Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Kevin sets sights on a second McDonnell Memorial

Presentations to Quaran Care and Kevin Mugavin, trainer of Classic Moment, winner of the Quaran Tara Tipsters Cup.

Killarney owner-trainer Kevin Mugavin now has his sights on the Newman McDonnell Memorial after Classic Moment’s win yesterday’s Quaran Tara Tipsters Cup (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.

A $2.70 favourite, Classic Moment was only fairly away from box two before dashing to the lead down the back and then holding out Peter Franklin’s Moonlight Kiss to win by a neck in 29.87 seconds.

The one-off race for grade six greyhounds preceded the presentation to Quaran Care of a cheque, courtesy of the Tara Tipsters’ twice-weekly tipping competition donations.

Handling the presentation was Kevin “KD” Douglas, also one of the Tara Tipsters, and a clear winner of the Quaran series. In receiving the cup, Mugavin spoke very well, congratulating all involved at the club for the manner in which they support local charities and conduct their race meetings.

Heats of the 37th McDonnell Memorial (512 m) for grade five greyhounds will be run on Sunday with Mugavin now looking to test Classic Moment in what is one of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s most sought-after feature events.

“I’m pretty keen to get him back here because he seems to handle Tara Raceway’s circle track better than the one-bend tracks over my way,” he said. “Besides, it would be nice to win another McDonnell Memorial.”

Mugavin won the 2019 memorial with Spring Value, a son of Spring Gun and Magic Matese, who defeated Kongorong trainer John Little’s Scartnamuck Diva in a time of 30.08 seconds.

And keeping it in the family, Classic Moment is by Fernando Bale out of More Moment, who is a daughter of Magic Matese.

With the McDonnell Memorial in mind, and at the risk of losing his grade five status, Compton trainer Tracie Price opted for a non-penalty Juvenile Stake (512 m) with El Banjo yesterday at Tara Raceway.

El Banjo and Menari Tom run the quinella in the Williams Crane Hire Juvenile Stake.

The son of Zambora Brockie x El Rapido, after settling in third spot down the back in the Williams Crane Hire Stake, railed through on the home turn before running out a 1¾ length winner over Menari Tom in 29.85 seconds.

For Price it will be a case of chasing his third memorial win after Teddy La Plume won in 2010 and Banjo Lass in 2018. Interestingly, El Banjo ran a personal best 29.60 seconds last month when defeating Classic Moment by 3¼ lengths.

Also in the memorial mix is Menari Tom, trained and co-owned in Mount Gambier by MGGRC president Noel Perry in partnership with Brian Weis of Portland.

The brindle dog showed good early dash from box five in the juvenile before finding himself last of the main bunch down the back straight. But in the run home there was a lot to like about the way he finished off the race.

By Worm Burner out of Xtreme Gift, Menari Tom was bred by Weis who won eight races with the dam at Mount Gambier, Horsham and Warrnambool. He also trained her brother, Xtreme Caution, winner of the 2018 Mount Gambier Cup.

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