Sunday, September 22, 2019
It had been a long time since Dennington trainer Pat Bouchier last raced a greyhound in Mount Gambier.
In fact, it had been at the original track out at Glenburnie, Bouchier recalling that he had raced there on only the one occasion – the dog in question being Cophan Rebel who had won.
Accompanied by his wife Patricia, he was at Tara Raceway for last Thursday’s time-graded meeting with Bisenti who looked well placed in the Trackside Meats Stake (600 metres) on the back of a close second at Sandown Park over 595 metres three weeks prior.
“I’d been finding it virtually impossible to find a low-grade middle distance race for her in Victoria so I decided to have a try at Tara Raceway. As luck would have it, there was a non penalty 600 metre race programmed,” Bouchier said.
And the December 2016 black bitch ran right up to her short quote when leading all the way from box two, eventually running out a six length winner over Ryben Bill in a smart time of 35.36 seconds.
“It goes without saying, I was delighted with the result and training my first winner at this track,” he said. “Also, this track in Mount Gambier would have to be greyhound racing’s best kept secret – the amenities, surroundings and friendly participants make it a pleasure to be here.”
Bouchier is now hoping Bisenti, a daughter of Dyna Double One and Bookie, will be able to run out a strong 700 metres, her pedigree suggesting as much with her dam’s brother Beks a $100,000-winning stayer.
He rates Beks as his best dog in 50 years of training and Farnham Lodge, bred and owned by Patricia, as his fastest, the son of Walkabout Sid x Little Kellie winning six races from only seven starts over 330 metres at Warrnambool in 1991.
They come from far and wide to race at Mount Gambier and Peter Smith was another long-time trainer to land his first winner at Tara Raceway last Thursday when Premier Peruzzi was successful in the JB Irrigation Stake (400 m).
Owned by his breeder, Yvonne Maxwell of Whyalla Norrie, Premier Peruzzi – a daughter of Premier Boloney and 10-race winner Peruzzi – scored an emphatic all the way win from box eight, running out a 5¼ length winner in a tidy 23.26 seconds.
Smith, and his partner Tina Cattermole, breed and train greyhounds at Evanston South, 10 minutes down the road from Gawler, with a mating of Nolen and Hilltop Snow, their four-race winning daughter of El Galo x Ice Blast, producing good results.
Members of the litter include 2016 Champion Puppy winner Optic Blast, 2017 Auction race winner Kung Fu Mary, Gangalla Fury (18 wins and $22,000 in stakemoney) and Harbison Miss (15, $19,000).
Horsham trainer Bill Hartigan and his wife Helen were over with Delusional Fab and Dashing Pedro, trainer and greyhounds having made the 2½-hour trip the previous Saturday in order to have a look at the track on trial morning.
And Hartigan’s hard yards obviously paid off when both greyhounds were successful, Delusional Fab chasing Moraine Pippa in the Produce Store Stake (512 m) until the home turn where he took over the running after the leader ran wide.
In the end, the son of My Bro Fabio and Grand Illusion had 1½ lengths to spare in 30.48 seconds, the win over Moraine Pippa giving Hartigan his first win at Tara Raceway since February 2018 when Avatar Demon had been successful over 400 metres.
The win was also the first for the Matt Walker-managed Viterra Horsham Syndicate who took over the ownership of the hard-railing giveaway greyhound two months ago.
Dashing Pedro ran right up to his quick Saturday trial when leading all the way in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m), winning by eight lengths in a best of day 23.05 seconds and giving Hartigan his first double at Tara Raceway.
By Barcia Bale out of Missy’s Return, Dashing Pedro is also owned and was bred by Hartigan, the dam line tracing back to his 18-race winner Westar Return who defeated Amazing Alice in a heat of the 2003 Mount Gambier Cup before finishing unplaced in the final won by Monstropolis.
It didn’t take local owner Michael Robinson long to get among the winners with his 17-month-old pup Perseverance who found the front down the back before going on to a 3¼ length win in 23.60 seconds in the Fairthorne Forestry Maiden Stake (400 m).
Having only her second start for trainer Dean Fennell, the daughter of Dyna Double One and Miss Freelove – one of prolific producer Casey’s Angel’s offspring – was purchased by Robinson as a pup from Compton breeder Tracie Price.
Despite being hampered by a back leg injury sustained as a pup, Miss Freelove still won four races at Cannington and Mandurah. And following promising reports on her first litter, Price said she would be mated again, this time to Mepunga Blazer.