Four winners on Christmas Cup day at Tara Raceway, along with five trebles and a double for the month, saw Allendale East trainer David Peckham finish full of running to claim his sixth leading trainer award at the Mount Gambier track.
Since TAB racing was introduced at Tara Raceway in 2012 Peckham, the son of former local leading trainer Allen, has won leading trainers’ titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and the Ian Badger Leading Trainer in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
But as far as this year’s title was concerned, Compton trainer Tracie Price, the 2018 Ian Badger Leading Trainer, refused to go down without a fight. In fact, he led the way until October and shared the lead in November before Peckham gained the upper hand in the run home.
All told, the 47-year-old Peckham trained 148 winners at Tara Raceway in 2021 for a total of 908 points after second and third placings were taken into account. Price, 58, finished with 130 winners and 877 points overall.
Both trainers landed winners at the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s final meeting of the year on Thursday – Peckham with his evergreen performer Silent Jacko who brought up his 27th win in the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (512 metres) as he edged close to his 100th start.
And earlier, Price with his first-starter Compton Jack who won by 13¾ lengths in 23.52 seconds in the Greg Martlew Autos Maiden Stake (400 m).
But the leading trainer’s year wasn’t quite over. That night at Sandown Park, the Peckham-bred Bourne Burner (Worm Burner x Thanks Tubby), who he races with Kevin Douglas, led all the way over 515 metres to win in 29.64 seconds.
The black dog, who won earlier in the month over 460 metres at Warragul, has been with Bunyip trainer Rob Conway since October.
Meanwhile, other local trainers to figure in the top 10 and enjoy their best year at Tara Raceway were Cap Abbott with 61 winners, Monty Wilson 37, John Little 29 and Noel Perry 27.