Thursday, November 22, 2018
Springvale Alysa’s personal best winning run of 29.79 seconds in last Sunday’s Produce Store Open Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway has the Bungaloo Syndicate now looking at next month’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m).
This is the syndicate that comprises local greyhound owners John Little, Liz Newberry and Kevin Mullan with Little, a relative newcomer to the training ranks, seemingly not doing too much wrong in that area.
Heats will be run on Sunday, December 16 with the final at the Tara Raceway Christmas meeting on Friday, December 21.
The Christmas Cup, first run in 2011, is always a keenly-contested affair with the Nicole Stanley trained Hit The Runway successful last year while Tracie Price’s Who’s Doing What, dam of current star local youngster Smart Knocka, won the 2014 cup in a race record time of 29.77 seconds.
And it’s a fair bet the Bungaloo Syndicate is also setting its sights on next March’s 2019 Group Listed Mount Gambier Cup (512 m), this year’s event being where their successful year actually began.
Back in March, Little and Mullan were at the Saturday night Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta, steering clear of the higher-priced big names lining up in the heats the following day and looking to bid on one of the cup “lesser lights”.
“In the end we were able to secure Xtreme Caution who was grouped in one of the lower brackets and not really expected to figure on Mount Gambier Cup final day,” Little recalled this week.
“But his second behind Blazing Moment in a heat the next day was good enough to get him through and when he drew box one in the final we started to get half-excited.”
It’s now history how the Brian Weis-trained Xtreme Caution led all the way to win the cup and how the Bungaloo Syndicate collected more than $4000 from the Calcutta auction.
“We decided we’d put the proceeds of the Calcutta to ‘good use’ and promptly took on the task of looking around for a performed greyhound that was for sale,” Little said.
“Initially we settled on a bitch called Dyna Quail. There wasn’t much of her but she was by Fernando Bale and had recently won a maiden at Angle Park in 29.88 seconds. However, that deal quickly fell through.
“As it turned out, the dog that had run second to Dyna Quail was on the market. She had been beaten a fair way but was well bred and besides, if we purchased her then there would be some change from the Calcutta windfall.”
That dog, of course, was Springvale Alysa, a March 2016 daughter of Dyna Double One and Springvale Cool, a winner of 18 races and dam, from an earlier litter by Bekim Bale, of Springvale Carla and Springvale Cooke who collectively won 25 races and more than $80,000 in stakemoney.
Upon relocation to Little’s Kongorong kennels in April, Springvale Alysa promptly vindicated the syndicate’s decision by winning two races at Tara Raceway and then following up with a another win at Warrnambool.
Fair enough, there’s been a couple of hiccups along the way but Springvale Alysa has since gone on to win a further six races this year, is now in top grade at Tara Raceway and is more than holding her own for the Bungaloo Syndicate.
And if things go to plan, come next March Little and Mullan will be back for the Saturday night Calcutta, the only difference being that they will be bidding on their own dog.
Meanwhile, there will be plenty of interest in Sunday’s Metal Worx Mixed Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway with Springvale Alysa looking hard to beat again from box two and Jeff Guy’s Paraphernalia, well boxed in one, desperately needing points to stay in touch with Oh No Beta for Greyhound of the Year honours.
The Nicole Stanley trained Oh No Beta, currently four points clear, has drawn box six in a tough Williams Crane Hire Open Stake (400 m) on Sunday although her 2018 Anniversary Cup winner Ben Nevis should appreciate the drop back to grade five company in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m).