Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Since April 10, 2011 when Robert Halliday’s Half Way Home ran 29.79 seconds, it’s been easy enough to keep up with the steady drop in times of the 512 metre track record at Tara Raceway.
Prior to that, though, there’s a frustrating lack of documentation in regard to just how fast the better greyhounds were running around the Lake Terrace East venue.
However, we can tell you that the fastest time run at the opening meeting on January 25, 1997 was 30.95 seconds by a dog called Bigbad Ray, trained at Port Fairy by John Shanahan.
To add to the frustrations was the fact that many Tara Raceway race books in the 2000s neglected to mention the track record holders although by 2005 it can be confirmed that another Halliday greyhound in Iza Rule held the record at 29.86 seconds.
Half Way Home took the record off Gary Lane’s Mantra Miss who held the record at 29.80 seconds while at the same time holding the 732 metre record at 44.20 seconds.
Later, Mantra Miss, a beautifully bred daughter of Malfoy x Al Fresco, produced Miss Jacovella who on August 14, 2015 ran a Tara Raceway 600 metre track record of 35.08 seconds.
Half Way Home’s record would stand for close to three years until Tom Sinnott’s Dub Me In (Lonesome Cry x On Shore) ran 29.62 seconds on March 14, 2014.
But that time would stand for only a few months, David Peckham’s Thanks Tubby, a daughter of Superman and Irish Fantasy running 29.60 seconds on a Friday afternoon in early June.
And it would be another three years before this time was lowered in what turned out to be a remarkable seven days of greyhound racing at Tara Raceway.
First, on June 11, 2017, the Jeff Guy trained Paraphernalia, a son of Big Daddy Cool and Scrappy Coco, broke his own 600 metre record when running 34.97 seconds, while three races later his litter sister Brazen Bomber gained a run as a reserve and gave the Horsham trainer his second track record on the day – the black bitch running 29.55 seconds for the 512 metre journey.
A week later – one week, mind you – Guy lost both records in the space of a half hour to Peter Franklin trained greyhounds.
McIvor Verna demolished a 0-4 wins field over 600 metres, eventually winning by 12½ lengths in 34.84 seconds while Mojito Mayhem, one of the better greyhounds to have gone around Tara Raceway in recent times, finally got the 512 metre track record with a run of 29.52 seconds.
By the time this year’s Mount Gambier Cup came around Lektra Stomp and Hutch, another Halliday-trained greyhound, were running sub-29.60 second times – Lektra Stomp giving Phil Lenehan his first record holder as a trainer when running 29.45 seconds in a cup heat on March 11.
Lektra Stomp returned in a blaze of glory to Tara Raceway last week, winning by 12 lengths and in the process lowering his record to 29.35 seconds.
So as things stand at the moment from a track record point of view, Magic Assassin’s 277 metre record looks pretty safe considering this distance is not currently being run; Cryer’s Ricky’s 22.78 seconds for 400 metres has stood for more than two years and it will take pretty fair greyhounds to knock over McIvor Verna’s 600 metre time and the 732 metre record of Nellie Noodles.
Although who knows what the forthcoming track upgrade will bring?