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Cup carnival off to sensational start
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Compton trainer Tracie Price’s Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 metres) heats domination, a rare no-race in the Blue Lake 600 (600 m) series and Colden Star’s sub-23 second win in the second heat of the Formula 400 Open (400 m) ensured the first day of the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup carnival was off to a sensational start at Tara Raceway on Friday.
Price, who was always going to be a major player in the maiden series with nine youngsters originally engaged, reaped the reward of an extensive breeding programme when running the quinella in the three heats.
The first heat saw Summer Storm, a son of Magic Sprite x Hey Sexy Lady, lead all the way from box one at only his second race start to defeat his first-starter litter brother Gangster Of Love by 7¼ lengths in an outstanding time of 29.98 seconds.
In fact, the time was so outstanding that it was the fastest maiden win at Tara Raceway since June 3 last year when Homer – third behind Arabella Figg in a Mount Gambier Cup heat on Sunday – ran 29.84 seconds.
A couple of first starters in Baz’s Moment and Summer Lad – another son of Hey Sexy Lady – fought out the second heat with the former, a son of Swift Fancy x Which Class, winning by four lengths in 30.58 seconds.
Baz’s Moment is raced by Price in partnership with Kongorong owner Barry Bruce who enjoyed his first success at Tara Raceway after an involvement in the sport 10 years ago in Victoria.
“I actually live next door to local greyhound man Bernie Bouchier and he and Pricey had often been at me to buy a greyhound,” Bruce said.
“Anyway, I eventually weakened, finishing up buying into a pup who has turned out to be Baz’s Moment.”
And then in the final heat a couple of other first starters – Fancy Moment and Rumbling Moment – went over the line with only a neck separating the pair after the latter had led for most of the journey.
Fancy Moment is a litter brother to Baz’s Moment while Rumbling Moment is by Cosmic Rumble out of Stylish Moment, herself a 29.98 seconds maiden winner back in May 2014.
Also through to Sunday’s $2000 Produce Store final are the Monty Wilson trained Jaeda Sienn and Gee She Roks, trained by David Peckham.
Taking a keen interest in Price’s cup time feature maiden domination was long-time Mount Gambier participant Ralph Patzel who still has fond memories of the 2001 series which back then was called the S & J Electrical Maiden.
Sixteen years ago Patzel was training pups from a litter by Cry Havoc x Craig’s Missy for Craig Collins, president of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club at the time.
Patzel won the three heats of the series with littermates Sir Havoc, Havoc Raider and Missy’s Dream before Missy’s Dream defeated Havoc Raider by two lengths in 30.63 seconds in the $690 final.
And in what was a good cup day for Patzel, he also won a Mount Gambier Cup consolation with Aqua Tass.
Thankfully, no-races don’t occur all that often at Tara Raceway but when the lure stopped unexpectedly on the home turn in the first heat of the Blue Lake 600 (600 m) the series was in the short-term thrown into confusion.
The second heat went ahead without incident, Lektra Destiny impressing with a 9½ length win over Spotted Gunn and Lady Vixyma in a smart 35.55 seconds for Glencoe owner-trainer Barry Shepheard.
Under Rule R57(2)b stewards then conducted a public random ballot from all remaining greyhounds which competed in the abandoned event to determine the greyhounds to be eligible to participate in Sunday’s final.
Price completed a big day with four winners in feature race heats after Fear The Rascal finished too strongly in the home straight for Ming Men Shen to win heat one of the Formula 400 (400 m) in a tidy 23.21 seconds.
Heathmere trainer Bea Bryant’s Colden Star claimed Formula 400 time honours when leading all the way in the second heat, defeating Slipper’s Chance by four lengths with a further 1½ lengths back to Scorpion.
By Collision out of the imported Express Links, Colden Star joined only a handful of dogs to have broken the 23-second mark at Tara Raceway, running 22.97 seconds, the fastest since Future Past’s 22.93 seconds last August.