In Mount Gambier for the long weekend, Adelaide-based members of the Nineofus Syndicate picked a good day to be at yesterday’s 12-race greyhound meeting at Tara Raceway where they had seven runners engaged.
However, as far as the syndicate members were concerned most interest was always going to be centred on their latest acquisition – a March 2020 youngster by the name of Captain Larry.
And according to syndicate manager Ross Schurgott, Allendale East trainer David Peckham’s reports on the brindle dog had been very promising.
In fact, promising enough for the syndicate to invest a few dollars of its accumulated funds on the chances of Captain Larry in the Progreyhoundtips.com Maiden Stake (400 metres).
“We don’t usually get too involved in backing our dogs,” Schurgott said. “And I don’t mind telling you, it was a nervous wait leading up to the race for syndicate members Garry Siney, Samantha Sterzl and Grant Sterzl who were on course. Personally, I was shaking like a leaf.”
There was never any cause for concern, though. Captain Larry led all the way from box four and eventually won by 10¼ lengths in a close to best of day time of 23.02 seconds.
Schurgott’s phone ran hot pretty soon after the win. “Wow, wow – just wow!” was one message. And to quote Del Shannon’s 1961 chart-buster, it was “Hats Off to Larry”.
Always on the lookout for new contacts when it comes to the purchase of greyhounds, the syndicate manager spotted an on-line advertisement for an unnamed dog that had been posted by NSW trainer Adam Crouch of South Windsor.
“A son of El Grand Senor x Chill Easy, he had been bred at Richmond, NSW by Ayden O’Donnell who was looking to sell the dogs in the litter at around the $5000 mark and keep the bitches,” Schurgott said.
“Previously Ayden and Adam had combined to race the former NSW all-distance dynamo Big Butters so there’s obviously not too much wrong with the way they go about things.”
And while there’s still a while to go, Captain Larry, from a whelping date point of view is a good age for next February’s Summer Classic (512 m). Last year’s age-restricted classic was won by the syndicate’s Sweet On Me.
Later in the day, the Nineofus Syndicate had Midnight Blast engaged in the Hyland Fox Stake (400 m), the first heat of a grade six 1-3 wins event.
The black son of Collision x Midnight Starlet took up the running down the back before going away to a five lengths win over Norket Boy in 23.03 seconds.
The winner, trained by Peckham, was part of a package deal negotiated with David Pringle of Clergate, NSW. Also in the deal was litter brother Midnight Bandit who is through to this Sunday’s final as well after finishing third behind Roxy Patron in the second heat, the Trackside Meats Stake.
Wrapping up a big day for the syndicate, which also includes Neville Schurgott, Steve McGuire, Steve Mason, Mark Quin, Artie Slee and Peckham, was Silent Jacko in the Winning Post Supplies Mixed Stake (512 m).
Another purchase from Pringle, Silent Jacko ran down kennelmate Aston Model in the shadows of the post to win in 29.90 seconds and bring up his 23rd win.
Meanwhile, local nine-member syndicate Rise N Shine, which is managed by John Podgorski, kicked the day off with a winner when Cawbourne Nosey turned in a big effort to win the Klaassens Contractors Maiden Stake (305 m).
Having her second run for the syndicate, Cawbourne Nosey was slowly away from box five. She was then checked into the first turn before finding the front and running away to a 3½ lengths win over Compton Banjo in 18.25 seconds.
Formerly based at Gifford Hill with Tony Rasmussen, the daughter of Ritza Lenny and Cawbourne Clover had been sourced for the syndicate by Podgorski.
“I had been watching her for a while at Murray Bridge where she had strung together three handy minor placings. I figured that form would probably hold up down here so we made an offer to Tony which was accepted.”
Yesterday was the first time the syndicate had been represented by two runners at a meeting – litter brother Cawbourne Shiny later leading all the way to defeat Giveaway Vegas by 3¼ lengths in 23.26 seconds in the Commercial Hotel Stake (400 m).
For Tarpeena trainer Dita Mitchell the double was her third at Tara Raceway this year. Extrasensory and Connor’s Choice won on March 21 and Norket Boy and Cawbourne Jumpy on May 6.
Speaking after yesterday’s wins, Mitchell said it had been pleasing to see Cawbourne Nosey respond to quite a bit of extra starting box work.
“Even though she was still slow out it was certainly an improvement on some previous efforts. She was actually sitting down in the boxes at one stage. Hopefully we’ve overcome that trait.
“And it was good to see Cawbourne Shiny, the syndicate’s first greyhound, showing what he can do when he gets around without finding any trouble,” Mitchell said.