Thursday, April 26, 2018
Glencoe greyhound Galactic Viper’s win in the Ivor Dowdell Memorial final (400 metres) at Tara Raceway on Wednesday afternoon was surely a fitting result.
After all, the race – now in its second year – is run in memory of a man who was still training when in his early 90s and who had been generally regarded as the world’s oldest licensed greyhound trainer.
And the winner, owned and trained by Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard, turned five in February, making him one of very few greyhounds of that age to be still racing and winning at a TAB track anywhere in Australia.
The final attracted a good field with Mahlo Blackhawk, looking to open his Tara Raceway winning account after two recent second placings, taking up the early running over Dimora Flash and Galactic Viper.
But turning for home, both Dimora Flash and Galactic Viper were poised to make their moves – the latter finishing well along the rails to defeat Dimora Flash, who made his run out wide and failed by a head, while the early leader was a further head back in third spot in a winning time of 23.31 seconds.
Speaking at the presentation, an emotional Shepheard paid tribute to the son of Velocette x Magic Elite that has now raced on 121 occasions for 26 wins, 26 seconds and 12 thirds, marvelling that the black dog was still competing and winning at an age when most racing greyhounds have been retired.
Earlier at the ANZAC meeting, Spirited Bingle, lining up for her third start at Tara Raceway, had looked to be the omen tip of the day – her dam being Kokoda Spirit.
And the black bitch showed plenty of spirit, leading all the way in the Veterans Stake (400 m) for Portland trainer Robert Halliday, running out a 6¼ length winner over Galactic Shiraz in a best of day time of 23.05 seconds.
“Actually, she should be in gaol,” joked Halliday, referring to the fact that Spirited Bingle had previously copped convictions (for failing to chase) at Horsham and Bendigo.
“Mark Morrissey of Strathfieldsaye reckoned she had some ability and suggested the finish-on-lure at Tara Raceway as a means of perhaps switching her on,” he said.
Kokoda Spirit, winner of the 2013 Group 3 SA Oaks at Angle Park, is by Knocka Norris x Flaming Doll and a litter sister to former Tara Raceway 400 metre record holder Star Doll (23.05 sec.) and Guru Doll, the dam of Brinza and Odd Boots who Halliday has enjoyed success with.
And in December, Guru Doll whelped a litter of four dogs and three bitches to General Destini, this coming about after Halliday won a service to the beautifully bred sire as part of the winner’s prize when successful with Hutch in the 2017 Summer Classic at Tara Raceway.
Leading trainers Tracie Price and Nicole Stanley dominated the meeting with trebles – Price with Swift Limes, Blazing Moment and Banjo Queen while Stanley was successful with Joshy Wink Wink, Bereluke and Jan’s Star.