Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Busy president continues to find time to train a winner

As far as this time of the year is concerned, from a racing point of view things don’t get much busier for Noel Perry, now in his fourth year as president of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club (MGGRC).

Friday night will mark the return of the Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta to Tara Raceway – for the first time since 2019. And a couple of days later heats of the Group 3 Mount Gambier Cup (512 metres), sponsored this year by Carlin & Gazzard, will be decided.

“The week leading up to cup final is always pretty frantic and I’m not expecting the 43rd running to be any different,” Perry said. “The track and surrounds are in magnificent order and I think we’ve got everything sorted in regard to catering and on-track activities.

Heather and Noel Perry pictured with Chief Pow Wow after his maiden win at Tara Raceway.

“Once again, we’ve managed to obtain the services of local bookmaker Darren Guthridge for the final to complement the TAB. We’ve also arranged for kids’ activities, live music, bar and canteen facilities, along with barbecue and coffee and ice cream vans.”

But in between all this Perry continues to train a team of greyhounds at his property – situated only five minutes or so from Tara Raceway and its training facilities. This year he has trained six winners, the latest being on Sunday with Chief Pow Wow.

It was back in early January that Tracie Price, currently Mount Gambier’s leading trainer, received a phone call from Arthur Garratt of Heathmont in Victoria. He was enquiring as to whether Price would be interested in an unraced giveaway greyhound because it wasn’t up to his standard.

Perhaps a fair call given that Garratt – albeit back in 1982 – had owned Kid Scandal, winner of the Melbourne Cup.

Not surprisingly, though, Price’s kennels were full. He suggested Garratt contact Perry.

“As it happened I did have an empty kennel and Arthur pitched a pretty good line when he rang to see if I was interested in Chief Pow Wow,” Perry said.

“I said I would arrange for the dog to be picked up but Arthur obviously wanted to make sure the dog found his way to Mount Gambier as soon as possible. And it wasn’t all that long after that he was knocking on the front door – with dog in hand.”

By Fernando Bale, Chief Pow Wow is out of Shall She Rock, a smart Victorian stayer that accumulated 19 wins and $142,000 in prize money between 2013 and 2015.

Incidentally, the Reg Johnson trained Kid Scandal, a son of Bowetzel and Labarda, was bred in SA at Two Wells by Kevin and Gayle Brown.

For Perry, though, it would appear that his workload, and indeed that of the MGGRC committee, is not about to ease off once the Mount Gambier Cup has been run and won.

“We recently had a phone hook-up with Greyhound Racing SA CEO Bodelle Francis in relation to a participation plan which had been discussed late last year,” he said.

Andrew Earl proudly shows off his hand-crafted leather catching lead and pouch.

“The idea is to try and encourage more people to become actively involved in greyhound racing – in particular as trainers. At this stage it appears likely that the participation day will be held at Tara Raceway on Sunday, April 30.

“The plan is to commence that day’s race meeting late morning and with an earlier finish then liaise with interested persons who may be considering becoming involved in greyhound racing.”
Perry said once the Mount Gambier Cup was over, the Participation Day would be extensively promoted.

However, the MGGRC is already encouraging former participants and newcomers to become actively involved.

Stuart Sharam, an owner-trainer from the Glenburnie days, is now looking to renew his licence and is currently boxing and catching greyhounds at Sunday race meetings.

Andrew Earl wandered in off the street one Thursday afternoon not so long ago, liked what he saw and has been coming back ever since. Although, at this stage, he has no aspirations of becoming a trainer, he’s now boxing and catching greyhounds at the weekly race meetings and trials.

And Jarrad Williams is another newcomer to Tara Raceway who has embraced the sport of greyhound racing and is now a licensed catcher-attendant.

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