The win of Reality Pest in last Thursday’s Metal Worx Stake (400 metres) marked the welcome return of former long-time Mount Gambier regular Michael Niele.
In fact, one of his last appearances at Tara Raceway had been with his former handy performer Fireball Jack back on June 19, 2016 when the son of Hutmaker and Spellbound narrowly defeated Old Jock over 600 metres.
Some years earlier he had won the 2003 Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) with Monstropolis. The son of Zealous Guy x Killarney Cue defeated Robert Halliday’s Welcome Rule in the final – run on the Adelaide Cup holiday Monday in May after the heats had been decided on the Saturday.
Reality Pest, who is raced by her breeders Michael and Melinda Tharle of Devon Meadows, never looked in any danger when leading all the way. She defeated Peter Fulton’s Blazing Rocks – a winner at Ballarat three days’ earlier – by 2¼ lengths in 23.51 seconds.
The winner is by Cutting Edge out of 11-race winner Pop’s Pest, a daughter of Fear Zafonic and the Northfield-bred Miss Grub who won 24 races and $253,000 in stakemoney.
A Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club sponsor, Niele is based at Berringa (about 40 km from Ballarat) where he runs the Berringa Park Boarding Kennels in partnership with his wife Vicki.
Earlier in the day, Fulton, hampered for much of last year by border restrictions, landed his first winner at Tara Raceway in 12 months when Joffa’s Liberty led all the way to defeat Shim’s Heart by 1½ lengths in a handy 30.19 seconds.
Joffa’s Liberty was bred at Nullawarre by Geoff Wickham who races the daughter of Mepunga Blazer x Joffa’s Old Girl in partnership with his wife Vicky and daughter Kirsty.
Fulton, a 28-year-old dairy farmer from Ecklin South, has held a trainer’s licence for eight years and currently has 12 greyhounds in work. He rates two of his better dogs in that time as Mick’s Advice and Noosa Parade.
“Mick’s Advice, like Joffa’s Liberty, is one of Barry Smith’s outstanding ‘Mepunga’ line. He was a city winner at The Meadows and all told won more than $40,000 in stakemoney,” he said.
“Noosa Parade ended up going around on 130 occasions and winning over both 600 metres and 732 metres at Mount Gambier.”
It was something of a family day at Tara Raceway last Thursday when Mark, Catherine and Christian Roberts, of Terang, won the first three races with Lubbock Lad, Hunca Munca and Impatient Arty.
And Parwan husband and wife team, Lew and Julie Green, were successful with Dazz Desire, Pat The Tiger and Bourbon Louie.