Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Former top chaser on the comeback trail

Thursday, June 1, 2017

It’s now been close to 15 months since Ernest Bale strung together two wins over the 595 metre journey at Sandown Park.

Another 17 runs in Victoria were to follow without success before high-profile Adelaide owners Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman stepped in 11 months ago and purchased the son of Turanza Bale x Cara Bale.

Ernest Bale will make his long-awaited comeback at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

But after a frustrating run of injuries resulted in Ernest Bale still being off the track come the end of the year, Aloisi contacted Glencoe trainer Barry Shepheard to see if he was looking for a challenge.

“With a record of 69 starts for 18 wins, 21 minor placings and more than $105,000 in prizemoney I reckoned I didn’t have too much to lose,” Shepheard said this week.

For sure, Ernest Bale had been a seriously good greyhound, racing against the likes of Dyna Double One, Dundee Osprey, Moreira, Buck Forty and Dalgetty.

The rising four-year-old’s first public appearance for Shepheard was on May 14 when running a satisfactory trial over an unsuitable 400 metres in a pretty handy 23.33 seconds.

But it had been a painstaking five months of attention to detail and Tara Raceway trials leading up to that run, with Shepheard obviously having the dog about the mark from a weight point of view – 34.7 kilograms – the same as he had raced at back in July last year.

Ernest Bale’s long-awaited SA debut will take place at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon when he lines up from box eight in the first heat of the Klaassens Contractors Feature Grade Five (512 metres).

Main interest in the second heat will be whether the David Peckham owned and trained box five runner Anti Dentite can string together four consecutive wins.

It’s a feat rarely achieved although the Peckham trained Thanks Tubby twice won four races in a row at Tara Raceway during 2014.

Barry Shepheard and Amanda Darmanin with Trademark Jet after his maiden win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Aloisi and Lehman will also be hoping for further success after the Shepheard-trained Trademark Jet won last Sunday’s JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (512 m) in 30.64 seconds.

By Bit Chili out of three-race winner Fredrina Bale (Bartrim Bale x Dyna Beauty), Trademark Jet was bred by Aloisi but found his way down to Glencoe at the end of March after bad box manners had been costing him any chance of winning in Adelaide.

And while his box manners haven’t improved much, the brindle dog did gain a nice rails run going into the first turn last Sunday, settling much closer than normal which allowed him to finish over the top of Vision Of Beauty.

Trademark Jet will step up to 600 metres in Sunday’s South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake and although the distance should suit both Col’s Wallett and Cryer’s Plugger look hard to hold out.

Meanwhile, at tomorrow’s time-graded meeting, Kongorong trainer John Little has an interesting 18-month-old first starter by the name of Bungaloo Ruby in race one, the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (512 m).

Bred by Little, the blue bitch is by Addis Boy, a Group-winning son of Token Prince and 14-race Wentworth Park winner Fantasy Fortune, out of Camo’s Prinny.

By Regal Thyme x Camo’s Dollars, Camo’s Prinny won seven races at Tara Raceway including the 2013 Anniversary Cup (512 m) in 30.19 seconds for Tahara trainer Bernie Rogers.

Camo’s Dollars, who had a stack of trainers during her 59-start racing career, won over the 732 metre journey at Tara Raceway in March 2008 when being trained by John Cameron of Penshurst.

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