Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Last-race favourite packs a real punch for visiting trainer

Monday, July 8, 2019

Longwarry trainer Nicole Lund, involved with greyhounds since she was six years old, finally found her way for the first time to Tara Raceway last Thursday for the weekly time-graded meeting.

And as it turned out, the personable Ms Lund reckoned the six hour-plus trip to Mount Gambier was certainly worthwhile after Cassius Monelli packed a real punch in the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 metres).

First-time Tara Raceway visitor Nicole Lund with Cassius Monelli, an impressive winner last Thursday.

An odds-on favourite from box one, the white and brindle dog quickly found the front down the back and from then on was never in any danger of defeat, eventually running out a 3¼ length winner over Joyous Jill in an equal best of day 23.16 seconds.

“The win just capped off an absolutely terrific day here at Tara Raceway,” a delighted Lund said. “This place has an atmosphere all of its own and I’ll most certainly be returning.”

In Lund’s kennels since April, she is Cassius Monelli’s fifth trainer, last Thursday’s win being her second, after a win at Warrnambool over 450 metres last month, with the Dilshan Fernando owned son of Kiowa Producer and Lara Monelli.

Cassius Monelli is a well-bred dog, his US-bred sire winning 50 races and Lara Monelli, a daughter of Collision and 30-race winner Joanne Monelli, successful in six of her only seven starts at Cannington in WA.

Lund, who made the trip over last week with Parwan trainer Debbie White, rates Phildavian, a winner of 19 races, as the best dog she’s been associated with.

And White, back at Tara Raceway after some health issues, also enjoyed a good day when Crazy Summer opened her winning account at start number 20 in the Klaassens Contractors Maiden Stake (400 m).

Loroupe was the second leg of a winning double for Debbie White of Parwan.

The daughter of Spring Gun and I’m Coming Bro found plenty on her debut run at Tara Raceway last month when running second in steady time, with a strong finishing effort last Thursday to defeat Serendipity Judy by 3¾ lengths in a good maiden time of 23.43 seconds.

In White’s kennels since April, giveaway greyhound Crazy Summer was owner Tracey Stephens’s first winner.

Later in the day, in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m), the White-trained Loroupe also improved on a second placing at Tara Raceway last month when taking over the running down the back straight before powering away to a 7½ length win in 30.24 seconds.

By Kiowa Mon Manny (bred on an identical cross to Kiowa Producer) out of Wentworth Park winner Cawbourne Looney, Loroupe has now won three races since being taken over by White in January this year, the trainer full of praise for the rising four-year-old.

“She’s now raced on 93 occasions and I think she’s probably responding to a change of kennels and a change of routine,” White said. “But what I really like about her is that she always tries.”

Sandra Elmes of Dunolly with Someone Blue.

White’s winning day at Tara Raceway was her first since Friday, November 16 when she had been successful with Janray Tigerlily and Blackpool Remi.

Sharing best of day 400 metre time honours with Cassius Monelli was Zuberi, another giveaway greyhound having her first start at Tara Raceway for Kayla Bunworth of Penshurst.

By Nolen out of Mighty Foxy, Zuberi had won five races on Victorian provincial tracks before an unsuccessful three-month stint on NSW country tracks resulted in her finding her way last month to the town located at the foot of Mount Rouse.

Handling the brindle bitch last week was Bunworth’s husband Brendan who had been surprised by Zuberi’s effortless five length win over Slipaway Bolt in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m).

“The win certainly came as a surprise to me because recently she had trialled only moderately at Warrnambool,” he said.

Bunworth also said that Zuberi was probably not only enjoying being in a much smaller kennel environment but also the tender loving care being lavished on her by his wife.

Victorian school holidays saw the kids back at Tara Raceway.

“To be honest, Kayla really treats her like a pet and not a racing greyhound. But it seems to be working.”

Time-graded regulars Richard Boehm and Sandra Elmes, the training team from Dunolly, took their number of wins this year at Tara Raceway to 17 when Someone Blue was successful in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m).

Only in their kennels for several weeks, Someone Blue impressed with a 400 metre win at his first Tara Raceway start in a tidy 23.35 seconds in late June before last week’s strong effort.

Tracing back to the prolific producer Casey’s Angel, the son of Barcia Bale and Sugar Lips was slowly away from box eight but quickly worked to the front, eventually running out a 5¾ lengths winner in 23.49 seconds.

The two impressive wins at Tara Raceway now have Boehm hopeful that Someone Blue can measure up tomorrow night at Horsham, a track that he had previously won at in February and March this year.

“I believe the runs he’s had here at Tara Raceway recently have been real confidence boosters,” Boehm said. “Also, initially he was running wide but now seems to be handling himself much better.”

And with school holidays in Victoria, it was good to see the kids back at Tara Raceway and taking advantage of the amenities the Mount Gambier club has to offer.

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