Monday, October 23, 2017
Second placings at Tara Raceway’s Friday and Sunday meetings have seen the locally-owned Big Rough take a narrow lead in this year’s Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award.
Despite not having won since September 17 at Tara Raceway, Big Rough – owned by Noel and Heather Perry and trained at Portland by Brian Weis – has since run five minor placings from five starts at the track to take his overall point score to 48, made up of six wins, 11 seconds and two thirds.
Big Rough currently enjoys a one point lead over the Nicole Stanley trained Fiorelli Rose and Tom Cryer’s Plugger who is unlikely to be back at the local track this year after being transferred to Buln Buln East trainer Steve White.
Fiorelli Rose, winner of this year’s Anniversary Cup, last won at the end of July but with five minor placings from her past five starts she still looks a strong chance of giving Stanley her second successive GOTY after Old Jock’s win last year.
Barry Shepheard, who won the 2014 award with Rouse Flyer, continues to hang in there with the 4½-year-old Galactic Viper who showed plenty of dash at Friday’s meeting to win the Produce Store Stake (512 m) in a best of day 30.13 seconds.
Galactic Viper, who has won seven races this year, has also run eight second placings and a third to give him 45 points (scored on a 4, 2, 1 basis).
And making a late charge is the Lee Bartholomew trained Scorpion who led all the way on Sunday to defeat a pretty handy field of short-coursers in The Border Watch Open Stake (400 m).
This was the black dog’s fourth consecutive win at the track, an effort last achieved back in February-March 2016 when Mojito Mayhem was in cup-winning form.
Scorpion has now won more races than any other greyhound at Tara Raceway this year – eight, plus two seconds and seven thirds for total points of 43 with Bartholomew also looking for another GOTY title after Just Humphrey was successful in 2013.