Thursday, November 24, 2016
Portland owner-trainer Nicole Stanley had been pretty guarded as to the merits or otherwise of Berry Bling’s trial a couple of weeks ago at Strathalbyn.
After qualifying, along with Tracie Price’s Fear The Rascal, to represent Mount Gambier in the SA Country Cup final at Strathalbyn last Sunday night, Stanley had undertaken the 1000 kilometre round trip the previous week to give Berry Bling a run around the tricky 536 metre circuit.
“She’s the sort of dog that needs a run on a new track so the trial was ok but ideally I would have liked to have given her another run on the track,” was how she had summed up her first trip to the Southern Raceway at Strathalbyn.
As it turned out, Berry Bling didn’t need another run. Quickly finding the front from box six in Sunday night’s $5000-to-the-winner final, the 27 kilogram bitch led all the way to give Mount Gambier its second SA Country Cup in four years – Price having been successful at Gawler in 2013 with Moorak Hope.
Speaking on Tuesday morning at Tara Raceway where she had a trailer-load of hopefuls to trial, Stanley said the Strathalbyn locals couldn’t believe the improvement in Berry Bling from one week to the next.
“She ran 31.66 seconds to win the cup and that was something like 16 lengths quicker than what she had trialled in. But that’s the way she is – she’s just no good unless she’s seen the track first.”
Stanley, who has been involved in greyhound racing for more than 20 years, rated the Country Cup as her biggest success as a trainer.
However, she still has fond memories of Go Go Ebo who she bred and owned and who won two Group 3 races for her when trained by Jeff Britton.
By Zed Three x Marinka Bale, Go Go Ebo won the 2006 SA Sprint Championship (515 m) at Angle Park by 10 lengths in a race record 29.49 seconds and also the 2006 Sport 927 Silver Bullet (525 m) at The Meadows.
“The Silver Bullet was certainly a big night,” Stanley recalled.
Whelped in December 2013, Berry Bling is by Lochinvar Marlow out of Lady Bling who traces back to the highly successful Skullring line.
Stanley took over her training for well-known Victorian greyhound identity John Westerlo in February when at her first Tara Raceway start she was narrowly beaten by her litter sister Let It Bling.
However, after defeating the well-regarded Kryptonian in the Produce Store Feature Maiden final (512 m) at Mount Gambier Cup time, Berry Bling was purchased by Stanley.
Mid-year she suffered a toe injury which saw her out of action for three months but a best of day 29.99 seconds win at Tara Raceway on return was just the start of bigger and better things to come for Berry Bling.
And for Stanley who has enjoyed a terrific year with 60 winners so far at Tara Raceway and looking likely to also clinch the Greyhound of the Year award with Old Jock.
Meanwhile, Stanley confirmed this week that Berry Bling would be transferred to Westerlo’s Clyde kennels for a stint of racing on Victorian tracks.
Brazen Beau’s win in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday gave Tarpeena father and son team, Allen and David Williams a quick return on what had been a modest investment.
The beautifully bred daughter of Shakey Jakey x Scrappy Coco was having her first run for the Williams team who purchased her primarily to race behind Tara Raceway’s finish-on-lure.
“She had previously copped 28 days in Victoria for failing to chase but the finish-on-lure has helped plenty of greyhounds in the past and we’re hoping for a positive result here with Brazen Beau,” trainer David Williams said.
“She certainly didn’t too much wrong today,” said Williams in regard to her emphatic three length win over Left Moment.
For Shakey Jakey, retired to stud after breaking the Wentworth Park 520 metre track record at his first start, it was his first Tara Raceway winner.
Brazen Beau will now jump from box three in the first heat of a grade five series over 400 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.