Veteran chaser Black Spring, after missing out by only three-quarters of a length on a spot in this year’s Mount Gambier Cup final, will attempt to win his third successive cup day Tankman 600 at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
Owned and trained at Edenhope by Captain Abbott, Black Spring is a quite remarkable story.
Whelped in November 2016, the son of Spring Gun x Lektra Scarlett was a giveaway prior to racing. On Sunday he will line up for his 130th start and be chasing his 25th win. In between all of this he won Mount Gambier’s 2019 Greyhound of the Year.
His first Tankman 600 win came in 2019 when he defeated Bereluke and Giant Bale in 35.49 seconds. Last year, at the time in Tracie Price’s Compton kennels due to border restrictions, Black Spring figured in a terrific race when defeating Close Your Eyes and Boom Down by a narrow margin in 35.34 seconds.
However, this year’s Tankman 600 is certainly the strongest ever with Black Spring, now a rising five-year-old, having to take on a seasoned field of middle-distance performers from box four.
Maximum Refusal and Oakvale Impact both have solid Angle Park 600 metres form, with the latter having a good look at Tara Raceway last Sunday when running second over the distance.
And Golly Gumdrops won last month’s Michelle Niele Memorial final (600 m) while Perseverance, last year’s Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, has won five from nine at the track and distance.
Portland trainer Nifty Lenehan opted for the Tankman 600 in preference to the Exchange Printers Cup Consolation (512 m) with the locally-owned Hostile Savage who is also first reserve in the cup final.
Hostile Savage is owned by Jim Collins who by chance back in early 2018 came across an advertisement on the club’s notice board looking to sell a litter of Hostile x Sweet Savage pups.
Collins took advantage of a dog and bitch combo offer for $2000 and later entrusted their rearing to Nicole Stanley and Lenehan.
Hostile Savage has won four races and been placed over middle distances at Mount Gambier, Ballarat and Warrnambool and looks a good chance in the Tankman 600. However, connections are probably still hoping for a last minute call-up for the cup.
With Yenderra Evie already scratched from Sunday’s Tankman 600, either Close Your Eyes or Freda Rocks will gain a start. The latter will be hard to beat if successful in the ballot after middle distance wins of 11 lengths and 14 lengths respectively this year at The Meadows and Sale.