Wednesday, April 15, 2020
When Shima Mart made the long trip from Allendale East to Angle Park on Monday to contest a 388 metre event it was pretty well 12 months to the day since he had last won a race – at the same venue as it turned out but over 515 metres.
A long-term injury sustained in a race at Horsham soon after had owners Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman ultimately transfer the beautifully bred son of Fernando Bale and Shimaguni to local trainer David Peckham.
But several months later Shima Mart was down for the count again after injuring himself in a trial at Tara Raceway. Three months later and another trial and once again he was off the scene for what would have seemed like an eternity for his long-suffering connections.
At the beginning of April, though, the brindle dog – a winner of 13 races and more than $40,000 in stakemoney – completed a satisfactory trial and, fingers crossed, he was ready to go.
First up was always going to be a tough ask, especially when running into 2019 Mount Gambier Cup winner Galactic Athena over 400 metres at Tara Raceway last week.
However, he came out of the race unscathed, the never-one-to-die-wondering Peckham backing up Shima Mart four days later at Monday night’s Angle Park meeting where he led all the way from box one to defeat Sir Julian by 1¾ lengths in 22.51 seconds.
Shima Mart is one of 14 runners Peckham has engaged at tomorrow’s eight-race program and appears well placed in the Bourne Kennels Stake (400 m) from box eight – Tracie Price’s Vossy and the Dean Fennell trained General Max looking two of the hardest to beat.
Meanwhile, the Greyhound Racing SA decision to quarantine local greyhounds will impact on the forthcoming Howard Ashton series that will be run at Angle Park.
Already GRSA has advised that the Ashton series will continue as advertised in May with stakemoney remaining as advertised with the controlling body believing that the series was an important one for breeders and owners alike.
The paid-up series is restricted to SA bred greyhounds whelped between January and June 2018 with heats of the Group 3 Howard Ashton to be run over 515 metres at Angle Park on May 13 with semi-finals on May 21 and the final a week later.
However, with current quarantining in place in the south-east, GRSA will now need to work with the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club to discuss exemptions for affected connections of paid-up local greyhounds.
As things stand at the moment, until the quarantine is lifted, all local trainers will now be confined to racing solely at Tara Raceway.
The final two races at tomorrow’s Tara Raceway meeting are the best – Steve Bartholomew’s Galactic Athena likely to be too good for her five Peckham-trained rivals in The Border Watch Mixed Stake (512 m).
And in the Greyhound-Data.com Open Stake (512 m), Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell’s Perseverance will take on Peckham’s Squishy Pea, Dyna Carnie, Missing Mate and Dyna Naitch.
Owned by long-time local participant Michael Robinson, Perseverance put in a top effort at Tara Raceway last week to finish over the top of Dyna Alistair, running a smart 29.98 seconds for the 512 metre journey.
Perseverance then went around at Murray Bridge over 455 metres on Sunday night, working home well to finish fifth, beaten only 3¾ lengths.
“It wasn’t a bad run at Murray Bridge but she loves Tara Raceway and while this is a pretty good field I’m expecting her to go well,” Robinson said.