Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Great Scott! Trainer’s big day out

Kerry Hawker helps out Scott Millard with his four winners at Tara Raceway last Thursday. From right: Small Heath, Stand For Me, Skull and Marionvale Gal.

It’s now been 12 months since Kyneton trainer Scott Millard made his first five-hour trip over to Tara Raceway for a Thursday time-graded meeting. And as luck would have it, he went home a winner.

Back then he had been training greyhounds for 2½ years but said he was still a work in progress and trying to figure things out for himself.

Fast forward a year and Millard was back last Thursday with five runners. And it seems as though he’s figured a few things out for himself in that time given that he ended the day with four winners – Small Heath, Stand For Me, Skull and Marionvale Gal.

A son of Tommy Shelby and Victorian city winner Snooky, Small Heath was only fairly away from box eight in the Commercial Hotel TG1-4W Stake (305 metres) but quickly rounded up the field before running out a 4¼ length winner over Cadillac Racer in 17.95 seconds.

“He’s owned by a fellow Kyneton trainer in Jimmy Holt who has been most helpful to me along the way,” Millard said. “He had suggested Small Heath could be a good fit for Mount Gambier and as I make the occasional trips over here would I be interested in having a go with her.”

Millard is the fifth trainer for Stand For Me who led all the way from box one in the TG1-4W (400 m) when defeating Oscar Deeds by 3¼ lengths in 23.57 seconds.

By Fernando Bale, the black dog is out of Mayfair Miss who did the majority of her racing up the straight at Healesville.

“He’s now won two races since joining the kennels a bit over 12 months ago. But there have been quite a few minor placings and what I like about him is that he always puts in 100 per cent for me.”

The third winner of the day for Millard came in race nine, the Produce StoreTG5+W Stake (400 m), when Skull scored an impressive six length all the way win over Stormin’ Frank in the tidy time of 23.18 seconds.

Having his first start at Tara Raceway, Skull, a son of Fernando Bale and former handy chaser Sarah Swift, has now won 11 races, three of those since relocating to Kyneton at the beginning of the year.

And bringing up Millard’s best ever day at the track was Marionvale Gal who led all the way in the Exchange Printers TG1-4W Stake (400 m) and defeated Moon Stroller by two lengths in 23.42 seconds.

A year earlier when Millard had made his first trip to the Mount Gambier track he won the Gambier Vets Maiden Stake (305 m) with Marionvale Gal, a daughter of My Redeemer and Victorian city winner Moneypenny.

On that occasion she had chased Rose Of Terang for much of the journey before grabbing her in the shadows of the post for a head win in 18.20 seconds.

The maiden win had come at Marionvale Gal’s 30th race start, Millard having purchased her for $1000 after she had raced on five occasions for two minor placings at Shepparton.

Incidentally, it took Rose Of Terang another 12 months to open her winning account for Terang trainer Paul Herry. At last Thursday’s meeting she defeated Hotfoot Cuddles by three lengths in the Klaassens Contractors Maiden Stake (305 m).

Solid Ground wins the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 m) in a best of day 23.08 seconds for Ararat trainer Paul Hammerstein.

“I purchased the daughter of Tommy Shelby and Zipping Navy for $2000 after she had been broken-in and her first win was certainly a while coming,” Herry said. “She does possess early dash but any distance further than 305 metres seems to find her out.”

Ararat trainer Paul Hammerstein, whose last Tara Raceway winner had been with Limiting in last year’s Tankman 600 on Mount Gambier Cup day, found himself on solid ground in the Greg Martlew Autos TG1-4W Stake (400 m).

Away well from box six, his greyhound Solid Ground, a recent purchase from Toolleen trainer Daniel Pell, led all the way for a 2¾ length win over Knight Vader in a best of day 23.08 seconds.

“I’ve now had two wins with him and while he’s no superstar he certainly tries his heart out,” said Hammerstein.

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