From a Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year point of view it was a case of local owner Michael Robinson and Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell gaining some extra breathing room after Perseverance won her first race in two months.
Perseverance, despite a quieter second half to the year, still held a one point lead over Dyna Carnie in the GOTY when she lined up from box seven in Thursday’s Rock’s Tavern Stake (512 metres).
And with Exciting Times looking to make every post a winner as he opened up a handy break down the back straight, Perseverance was required to dig deep before getting up for a three-quarters of a length win in 30.37 seconds.
The daughter of Dyna Double One and Miss Freelove had briefly hit the front in the GOTY in May before taking over again in July and leading the way ever since. The 4, 2, 1 points scoring system now gave her a handy five points lead.
Dyna Carnie, raced by leading SA owners Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman and trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, is twice the age of Perseverance and has raced twice as many times in a career that began three years ago with a win at The Meadows in Victoria.
By Kelsos Fusileer out of Xylia Allen, Dyna Carnie was the GOTY leader for a couple of weeks in February and then for a five-week period during April and May. He needed a win in Thursday’s Winmore Greyhound Kennels Open Stake (400 m) to remain in touch.
But he also set himself a fair task, slowly away from box seven before finishing over the top of kennelmate High Kings and winning by a length in 23.36 seconds. So still there remains one point separating the GOTY leaders.
Perseverance and Dyna Carnie’s wins on Thursday also have them well placed to gain a spot in the Tara Trackstar No. 2, a one-off race which will be run over 512 metres in early January for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between July and December.
Other greyhounds in contention – although there will be considerably more by the end of next month – include Elle Limes, Black Spring, Saint Maddie, Tandiki and Falcon Heavy.
Past winners of the Trackstar have been the Peckham-trained pair Flash Jackie and Dyna Naitch and Steve Bartholomew’s Galactic Athena.
Robinson, a Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club life member, has enjoyed a terrific year with four locally-bred greyhounds that were purchased as pups from Compton breeders Tracie and Karen Price.
Perseverance has won 10 races this year at Tara Raceway while her litter sister Vossy has won on six occasions. Littermates Tandiki and Rocketline, by Peter Rocket x Headline, locally have won nine and four races respectively.
Also enjoying the ride has been fellow local owner Willie Vossen who races all but Perseverance in partnership with Robinson.