Thursday, January 5, 2017
The third running of the Summer Classic will kick off a big month of racing in February at Tara Raceway.
The classic is an age-restricted series for all greyhounds whelped on or after January 1, 2015 with heats to be run on Friday, February 3 and the final on Sunday, February 12.
The concept was re-introduced by the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club back in 2014, commencing with the Winter Classic which catered for greyhounds that had been whelped in the second half of the year two years prior.
It’s probably fair to say that the age-restricted concept at Tara Raceway is yet to be fully embraced by owners and trainers although one can only wonder why as greyhounds get but one crack at these types of events.
And after all, the 512 metre series is non-penalty, the heats carry open prizemoney and the final is worth a total of $3000.
For all that, though, the Summer Classic, first run in 2015, has unearthed some handy types in the two years that it has been conducted.
The inaugural event had a touch of irony about it inasmuch that the Peter Franklin trained Mojito Mayhem had been scratched from the final and replaced in box four by Tom Cryer’s Cryer’s Ricky who came in off the bench after running fourth behind Mendes in his heat.
Cryer’s Ricky had enjoyed little luck in his heat but come the final he was quickly away, found the front going out of the first turn and then defied Mojito Mayhem’s brother Future Past – also trained by Franklin – to run him down, eventually winning by four lengths in a quick 29.96 seconds.
Cryer’s Ricky, who would go on and win 22 races, still holds the 400 metre Tara Raceway record at 22.78 seconds, a time recorded 12 months after his classic success.
Future Past later in the year represented Mount Gambier in the SA Country Cup at Gawler while Summer Classic fourth placegetter Lots Of Yap a few weeks later won the Mount Gambier Cup – also as a reserve.
Mendes, who ran fifth in the final as a short-priced favourite, retired after winning 19 races and late last year whelped a litter of two bitches to High Earner.
Last year saw the Tony Hinrichsen owned, Lisa Rasmussen trained Menzel Boys run right up to his Adelaide form when railing through on Rowchester Star down the back and then holding out Cairnlea Lewis to win the classic in 30.01 seconds.
Menzel Boys continues to race well, having won his past two starts at Gawler and Strathalbyn, while Cairnlea Lewis, now based in Victoria, has won 10 races.
The ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup carnival will kick off later in the month with heats of supporting events on Friday, February 24 and the cup heats on Sunday, February 26. Ensuring a big weekend will be the Cup Calcutta evening which will be conducted at Tara Raceway on the Saturday.
SUCCESS FOR JOCK’S YOUNG BROTHER
Usain Insane, a younger brother to 2016 Greyhound of the Year Old Jock, opened his winning account at Warrnambool on Tuesday.
Owned by Terry Payne and trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, the February 2015 son of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze won at his second race start when running 22.54 seconds over 390 metres.
The win came a couple of days after Old Jock, at his 100th start, was one of five winners for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley at Tara Raceway.
Usain Insane will now line up again over 390 metres at Warrnambool tomorrow while Old Jock is engaged in a 595 metre event at Sandown Park on Sunday.