Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Honey Rocks finds herself in the right place at the right time

The ANZAC Gift. From left, Mark Dwyer (MGGRC manager), Tony Harding (Vietnam veteran), Pat Sharam (standing in for trainer Tracie Price) and Noel Perry (MGGRC president) with Honey Rocks.

All things being equal, the best the connections of Honey Rocks could have hoped for was a spot on the reserve bench after running fifth from box eight in the first of two heats of the ANZAC Gift (512 metres) at Tara Raceway’s April 21 meeting.

But a 21 days stand down period for the heat winner, Come On Kilkenny, resulted in Honey Rocks gaining a start in the non-penalty ANZAC Day final. Not only that, for good measure, she also came up with box one.

And the daughter of Fernando Bale and Rhonda Rocks made every post a winner when leading all the way and defeating Saint Tommy by 7¾ lengths in a personal best time of 29.61 seconds.

The win was her 15th win in a 72 start career which also includes last year’s success in the $10,000 Summer Classic (512 m) at Tara Raceway.

Owned in Adelaide by Ron Murch, who also bred the fawn bitch, Honey Rocks is trained at Compton by Tracie Price who won the inaugural ANZAC Gift in 2022 with Giant’s Flash in 29.29 seconds.

Last year it was the David Peckham trained Aston Ziebell who led all the way when defeating the Price-trained Hooked On Love by a head in the same time as the previous year.

Once again, making the ANZAC Gift presentation was Hamilton-based participant Tony Harding, a Tara Raceway regular.

He had been conscripted as a 21-year-old and was based at Woodside for six months prior to serving as a rifleman in the 3rd Battalion RAR (Infantry) in Vietnam during 1967-1968.

Rob and Linda Gore, of Warrnambool, with Moonshine Annie, winner of the Gambier Vets Maiden Stake (400 m).

Meanwhile, ANZAC Day resulted in two-track success for Warrnambool couple Rob and Linda Gore’s Fernando Bale x My Girl Kizzy litter after Moonlight Annie and Pass Mark won at Tara Raceway and Sandown Park.

Chasing her first win at start number nine, Moonlight Annie settled in third spot in the Gambier Vets Maiden Stake (400 m). She then railed through on Jacaranda on the home turn before running out a strong three length winner in 23.52 seconds.

“The plan had always been to try and win a maiden and then step her up in distance because some of the litter are going pretty well over more ground,” Rob Gore said.

Later on ANZAC Day, Pass Mark won over 715 metres at Sandown Park and took his earnings to $50,000. Container, a winner of $14,000, recently ran second at The Meadows (600 m) while Veronica Lodge recently won at Hobart (461 metres) and took her earnings to $15,000.

By Mepunga Blazer out of Mepunga Rosie, My Girl Kizzy – a Sandown Park winner over 715 metres –raced on 47 occasions for 11 wins and $70,000 in prize money.

And making a welcome return to the winner’s list last Thursday was Top Cadillac, owned and trained at Edenhope by Cap Abbott.

Top Cadillac, a son of Feral Franky and Establish, was an $8000 purchase at 10 months of age. However, with 10 wins and four minor placings from 24 starts, the January 2022 black dog has accumulated more than $14,000 in prize money.

Kerry Hawker with Top Cadillac who returned to winning form in the Icon Signs TG5+W Stake (512 m).

But come the new year and Abbott’s nine-race winner appeared to have lost all form and it was decided to give him a break.

“The going was a bit tough when he returned in April so we then decided to try and gain a start at a time-graded meeting with the aim of using it as a confidence booster,” Abbott said.

With a time-graded rating of 6.5, Top Cadillac found himself in the Icon Signs TG5+W Stake (512 m) and looked reasonably well placed given the race rating range of 8.75 down to 6.

And when he took the lead from Circus Craze down the back it looked something like the Top Cadillac of old as he charged away to a 3¾ length win in a personal best time of 29.60 seconds.

“That was certainly better,” a beaming Abbott said after the race. “I’m still hopeful that he might have a 732 metre in him but I guess time will tell.”

Top Cadillac’s half-brother, Adelaide-based Sir Truculent, certainly had no trouble in running out the distance. He raced on 128 occasions for 46 wins and prize money of close to $442,000.

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