Thursday, March 22, 2018
There were a number of factors that contributed to the success of this year’s Mount Gambier Cup carnival, not the least being record prizemoney, record crowds and, of course, the Calcutta which is still being talked about.
The traditional Calcutta, sandwiched between the supporting events heats on the Friday and Sunday’s cup heats, also attracted a record crowd which in turn led to record payouts to the purchasers of the Mount Gambier Cup final placegetters.
In fact, the purchasers of the eventual winner, Xtreme Caution, collected more than $4000 for a modest outlay and promptly declared that they would be putting the money towards a greyhound.
Kevin “KD” Douglas, who kept things on an even keel, and auctioneer Chris Manser, who have both been involved with countless racing-code Calcuttas over the years, reckoned this was one of the best of its type that they had ever attended.
Adding to Sunday’s meeting was the return of distance racing, the Back To Distance Racing Mixed Stake the first 732 metre event to be run on cup day since 2014 when the Brendan Bunworth trained Maccaboy was successful in a time of 44.25 seconds.
“KD”, back again, this time to handle the on-course presentations and interviews, publicly extended a special welcome to Hoppers Crossing trainer Allan Meyer who had made the trip over with well-performed bitch Mick’s Angel to take on the local stayers.
Long-time trainer Meyer, who was at Tara Raceway for the first time, certainly liked what he saw especially after Mick’s Angel scored a brilliant victory in the staying event.
Later, the affable Meyer sought out “KD” to thank him for the welcome. A nice gesture and one appreciated by the master of ceremonies.
The Mount Gambier Cup aside, surely one of the highlights of the carnival was the performance of the Greg Board trained Spring Bridge in the Produce Store Feature Maiden final over 512 metres.
The win by the June 2016 son of My Bro Fabio and Tina Lee was as impressive as you could ever hope to see – a margin of more than 16 lengths and the 29.63 seconds winning time the fastest ever recorded at the track for a maiden event.
Who knows, Spring Bridge might even go on to Group 1 glory. And if he does, then rest assured we’ll be the first to point out this was the greyhound that kicked off his career at Tara Raceway.