Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Racing returns to Tara Raceway on Friday with 10 of the 11 races being time-graded non-penalty events in what will be a lead-in to the Sunday weekly meeting.
Time-grading, which sets out to group greyhounds of the same ability, was introduced at Tara Raceway last month and has been well received by owners and trainers who are appreciating the increased opportunities of gaining a race start against comparable opposition and that all runners receive prizemoney.
Shaun Mathieson, the racing manager of Greyhound Racing SA, said this week that nationally SA was leading the way with the time-grading concept.
“The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is now running time-graded races at its fortnightly Friday fixtures while Angle Park in Adelaide is running these types of races once a month on a Monday and Wednesday.
“The concept now has other states looking at time-grading with Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania keen to trial the format using the Mount Gambier and Angle Park criteria.
“We believe that time-grading fairly groups greyhounds of all abilities with no dog being considered too slow for racing.”
But time-grading is still in trial mode and as such a different format will be tried at Tara Raceway’s Friday, June 16 meeting when, except for maidens, greyhounds’ grades will not be considered.
“For this non-penalty meeting greyhounds will be graded into three categories – maidens, 1-4 wins and five or more wins with the ‘worst to best’ rating still applying along with Pathway prizemoney,” Mathieson said.
Tara Raceway’s time-graded meetings on Friday, June 2 and Friday, June 30 will be graded as has been the case previously with each grade assessed separately.
You never know what a time-graded meeting is going to throw up and tomorrow’s is no exception – Arabella Figg being a case in point.
She’s the bitch who a couple of months ago stormed into the Mount Gambier Cup final for Southern Cross trainer Peter Byrne with an upset heat win and then, at even longer odds, ran the flying Fabregal to two lengths when finishing second in a race record 29.78 seconds.
Fabregal has since ran a close second in the Traralgon Cup final and more recently strung four wins together at Traralgon, The Meadows and Sandown Park as her prizemoney creeps close to $200,000.
Arabella Figg, on the other hand, has since won only a 600 metre event at Tara Raceway and tomorrow finds herself jumping from box two in the Allestree Holiday Units Stake, a grade five time-graded event over 512 metres.
This could be just the sort of confidence-boosting race she needs to get back on track.
And speaking of Peter Byrne. The popular owner of the Koroit trial track will once again sponsor the Koroit 600, a 0-4 wins feature to be run next month over 600 metres.
Heats of the event will be run on Sunday, June 18 with the final – which also carries to the winner a four-week breaking-in package at the Koroit track – to be decided a week later.
Last year’s inaugural Koroit 600 was won by the Jeff Guy trained Brazen Bomber who defeated Old Jock and Fireball Jack in a time of 35.33 seconds.
ANOTHER LITTER FOR EX-RECORD HOLDER
Local breeder David Peckham reports that former Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder Striking Viking this week whelped a litter of three to the former superstar Dyna Double One.
A winner of 15 races, Striking Viking was the inaugural middle-distance record holder with a time of 35.38 seconds which was recorded on November 30, 2014.
For the daughter of Superman x Irish Fantasy, this was her second litter, her first being by Barcia Bale – also the sire of Dyna Double One – and now 12 months old.
Also out at Allendale East is a two-month-old litter by Barcia Bale out of Striking Viking’s litter sister Thanks Tubby who has held the Tara Raceway 512 metre record at 29.60 seconds for the past three years.
Striking Viking’s litter is the third to be whelped at Peckham and Connie Miller’s Bourne Kennels this year with Young Gunner producing two dog pups by Shakey Jakey in February.