Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Fortnightly time-graded race meetings, introduced for lower-grade greyhounds in order that they may continue to gain starts against opposition of a similar standard while also collecting guaranteed prizemoney, are proving pretty popular at Tara Raceway.
These are the Friday meetings that carry similar total prizemoney as normal race meetings but with the distribution differing inasmuch that all runners receive prizemoney from $400 down to $70 each for the last four to finish.
So, for example, if a trainer has one dog engaged that runs fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth then he or she will not only pick up a $60 trainer’s rebate but also $70 unplaced prizemoney. Even more, of course, if that runner happens to finish in the top four.
And for the trainer with a trailer-load, the $60 rebate is still there, while the total pay day could be anything up to $1000 – and that’s without a winner.
Even better, the races are non-penalty which means that many of the greyhounds can come back and do it all again a couple of weeks later – in the same grade.
Little wonder that many – although, it must be said, certainly not greyhound racing die-hards from an era now long gone – are referring to the time-graded meetings as the happy days of greyhound racing. Every player wins a prize, if you like.
While these meetings are unlikely to unearth too many future Group 1 winners, they do from time to time come up with a feel-good story, as was the case at Tara Raceway last Friday with the Jenner family and their greyhound Elgrande Rebel.
Nathan and Kerry Jenner had run third with Elgrande Rebel at Tara Raceway back in October and after following up with thirds at Bendigo and Ballarat decided to make the 300 kilometre trip from Landsborough, situated at the foot of the Pyrenees Ranges in Western Victoria, back to Mount Gambier.
Lining up from box one in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 metres), the daughter of El Grand Senor and La Shi Ra was pretty short at $1.75, especially considering she’d been a $31 chance at her last start from box one over 390 metres.
But Elgrande Rebel – another one raced by the Chasing Gold Greyhound Syndicate – won like an odds-on favourite should, leading all the way to defeat Garnet by three lengths in 24.24 seconds and bringing up her first win in 11 starts.
For Kerry Jenner, involved in the sport virtually all her life, it was her first winner at Tara Raceway and her third this year for Chasing Gold after Chabbay Laray had previously won two races over 390 metres at Ballarat.
Meanwhile, hanging over the finish line fence and fervently cheering on Elgrande Rebel to victory were the Jenner kids – Marcos 13, Zoe 9 and Ebony 4 – quickly onto the track afterwards to join an equally as excited Nathan and Kerry for a photograph with the winner.
For the Jenner family this was indeed a happy day at the greyhound track.