Thursday, July 6, 2017
Following the delivery this week of a set of starting boxes from the Sale Greyhound Racing Club, 732 metre racing could be back on the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club calendar as soon as next month.
It’s now been more than three years since distance racing was conducted at Tara Raceway – Brendan Bunworth’s Maccaboy the last winner on cup day in March 2014 when he defeated Crymelon Sunrise and You Got It in a time of 44.25 seconds.
With races currently run over 400 metres, 512 metres and 600 metres, the re-introduction of 732 metres – a true staying test – would see the club catering for all types of greyhounds.
MGGRC secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard said even though next month’s racing dates were yet to be confirmed, the club was keen to programme a 732 metre race.
“We’re still waiting on the finalisation of August dates,” he said. “At the moment the only thing definite is that the Winter Classic will be run on August 13 and August 20.
“But we want to get distance racing up and running as quickly as possible and are looking at perhaps programming a 732 metre race on Sunday, August 27.
“At this stage it’s impossible to know what sort of response we’ll get but staying races, in all probability, would carry extra money across the board.”
The installation of the new boxes, delivered by Greyhound Racing SA Strategic Projects Manager Scott Wuchatsch, will also be good news for trainers putting young greyhounds through their paces on trial days as the distance from box to finish line the first time around is only 277 metres.
Meanwhile, next year’s Group Listed $22,000 Mount Gambier Cup, originally set down for February 25 and March 4, will undergo a date change due to a clash with harness racing’s Gold Cup.
Shepheard said the MGGRC committee would meet shortly to decide upon alternative dates – in all probability later in March.
BOX 8 BELLA HARD TO BEAT
The diminutive Maximum Bella, an impressive heat winner from box eight in last Sunday’s Trackside Meats Feature Grade Five (600 m), looks the one to beat in Sunday’s $1520-to-the-winner final after once again drawing the outside.
At start number 80 and having her first run over the middle-distance, Maximum Bella chased Jasmine Lilly into the back straight, taking over mid-race before holding out Cryer’s Plugger – placed at his past five starts – to win by a length with a further three lengths back to Yaramundi Domino in a quick 35.16 seconds.
Cryer’s Plugger has drawn box three in the final and is sure to be about the place again for Tom Cryer while Ralph Patzel’s Yaramundi Domino should be improved by the hitout, having last raced over the middle-distance 14 months ago.
Owner-trainer David Peckham will be hoping Maximum Bella can continue his good run of the past week – Blitz And Bolt winning at Angle Park last Thursday and Kolora Posie and Kappow also successful at Tara Raceway’s double-header last weekend.
Kolora Posie, raced by her breeder Terry Payne of Mortlake, is by Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze and is a younger full sister to 2016 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year Old Jock.
Having her sixth race start, Kolora Posie, a litter sister to seven-race winner Barry Bomber, looked impressive when opening her winning account in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m) by 4¼ lengths in a smart 30.16 seconds.
And in the following race, the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m), Castiel’s Magic won her first race at start number three for Jordan and Brad Mitchem of Sandford.
By 19-race winner Addis Boy, who last raced in 2004, Castiel’s Magic is the first winner for Camo’s Prinny who won the 2013 Mount Gambier Anniversary Cup (512 m) when being trained by Bernie Rogers.