.
Away well from box one, she was checked on the first bend and found herself mid-field down the back straight before working into second spot behind tearaway leader Lektra Magic who was having her first run at the track.
But into the home straight it was Cilla Brown who finished powerfully to run out a two length winner over the early leader and a fast-finishing Azumi Spice while fourth placegetter Cee Jay’s Heart is also into the final.
The winner is owned by 16-year-old Angela Williams who recently received the black bitch as a give away from well-known Adelaide trainer John Spoolder.
Cilla Brown is trained out at Tarpeena by her father, David, looking to emulate his father, Allen, who won the 2011 Royal Fashion Maiden with Don’t Panic who went on to win a further seven races and also jumped favourite in the 2012 Mount Gambier Cup won by Rich Shiraz.
The Milla Laddrak-sponsored Royal Fashion Maiden was first run in 2007 when won by the Dean Fennell trained Leeor Trev. Then followed White Flash (Richard Clayfield), Mundarra Express (Cap Abbott), Doll’s Cool Azz (Mary Woodhead), Don’t Panic (Allen Williams), Moorak Hope (Tracie Price), Manila Express (Cap Abbott), Pumped Rule (Dean Fennell) and Cairnlea Lewis (Peter Hubbard).
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Portland owner-trainer Robert Halliday will hold a strong hand in Sunday week’s Rock’s Retreat Christmas Challenge final after kennelmates Homer and Odd Boots were successful in the heats of the 600 metre feature at Tara Raceway on Friday afternoon.
By Fear Zafonic x Flawless Tears, Homer is a half-brother to Halliday’s former Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Half Way home and has come a fair way since his debut 12 months ago when running a 10 length third in a maiden 512 metre event won by Lektra Goose.
The white and black dog, who had won on six occasions going into Friday’s race, looked well placed from box one in the first heat of the grade five feature but at the half-way stage still had plenty of work to do as Shannah’s Might was travelling well out in front.
Off the back, though, Homer started to put in the big strides and finished too strongly for Shannah’s Might, running out a four length winner in 35.54 seconds, while the 24 kilogram Fascinated, dwarfed by the first two placegetters, worked home well to finish third and qualify for the final along with Lektra Lucy.
Odd Boots, who won his maiden over the middle-distance journey late last month, was successful in similar style to that of Homer when finishing strongly in the home straight to defeat King Obama by 1½ lengths in 35.64 seconds while Ari and Lektra Ash will make up the final eight.
By Kinloch Brae x Obama’s Girl, King Obama, owned and trained at Woolsthorpe by Nifty Lenehan, gave plenty of cheek when attempting to lead all the way at his first attempt over the 600 metre journey.
But Lenehan, whose brother Phil was successful with Lektra Hutch in a heat of the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet, also ended the day well when King Obama’s litter sister Herbilly scored a brilliant win in the Trackside Meats Open Stake (400 m).
A well supported $3.30 favourite, Herbilly was expected to lead from box one but when noted speedster Slipper’s Chance quickly took up the running Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield looked odds-on to land a treble after Slipper’s Shadow and Glenville Jester had won earlier in the day.
However, Lenehan’s brindle bitch finished over the top of Slipper’s Chance, winning by a length in a best of day 23.17 seconds.
Halliday, after winning the two Christmas Challenge heats, wasn’t finished either after Yella stormed home to defeat Moth Attack, another one of Lenehan’s Kinloch Brae x Obama’s Girl litter, in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m).
And as far as the long-time trainer was concerned it was a Tara Raceway treble that had been a long time coming.
“The past couple of years have been pretty quiet although things have picked up a bit over the past few months,” he said.
“Look, I’ve had trebles at Tara Raceway, Horsham, Warrnambool and Sandown Park but don’t ask me when. All I know is that it’s been a long time since I trained three winners on one day.”
Thursday, December 8, 2016
The big story to come out of tomorrow’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup heats at Tara Raceway is the return of the Moyston greyhound Mojito Mayhem.
He’s the cups king around here, having previously won the 2015 Anniversary Cup, and then the 2016 Mount Gambier and Anniversary Cups for trainer Peter Franklin – one of the nicest people you could hope to meet on a greyhound track, or anywhere else for that matter.
Back in early August, Mojito Mayhem was still running hot, defeating this year’s likely Greyhound of the Year Old Jock over 512 metres in a quick 29.74 seconds. Even then Franklin was daring to dream also of back-to-back Mount Gambier Cups.
But a couple of weeks later the son of Fear Zafonic and Graceful Amy injured a hind leg at Ballarat and hasn’t raced since.
According to Franklin, Mojito Mayhem, who boasts a record of 19 wins and 18 minor placings from 65 starts, appears to have lost three lengths overall.
“Significantly, I think the loss of an early length or so might make it difficult for him to find a forward position through the first bend,” he said.
“His recent trials at Ballarat over 450 metres have been well below his best with only fair run-home times.”
However, Franklin said he believed Mojito Mayhem had done well to come back from two severe tears to his gracilis.
“And I’m hanging on to the fact that despite a loss of three lengths he still should be able to run sub-30 seconds with a clear run.”
Mojito Mayhem, who will be attempting to win the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s three cups in the one year, has drawn box one in heat one with the first four from each heat advancing to Sunday week’s 512 metre Christmas Cup final.
“I reckon if he can pull this one off it would make for a great movie script,” said Franklin, who stopped just short of suggesting that Brad Pitt would be a good fit in the lead role as Mojito Mayhem’s trainer.
Another nice story to come out of the Christmas Cup is that of Glenville Jester, raced by Richard and Kevin Clayfield in partnership with Dale Lewis.
Initially, trainer Richard Clayfield had been undecided whether to tackle the Christmas Cup or the Christmas Challenge (600 m) with Glenville Jester but after a powerful 1½ length best of day win over Fiorelli Rose in last Sunday’s Laser Electrical Mixed Stake (512 m) it was an easy decision.
By Vapour Whirl out of 2011 Mount Gambier Anniversary Cup winner Glenville Maggie, Glenville Jester had been wallowing in the wilderness mid-year and couldn’t win a race to save himself.
In fact, by early November he’d found himself in a time-restricted Pathway for out-of-form greyhounds, a race that he duly won before going on to win at three of his next four starts.
Whether that win boosted his confidence, Clayfield is not really sure. He’s just hoping the winning form continues because the black dog is unlikely to find himself back in a Pathway any time soon.
Glenville Jester looks well placed from box three in the second heat to advance to the Christmas Cup final after the seven-dog field was reduced to six with the scratching from box two of Cryer’s Fred due to split webbing.
Cryer’s Fred was a finalist in last year’s Christmas Cup prior to running second to Mojito Mayhem in the 2016 Anniversary Cup.
The first Christmas Cup was run in 2011 when won by Napoleon Wiz, trained by David Peckham who also won the 2013 event with Bourne Again. Allen Williams was successful in 2012 with Lika Gem while Tracie Price has trained the past two winners – Who’s Doing What and Fear The Rascal.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Tarpeena greyhound trainer David Williams, 39, fresh from a double at Tara Raceway last Sunday, will be hoping for continued success at Friday’s meeting which will be highlighted by heats of four feature events.
Williams’s double – with Star Eagle and Peter Benz – had been his first and came almost 10 years after Causin’ Havoc gave him his initial winner at Tara Raceway on February 17, 2007.
Star Eagle, after winning a maiden heat at the previous meeting, went right on with the job in the Metal Worx final (400 metres), leading all the way to defeat Cryer’s Sid and Panic Prone in a desperately tight finish.
Raced by Williams’s father, Allen, who also bred the black dog, Star Eagle is the kennel’s first winner with one of the El Grand Senor x Chilly Patch litter.
And Peter Benz obviously appreciated a 10-week break when leading all the way to defeat a pretty handy grade five field in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m).
Williams has Cilla Brown engaged from box one in the first heat of Friday’s Royal Fashion Maiden (512 m) and she looks a top chance after a handy second on debut behind Delcorn Potts at last Sunday’s meeting.
By little-known sire Ivan Brown x Surfing Blonde, the former Adelaide-based chaser hadn’t even trialled at Tara Raceway prior to making up ground in the run home and should be improved by the hit-out.
Ivan Brown, a son of Where’s Pedro x Suna Silence, raced on only 12 occasions for four wins over short courses at Albion Park and Maitland.
Williams will also be represented in the second heat of the Rock’s Retreat Christmas Challenge with Lektra Ash who is back for a second try over the 600 metre journey.
And Brazen Beau, who has drawn box eight in the second heat of the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet (400 m), looks well-placed in the bitches-only feature.
But he has no runners in the heats of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m).
“No, so far the closest I’ve come to the Christmas Cup is handling Lika Gem when he won the 2012 event for the old man,” David Williams said.
LADIES BRACELET ATTRACTS TOP LINE-UP
Friday’s Milla Laddrak-sponsored Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet has attracted two strong heats of grade five bitches.
Tony Hinrichsen, of Monarto South, returns to Mount Gambier with Back Up Tiger who close to 12 months ago won down here over 512 metres before returning a couple of months later for a 400 metre win.
A winner of 18 races, the daughter of Dyna Tron x Fighting Fury has won and been placed four times from her past five starts over short courses at Strathalbyn and Angle Park.
Back Up Tiger has drawn box five in the first heat of the Ladies Bracelet with Hinrichsen looking for further feature success at Tara Raceway after litter brother Menzel Boys’s outstanding win over Cairnlea Lewis in the Summer Classic in February.
But there’ll be plenty of competition in this heat for the four spots in the final – Bea Bryant’s Colden Girl worked home well last Sunday when running second to Dimora Bekim while Roarsome, trained locally by Ralph Patzel, has a touch of class and looks well graded.
And then there’s Penny Eagle who looked good a couple of weeks ago when running a best of day 23.34 seconds as did the John Burow-trained Good Yarn who flashed home last Sunday to run Peter Benz to a length.
The Phil Lenehan owned and trained Lektra Hutch, fourth at Bendigo over 425 metres on Tuesday after being on the pace early, looks well placed from box two in the second heat of the Ladies Bracelet.
By Vee Man Vane x Lektra Angie, Lektra Hutch had terrific form over 390 metres at Warrnambool during November and should be hard to hold out.
Evening In Paris, placed at her past five starts at Strathalbyn, Warrnambool and Tara Raceway for trainer Nicole Stanley, is well boxed in the seven while Brazen Beau, a 400 metre winner from box eight at the local track on November 20, will jump from the same box again on Friday.
ADDING SPICE TO THE MAIDEN SERIES
Two heats of the Royal Fashion Maiden (512 m), also sponsored by Milla Laddrak, will kick off racing at Tara Raceway on Friday.
In the first heat, box eight runner Azumi Spice, a daughter of Cosmic Chief and Azumi Touch, has been placed at her past four starts and looks one of the hardest to beat for Worrolong couple Steve and Lee Bartholomew.
An interesting runner in this heat is the Tracie Price trained Snizort, a son of Cosmic Rumble and local bitch Moorak Hope who won the 2012 Royal Fashion for owner Allan Holmes and Price.
Price also has an interesting runner in the second heat in the form of Lady Shannah, who will be lining up for only her second race start.
By Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star, the Don Nunn-owned 3½-year-old bitch is a sister to his proven performers Shannah’s Might and Fear The Rascal.
Lady Shannah’s only run was back in September when she finished strongly to run second to Goldie’s Run who has won his past two starts at Tara Raceway.
Cryer’s Plugger is well drawn in box eight and with seconds at his past two starts looks ready to open his winning account while Bea Bryant’s Carry On Elvis, who finished seventh on debut at Warrnambool in November, should be better for the run.
Nescia Patzel reports that tickets for the Christmas hamper raffle are selling well.
Currently laid-low with injury, the popular kennel steward is helping out the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club by selling raffle tickets at the Tara Raceway weekly race meetings.
There are three prizes with tickets costing $2 each.
The draw will be conducted at the club’s Christmas meeting on Sunday, December 18.