Wednesday, July 17, 2019
It’s now been 40 years since the South East Greyhound Racing Club conducted the first local licensed mechanical lure race meeting, under the auspices of the National Coursing Association, out at Glenburnie.
There was no totalisator back then but six bookmakers fielded at the opening meeting on Saturday, July 21, 1979, 10 races being conducted over distances of 289 metres, 476 metres and 667 metres.
However, the opening day had been a fair while coming, a public meeting in Mount Gambier held seven years earlier to form the SE Greyhound Racing Club which then had to overcome plenty of trials and tribulations before all parties reached an agreement in March 1977.
Ralph Patzel, who will drive the lure for Sunday’s Anniversary Cup meeting at Tara Raceway, trained the first winner at that historic 1979 greyhound meeting – Aqualair defeating Lady Chiller and Crater Star in a time of 18.40 seconds in a maiden over 289 metres.
Other winners at the opening meeting were Port McRed (S. Pearce), Rollin’s Sue (B. Parnell), Flirting Prince (L. Collins), Golden Thread (B. Rowe), Finger Bone (K. Rogers), Tara Pursuit (A. Mangan), Maaoupe Marvel (S. Geraghty), Hazel’s Dream (H. Franken) and Snippety Snip (A. Mangan).
Sunday’s Anniversary Cup will mark the 35th running of the event, the inaugural cup won by the Hazel Lane trained Kenzel Lad in 1985 and again the following year when trained by Connie Miller.
The only other greyhound to have won the event twice is the Peter Franklin trained Mojito Mayhem in 2015 and 2016.
And when racing switched to the purpose-built track on Lake Terrace East in 1997 it was local legend Col Sims who won the first Anniversary Cup run over 512 metres with Becker McLaren in a time of 30.28 seconds.
In fact, this race record stood until 2011 when Richard Clayfield’s Glenville Maggie ran 30.18 seconds, the current race record established by last year’s winner, the Nicole Stanley trained Ben Nevis with a time of 29.90 seconds.
Little separated last week’s three heat winners, Bomber Creek, trained at Mortlake by Peter Crawley, chasing tearaway leader Lektra Viki until the home turn where he railed through to go on for a 3¼ length win in the first heat in 29.97 seconds.
With a record of five wins from eight starts from the red, Bomber Creek looks perfectly drawn in box one in the final while Lektra Viki also looks well served in box two for Portland trainer Nifty Lenehan.
Dyna Naitch turned in a big effort to win the second heat for Allendale East trainer David Peckham. Away slowly from box five, the brindle dog was giving the leader Springvale Alysa a big start before rounding her up on the home turn and running out a 2½ length winner in 29.81 seconds.
Dyna Naitch has drawn box five again on Sunday while Springvale Alysa will jump from box four for Kongorong trainer John Little who will be looking for his biggest win at Tara Raceway.
And Lenehan will hold a strong hand in the final after Lektra Brandy continued her outstanding recent form with a virtual all the way win in the third heat, defeating Saint David by 3¾ lengths in 29.88 seconds.
A litter sister to Lektra Viki, Lektra Brandy will jump from box seven on Sunday while Saint David, trained at Koroit by Peter Byrne, has drawn box eight and should be improved by his first run on the track.
Saint David worked home quite well, gaining a “pass” mark for the effort from Byrne who was last represented in the Anniversary Cup by Born Billy who finished unplaced in the 2017 final won by Fiorelli Rose.
The John Reid Memorial Maiden (512 m), first run in 2005, has been thrown wide open with the inclusion of three well-bred first starters – Silent Jacko, Spooky Visitor and Cruising By – from the Peckham kennel.
Silent Jacko and Spooky Visitor are by Kinloch Brae out of the unraced Bonnie’s Secret who is a litter sister to Buck Forty (19 wins for $389,000 in stakemoney) and Burn One Down (34, $507,000) while Cruising By’s Dubbo performance trial of 29.99 seconds over 516 metres in May should have her right in the mix.
And for the first time, the Eric Lewis Memorial – run in memory of one of those gentlemen who was prominent at that public meeting all those years ago – will be run over 732 metres.
With three runners, Portland trainer Nicole Stanley holds a strong hand, Ethics looking her best chance, while Spinning Jakit should be prominent throughout for Cap Abbott of Edenhope.
Anniversary Cup heat winners: Top, Bomber Creek (Peter Crawley); Middle, Dyna Naitch (David Peckham); Bottom, Lektra Brandy (Richard Clayfield).