Tuesday, May 21, 2019
The family-friendly sport of greyhound racing certainly doesn’t get any friendlier than that of the Mackareth family and their support of Azumi Spirit.
Local electrician Adam Mackareth is a one-dog owner-trainer and whenever Azumi Spirit is engaged at Tara Raceway his wife Kerry, children Coco and Summer, mum Jo and Ian and Val Kenny are at the track to cheer on the daughter of Dyna Tron and Azumi Touch.
And they had plenty to cheer about at last Sunday’s meeting when she led all the way in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 metres) to defeat Five Times Table by 6¼ lengths in a flying 22.99 seconds.
In fact, Azumi Spirit’s time was the fastest run this year over Tara Raceway’s short course since January’s opening meeting when Cryer’s Harper recorded 22.96 seconds.
Looking for a greyhound to race late last year after his previous one had been retired, Mackereth was offered Azumi Spirit by the Bartholomew family of Worrolong, the brindle bitch having now won three races this year – all over 400 metres.
“It was a generous offer on the part of Steve and Lee (Bartholomew) and I really appreciated it,” Mackereth said.
While Azumi Spirit had won two 512 metre races prior to her new trainer taking over, Mackereth said he was of the opinion that perhaps she wasn’t all that comfortable going into the first turn.
“Even though she had run several minor places for me she always seemed to be giving away big starts when coming out of the first turn and heading into the back straight,” he said.
“But it was only after she sustained a minor injury in early March and then trialled well several weeks later over 400 metres, which starts on a bend, that I decided to nominate her for a short-course race.
“So far it’s working well. She has now had four starts over 400 metres in April-May for two wins (22.99, 23.17) and two seconds.”
For the first time in her racing career of 29 starts, Azumi Spirit will now have a change of track when Mackereth heads to Murray Bridge on Sunday for a heat of a grade six series over 455 metres, her trainer hoping the one-bend track will suit her style of racing.