Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

Major Sponsors

Cadillac Racing Sponsors of Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing

50 years on and trainer is still going strong

Warrnambool trainer Colin Kelly was quick to recall his first winner.

“It was back in 1969 at Warrnambool’s old Botanic Park track with a dog called Royal Nilo who I had picked up from legendary local greyhound man Stan Lake,” he said.

Kelly, accompanied by wife Lyn – a Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club committee member – was reminiscing at Tara Raceway on Sunday after kennel newcomer Felonious Gru opened his winning account in the Bartholomew Pick 6 Maiden Stake (305 metres).

Colin Kelly (third from left) at the 1983 TAA Melbourne Cup presentation with Lady Lilly.

And while in a reminiscing mood, he also didn’t have any trouble recalling his best greyhound – and why would he? The dog in question was Lady Lilly who won the 1983 Warrnambool Cup and Melbourne Cup as well as the 1984 Ballarat Cup.

By Tempix out of Lady Grotto, Lady Lilly was trained by Kelly, a Warrnambool postman at the time, for Gary Hughson and his sister Maree.

As far as the Melbourne Cup was concerned, Lady Lilly looked likely to miss out on advancing to the next round after finishing fourth in her heat.

“She moved into a semi-final when another runner was withdrawn. And she made the most of the opportunity when recording the fastest time of the four semi-finals,” Kelly said.

Lady Lilly then defeated Swift Glade and Winifred Bale in the final of the $35,000 to the winner event at Sandown Park.

Colin Kelly at Tara Raceway on Sunday with Felonious Gru after his maiden win.

Kelly took over the training of Felonious Gru several weeks ago after the son of SH Avatar and Shades Of Lippy had copped a couple of failing to pursue convictions.

“I was hoping the finish-on-lure might help to turn him around,” he said. “So when he trialled here recently over 400 metres in 23.17 seconds I thought he would be worth trying in a race at Tara Raceway.”

Raced by the Espresso Racing Syndicate, the red fawn dog gained a run as a reserve. He also lined up in a blinkered muzzle, Kelly leaving no stone unturned in a bid to avoid any further convictions.

And Felonious Gru never put a foot wrong, railing through on Cadillac Bullet approaching the home turn before running away to a 2½ length win in 18.00 seconds.

“I’m really happy to have won a race with him,” said the delighted trainer, who these days has two kennels in his back yard in Warrnambool.

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