Thursday, February 20, 2020
There is nothing quite like hammering home an advantage, when you have one.
And widely-travelled Lara trainer Rob Camilleri and his partner Deb Coleman will be looking to do just that when they return to Tara Raceway for next month’s Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup heats (512 metres) with a strong team of greyhounds.
Heading their team will be Slingshot Hammer, who figured in that memorable 2019 Mount Gambier Cup final, leading from box one for much of the journey before being run down in the shadows of the post by local hope Galactic Athena in a race record time of 29.43 seconds.
However, the ensuing 12 months have been pretty good for the June 2016 son of Fernando Bale x Little Hammer, with a further 16 wins and $120,000 taking his overall stakemoney earnings to more than $220,000.
Camilleri said Slingshot Hammer, who acquitted himself well in last Saturday night’s Group 1 Temlee (525 m) at The Meadows, would now contest a heat of the TAB Australian Cup (525 m) at The Meadows this Saturday night.
“He’s another year older, but still very competitive and loves to race,” he said.
“Everything going to plan we’ll be looking at bringing more runners over this year, including Shima Breeze, Awesome Catch, Immediate and possibly a couple of young ones if they continue to show improvement.”
Shima Breeze, who is raced by SA owners Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman, was off the scene for much of 2019 but this year has run 24.83 seconds over 450 metres at Warrnambool, 29.42 seconds (515 m) at Angle Park and 29.16 seconds (515 m) at Sandown Park.
A winner of 19 races and close to $100,000 in prizemoney, the son of Fernando Bale x Shimagumi will also contest a heat of the Australian Cup on Saturday night.
Awesome Catch, also owned by Aloisi and Lehman, defeated Immediate in the Group 3 Gawler Cup (530 m) in November, while in January he was a finalist in the Group 2 Warragul Cup (460 m) and won the John Gray Memorial (515 m) at Angle Park.
The 36 kilogram black dog has now won 16 races and $83,000 in stakemoney, his latest win being last Sunday night at Sale where he ran a very quick 29.50 seconds over the 520 metre journey prior to him contesting a Mixed Stake (525 m) at The Meadows this Saturday night.
From a Mount Gambier Cup point of view, Awesome Catch’s pedigree – Fabregas x Veetee Express – is interesting.
It was in the Mount Gambier Cup final of 2014 when the Vince Tullio owned Veetee Express took the lead on the home turn before running out a two length winner over Dee Dee Corsair in 29.82 seconds for Devon Meadows trainer Paul Anderton.
Immediate, a son of Barcia Bale x Sticka Size is another one raced by Aloisi, this time in partnership with Damien Bates, and trained by Coleman.
A winner of 18 races and $58,000 in stakemoney, the black dog was a quick sub-25 second 450 metres winner at Shepparton earlier this month prior to wins at Sandown Park and Angle Park in January.