Monday, May 6, 2019
G-SIX racing, promoted as an exciting and innovative trial of six-dog racing at selected SA greyhound tracks – Angle Park, Gawler and Mount Gambier – commenced at Tara Raceway last Thursday afternoon with a 12-race time-graded meeting.
With the G-SIX trial comes the introduction of weekly Thursday afternoon meetings in Mount Gambier to complement the regular Sunday afternoon meetings (formerly eight-dog racing) which will also be run with six dogs per race.
And with cleaner racing and less interference being one of the major selling points of the G-SIX, it’s probably fair to say that racing at Tara Raceway last Thursday was all it was cracked up to be.
G-SIX racing is set down for a three-month trial although there’s unlikely to be too many surprised participants if at the end of this period racing continues with boxes three and six remaining vacant.
“We are confident that this format of racing is capable of driving numerous benefits back to the trainers, breeders and owners,” said Matt Corby, Greyhound Racing SA’s CEO.
Second-starter Stray Cat, trained at Mumbannar by Monty Wilson, was SA’s first G-SIX winner, leading all the way to defeat Dappled Light by 2½ lengths in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 metres) in 23.60 seconds.
By Magic Sprite out of Smouldering Doll, a five-race winner that included success at The Meadows, Stray Cat is raced by Heathmere owner Garry “Moncho” Marshman who bred the black bitch in partnership with Clint Jonasson.
It was Wilson’s second success with a member of the May 2017 litter, Cleansing Ale winning at Tara Raceway in February.
From a punting perspective the theory is that at time-graded meetings any reserve runner gaining a start should be given serious consideration due to the “worst to best” grading system that is in place for all races.
Sometimes it works. Like last Thursday when Ballet Creek gained a run from box seven in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (512 m) and led all the way to defeat Print The Money by eight lengths in 29.86 seconds – a time rarely run on a time-graded day, let alone by a giveaway.
Perhaps surprisingly, this was the son of Cosmic Rumble x Capella’s first success since last September. He was also the second winner on the day for Wilson – his last double almost 12 months ago with Miss Zorro and Ballet Creek’s litter brother Drysdale Creek.
Warrnambool one-dog trainer Kevin Finn, who enjoys his share of success when crossing the border, was among the winners again last Thursday with a big black dog by the name of Blackjack Cruise.
And as is always the case, members of the family were also on course to cheer on their latest acquisition.
Actually, this is a real family affair, Kevin undertaking the training for The Three Gen Syndicate which comprises wife Lorraine, daughter Marita Byron and grandson Anthony Laing-Smith.
Their previous greyhound had been Destini Montana, retired in February after winning two races over 512 metres and also two 600 metre events at Tara Raceway as well as enjoying success at Ballarat and Geelong.
“Dad likes to keep active and have a greyhound to train so after Destini Montana was retired we looked around for another one to race,” Byron said.
“When Blackjack Cruise, a winner of four races at Horsham, Bendigo and Geelong, came up for sale for $500 on the internet we thought he might be worth a try.”
It certainly turned out to be a quick return for Finn and the syndicate, the son of Barcia Bale x Ella’s Cruising winning first up for them at Ballarat over 390 metres on March 18.
Several minor placings would then follow before Blackjack Cruise, looking well placed from box one in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m), led all the way to defeat Rebel Ruth by 1¼ lengths in a more than handy 30.17 seconds.
Noel Perry, training greyhounds for less than 12 months, landed his first double when half-brothers Our Menace and Mount Duke were successful at the time-graded meeting.
By My Bro Fabio x Sooky Suzie, Our Menace brought up his second win in less than a week when leading all the way in the Metal Worx Stake (400 m) to defeat Kracka Barcia by 2¼ lengths in 23.30 seconds.
But for the older half-brother Mount Duke (by Cosmic Rumble), it had been 10 months since he last won, the fawn dog appreciating the smaller field in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (512 m) when running down Trammel in the home straight for a 3½ length win in 30.48 seconds.