Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Versatile greyhound Black Spring – a winner of 12 races this year at Tara Raceway over 512 metres, 600 metres and 732 metres – can clinch the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award with a placing in Thursday’s Fairthorne Forestry Mixed Stake (512 m).
With two meetings remaining this year, Black Spring, owned and trained at Edenhope by Cap Abbott, leads short-course specialist Cryer’s Harper by three points.
And with the 13-race 400 metre winner not nominated on Thursday a first or second by Black Spring will see him win the 2019 title outright, irrespective of Sunday’s results.
The Abbott-trained son of Spring Gun x Lektra Scarlett is not ideally suited over 512 metres however the G-SIX six-dog format will suit as will a considerable drop in class to that he encountered in last Sunday’s Christmas Cup.
But all is not lost yet for Cryer’s Harper, owned and trained at Apsley by Tom and Margaret Cryer. A win by the daughter of Spud Regis x Cryer’s Midget at Sunday’s December 29 meeting would put her in front provided Black Spring fails to run a place at either of the two remaining meetings.
However, as it turns out, the two GOTY contenders will clash on Sunday in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake with the only problem for Cryer’s Harper now being that it is over 512 metres – a distance she has only ever run over on three occasions without winning.
From a GOTY point of view, one cannot help but think how much more interesting the conclusion perhaps could have been had Cryer’s Harper been running in Thursday afternoon’s Produce Store Open Stake (400 m).
Thursday will also see the re-introduction of Juvenile racing at Tara Raceway – the South Eastern Hotel Juvenile Stake (400 m) attracting a pretty handy line-up of greyhounds that are under two years of age at the end of December.
The Tracie Price trained Elle Limes, after an all-the-way win in last Sunday’s Peter Whitehead Memorial Maiden (400 m) in a quick 23.18 seconds has drawn box one but will run into some seasoned performers here.
And Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield looks to hold a strong hand with December 2017 litter brothers Turn To Fab (pictured) and Pack It In, who performed well at last Sunday’s meeting – the former winning a grade five in 23.26 seconds and Pack It In clocking 23.14 seconds when running second to Bakali Jet.
Missing Mate, boasting a personal best 23.07 seconds, is another well-placed December 2017 whelping for Allendale East trainer David Peckham while Perseverance, unsuited by the distance but well-seasoned with 15 starts to her name will be finishing the race off strongly for Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell.