Thursday, November 3, 2016
Following the success of middle-distance racing (600 metres) at Tara Raceway, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is now hopeful of re-introducing 732 metre racing at the Lake Terrace East track.
The last 732 metre race run was on Mount Gambier Cup day on March 9, 2014 when the Brendan Bunworth trained Maccaboy defeated Crymelon Sunrise and You Got It in a time of 44.25 seconds.
The track record is currently held by the Robert Britton trained Nellie Noodles which clocked a flying 43.45 seconds back on March 27, 2011 when defeating Bowstreet Secret by 17½ lengths.
The introduction of 600 metre racing at Tara Raceway in June 2014 saw the end of the longer distance – which had always been one of the highlights of cup day – and the virtual banishment of the 277 metre/732 metre starting boxes to the scrapheap.
These days, such is the condition of the boxes, they aren’t even able to be used for trial mornings when 277 metre hit-outs were once popular with trainers of young greyhounds starting out their careers.
But MGGRC secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard said this week the club was hopeful of being able to acquire another set of starting boxes.
“It looks highly likely that we’ll be able to secure a set in good condition from one of the Victorian tracks,” he said.
“The concrete slab and cover are already in place so it wouldn’t be a huge job to replace the boxes.”
And while 732 metre racing had never been a regular fixture at Tara Raceway, Shepheard said the club believed 600 metre racing would now complement the longer distance.
“When 732 metre racing was last programmed here there was no in-between distance – greyhounds had to step up from 512 metres – but with 600 metre events now being run there is more of a progression.
“We are hoping with the right promotion and prizemoney that distance racing can be re-invented at Tara Raceway and become an integral part of our calendar.”
CHRISTMAS CUP MEETING COMES OF AGE
Tara Raceway’s Christmas meeting really came of age last year.
MC extraordinaire Kevin “KD” Douglas was on track, long-time Royal Fashion Maiden sponsor Milla Laddrak threw her support behind another feature event, the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet, and a terrific field contested the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup.
From a racing point of view, one couldn’t have hoped for a better meeting. The Royal Fashion, first run and won in 2007 by the Dean Fennell trained Leeor Trev, has unearthed a few handy winners – Don’t Panic, Moorak Hope and Manila Express quickly coming to mind.
But there haven’t been too many more impressive winners than the Peter Hubbard trained Cairnlea Lewis which scored a 12½ length win in 30.18 seconds in last year’s final.
Tracie Price picked up the inaugural Ladies Bracelet when Pintail scored by a nose to defeat Ray Mahony’s Tear Away Babe and ended the day with a feature race double after Fear The Rascal had scored an emphatic win in the Christmas Cup.
The cup was first run in 2011 when won by David Peckham’s Napoleon Wiz. The Allen Williams trained Lika Gem followed up the next year before another Peckham-trained greyhound in Bourne Again defeated Price’s Flaming Gold in what was a real two-dog war.
The 2014 Christmas Cup was won by the Price’s smart bitch Who’s Doing What before last year’s cup saw Fear The Rascal defeat Tear Away Moon and Upset Boy by 6½ lengths in 30.09 seconds.
This year’s Christmas meeting will be run on Sunday, December 18 with heats for all events being conducted on Friday, December 9.
And KD will be back again to take us through a 12-race card that will be highlighted by the finals of the $2500 Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m), the $2100 Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet for grade five bitches (400 m), the $1500 Royal Fashion Maiden (512 m) and the $1800 Rock’s Retreat Grade Five Christmas Challenge (600 m).