Monday, March 6, 2017
Lewiston-trained Fabregal ran right up to her reputation with a brilliant win in Sunday’s $10,000 ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
One of the best-credentialled greyhounds to ever contest the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s major event of the year, the black daughter of Fabregas x Allinga Aye Jay took her race record to 34 wins from 58 starts and more than $160,000 in prizemoney.
Fabregal was expected to improve after her first look at the track last week when winning a heat in 29.87 seconds – and improve the $2.60 favourite did – in front rounding the first before running away to score a 2¼ length win over the $34 rank outsider Arabella Figg with a further 2½ lengths back to Mojito Mayhem.
And the winner’s time of 29.78 seconds was a race record, eclipsing the 29.81 seconds run by the Kevin Mugavin trained Rich Shiraz back in 2012.
Owned at Tumby Bay by Terry McCallum, Fabregal is trained by Robyn Mackellar who broke a 20-year Lake Terrace East venue male training dominance when becoming the first female to win the Mount Gambier Cup.
Female trainers had fared slightly better at the original greyhound track out at Glenburnie with Joan Cruise successful in the inaugural event in 1981 with Tara Topar and Connie Miller winning the 1987 and 1988 cups with Durafi and Mitchell Boy.
Mackellar’s Mount Gambier Cup quest started back in 2014 when second-placed Dee Dee Corsair ran Veetee Express to two lengths in a then near-record 29.82 seconds.
Then the following year Barnes Bay and Lobo Loco ran third and fourth respectively behind Lots Of Yap and Bourne Again.
As far as this year was concerned it was a case of Mackellar going out on a winning note with Fabregal confirmed as changing kennels as early as next week.
“Yes, due to some health issues I’m cutting my team back and she’ll be relocating to Lyn Smith who is based at Nambrok in Victoria,” she said.
Arabella Figg, who chased Fabregal throughout, ran a terrific race for Southern Cross trainer Peter Byrne.
By Kinloch Brae, she is out of 12-race winner Finlandia’s fourth litter and owned at Buckley by Ian Cockerell who also owns and trains a couple of handy littermates in Igor Karkaroff (15 wins, $100,000) and Polijuice Potion (18 wins, $140,000).
And how about Mojito Mayhem – he gave it his best shot for owner Barry Priest and trainer Peter Franklin when travelling in third spot throughout.
Returning from usually career-ending injuries, the black dog won a heat of the Christmas Cup and then a cup heat last week before attempting to become the first greyhound to win two Mount Gambier Cups.
He lost no friends with his effort on Sunday and with two Anniversary Cups and a Mount Gambier Cup to his credit there haven’t been too many better greyhounds than Mojito Mayhem go around Tara Raceway.