Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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A ‘Black’ day for the Captain

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Edenhope greyhound trainer Cap Abbott’s best chance at last Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting was always going to be the slow-starting, fast-finishing Black Spring in the JB Irrigation Mixed Stake.

But by the end of the day even Abbott, who generally exudes positivity, must have been wondering how on earth Black Spring actually found himself in the 600 metre starting boxes let alone win the race.

“The day started off with car trouble which necessitated continually topping the bloody thing up with water,” he said. “Then, on the way down to the Mount, after filling up with petrol I realised I’d left my wallet home. Very embarrassing.”

Cap Abbott with Black Spring after his 600 metre win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Come race four and Black Spring was a $1.70 favourite to win the event which included Pirate’s Curse, lining up on the back of a 600 metre track record run the previous Sunday.

Then, the start of the race was held up for a minute or so while one of the runners was vetted after an incident in the preview area. No prizes for guessing who that runner was. Black Spring was duly passed fit to run.

And the stage was set for an interesting race when Cryer’s Bob – without a win this year – quickly took up the running with Black Spring doing the chasing in second spot.

In the end, though, it was Black Spring’s customary barnstorming finish that saw him storm home over the top of Cryer’s Bob for a half-length win in 35.33 seconds.

Black Spring was vetted again after the race and no injury was detected. Finally, Abbott’s day had turned around.

Well not quite. On the way home, Abbott once again experienced car trouble, finding himself stranded until fellow trainer Kevin Ashton came along.

Also successful on the day with China Catch ‘Em, Ashton assisted a grateful Abbott in getting his dogs back to Edenhope before the good Samaritan and his partner Jan Neal continued on to what would have been a somewhat later than anticipated return to Charlton.

Speaking earlier this week, Abbott said Black Spring – after five runs in April which resulted in three wins – would have a few days off.

“It was a busy month so a bit of a break won’t hurt him but once I sort my transport problems out I’m keen to have another crack with him at Sandown Park over 595 metres.”

Black Spring’s only run at the Victorian city track was back in December when he ran a big race to finish second.

Dimora Flash shares the Greyhound of the Year lead with Black Spring after defeating Spirited Bingle at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Meanwhile, the wins of Black Spring and Dimora Flash at Tara Raceway last Sunday see the pair now sharing the Greyhound of the Year lead on 28 points, one clear of Cryer’s Plugger who returned to racing with a third placing.

Joining this trio in the top 10 are Lone Star, Rose Ali, Kolora Posie, Molly’s Wally, Koda Blue, Ramified and Whatta Knocka.

As things stand, these are some of the greyhounds in contention for the forthcoming Tara Trackstar, a one-off Special Event to be run over 512 metres in early July for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between January and June.

However, Lone Star has been retired, Rose Ali, now based in Rockhampton, ran second in a heat of the Anniversary Cup (510 m) on Wednesday night, while Koda Blue, Ramified and Whatta Knocka are better known as short-coursers.

But with close to 300 greyhounds having already collected Greyhound of the Year points there shouldn’t be too many problems finding enough contenders for the Trackstar.

Another one-off Special Event Tara Trackstar will be run over 512 metres in early January for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between July and December.

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