Three-year-old Archie’s birthday party, held at yesterday’s Tara Raceway greyhound meeting, certainly drew a crowd of family and friends.
And they couldn’t have hoped for a better day. Finally, the sun was shining. The grassed surrounds were in magnificent order and the TAB shade umbrellas were required to come out of storage.
Even leading trainer Tracie Price – no joy at Angle Park on Thursday night with Giant’s Flash but successful at Gawler the following day with Aussie Swiper and Ebby Tock – entered into the spirit of the day.
After Mister Banjo had scored an all the way win over Newport Flyer in a quick 22.87 seconds in the Gambier Vets Juvenile Stake (400 metres), Price arranged with steward Stan Bright for Archie and his mates to be photographed with the winner.
Also on track yesterday was Morphett Vale trainer Damien Smith and his family.
Smith, successful at Angle Park on Saturday morning with Potch, also brought down Katoni and Bruce Mick Glenn to race at Tara Raceway.
While the greyhounds both ran unplaced, his kids, who arrived with helmet in one hand and scooter in the other, seemed unperturbed as they took advantage of the ground’s pathways for their scootering.
Meanwhile, a boisterous rendition of Happy Birthday could be heard being sung to Archie. Seems they don’t call Tara Raceway the family-friendly track for nothing.
From a greyhound racing perspective, it was the Bartholomew family who shared the honours.
First starter Victor Alfred, engaged in the first heat of the Produce Store Maiden Stake (400 m), made an impressive debut for Lee Bartholomew when defeating another first starter in Bourne Bully by three lengths in 23.20 seconds.
Bred by her husband Steve, Victor Alfred is by Elite State out of Dusty Pearl, a winner of eight races ranging in distance from 400 metres to 600 metres at Tara Raceway.
Later in the day, the Steve Bartholomew trained Mary Bridget resumed after a 3½ month break with a dashing all the way 2¼ length win over Aston Marlon in a best of day 22.77 seconds in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 m).
By US sire Flying Stanley out of Galactic Cat, Mary Bridget was named after the trainer’s mother and Victor Alfred after his late father.
In race 11, the Carlin & Gazzard MG Stake (400 m), Unique Pearl, a litter brother to Victor Alfred – and trained by daughter Elysia Bartholomew – kept his unbeaten record intact when leading all the way to defeat Crafter Road by four lengths in 23.15 seconds and bring up his third win.