Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Cadillac Racing Sponsors of Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing
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A far cry from the bright lights of Olympic Park

Over from Casterton for yesterday’s meeting was Helen Gorman, primarily to catch up with young Mornington hobby trainer Campbell Rawiller who was at Tara Raceway for the first time.

Helen Gorman with dual Australian Cup winner China Trip.

These days, Gorman keeps up with the local greyhound racing happenings through The SE Voice and The Border Watch. But there was a time when she was basking in Group 1 glory at Melbourne’s Olympic Park through the deeds of a fawn bitch called China Trip.

Gorman’s involvement in greyhound racing came about through a friend who owned a bitch called La Paz and invited her to become involved in the breeding of a litter with her.

“We mated her with Brother Fox and decided to keep three pups, one of those being China Trip. She was quite timid, which was a bit of a concern, but she ultimately won at her first start by 13 lengths at Albury in May 1991,” recalled Gorman.

By the end of February the following year China Trip was contesting the final of the Group 1 Australian Cup (511 metres) in which she defeated Buka Blitz by a head.

Campbell Rawiller with Forcefully.

However, a few months later she broke a hock when racing at the Gold Coast and was off the track for six months. But by the time the 1993 Australian Cup came around, China Trip had won four races from as many starts after the long layoff.

And Gorman’s defending champion became the first to win two Australian Cups when holding out the SA champion True To Do and winning by a head.

“I still remember watching the race from behind the boxes and thinking that True To Do had grabbed her on the line. It was so surreal and felt like a dream,” she said.

There was no Group 1 racing on offer at the Mount Gambier track yesterday but one could be excused for thinking that Gorman had been reliving those Australian Cup experiences all over again as she cheered on Rawiller’s greyhound Forcefully in the last race.

Filthy Phantom defeats Forcefully and Canya Razor at Tara Raceway yesterday.

In the end the son of Barcia Bale and Blue Benzol went down by 1¾ lengths when finishing second. “He ran super,” the well-presented Rawiller declared.

Winner of the 400 metre event was Tony Hinrichsen’s rising six-year-old Filthy Phantom who took his Australian record to 267 race starts when bringing up his third successive win in a best of day 23.26 seconds.


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