The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s 40th Mount Gambier Cup has held up particularly well with five heats to be run over 512 metres highlighting Sunday’s 12-race program at Tara Raceway.
And the Adelaide-based syndicate of Tim Aloisi, Matt Lehman, Damien Bates and Mick McSorley looks to hold a strong hand with Rajasthan, Ask Me Now, Dyna Virion and Kipling.
Rajasthan and Kipling, previously trained in Victoria by Rob Camilleri, are currently with caretaker trainer Aloisi who is based at Munno Para West. Camilleri was at Tara Raceway for last year’s cup, running second to Galactic Athena with Slingshot Hammer.
Kipling, a son of Fernando Bale x Some Kinda Girl, is a quick greyhound and looks one of the top chances in this year’s cup. In June he broke the Horsham 410 metres track record with a run of 22.84 seconds.
Last Friday night the blue dog, a winner of 17 races from 30 starts, ran Super Zoom Jake to a half length in a quick 28.12 seconds over 500 metres at Bendigo.
Drawn in box five in the fourth heat, Kipling will clash with Zipping Dodge, a winner of his only two starts at Tara Raceway, and Galactic Athena, winner of last year’s cup in race record time.
Galactic Athena’s appearance in this year’s cup will create plenty of interest as she will be attempting to become the first back-to-back winner of the event for Moorak owner Robert Chuck and trainer Steve Bartholomew of Worrolong.
Rajasthan, a son of Kinloch Brae and Telling You, has drawn box one in the first heat. And there wouldn’t be too many greyhounds to have gone around Tara Raceway that have banked more money than this bloke.
A winner of 35 races from 104 starts, Rajasthan has collected $390,000 in stakemoney, $175,000 of that coming as a result of his upset win in the 2019 Group 1 Sandown Cup final (715 m).
The May 2016 black dog’s last win over 500 metres was back in April when he clocked 27.89 seconds at Bendigo.
Rajasthan was bred at Nambrok by Lyn Smith who in 2018 reached the Mount Gambier Cup final with Megellas Fairy.
Ask Me Now, trained at Trott Park by Bates, resumed at Angle Park over 515 metres on Monday night after a two-month break, clocking a personal time of 29.99 seconds when running a two lengths second behind Cawbourne Scar.
The son of Oaks Road x Tarks Nemesis will jump from box four in the second heat which includes one of the better local hopes in the Nineofus Syndicate’s Silent Jacko, trained by the cup’s sponsor, David Peckham of Allendale East’s Bourne Kennels.
Peckham also trains Dyna Virion, who has drawn box one in heat three of the cup. The 41 kilograms son of US sire KC And All has raced only once at Tara Raceway for an impressive win last month over Jervois Boy in a quick 29.67 seconds.
Drawn alongside Dyna Virion is Sunset Milo (My Bro Fabio x Jewel Action), raced by Aloisi and Lehman and also currently being trained by the former. The 14-race winner will be having his first SA start after having previously run some quick times at Cannington and Mandurah in WA.
Three years after winning the Mount Gambier Cup with her terrific bitch Fabregal, Lewiston trainer Robyn Mackellar returns with Holy Reign and Ashby Mayhem.
After her cup win, with Mackellar scaling down her operation, the daughter of Fabregas x Allinga Aye Jay was transferred to Lyn Smith. Fabregal ended her racing career with 46 wins and $214,000 in stakemoney.
Holy Reign has some more than handy form at Angle Park and Gawler to her name while Ashby Mayhem did much of her early racing at Tara Raceway for Penshurst trainer Brendan Bunworth prior to being purchased by Mackellar.
In fact, as far back as March, Ashby Mayhem was being touted as a Mount Gambier Cup hope after she had defeated Perseverance at Tara Raceway by nine lengths in a best of day time of 29.47 seconds.