Saturday, June 20, 2020
In anticipation of the SA border being open to Victorian greyhound trainers sooner rather than later, Greyhound Racing SA early next week will issue a release regarding forthcoming race days and feature events to be run at Tara Raceway.
Plenty of interest, of course, will centre on the re-scheduling of this year’s Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup which under normal circumstances would have been run and won in early April.
From a programming point of view the $10,000-to-the-winner event will take priority. And from a cup contenders’ point of view there were several performances that took the eye at Tara Raceway’s meeting last Thursday.
And while the Mount Gambier Cup is a 512 metres event, it was Tandiki and Squishy Pea – with personal bests over the cup distance of 29.66 seconds and 29.63 seconds respectively – who set the track alight early in the day with brilliant 400 metres performances.
Having her first race start since taking a tumble at Angle Park back in early April, Tandiki led all the way from box five in the Bourne Kennels Stake, eventually running out a four length winner over litter sister High Fly Dorothy in 22.90 seconds.
A May 2018 whelping by Peter Rocket out of Headline, Tandiki is trained at Compton by Tracie Price for Michael Robinson and Willie Vossen who purchased her as a pup from Price who also bred the white and black bitch.
The local owners also race the Adelaide-trained Vossy, a recent Angle Park winner, but Robinson was quick to confirm that Tandiki would be remaining in Mount Gambier with the cup as her main mission.
At the other end of the age scale is Squishy Pea, whelped in May 2016 but in career-best form last Thursday when leading all the way to defeat last start winner Raw Luxury by 3½ lengths in the Klaassens Contractors Open Stake in a near-record 22.75 seconds.
In fact, it’s the second-fastest ever 400 metre time recorded at Tara Raceway, kennelmate Dyna Carnie kicking off the year with a 22.74 seconds run which lowered Cryer’s Ricky’s four-year-old record of 22.78 seconds.
Raced by the Ross Schurgott-managed Nineofus Syndicate – great supporters of Mount Gambier greyhound racing – giveaway greyhound Squishy Pea has now won 16 races since being taken over by Allendale East trainer David Peckham for the syndicate.
Peckham, still chasing his first Mount Gambier Cup success after coming close in 2015 with Bourne Again who just went down to Lots Of Yap, said the syndicate should hold a strong hand in this year’s cup.
“Besides Squishy Pea, Sweet On Me, Silent Jacko and Call Me Billy, all racing in Adelaide at the moment, will return for a crack at the cup.
“And Dyna Carnie, raced by Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehman, is close to returning after having been off the scene for a couple of months,” he said.
Like A Slug, who defeated Squishy Pea over 400 metres at Tara Raceway earlier this month for Moorak owners Kerry Hawker and Jason Newman, impressed once again, this time in the 512 metres Gordon Refrigeration Stake.
The son of former SA champion Worm Burner had been Newman’s first winner as a trainer, the fawn dog then leading all the way from box six to defeat Nitro Missile by 6¼ lengths in 29.76 seconds – slick enough for Hawker and Newman to now give the cup some serious thought.
Perseverance gave owner Robinson his second winner for the day when coming from last early in The Border Watch Mixed Stake (512 m) to finish strongly for a 4¼ lengths win over West On Tia in 30.11 seconds.
Trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell, the daughter of Dyna Double One and Miss Freelove – currently Tara Raceway’s leading dam – has won seven races at the local track this year and is engaged in a keen tussle with Squishy Pea for Greyhound of the Year honours.
Prior to Perseverance’s win last Thursday the black bitch had won three consecutive 600 metre events at Tara Raceway with connections probably having a couple of options come cup time.
“For sure, we’re looking at the cup although they might go a bit quick early for her,” Robinson said. “But hopefully we’ve still got the option of running her in a cup day feature over 600 metres if she fails to qualify for the cup final.”
Meanwhile, Thursday’s maiden winner Glenville Rose, following three consecutive seconds made it a successful couple of days for the Aston Dee Bee x Majestic Tale litter after litter brother De Minaur had won up the straight at Murray Bridge the day before.
Owned and trained at Glenroy by Richard Clayfield, Glenville Rose, after a keen tussle early with litter sister and kennelmate Shimmy Sharna, got the upper hand in the home straight to win the Gambier Vets Stake (400 m) by 2¾ lengths in 23.57 seconds.