Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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‘Border hopper’ opens winning account for local trainer

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Saint Maddie’s narrow win over Velocity Luna in the Rock’s Tavern Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway last Thursday was the first by one of several Victorian greyhounds that have temporarily been transferred to a local kennel – in this case, to Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell.

This follows Greyhound Racing SA reaching out to participants who reside up to 150 kilometres over the Victorian border and who would normally support meetings conducted by the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club at Tara Raceway.

Saint Maddie (No. 8) defeats Velocity Luna and Rouse Rocket at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

While they had been keen to continue racing at Mount Gambier, border restrictions currently prevent that from happening, Penshurst owner-trainer John Burow probably best summing up the predicament some of these Victorian trainers now find themselves in.

“A sixth and a last today at Ballarat. Still, it’s nice to see my dogs are abiding by the rules and are continuing with their social distancing,” wrote Burow, generally a Tara Raceway regular, in a post on Facebook.

Bred and owned at Koroit by Peter Byrne, Saint Maddie’s win was the first for the June 2018 litter by Peter Rocket out of Miss Lava, a winner at Sandown Park over 515 metres and 595 metres and also at Tara Raceway over 512 metres and 600 metres.

By US sire Djays Octane x Born On Lava, Miss Lava is a member of a pretty handy litter that also includes Annie Lava, John John Lava and Back On Lava.

Dean Fennell with General Max who found winning form at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

Saint Maddie was the first leg of a double for Fennell – his first this year – General Max later leading all the way in the Bourne Kennels Stake (400 m) when holding out Rock It Fernando to win by a half length in 23.03 seconds.

The win was the brindle dog’s first since resuming from injury in early March, the son of Worm Burner and Miss Hodge having now won nine races at Tara Raceway for the trainer’s son Hayden and his partner Ebony Janz.

Training honours for the day belonged to Tracie Price who was successful with Vossy, Banjo Bliss and Miss One Love, the treble being his third this year at Tara Raceway.

Vossy, owned locally by Michael Robinson and Willie Vossen who purchased the fawn bitch as a pup from Price, led all the way to win the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 m) in 23.11 seconds while Banjo Bliss led all the way in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m) for a 2¼ length win over Galactic Horizon in 23.26 seconds.

For Banjo Bliss, a sizeable 31 kilogram daughter of Banjo Boy and Short Blond Hair, the win was her second after winning a maiden at Tara Raceway in January for owner Andrew Varasdi who also owns the sire.

Size runs in the family, Banjo Bliss’s litter brother Little Lunch tipping the scales at 38 kilograms and, perhaps not surprisingly, well suited to straight track racing at Healesville where he has won at his past three starts for Nilma North trainer Ashlee Terry.

Miss One Love brings up a treble for trainer Tracie Price.

Vossy’s sister Miss One Love, owned by Price, was much too good for the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m) field, defeating another sister in Maunganui Bella by eight lengths in 23.45 seconds – a good way for members of the Dyna Double One x Miss Freelove litter to celebrate their second birthday.

Allendale East trainer David Peckham also enjoyed another good day with Squishy Pea finishing strongly in the home straight to run down Our Man Zed – both dogs raced by the Nineofus Syndicate – in the JB Irrigation Mixed Stake (400 m) in a best of day 22.98 seconds.

And Peckham brought up a double when Malcolm Keenan’s Keen One took over the running off the back in the Stake (400 m), holding out Double Love – another one of the Miss Freelove litter – to win by 1¾ lengths in a personal best 23.16 seconds.

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