Thursday, April 27, 2017
The Ivor Dowdell Memorial, run as part of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s ANZAC meeting at Tara Raceway last Sunday, has now joined the club’s ever-growing list of annual races to be run in honour of club stalwarts.
The race will complement other memorial events run throughout the year, namely Newman McDonnell, Val and Col Sims, John Reid and Eric Lewis.
Ivor Dowdell, who died earlier this year, was still training greyhounds when in his nineties. In fact, he had been labelled the world’s oldest greyhound trainer, a tag that he had good-heartedly embraced.
And when you are the world’s oldest greyhound trainer you are allocated your own reserved table on race days in the clubrooms.
The ANZAC meeting seemed an ideal spot for the memorial with Dowdell serving in Borneo during World War II and being born on April 25.
Bar manager Dawn Kay, who had been instrumental in organising the reserved table, arranged for a perpetual plaque for the memorial and the Monty Wilson trained Lektra Excess will go down as the inaugural winner.
It was a fitting win, really, with Wilson, like Dowdell, happy to take on a giveaway on the off chance that perhaps a change of environment could turn the greyhound’s fortunes around.
And Wilson, like Dowdell before him, takes full advantage of the Tara Raceway slipping track to gallop his greyhounds.
Lektra Excess, who joined Wilson’s Mumbannar kennels as a maiden giveaway in February last year, certainly doesn’t lack anything when it comes to breeding, being by Magic Sprite out of Lektra Special, a Sandown Park and The Meadows winner – and boasting Elektra, a winner of $255,000 in prizemoney, as her grand-dam.
Now raced by Jen Wilson, Lektra Excess drew box one in the 400 metre grade five memorial and gave the husband and wife team their third win with the black bitch when leading all the way to score by 2½ lengths in 23.47 seconds.
This was Wilson’s second feature win at Tara Raceway, Boolite Bruiser deadheating with Richard Clayfield’s Upset Boy in the 2015 Iron Dog series.
Representing the Dowdell family at Tara Raceway for the memorial was son Terry, seated of course at the table reserved for the world’s oldest greyhound trainer.
LAST OF THE LINE
Owners Ann and Tom Sinnott of Yambuk were rewarded for their trip over to Tara Raceway last Sunday when Shore’s Last was successful on debut in the Lone Pine Stake (512 metres).
Slowly away from box six, Shore’s Last quickly worked into second spot behind Bushman’s Wish going out of the first turn before finishing the race off strongly to grab victory by a nose in a deceptive finish.
The win continued a successful partnership between the Sinnotts and Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield who is currently putting some Dyna Tron x Time And Tide (a half-sister to Shore’s Last) youngsters through their paces.
Not that Clayfield initially had been overly convinced about this June 2015 son of Kinloch Brae and On Shore – the only one in the litter as it turned out.
“Apparently Tom had had a few issues with him so when he asked me to have a go with the dog I was a bit reluctant and told him my kennels were full – which they were,” Clayfield said.
“Anyway, not long after I ran into him at the Koroit trial track and when he noticed I had a couple of spare trailer compartments he reckoned if I had spare trailer room then I must have a spare kennel. The rest is now history!”
One thing’s for sure, Shore’s Last is well named, as he is the last of prolific producer On Shore’s progeny.
By Waterview Star x Bally Kay, On Shore was a handy race track performer, winning 12 races on SA and Victorian tracks, but it was a brood bitch that she really made her mark.
She produced countless winners from matings to Where’s Pedro (twice), Lonesome Cry, Meticulous, Velocette and Fabregas, none better though than Up And Away (by Where’s Pedro), a winner of more than $184,000 on the track.