Monday, July 23, 2018
Mount Gambier owner Elysia Bartholomew, born on the weekend of the first greyhound meeting conducted at Glenburnie, celebrated her 39th birthday in style at Tara Raceway’s Anniversary Cup meeting on Sunday afternoon when Dusty Pearl won the John Reid Memorial Maiden final (512 metres).
And it was a case of Bartholomew, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s official starter, switching roles for race four and handling the light fawn bitch for the trainer who just happens to be her father, Steve Bartholomew, of Worrolong.
Dusty Pearl only started racing last week, in a heat of the memorial which she won from box one. Sunday’s final was always going to be tougher, especially from box five, but once again she quickly found the front, eventually defeating Lika Missile in a desperately tight finish by a nose in 30.31 seconds with the winner’s sister Azumi Spirit 5¼ lengths back in third spot.
The time was the same as that recorded by Solitary Lad in winning last year’s Reid Memorial, Elysia Bartholomew having no idea whether Dusty Pearl had held on in the run to the line.
“I was still down at the starting boxes, none the wiser until I spotted my mother (Lee) and sister Debbie carrying on in embarrassing fashion at the finish line. I thought then that she must have won. ‘What a legend’ I said to myself.”
It was a terrific birthday present for Bartholomew, the Reid family and supporters acknowledging the occasion at the presentation with a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
Bred by the Bartholomew family, Dusty Pearl is by Dyna Tron out of Azumi Touch, a winner of 15 races at Tara Raceway and one at Angle Park – Elysia Bartholomew having previously purchased a pup from Azumi Touch’s first litter (by Cosmic Chief) and enjoying only minimal success.
“Actually, things didn’t start out terribly well with Dusty Pearl, either, as she broke a toe soon after I purchased her at about three months of age. However, even though the toe had to be removed, there have been no issues since due to the young age that it was operated on,” she said.
The three placegetters are now likely to push on to next month’s Peter Rocket Winter Classic at Tara Raceway, the Tracie Price trained Lika Missile, at his fourth start, finishing strongly in second spot and not likely to remain a maiden for much longer.
Price had been chasing his second John Reid Memorial after My Pal Houston won the event in 2015.
Speaking after the 14th running of the John Reid Memorial, Daryl Reid thanked the MGGRC and confirmed that the family would continue to support the race run in memory of his father.