Former NSW greyhound trainer Greg Board has left nothing to chance in a bid to win a second SA cup with Spring Bloom.
Now based at Murray Bridge, Board was at Tara Raceway’s Tuesday morning trials a fortnight ago with Spring Bloom and several kennelmates in order that they could acclimatise to the track prior to the Mount Gambier Cup carnival which kicks off on Friday.
And he returned last week, convinced as he left Mount Gambier at the completion of the trials for what would be another four-hour-plus journey home, that he had given his dogs every chance to perform at their best at the forthcoming carnival.
Spring Bloom, a daughter of Spring Gun and Lost With Love, has raced on 51 occasions for 17 wins, 23 minor placings and $49,000 in stakemoney.
The black bitch gave Board his biggest win to date in SA when defeating Barton Bale in last November’s Strathalbyn Cup (536 metres) in 31.41 seconds after she had run a quick 31.15 seconds to win her heat.
Spring Bloom has drawn box six in the second of five heats of Sunday’s Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) and will need to win to make sure of a spot in the final, although the three fastest seconds will also advance to the Group Listed $22,000 final on Sunday, March 18.
She looks to have drawn a tough heat with Jeff Guy’s Paraphernalia, a last start Tara Raceway winner, well boxed in one while Michelle Mallia-Magri’s locally-owned Don Lesta doesn’t run too many bad races.
And Tracie Price’s Signal Peak, only in his kennels for a couple of weeks, really served it up to Lektra Stomp, Tara Raceway’s fastest dog this year, when going down by only a half length last Sunday.
Board is probably best known as the breeder and owner of the 2011 Vic Peters Classic winner Spring Gun who won 18 of his 27 starts prior to becoming a successful sire.
In fact, Spring Gun’s influence at Tara Raceway through his two matings with Cryer’s Midget has been amazing, the litters producing 109 winners.
One of those 109 wins was by Cryer’s Ricky in the 2015 Summer Classic for Tom and Margaret Cryer who, as part of the winner’s prize, also received a service to Spud Regis.
Later, Spud Regis was mated with Cryer’s Midget with her third litter producing Cryer’s Spot who will make her debut tomorrow in the second heat of The Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m).
Board will have a couple of first starters – Spring Spinner and Spring Bridge – in the feature maiden while Azumi Striker and Azumi Ryder will debut for Steve and Lee Bartholomew.
By Dyna Tron, the pair is out of Azumi Touch who is a litter sister to Galactic Rumball, the dam of the Steve Bartholomew-trained Peter Rocket Summer Classic winner Galactic Panther who will face his toughest test to date when jumping from box two in heat two of Sunday’s cup.
Price, who has a fair record in The Produce Store feature, won the event in 2015 with Mega Moment, then again last year with Rumbling Moment and looks well represented this year with Andrew’s Gift.
Star Project, a son of prolific producer Flaming Doll, was an impressive second-up second behind Goldie’s Run over 600 metres last week and should be further improved when he jumps from box two for Garry Marshman in Friday’s first heat of The Tankman 600.
By Awesome Project, Star Project is a half-brother to Beks, a more than handy city stayer who won $100,000 in prizemoney.
Another interesting runner in this heat is the rising five-year-old Ernest Bale, a recent best of day time-graded winner over 512 metres. This will be his first 600 metre run at Tara Raceway for owner-trainer Barry Shepheard but two years ago he was winning over 595 metres at Sandown Park in best of night times.
Cosmic Chief bitch Azumi Spice, an older half-sister to Azumi Striker and Azumi Ryder, looks well placed in the second heat of The Tankman 600 for Bartholomew.