Last Sunday’s Tankman 600 looked the ideal lead-in for the Mount Gambier Cup, especially with the inclusion of the 2019 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year Black Spring, well served by box one and even better served by the 600 metres journey.
And then there was Boom Down, trained at Lewiston by Ben Rawlings. With 25 wins in five states the widely-travelled son of Magic Sprite and Lochinvar Vogue had amassed more than $300,000 in stakemoney.
Realistically, though, a case could have been made for pretty well all the field in what was the third running of the Tankman, sponsored by Allen Cram’s local water tank cleaning business.
An early surprise in the race came when Richard Clayfield’s Close Your Eyes, a beaten favourite last week but the $41 outsider on Sunday, went straight to the front from box six.
Close Your Eyes led the field into the back straight but a rails run secured by Black Spring saw the son of Spring Gun and Lektra Scarlett take over the running and looking well on his way to consecutive Tankman wins after defeating Bereluke in 2019.
But at start number 105, Black Spring had to dig deep, eventually holding out a determined Close Your Eyes to win by a neck in 35.34 seconds. Boom Down, a Group 3 winner over 720 metres at Wentworth Park, not surprisingly also finished strongly to be a further head away in third spot.
The winner is owned at Edenhope by Cap Abbott who also trained the black dog when he was successful at last year’s cup carnival. One of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s keenest supporters, the border restriction is preventing him from racing at Tara Raceway.
As such, Abbott had been running Black Spring at Victorian tracks, his last win – at $72 – being at Horsham over 485 metres at the end of April. With an outstanding record at Tara Raceway he believed the dog would be better suited in Mount Gambier.
And it was Tracie Price, of Compton, who took over the training in July. Black Spring subsequently won over 512 metres at the end of that month prior to Sunday’s success – his 21st overall and his 10th win from 15 starts over the middle-distance journey at the local track.
Tarpeena owner Malcolm Keenan won his first feature event at the greyhounds when Keen One led all the way in the Formula 400, defeating Chief’s Sidekick by 5¼ lengths in a quick 22.96 seconds.
By Dyna Villa out of Precious Prize, this is the dog Keenan purchased as a pup from Victoria – where he was also reared – with the assistance of local greyhound man Ralph Patzel.
Sunday’s win took Keen One’s tally this year to seven and now sees him sitting in equal third spot with Dyna Carnie behind Perseverance and Squishy Pea in the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award.
The success was also of significance for his trainer – David Peckham, of Allendale East – his 100th winner this year with 92 of those at Tara Raceway.
Keenan is now looking forward to Keen One having another crack in the city and hopefully making amends for a second placing at Angle Park on August 17.
He also holds high hopes for a 12 month old brindle dog by Paddy Whacker out of 12-race Tara Raceway winner Raz’s Girl that he purchased as a pup from Peckham.
Heckle Me’s all the way win in the Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m) – a race that in 2018 and 2019 unearthed Spring Bridge and Galactic Titan – contributed to a huge few days for the Rasmussen family of Gifford Hill when they led in 11 winners at three different tracks.
A well-bred son of Aston Dee Bee and She’s A Looper, Heckle Me was purchased by the Rasmussens as a three month old pup from Cameron Butcher of Meningie prior to being reared in NSW.
The brindle dog was always travelling like a winner, eventually running out a 4¾ lengths winner over Mediation in 30.27 seconds. A November 2018 whelping he has now staked a claim for the belated Winter Classic (512 m), heats of which are set down for Tara Raceway on Thursday, September 17.
The Rasmussens’ big run commenced at Angle Park last Thursday night when Major Havoc, Zipping Ted, Rushes, American Man, Hot Spartan and Another Storm were successful. It concluded at Murray Bridge on Sunday night with Cash Or Cheque, Cawbourne Jumpy, Hali’s Girl and Cawbourne Get Up.
And following his commitment to continue to support the Mount Gambier club while it battles for nominations due to border restrictions, Tony Rasmussen once again was as good as his word when nominating 10 for this Sunday’s meeting.
Mount Gambier Cup sponsor, David Peckham of Bourne Kennels, completed a good day as a trainer when Silent Jacko brought up his fourth winner for the day in the Mount Gambier Cup Committee Consolation (512 m). Earlier in the day he had been successful with Angelo’s Entity, Keen One and Bay Me.
On track to enjoy Silent Jacko’s win were members of the Nineofus Syndicate who purchased the son of Kinloch Brae x Bonnie’s Secret prior to commencing racing.
Back at Allendale East after a stint of racing in Adelaide with Ben Rawlings, Silent Jacko found the front down the back and held out Two Times Twice to win by 1½ lengths in 29.79 seconds.
However, it was a case of going out on a winning note with the brindle dog returning to Rawlings’ Lewiston kennels on Sunday night.