Heats of the Sunset Community Kitchen Feature Grade 5 (512 metres) on Thursday, December 3 will kick off a big month of greyhound racing at Tara Raceway.
The SCK feature emanates from an initiative called “Catch for Cash” that was introduced earlier this year at the track at the suggestion of Kevin “KD” Douglas.
Douglas, a licensed greyhound attendant, came up with the suggestion whereby any trainer whose greyhound he catches on a race day can, if he or she so desires, place a gold coin in a jar that is situated in the clubrooms.
His charity of choice for the “Catch for Cash” initiative was the Sunset Community Kitchen which provides meals for people in need at the John Frew Centre (Frew Park) on Monday and Wednesday evenings between 6 and 6.30.
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club got right behind “Catch for Cash”. As did committee member Michael Robinson who believed he was more than capable of matching it with the local newspaper greyhound tipster David Lewis and KD who doesn’t mind the odd bet on the dishlickers.
Robinson suggested the three of them kick in $5 each a week in what would be a bragging rights only competition and would see the $15 go into the “Catch for Cash” jar.
Scored on a 4, 2, 1 points basis, Robinson soon found himself out of his depth and decided a 3, 2, 1 points system would be fairer. In other words, he wouldn’t finish so far behind!
Next, he decided on bringing in another contestant – a soft touch if you like – in order that he could at least beat one home. Surely there would be no bigger soft touch than Scott Blacksell. Not so and Robinson’s finishing place remained unchanged.
And in a final act of desperation he invited Noel Perry to join the tipping team. As club president he had plenty on his plate and wouldn’t have too much time to study the form prior to submitting his tips. As it turned out, he didn’t need much time!
If nothing else, though, Robinson has succeeded in boosting the weekly tipping tally input to $25.
The Sunset Community Kitchen Feature Grade 5 final will be run on Thursday, December 10 with winning connections receiving a trophy donated by Douglas.
Also at the track to receive a cheque from the MGGRC will be SCK representatives, including Maxine Maney who said the local charity, which comprises more than 100 volunteers, last year celebrated its 10th anniversary.
“Volunteers on both nights are involved in collections from various business houses, cooking, serving and cleaning. We serve between 40 to 60 hot meals each night along with also distributing produce bags,” she said.
“Foodbank assists us greatly as do local service clubs, schools and community groups.”
Maney said anyone could come along on Monday or Wednesday nights, or both. “All are welcome and there’s no questions asked.”
SUNDAY MEETING FOR TARA RACEWAY
Complementing the Sunset Community Kitchen Feature Grade 5 final on Thursday, December 10 will be heats of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m), the Santa Sprint (400 m) and the Peter Whitehead Memorial Maiden (400 m).
The finals of these events, together with a one-off Christmas Challenge over 600 metres, will be run on December 20 – the first Sunday meeting to be conducted at Tara Raceway since the Mount Gambier Cup on August 30.
This frees up Thursday, December 17, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club now looking to run a time-graded meeting – the first since March – on this day for lower-grade greyhounds.
Catering for all grades and distances, greyhounds are grouped subject to race wins – Maiden 0 wins, Novice 1-4 wins and Open 5+ wins – and graded worst to best.
The final two race meetings of the year will be on Thursday, December 24 and Thursday, December 31. They will include heats and final of a grade five over 400 metres.