Thursday, May 30, 2019
While three rounds of the Iron Dog are sure to create plenty of interest at Tara Raceway during June, the following month will further highlight the South East Greyhound Racing Club/Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc. as it marks 40 years of mechanical lure track racing.
Greyhound racing commenced in the South East at the Glenburnie racecourse on Saturday, July 21, 1979 and continued there until 1996, switching to its current venue on Lake Terrace East in early 1997.
This July’s big month will commence with the Tara Trackstar No. 1, to be run over 512 metres on Sunday, July 7 for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between January 6 and June 30.
A Tara Trackstar No. 2 will be run in early January 2020 for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between July 1 and December 31, 2019.
While connections will be required to nominate for the one-off events, the selection criteria will centre around the MGGRC Greyhound of the Year award points which are published twice-weekly on the club’s website.
So, for example, if the Tara Trackstar was being run this Sunday then the leading contenders (six required) would be Dimora Flash (33 points); Black Spring 32; Cryer’s Plugger, Kolora Posie 30; Molly’s Wally 26; Lone Star 25.
But with Lone Star having already been retired, Dare To Do 24 would come into the six. Two others on the GOTY list are School Report 24 (retired) and Rose Ali 23 (now in Queensland).
In the event of some of the leading contenders not being nominated, greyhounds to come under consideration would be Lektra Brandy and Yappy Allen, both with 22 points.
Currently there are 318 greyhounds that have accumulated points in this year’s GOTY so there will be no shortage of contenders for the Tara Trackstar.
Heats of the time-honoured Anniversary Cup (512 m) will be conducted the following week (July 14), with the final on July 21.
Trainers who continue to race at Tara Raceway and have won the Anniversary Cup(s) at the Lake Terrace East venue include Robert Halliday (2007 Bee Good, 2008 Tickets Please), Tom Cryer (2010 Cryer’s Tiger), Richard Clayfield (2011 Glenville Maggie), Captain Abbott (2012 White Arrow) and Nicole Stanley (2017 Fiorelli Rose, 2018 Ben Nevis in race record time of 29.90 seconds).
Mojito Mayhem is still the only greyhound to have won two Anniversary Cups at Lake Terrace East, trainer Peter Franklin successful with the black dog in 2015 and 2016.
Complementing the Anniversary Cup will be the John Reid Memorial, a maiden series run over 512 metres, and the 600 metre Eric Lewis Memorial.
The Reid Memorial was first run in 2005 when it was won by the Halliday trained Itza Bee in a time of 30.22 seconds. Last year’s winner was the Steve Bartholomew trained Dusty Pearl who scored a nose win over Lika Missile in 30.31 seconds.
Trent Blacker made the trip over from Ballarat last year to win the fifth Lewis Memorial with Aeroplane Mo in race record time of 35.55 seconds after previous winners had been 2014 Zipping Basil (Robert Britton), 2015 Harry Aztec (Kevin Ashton), 2016 Supreme Deal (Ralph Patzel) and 2017 Two Jobs (David Brodhurst).
Meanwhile, Portland trainer Nicole Stanley looks some sort of chance of bringing up three consecutive Anniversary Cup wins after Wanchai Express led all the way in last Sunday’s Greyhound-Data.com Mixed Stake (512 m) to defeat Bomber Creek by 5½ lengths in a quick 29.68 seconds.
A finalist in this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) won by Galactic Athena, Wanchai Express ran a flying 29.46 seconds at Tara Raceway earlier this year.
Owned in Adelaide by Les Stewart, Wanchai Express is by Bit Chili out of Aunty Chopper, a winner of 15 races and $26,000 in stakemoney.
Stewart, who also raced Aunty Chopper, leased her out for the litter, taking a pup in return which turned out to be Wanchai Express.
The 36 kilogram black dog will line up from box eight in Sunday’s Rock’s Retreat Free For All (512 m) and should be well suited by the five-dog field.