Monday, September 19, 2016
Compton greyhound Fear The Rascal finished too strongly to score a narrow win over a classy Life Members Gift field at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
Owned locally by Don Nunn and trained by Tracie Price, the white and blue dog, once finding the outside on the first turn from box five, always looked comfortable as he tracked Galactic Viper and Fiorelli Rose down the back.
And he was always going to be hard to hold out as he ranged up on the home turn before unleashing a strong finishing burst to grab the Nicole Stanley trained Fiorelli Rose on the line to win by a head in 30.22 seconds for the 512 metre journey.
The Barry Shepheard trained Galactic Viper, also owned locally by his breeder Robert Chuck, tried valiantly to lead all the way from box one and finished only a further half length back in third spot.
For Fear The Rascal, a son of Fear Zafonic and Shannah’s Star, the win was another feature success after the 2015 Christmas Cup (512 m) when he defeated Tear Away Moon and Upset Boy in 30.09 seconds.
He’s now set up nicely for a crack at the forthcoming SA Country Cup with Mount Gambier heats being run in early November prior to the $5000-to-the-winner final at Strathalbyn over 536 metres.
Fear The Rascal’s win was the middle leg of a treble for Price who earlier in the day won with Grumpy Jim and then ran the quinella in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m) with Marlow Moment and Real Moment crossing the line with only a nose between them.
Making the Life Members Gift presentation on Sunday was Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club president Steve Bartholomew, a life member of the club since 1998.
And Price was full of praise for the life members and their contribution to greyhound racing in the South-East.
“If it wasn’t for the efforts of our life members then we certainly wouldn’t be enjoying the facilities that we now have here at Tara Raceway.
“Greyhound racing has come a long way in Mount Gambier since its introduction in 1979 and we certainly owe our 32 life members a debt of gratitude.”
The Life Members Gift, a Free For All event, was instigated by 1994 life member Connie Miller in 2014 when the David Peckham trained Thanks Tubby was successful. Cryer’s Fred, a close-up fourth in Sunday’s event, was successful last year for Tom Cryer.
JIM’S NOT SO GRUMPY NOW
It’s taken something like 10 months but the Brad Creek-managed Greyhounds Are Us Syndicate has finally enjoyed success on the race track – with a dog called Grumpy Jim.
Lining up from box one in the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (400 m), the grumpy one was having his first race start but after leading all the way it was obvious that he’d been well-schooled by trainer Tracie Price.
By Bekim Bale out of Lucy’s Moment, the black dog is a litter brother to Price’s promising youngster Blazing Moment which went around in the following race but had no luck when as a $1.45 favourite he finished fourth.
The Greyhounds Are Us Syndicate comprises 18 members with the majority of them involved with the Port MacDonnell Football Club.
And according to Creek, Price had gone out of his way to ensure they found a greyhound that was capable of winning a race.
“We’d had a couple before Grumpy Jim but they didn’t work out from a racing point of view,” he said. “But Tracie urged us to hang in there and that he would find us a dog to race.
“He was as good as his word and with most of the syndicate having never previously been involved in the sport the win was a tremendous thrill for us all.”
Creek, along with Steve Scheidl, Scott Creek and Mark Smith were on track to cheer on Grumpy Jim as he strode to the line a comfortable 3½ length winner in 23.54 seconds.
And what about the name of the winner – Grumpy Jim?
“Well,” said Creek, “we actually named him after a local Port MacDonnell legend in James McGregor who can be a bit grumpy at times.”
Also revelling at Tara Raceway on Sunday were members of the Kingston Football Club who incorporated the meeting as part of their end of season trip.
BACK WITH A VENGEANCE
Sticking with a football theme. How about the return to Tara Raceway of Cairnlea Lewis?
Owned by Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley, Cairnlea Lewis is the dog that created a huge impression late last year when winning the Royal Fashion Maiden at Tara Raceway by close to 12 lengths in race record time.
He later found his way to Adelaide to race but after his form tapered off he recently returned to Grassmere and Peter Hubbard who had bred the son of Superman and Baurna Molly.
Cairnlea Lewis lined up in Sunday’s Allestree Holiday Units Stake (512 m) but looked to have the job ahead of him from box six and with Don Turner’s well-credentialled Adelaide chaser Lochling well drawn in the red.
By mid-race Lochling had established a huge break over Cairnlea Lewis, which had worked into second spot after an average start. But by the home turn it was game on.
And in the run home Cairnlea Lewis was simply too strong, crossing the line with 2¼ lengths to spare in an outstanding time of 29.77 seconds.
While the Turner-trained Marcling, a son of Lochinvar Marlow and Clinga, had won the previous race (the Produce Store Stake over 512 metres), spare a thought for Lochling which clocked 29.93 seconds and could manage only second.
A text to Hubbard from the holidaying Hinkley wasn’t long in coming. “Genius” was all it said.
Speaking after the race, Hubbard said he wasn’t sure of future plans for Cairnlea Lewis.
“At this stage I’m looking at coming back to Tara Raceway next weekend but he is currently advertised for sale at $6000 so we’ll just have to see how things play out.”
Cairnlea Lewis’s win was the second leg of a double for Hubbard who was also successful with first starter Little Showgun in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m).
Away only fairly from box four, Little Showgun quickly worked into second spot behind Azumi Swift and railed through on the home turn to finish strongly in his 4¼ length win in 30.50 seconds.
By Tomac Bale out of Serial Chiller, the 35 kilogram black dog was bred by Hubbard’s cousin, Paul Hubbard, and is one of many greyhounds starting to find their way down south due to the imminent closure of the sport in NSW.