Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Spring Value’s win in last Sunday’s Australia Day Open (512 metres) at Tara Raceway in an equal personal best time of 29.54 seconds has Killarney owner-trainer Kevin Mugavin now hoping that things will continue to go to plan as far as this year’s Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) is concerned.
Spring Value is the dog that first attracted attention when winning a heat of the Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m) in 30.06 seconds at last year’s cup carnival before running second in the final to Galactic Titan.
And this is the maiden series that the previous year unearthed Greg Board’s Spring Bridge, winner of the final by 16¼ lengths in 29.63 seconds before going on to win a further 17 races on Adelaide and Melbourne tracks and more than $100,000 in stakemoney.
Mugavin’s son of Spring Gun x Magic Matese has raced on five occasions at Tara Raceway since last year’s carnival, the brindle dog having now won at his past four starts on the track.
The Australia Day Open also included Squishy Pea, winner of the Christmas Cup and New Year Open for Allendale East trainer David Peckham, the race virtually developing into a two-dog affair down the back as the local led the way with Spring Value doing the chasing.
But turning for home, Spring Value railed through on the leader, eventually running out a length winner over a determined Squishy Pea with a further nine lengths back to his kennelmate Silent Jacko.
Mugavin, previously successful in the Mount Gambier Cup with Poetic Magic (2006) and Rich Shiraz (2012), is one of only four trainers to have won the cup twice in its 39-year history, along with Connie Miller (Durafi 1987, Mitchell Boy 1988), Robert Britton (Aquin Bale 1999, Banger Harvey 2011) and Brian Weis (Drone 2009, Xtreme Caution 2018).
Cheap Currency was Mugavin’s last winner at a cup carnival – in 2015 – the son of Poetic Magic successful in the Banjo Boy Feature (600 m) by eight lengths in the then track record time of 35.11 seconds.
Greyhound Racing SA Racing Manager, Shaun Mathieson, said this week that GRSA would continue this year with bonuses to link the Murray Bridge Cup and the Mount Gambier Cup, both Group Listed events.
“These will include a $5000 bonus if the same dog can win both the Murray Bridge Cup and the Mount Gambier Cup. Also, there will be a $5000 trainer bonus if the same trainer can win both cups (SA or interstate or with different dogs).”
The Murray Bridge Cup heats will be conducted on Friday, March 6 with the $15,000-to-the-winner final run on Sunday (night), March 15. Mount Gambier’s heats will be run on Sunday, March 29 with the final, also carrying $15,000 to the winner, on Sunday, April 5.