Thursday, January 3, 2019
The Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden will once again be one of the highlights of racing at Tara Raceway this month – heats of the 512 metre event run on Sunday, January 13 and the final a week later.
However, trainers should keep in mind that if insufficient nominations are received to run at least two heats then a one-off final will be conducted on Sunday, January 20 with preference given to original nominators.
The Sims Feature Maiden, which has been run in various formats over a number of years, was first conducted as a memorial event in 2013 when won by the Cap Abbott trained Arbour Darby in 30.71 seconds.
Subsequent winners have been Benara Cosmic (Tracie Price) 30.33 seconds, Andy Jay (Toni Jones) 30.31 seconds, Rowchester Star (Nicole Stanley) 30.60 seconds and in 2017 McIvor Neville (Peter Franklin) 30.64 seconds.
In last year’s memorial, Paul Herry’s Got Some Cheek gave the popular Mortlake trainer his first feature win when defeating fellow Mortlake trainer Peter Crawley’s Bomber Creek by a head in 30.52 seconds.
The Sims name is synonymous with greyhound coursing and track racing in the South East – Col Sims, ably assisted by his wife Val, enjoying great success at coursing and having no trouble in turning his hand to mechanical lure racing when it was introduced in Mount Gambier in 1979.
He was on the South East Greyhound Racing Club committee when racing commenced at Glenburnie and in 1978 was the first to be awarded life membership of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club Inc.
Col Sims also won the final Mount Gambier Cup run at Glenburnie in 1996 with the speedy front-running Colin Ian before winning the first Anniversary Cup conducted at the Lake Terrace East venue in 1997 with Becker McLaren.
Nominations for the 2019 Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden will close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 8 with Greyhound Racing SA.
Meanwhile, the 2019 racing season kicks off on Sunday at Tara Raceway with the main race, the New Year’s Gift (512 m), attracting an interesting line-up, including 2018 Greyhound of the Year Paraphernalia who has drawn box one.
The race also includes 2017 Christmas Cup winner Hit The Runway who hasn’t raced since September, along with last start 512 metre 29.81 seconds winner Usain Insane and 2018 Christmas Cup placegetter Springvale Alysa who is racing at Angle Park tonight.
And there will be plenty of interest in the Greg Martlew Autos Free For All (400 m) with Cryer’s Harper attempting to win her fifth consecutive short-course race at Tara Raceway.