Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Brewing up a storm at Murray Bridge

With the black dog known around the kennels as Cooper, could you really register your racing greyhound’s name as anything but Extra Stout?

That was Mount Gambier owner Kevin Patzel’s thoughts anyway when he submitted the naming papers for the son of Mepunga Blazer and Golly Gumdrops back in September last year.

Patzel, 36, had purchased Cooper as a three-month-old pup at the end of 2021. And like all pup purchasers he had been hopeful that success on the track would later come his way given that Golly Gumdrops had won the 2020 Christmas Cup and 2021 Michelle Niele Memorial at Tara Raceway.

Kevin Patzel opened his winning account at Murray Bridge with Extra Stout.

Extra Stout was his second greyhound. His first was Limousine, a giveaway who won a maiden 305 metre event at start number 21 at the local track in October 2021.

Actually, there was a bit made of Limousine’s only win given that track photographer Todd Nicholson’s son Jake actually owned the old limousine that had brought Channel 9 Football Show greyhound You Idiot out to the track many years earlier.

As far as Patzel’s first winner was concerned, and from a photographic point of view, there had certainly been no better back drop than the white limousine, driven out to Tara Raceway after the win.

But back to Extra Stout and Patzel recalls a time during his dog’s formative months when he had struggled to find suitable accommodation for his outgoing pup.

“That was when John Little of Kongorong had stepped in and I’m certainly indebted to him,” he said. “By then Cooper was about 14 months old and John offered to kennel him and help me break him in.

“Initially we had him chasing behind the drag lure but that was never enough. Then he wanted to also do laps of the paddock.

“Following on from the drag lure, Bernie Bouchier of Kongorong kindly allowed us to use his bull ring to continue with Cooper’s education.

“All up he went around the bull ring five times. But, I don’t mind telling you, by the third time we were flat out keeping the lure in front of him.

“He then went around Tara Raceway the first time we took him there. And the first time out of the boxes over 305 metres he ran 18.80 seconds which I was happy with,” said Patzel as he reached for his phone to confirm the sectionals of May 27, 2023.

In trainer David Peckham’s Allendale East kennels, where Patzel is right hand man, Extra Stout’s first two starts, both unplaced, were on October 27 and 29 at Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier.

A two-month break followed due to a shin splints issue but on January 9 Extra Stout resumed up the straight at Murray Bridge over 300 metres with a 1½ length second. The following week he opened his winning account with a 1¾ length win, also over 300 metres.

Now, that was a win to remember!

Back in Mount Gambier for the past eight years, Patzel is a son of long-time local greyhound man Ralph – trainer of Aqualair, winner of the first race run at Glenburnie on Saturday, July 21, 1979. He also trained Ashanti Gem who won the first Mount Gambier Cup run at Lake Terrace East in 1997.

Kevin Patzel is also one of Mount Gambier’s top table tennis players and, it seems, one of the greyhound track’s best tipsters judging by the Tara Tipsters Chasing for Charity scoreboard.

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