After a couple of recent handy minor placings over 512 metres at Mount Gambier’s Tara Raceway, Enchanting opened her winning account at the local track last Sunday for Myrniong trainer Mark Giddings.
Stepping up to the 600 metres distance on the back of a third-placing over 595 metres at Sandown Park, Enchanting was looking to win her first race since last November when taking on a handy middle-distance field in the Produce Store Mixed Stake.
Picked up last September by Clint Alleway and Joel Morizzi, well-known in Adelaide sporting circles, the fawn bitch led all the way from box two, eventually running out a length winner over Montaya with a further length back to Close Your Eyes in a smart time of 35.14 seconds.
As an aside, Montaya, trained by Peter Franklin, is a half-sister to McIvor Verna, his former 600 metres record holder (34.84 seconds). And the record of the Nicole Stanley trained Close Your Eyes over 600 metres at Tara Raceway now stands at one win and 17 minor placings from 22 starts.
Giddings is now hoping to make a distance dog out of Enchanting who is by Rivergum Drive, certainly no high profile sire but one with a handy race record of 16 wins for $66,000 in stakemoney accumulated on Victorian and NSW tracks.
“She’s out of Kiltah Magic who won middle-distance races at Sandown Park, The Meadows, Ballarat, Horsham and Sale. She also won over the distance at Wentworth Park and The Meadows so I’m hopeful that she may measure up over a bit more ground,” he said.
And the 27-year-old Giddings certainly knows what it’s all about to have a top staying greyhound in his hands.
Backtrack to 2014 and the former race track steward had been looking for a greyhound to kick start his training career. What followed after his purchase of a greyhound called Lioness Lulu was quite remarkable.
A daughter of Big Daddy Cool and Jackie’s Capri, Lioness Lulu came on the market for $2000 after having been through the hands of four trainers and winning only one race at Bendigo in a handful of starts.
All told, she would race on 77 occasions, winning nine races, running 30 minor placings and earning stakemoney that came close to $150,000.
Out of nowhere came the 2016 Group 1 Association Cup (720 m) at Wentworth Park. Lioness Lulu was a $24 chance when defeating Whittaker in a heat but much shorter when beating the same greyhound in the $75,000-to-the-winner final a week later.
A heat win in the Galaxy at Perth’s Cannington track and a placing in the Group 1 Super Stayers at The Meadows were to follow.
While Tara Raceway’s meeting was a far cry from the bright lights of Wentworth Park for Giddings – accompanied on Sunday by Kurt Burger-Trudgett and Jason Hardy – he did recall that Lioness Lulu had spent much of her early career racing at Victorian Tier 3 meetings.
Incidentally, Lioness Lulu whelped her first litter in August last year to Fabregas.
Enchanting was the second leg of a running double for Giddings, Alleway and Morizzi after reserve runner Honey Edition, a daughter of another little-known sire in Blue Giant, gained a start in the Commercial Hotel Stake (400 m).
Honey Edition, chasing her first win this year, stalked Another Cadillac until the home turn where she took over the running before holding out Burger-Trudgett’s Leeroy Bomber to win by a head in 23.38 seconds.
Looking at freshening up their greyhounds, Giddings and his team’s recent decision to include Tara Raceway and its finish-on-lure in their regular road trips is a move that is continuing to pay dividends for the 50-dog operation.