Five distance races have now been run at Tara Raceway since their resumption on Sunday, October 31. And the 732-metre events have thrown up five different winners.
However, it’s been Lewiston trainer Clint Trengove and his Two Wells-based nephew Jack Trengove who have dominated the staying races – Jack winning the first distance race in two years at the track with Criminal in 43.76 seconds.
The fastest winner since the resumption has been the Tracie Price trained Whole Way who defeated Stellar Stone on November 7 in 43.47 seconds – just short of Nellie Noodles’ long standing track record of 43.45 seconds.
But Jack Trengove’s Stellar Stone turned the tables the following week when winning in 43.75 seconds.
Winning the past two “Back to Distance” races have been Clint Trengove’s Born A Runner on November 21 in 44.17 seconds and Frankie Boy (43.68 seconds) in last Sunday’s Park Hotel Stake.
The beautifully bred Frankie Boy who is by Fernando Bale out of Rhonda Rocks – also the dam of Sennachie and Alfieri, to name but a couple – was chasing his second consecutive distance win after a 730 metres success at Angle Park several nights earlier.
Tearaway leader Whole Way gave Frankie Boy plenty to chase early but Trengove’s brindle dog finished strongly in the home straight for a 2¼ lengths win over Price’s gallant chaser.
Distance racing is certainly where the money is. Frankie Boy has now won $14,000 from his nine starts. But as Trengove explained, things could have been so much different.
“Ron Murch, of Pennington, bred and owned Frankie Boy but after three trainers in Victoria couldn’t get him going he asked me if I wanted the dog as a giveaway. Failing that, he would place him in the Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) program.
“I train a few dogs for Ron so I decided to have a go with him and pass on 10% of his earnings, if in fact there were any. He certainly was a timid dog so initially I spent plenty of time with him trying to get his confidence.
“I reckon I gave him eight or nine trials and he kept getting quicker and growing in confidence. Needless to say, that night at the end of September when he won at Angle Park over 530 metres at his second start was a big thrill.”
And Peter Crawley, of Mortlake, was finally able to cross the border and tackle a 732 metre race with Mick’s Kimmy. She’s a daughter of Barcia Bale and the city-winning stayer Mick’s Angel who won the 2018 Mount Gambier Cup Day Back to Distance Racing Stake in 43.94 seconds.
Mick’s Kimmy has won only two races from 70 starts and hasn’t won this year. But she’s definitely better suited to the staying journey as indicated last Sunday when she worked home well in third spot behind Frankie Boy and Whole Way.
Kicking off the 2022 racing season at Tara Raceway will be the $3000 Nellie Noodles New Year’s Gift which will be run over 732 metres on Sunday, January 2.
Meanwhile, Pat and Patricia Bouchier of Dennington also made a welcome return to Tara Raceway last Sunday with Tali Tails, a daughter of US sire SE Tali Sundance and Folk Tails, a 720 metre Wentworth Park winner.
The Bouchiers had last been at the Mount Gambier track in early 2020 when successful with Bisenti over the 600 metre journey.
Pat Bouchier’s association with the breed actually goes back to when he was training Folk Tails’ litter brother Can Can Hurrican, a Sandown Park winner over 715 metres.
Later, the Bouchiers, who set their sights on a white and black pup that later raced as Tali Tails, looked after Folk Tails’ litter of seven bitches for several months for Cranbourne West breeder Martin Absalom.
But as Patricia Bouchier related last Sunday, it was always going to be touch and go as to whether Tali Tails would ever see a racetrack.
“She was probably only about four months old at the time when she smashed a kneecap. That, of course, necessitated reconstructive surgery with no guarantees that she would ever race.
“For a long time after we held our breath every time we let her off the lead, just hoping that everything would hold up. She’s now won two races from 10 starts and it goes without saying that both wins have given us a tremendous thrill.”
Tali Tails drew box four in the Mount Gambier Hotel Stake (600 m) and led all the way, eventually defeating Pocket Boy by six lengths in a better than handy 35.18 seconds.
And that in itself makes for a pretty good tale.