Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Heathmere greyhound Colden Girl’s outstanding effort to run a quick 29.77 seconds and win a heat of last Sunday’s ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup (512 metres) at Tara Raceway came as no real surprise to her part-owner Roger “the Pom” Bryant.
The nicely-conformed black and white bitch, which went into the cup series with two wins from only 17 starts, came out running from box five and looked anything but a relative newcomer to the game when holding out seasoned performers Master Tron and McRay – 124 starts between them – to win in the second fastest time of the day.
According to Bryant, Colden Girl’s lead-up trial to the cup at Tara Raceway had him confident that she would acquit herself well in what was always going to be her biggest test to date.
“No, we weren’t really surprised that she performed so well,” he said. “We always reckoned that she was quick and when she trialled a similar post-to-post time to one of Nicole’s (Stanley) cup contenders we felt that we would be in the mix come race day.”
Colden Girl, bred by Bryant’s wife Bea, who is also the trainer, is raced in partnership with their neighbours Dennis and Colleen Rose.
And with both Dennis and Roger being called “Pom” it was probably only logical that the syndicate racing name would be “The Two Poms”.
The Bryants had been successfully involved in the sport back in the Glenburnie days but returned only relatively recently after Dennis Rose, also involved in thoroughbred racing, continually pestered them to breed a litter.
“We eventually relented and contacted Robert Britton at Lara who sent us Soul Calibur, a nicely-bred bitch who had won six races at the Meadows,” Roger Bryant said.
A daughter of Surf Lorian x Lucy’s Light, Soul Calibur was mated with Farmor Las Vegas, another Britton-trained dog who won 26 races and close to $200,000 in stakemoney.
The Roses have done pretty well with their involvement. Besides Colden Girl, other members of the litter include Victorian city winners Carry On Pendles and Carry On Quinney and Tara Raceway winner Carry On Elvis.
Speaking on Tuesday, prior to the box draw, Roger Bryant said he would be more than happy if Colden Girl – the Bryants first Mount Gambier Cup finalist – drew out wide in Sunday’s $10,000 final. And draw out wide she did.
BERRY BLING’S COME A LONG WAY IN 12 MONTHS
It was at the Mount Gambier Cup’s corresponding meeting last year that Berry Bling first drew attention to herself.
That was when she ran 29.94 seconds to defeat Kryptonian in the final of the Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m).
And there’s been a bit of form to come out of the race with Berry Bling later in the year brilliantly winning the SA Country Cup (536 m) at Strathalbyn while heat winner Kryptonian has won a further 12 races.
Nicole Stanley of Portland, describes Berry Bling as a jump and run bitch. And she did just that in her Mount Gambier Cup heat last Sunday, when defeating a gallant Lyon Rose by 1¾ lengths in the quickest of the day – 29.74 seconds.
These days, Stanley, currently Tara Raceway’s leading trainer, owns and trains the best of day winner but initially was training her for well-known Victorian conditioner Jack Westerlo.
“Our association goes back to the days when drag lure coursing meetings were conducted in many country towns,” said Stanley, who was Victorian Coursing Trainer of the Year in 2009 and 2010.
“At the beginning of last year Jack asked me if I’d be interested in training a couple of bitches by Lochinvar Marlow out of Lady Bling who raced as Berry Bling and Let It Bling.
“Let It Bling actually beat Berry Bling when they met in their first race at Tara Raceway in February last year but even then I had a liking for Berry Bling.”
In fact, so keen was Stanley on her prospects that when Westerlo later offered the pair for sale she took up the offer.
“I took a punt that she would come good,” she said.
Last Sunday’s run was only Berry Bling’s third since the Country Cup success in November with an unsuccessful brief stay in Melbourne and a shoulder injury curtailing her activities.
Stanley, a long-time trainer, rates her as one of her better dogs and already has breeding in mind with the 28 kilogram black bitch – possibly first-up with high-profile sire Barcia Bale.
She will jump from the three in Sunday’s final, with Stanley’s punt well and truly coming good if she can land Mount Gambier’s major greyhound race of the year.