Thursday, July 19, 2018
While it’s now been 31 years since a Connie Miller trained greyhound won an Anniversary Cup, the long-time Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club stalwart looks to hold a strong hand in Sunday’s final at Tara Raceway.
Successful at Glenburnie in 1986 with Kenzel Lad and Durafi the following year, Miller has Kolora Posie, the faster of the two heat winners, and current Greyhound of the Year leader Chilly Kiss lining up from boxes five and two respectively in what will be the 34th running of the Anniversary Cup (512 metres).
By Bekim Bale out of Swift Blaze, Kolora Posie is a younger full sister to 2016 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year Old Jock who ran fourth in last year’s cup behind kennelmate Fiorelli Rose, the pair trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley.
A $16 chance on the back of two 600 metre placings, Kolora Posie showed plenty of early pace in last Sunday’s first heat from box four, taking the lead going out of the first turn and, despite using plenty of the track, finishing strongly to defeat Paraphernalia by 1¼ lengths in 29.85 seconds.
And Chilly Kiss, who will be chasing her second feature win at Tara Raceway this year after success in the Tank Man (600 m) in March, worked home well for a 5¼ length third behind Bereluke in the second heat in 30.01 seconds.
Miller, a life member of the MGGRC since 1994, was also secretary of the club for 20 years and in the early 1990s received an Award of Merit from the SA Greyhound Racing Board for services to greyhound racing.
Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew is another long-time club stalwart, involved since day one at Glenburnie back in 1979 and looking for his first Anniversary Cup win with Azumi Spice who has drawn box one in the final.
A daughter of Cosmic Chief and Azumi Touch, Azumi Spice finished her race off nicely with a strong 1¾ length second to Bereluke and after some injury issues earlier in the year looks ready to make her presence felt on Sunday.
Bartholomew, awarded life membership in 1998, has been the MGGRC president for the past nine years. In 2016 he received a Greyhound Racing SA Outstanding Service to the Industry Award.
Bereluke, at Angle Park and Gawler on the previous three Sundays to contest the paid-up Produce Stake, appreciated her return to Tara Raceway, leading all the way from box eight for Stanley who also has Ben Nevis through to the final.
Bereluke, a daughter of Barcia Bale and Flying Cheryl, was the middle leg of a treble for Stanley who earlier in the day had won with Hit The Runway and later with Jan’s Star who made it two wins in succession when leading all the way in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m).
Jan’s Star’s win on Sunday gave the Spud Regis x Sweet Shine litter a two-state double after Jet Blaster collected $6260 for winning the Winter Cup up the straight at Healesville.