Monday, December 30, 2019
While Cryer’s Harper recently got to within three points of Black Spring in the 2019 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, the award was quickly sorted out at Tara Raceway’s Boxing Day meeting.
It was on this day that Black Spring, owned and trained at Edenhope by Cap Abbott, pulled out a personal best 29.72 seconds when defeating China Catch ‘Em by 6¾ lengths in the Fairthorne Forestry Mixed Stake (512 metres).
Cryer’s Harper didn’t race on Boxing Day so the fact that she would clash with Black Spring at the final meeting of the year on the Sunday had no bearing on the Greyhound of the Year – some interest centring in her step-up in distance.
The daughter of Spud Regis and Cryer’s Midget had never won over 512 metres – all of her 21 wins coming at 400 metres – her last run over the longer distance being back in July last year.
Not surprisingly, Cryer’s Harper had little trouble in finding the front in the five-dog Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake, opening up a big break down the back before eventually running a three length third behind Nitro Missile and Molly’s Wally, with Black Spring in fourth spot.
By Spring Gun out of Lektra Scarlett, Black Spring raced at Tara Raceway on 34 occasions during 2019 for 13 wins, nine seconds and fourth thirds (74 points) over 512 metres, 600 metres and 732 metres.
Previous GOTY winners in recent years have included 2016 Old Jock (Nicole Stanley), 2017 Fiorelli Rose (Nicole Stanley) and 2018 Paraphernalia (Jeff Guy).
Black Spring, who joined Abbott’s kennels prior to commencing racing in September 2018, was a model of consistency at the local track during 2019, leading the GOTY at the end of April and May before regaining the lead in August and never being headed from that point on.
The leading sire at Tara Raceway during 2019 was Barcia Bale (107 wins) while Cryer’s Midget, with 34 wins, was the track’s leading dam for the second consecutive year – her influence at the track now having spread over the past four years.
Meanwhile, Black Spring and Cryer’s Harper may well clash again in the forthcoming Tara Trackstar No. 2 (512 m), a one-off race to be run on Sunday, January 12 for the best performed eight greyhounds at Tara Raceway during July and December 2019.
Obviously, for a variety of reasons, some legitimate contenders have fallen by the wayside while Apsley trainer Tom Cryer has yet to make a decision on Cryer’s Harper in regard to the Trackstar.
But for all that, more than 400 greyhounds have accumulated Trackstar points at Tara Raceway over the past six months and as such there will be no shortage of contenders for the race which rewards connections who have supported the track over the past six months.
Among those also in contention are Dyna Naitch, Banjo Fozz, General Max, Silent Jacko, Squishy Pea, Zuberi, Rotate, Usain Insane, Close Your Eyes, Danyo’s Cally, Loroupe and Missing Mate.
Connections with greyhounds under consideration for the Trackstar will be contacted this weekend in order to ascertain their intentions. Those interested will be required to nominate for the event.