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

THURSDAY, JUNE 4: Nominations closed. THURSDAY, JUNE 11: Nominations close at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9 with GRSA. SATISFACTORY TRIALS: For bookings please contact Barry Shepheard on 0419 824 512.

PLEASE NOTE: UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE THERE WILL BE RESTRICTED ATTENDANCE AT ALL TARA RACEWAY MEETINGS. ONLY LICENSED PARTICIPANTS WITH GREYHOUNDS ENGAGED, CATCHERS AND ESSENTIAL STAFF WILL BE PERMITTED ENTRY. NO TAB AND NO CATERING ON TRACK.


News

Flying around Tara Raceway

Thursday, January 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Chasing another maiden series win

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

STANLEY SET FOR ANOTHER BIG DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Making his own news

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Story and picture by Allen Williams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Jock the top dog at Tara

Monday, January 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Nothing suspicious about this win

Monday, January 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

BREAKING LONG RUNS OF OUTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Irka Jakit stakes classic claim

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott is taking a serious look at the forthcoming Summer Classic at Tara Raceway after Irka Jakit’s impressive Juvenile win at Angle Park on Monday night.

The daughter of Fabregas and Albion Park 600 metre winner Another Request led early before settling in second spot and then running home strongly to edge out Cairnlea Kenny by three-quarters of a length in 30.02 seconds for the 515 metre journey.

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Cap Abbott with Angle Park winner Irka Jakit who is now likely to tackle the Summer Classic.

The win was the John Dihm-owned Irka Jakit’s second this year after scoring by 9¼ lengths at Tara Raceway over 512 metres in a handy 30.29 seconds on January 1.

Heats of the Summer Classic, a non-penalty event for all dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2015, will be run on Friday, February 3 with the $3000 final on Sunday, February 12.

“She’s only now starting to put it altogether,” Abbott said. “And being a February 2015 whelping she’s the ideal age for the classic so at this stage I’m hopeful that she’ll take her place in the line-up.”

The win completed a couple of good days for Abbott who on the Sunday at the local track had been successful with Blazin’ Vicky, an all the way winner of the JB Irrigation Mixed Stake (512 m) in 30.31 seconds.

The third running of the Summer Classic looks like attracting a fair sort of line-up with Moyston trainer Peter Franklin back at Tara Raceway tomorrow with several of his May 2015 McIvor dogs.

Also attracting some interest at Tara Raceway tomorrow, from a classic point of view, will be Robert Halliday’s April 2015 Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie whelpings Haggle and Hutch who are litter brothers to Cairnlea Kenny.

And Koroit trainer Robert Walsh has Ruby’s Willow, I’m A Princess and Ruby’s Cheekstar – from an April 2015 litter of 12 by Cape Hawke x Jamaican Ruby – engaged in heats of a maiden 512 metre series.

Perfect age for the classic is the Nicole Stanley trained Miss Pineapple, whelped in January 2015 and another one of the “Bling” breed, being by Bit Chili x Classy Bling.

Miss Pineapple, who won her first two starts at Warrnambool, will have her first run at Tara Raceway tomorrow when she jumps from box five in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m), the first heat of a grade six series.

 

LONG WAIT IS OVER

David Peckham reports that Thanks Tubby, now retired from racing for more than 12 months, has finally come on season and is currently in Adelaide to be mated with high profile sire Barcia Bale.

By Superman x Irish Fantasy, Thanks Tubby is the longest-standing record holder of the three distances currently run at Tara Raceway (400 m, 512 m, 600 m).

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Connie Miller pictured with Thanks Tubby after her 512 metre record run at Tara Raceway on June 1, 2014.

Her 512 metre record of 29.60 seconds was established on June 1, 2014 when she defeated Rouse Flyer by 8½ lengths.

Thanks Tubby joined Peckham’s Allendale East kennels in March 2014 after having won her maiden at Ipswich in the September prior. All told she raced on 64 occasions for 21 wins and 23 minor placings.

A winner of numerous feature races at Tara Raceway, the black bitch on two occasions strung together four consecutive wins.

Peckham already has pups of the same line on his property with Thanks Tubby’s litter sister Striking Viking, a former 600 metre record holder at Tara Raceway, having whelped three dogs and five bitches to Barcia Bale in May last year.

And the wait is almost over for Cap Abbott as far as his former top staying bitch Manila Express is concerned.

Manila Express, who won 18 races and recorded 24 minor placings for stakemoney close to $34,000, last raced in October 2015 with Abbott reporting this week that the black bitch is heavy in pup to another high profile sire in Cosmic Rumble.

She’s also a nicely-bred bitch, being by Bekim Bale out of Flossy, a lightly-raced sister to the iron dog Stagger.

 

AWARDS TO BE PRESENTED

The 2016 awards for Leading Trainer and Greyhound of the Year will be presented at Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting.

Leading Trainer for the second consecutive year is Tracie Price of Compton while Old Jock, trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley for the Jocks Lot Syndicate, won the Greyhound of the Year.


Surprise feature win for leading trainer

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Portland trainer Nicole Stanley continued on her winning way at Tara Raceway last Sunday with Hay Miss scoring a surprise win in the Laser Electrical Feature Grade Five (512 metres) and Stylish Pursuit successful in a best of day 30.18 seconds in the ClassicBet Stake (512 m).

Hay Miss, who “scraped” into the final on the strength of a fourth placing in a heat the previous week behind Colden Girl, went straight to the front from box seven in Sunday’s $2100 final, eventually holding out Flying Flutter to win by a head in 30.53 seconds.

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Nicole Stanley with Hay Miss after her Laser Electrical Feature Grade 5 win last Sunday.

For Hay Miss, a daughter of Bekim Bale x Miss Stackhouse, the win – at the nice odds of $20 – was her second feature at Tara Raceway after success in the John Reid Memorial last year prior to running second to Lektra Munster in the Winter Classic.

Stylish Pursuit, a litter sister to the Tracie Price trained Flying Flutter, was an odds-on favourite from box one in what looked to be a handy grade five event.

Fresh from a third placing over 515 metres at Sandown Park the week prior, Stylish Pursuit settled in second spot behind Thanks Captain who by the middle stages of the race had opened a fair sort of break and looked some chance of winning his first race in more than three months for trainer David Peckham.

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Mo Canala brings Stylish Pursuit back after a recent Tara Raceway win.

But turning for home, the daughter of Mogambo x Butterfly Bling railed through on Thanks Captain, finishing the better to win by a length, bringing up her third 512 metre win from four starts at Tara Raceway.

With Leading Trainer points compiled on a 4, 2, 1 basis, Stanley has already opened up a commanding break after only three meetings with eight wins and two thirds for a total of 34 points – a lead of 18 over second placed Peter Franklin.

Stylish Pursuit and kennelmate Old Jock will now go around in grade five events tomorrow night over 515 metres at Sandown Park from boxes four and six respectively with the races carrying $5000 in prizemoney to the winner. Nice work if you can get it.

 

ANOTHER WIN FOR ANOTHER ROUSE

It’s been well documented how Glencoe greyhound Another Rouse took 12 months to win his first race and how his long-suffering owner Jack Casey of Penshurst had, for some inexplicable reason, chosen that day not to attend the Tara Raceway meeting.

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Jack Casey and Barry Shepheard pictured with Another Rouse after his second win at Tara Raceway.

In fact, he nearly missed out again when the Barry Shepheard trained son of Cape Hawke x Kirkstall Jane led everywhere but on the post at the previous meeting before going down to Brinza.

That must have been enough for the popular owner who made sure he was on track last Sunday to watch Another Rouse go around in the Trackside Meats Stake for grade six greyhounds.

Handled by Amanda Darmanin, who seemed to be in the thick of things last Sunday, the big black dog once again found the front from box eight, as he had done for her 23 days previously when winning his first race.

And from then on he never really looked like being beaten, finishing two lengths clear of Dustin Drew’s pretty handy type Black Fields in 30.28 seconds, the second fastest time of the day.

Following the win, and in between the congratulatory handshakes and the like – and the rush onto the track for that long awaited photograph – Casey had been heard mentioning the Mount Gambier Cup.

“That’s the race we’ve been setting him for,” he joked. Or was he?

Anyway, Casey will get the chance to further assess Another Rouse on Friday when he once again steps up in grade to take on a smart field of grade five greyhounds from box four in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m).

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David, Ethan and Angela Williams were all smiles after Gemma Eagle’s win last Sunday.

And speaking of being in the thick of things last Sunday.

In between winning The Border Watch Stake (400 m) with Gemma Eagle, Allen Williams handled the Val and Col Sims Memorial presentation with aplomb and also flogged off the popular daily double raffle tickets in record time.

Gemma Eagle hadn’t taken anywhere near as long as Another Rouse to win what was a maiden heat – she finished down the line in the final behind Hay Miss.

But that had been back in July of last year and she hadn’t won since when lining up from box four in last Sunday’s grade six event.

On the back of a handy third behind Stout And Story at the previous meeting, the black and white bitch turned in a tidy effort to defeat Cryer’s Sid by 2¾ lengths in 23.45 seconds.

There’s certainly not much wrong with Gemma Eagle’s breeding – her sire, Glen Gallon a former superstar while her dam Keep Looking won 11 races.

In fact, Keep Looking, at the time trained by Williams, defeated Casey’s Rouse Flyer in a heat of the 2012 Mount Gambier Cup before running fifth in the final behind Rich Shiraz.

Gemma Eagle will now line up from box two in a heat of the feature grade five series (400 m) at Sunday’s meeting.


McIvor Neville triumphs in Sims Memorial

Monday, January 16, 2017

McIvor Neville, a Val and Col Sims Memorial heat winner last week at his first race start, continued on his winning way at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when scoring a hard-fought victory in the final of the 512 metre series for maiden greyhounds.

Away only fairly from box eight, the 34 kilogram red fawn dog kept out of trouble on the first turn and by mid-race had worked into third spot behind Tipping Woody and Jaeda Sienn.

Actually, it had been Jaeda Sienn who led the field out from box four and had set the pace into the back straight before Tipping Woody let loose with a quick burst and opened up what could have well been a race-winning lead.

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Sunday’s Sims Memorial presentation.

But turning for home the leader moved out and McIvor Neville warmed to the task as the pair set down to fight out the memorial, Neville doing enough on the line to get the verdict by a neck in a time of 30.64 seconds.

Once again, the Sims family was well-represented on track and the winner’s trainer, Peter Franklin of Moyston, was most appreciative of their continued support of the memorial.

“It’s a terrific thrill to win this race,” he said. “You know, I can still remember coming over to Mount Gambier as a lad for coursing meetings and marvelling at how successful the Sims’ were at this now long-gone form of greyhound racing.”

By US sire Bella Infrared out of Blonde Caviar, McIvor Neville is one of eight members of the litter Franklin is training for Bendigo owner Barry Priest – McIvor Gordon having also won a heat last week while Chuck McIvor opened his winning account at start number two when finishing too strongly to defeat Supreme Times in Sunday’s Gordon Refrigeration Maiden Stake (400 m).

Speaking after the memorial, Franklin said he wasn’t sure as to Priest’s intentions with Blonde Caviar and any future litters.

“She’s probably worth another litter but at the moment she’s enjoying a life of luxury at the Stawell home of my ‘right hand man’ John Gale.”

Sunday’s win continued the trainer’s outstanding feature race strike rate at Tara Raceway after Mojito Mayhem had dominated the cups races last year.

Mojito Mayhem is drawn to race at Warrnambool tomorrow night but Franklin said it was unlikely he would run and that the black dog may well defend his Mount Gambier Cup crown by going into next month’s heats without another race start.

As far as the McIvor greyhounds are concerned, he said he was now looking at the forthcoming Summer Classic with some of the May 2015 whelpings.

Heats of the Summer Classic, a 512 metre Special Event for dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2015, will be run on Friday, February 3 with the $3000 final on Sunday, February 12.

“They aren’t very old and I don’t want to push them too hard but they only get one chance at these types of events. After all, they will be running against dogs pretty well their own age and of the same experience,” said Franklin who was runner-up to Cryer’s Ricky with Future Past in the 2014 Summer Classic.

Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton went close in the memorial with Tipping Woody, a lightly-raced son of Stagger, who raced on 137 occasions for 64 wins, out of Sandown Park winner Hippy Chic while Monty and Jen Wilson’s Jaeda Sienn continued her consistent form over 512 metres with a 3¼ length third.

 

SEARCHING FOR A WINNER

A late night internet search indirectly came up with Master Tron, a quick Masters winner over 400 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

And it was a win that came purely by chance as the 36 kilogram fawn dog had been drawn as a reserve and only gained a run when Lil Arthur was scratched due to ineligibility.

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Part-owner and trainer Ralph Patzel and part-owner Amanda Darmanin pictured with giveaway greyhound Master Tron, a brilliant Masters winner on Sunday.

An internet search on a greyhound site by local owner and trainer Amanda Darmanin had come up with a giveaway from NSW that she thought could be suitable for her and fellow local trainer Ralph Patzel to race in Mount Gambier.

But after several phone calls there were two giveaways and then three – the third one being a dog called Master Tron, a son of Dyna Tron x Katie Racoon who had commenced his racing career in Victoria before moving to NSW.

Master Tron had won eight races – including city track wins at The Meadows and Wentworth Park – but by the time he hit Mount Gambier it had been a fair while since he had won a race.

For all that, though, the April 2013 whelping looked totally out of place in the veterans’ race after finding the front at the 277 metre boxes before careering away to a 7½ length win in 23.11 seconds – a time that would do any fast-class sprinter proud.

And while Master Tron had been well supported, the same couldn’t be said for Supreme Deal, winner of the Metal Worx Mixed Stake (512 m) and the second leg of a double for Patzel.

Jumping from box seven at $40, Supreme Deal was last early but found the rails going into the back, quickly making up ground and railing through on Cryer’s Fred before ultimately holding out Homer to win by 1¾ lengths in 30.58 seconds.

By Where’s Pedro x Supreme Vision, Supreme Deal’s win was his fourth for Patzel and fellow owners Darmanin, Bob White and Darryl Patzel with Sunday’s success coming at his second start back after an elbow operation had seen the fawn dog off the scene since the middle of November.

According to Darmanin, Sunday’s double had been Patzel’s first since litter sisters Wattaira and Scullira had been successful on August 3, 2012.


Successful year for trainers

Thursday, January 12, 2017

While Tracie Price, of Compton, scored a comfortable win in the 2016 Mount Gambier Leading Trainer award, it was also a good year for several other trainers who finished in the top 10.

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Tracie Price . . . Tara Raceway’s Leading Trainer for 2016.

In what was another outstanding year, Price led in 78 winners which included seven doubles, 10 trebles and two bags of four winners – Real Moment his star performer with 11 wins prior to being retired in October.

Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, off to a flying start at Tara Raceway in 2017 with six wins after only two meetings, was runner-up to Price after a best-ever year saw her lead in 66 winners with Old Jock contributing 10 of those and picking up the 2016 Greyhound of the Year.

Dean Fennell, of Glencoe, involved at the Lake Terrace East track since its opening back in 1997, also enjoyed his best year with 28 winners, as did Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield – whose involvement goes back even further.

Clayfield’s 31 winners included 13 by Glenville Jester, the track’s most successful dog during 2016 from a win point of view.

See “Statistics”.

 

SA-BRED RACES FOR TARA RACEWAY

The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club has programmed grade five SA-bred races over 400 metres and 512 metres for its Sunday, February 19 meeting.

SA-bred grade six greyhounds will also be eligible for these events but will have to be specifically nominated.

Greyhound Racing SA promotes SA-bred greyhounds through the running of restricted races, bonus payments for winners of all races and last year announced the introduction of a re-vamped SA-bred bonus for maiden winners.

Currently, SA maiden winners receive a $175 bonus but commencing from July 1, 2017 GRSA is looking to increase this bonus to $1000 ($500 breeder, $500 owner).

SA-bred greyhounds generally make up something like 25 per cent of the fields at Tara Raceway’s weekly meetings.

 

BOOST FOR CUP CONSOLATION

In a break from tradition, there will be only one consolation conducted this year for runners failing to reach the final of the $10,000 ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup (512 metres), heats of which will be run on Sunday, February 26.

However, the consolation will carry $2000 prizemoney and is sure to attract a pretty fair line-up of unlucky runners from the heats.

Complementing the cup will be the $2000 Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m), the $2000 Blue Lake Grade 5 (600 m) and the $1500 Formula 400 Open (400 m), heats of which will be run on Friday, February 24.

All cup runners will be auctioned at the traditional Calcutta, to be held at Tara Raceway on Saturday, February 25, commencing at 6.30 p.m. with a schnitzel or fish meal.

Kevin “KD” Douglas will ensure the night runs smoothly while entertainment will be provided by Bernie Rogers.


Jester continues to confound Clayfield

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ask Glenroy greyhound trainer Richard Clayfield the secret to Glenville Jester’s amazing turnaround in form over the past two months and, really, he’s got no idea.

But Team Clayfield (Richard and brother Kevin) are certainly not complaining. Nor fellow part-owner Dale Lewis who would probably be the first to admit that at one stage of the black dog’s 60-start career he would have gladly written him off.

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Richard Clayfield with Glenville Jester after his 512 metre personal best time of 29.96 seconds at Tara Raceway last Friday.

Bred by Richard Clayfield among the grapevines on the outskirts of the Coonawarra, Glenville Jester is by Vapour Whirl out of Glenville Maggie, a bitch who won the 2011 Anniversary Cup for the team at Tara Raceway.

Say what you like about Pathway Racing – low grade races designed to keep out of form greyhounds in the system – but Clayfield believes it was a Pathway race over 512 metres back on November 9 that could have turned the black dog’s fortunes around.

“You have to be going pretty bad to be eligible for a Pathway race and believe me, he was,” Clayfield said this week. “Maybe it was less pressure, I don’t know, but on that day he won by eight lengths in a pretty handy 30.21 seconds – way under the Pathway time standard.”

A fortnight later Glenville Jester won the time-honoured Newman McDonnell Memorial and by the end of the year he had also defeated the 2016 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year Old Jock to win the Christmas Cup.

So in the space of seven weeks leading up to the end of the year the born-again greyhound had been around seven times for six wins and a second.

The form has now continued on into the new year with a second to Old Jock before a dashing win over Marcling in last Friday’s Rock’s Retreat Mixed Stake.

Marcling, purchased late last year by Serviceton couple Valerie and David Brodhurst, had opened his Mount Gambier winning account over consistent chaser Penny Eagle at the final meeting for 2016.

And the black dog looked hell-bent on making it two wins in a row when opening up a big break over Glenville Jester down the back straight in last week’s 512 metre event.

But the Jester found plenty in the home straight, finishing too strongly for a half-length win in a personal best 29.96 seconds, despite being undecided at one stage whether to take the inside or outside running.

Clayfield’s one of those “one week at a time” blokes although he’s well aware that the Mount Gambier Cup – a race that has eluded him since its first running in 1981 – is fast approaching.

“I’ll just keep racing him on a weekly basis and hope that he’s still performing well at the end of February for the cup heats.”

Glenville Jester and Marcling will clash again in Sunday’s Metal Worx Mixed Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway with the pair jumping from boxes three and six respectively.

 

PLENTY OF INTEREST IN FEATURE FINALS

An outstanding Val and Col Sims Memorial maiden final (512 m) and a top Laser Electrical Feature Grade Five final (512 m) will be a couple of highlights of Sunday’s meeting at Tara Raceway.

With the three Sims heat winners – McIvor Neville, McIvor Gordon and Big Rough – all successful at their first starts it’s to be expected that they will be further improved.

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McIvor Neville, pictured with John Gale, after winning the first heat of the Sims Memorial last Friday.

The Brian Weis trained Big Rough ran the fastest of the three heats from the one and has drawn the same box in the final.

McIvor Gordon, although running the slowest of the three heats, was very slowly away and didn’t have a lot of luck in running. He could be worth keeping an eye on from box three.

Trained by Peter Franklin, McIvor Neville and McIvor Gordon are litter brothers, being by the boom US sire Bella Infrared.

Colden Girl and Carry On Elvis, trained by Bea Bryant of Heathmere, won the two heats of the Laser Electrical in impressive style but this is a really tough race.

Blitz And Bolt has drawn box one and there wasn’t much wrong with his 2¼ length third behind Colden Girl and Digger Two in a personal time of 30.22 seconds.

Owners Connie Miller and David Peckham, of Allendale East, will now be hoping for another forward showing with the January 2015 whelping in the lead-up to next month’s Summer Classic.

Ray Drew’s Digger Two hasn’t won since last October at Tara Raceway but he ran home strongly to go down by only 1½ lengths to Colden Girl in a winning time of 30.06 seconds.

And if the Allen Williams trained Penny Eagle can find a forward spot early from box six then she’s sure to trouble the leaders with her home straight finishing burst.