Tuesday, July 14, 2020
With Perseverance, Rocketline and Tandiki engaged in Thursday’s Anniversary Cup heats (512 metres) at Tara Raceway, Mount Gambier owner Michael Robinson looks to hold a strong hand in what will be the 36th running of the time-honoured event.
All three were bred by Tracie Price of Compton, Perseverance a daughter of Dyna Double One x Miss Freelove while Rocketline and Tandiki – the pair raced by Robinson in partnership with fellow local owner Willie Vossen – are from a mating of Peter Rocket and Headline.
Collectively, they have won 17 races at Tara Raceway this year, their breeder and owners, who purchased the trio as pups, also reaping the rewards of the SA-bred incentives scheme initiated by Greyhound Racing SA.
Trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell, Perseverance – a three-distance winner at the track in 2020 – has drawn box three in the first of two Anniversary Cup heats and will clash with Rocketline who will jump from box four.
Rocketline returned to the track with a fast-finishing second over 400 metres at the beginning of July after a three month break before following up with a best of day 23.01 seconds win, also over the short course.
The black dog will be chasing his second feature win at Tara Raceway this year after success in the Sims Family Memorial Maiden (512 m) in January when he defeated Confession and Midget Rocks in a time of 30.16 seconds.
Tandiki, also off the scene for close to three months, returned in June and commenced a run of three dashing 400 metre wins prior to going down by 2¾ lengths over 512 metres last week to Saint Maddie.
In what will be one of her toughest tests to date, Tandiki takes on greyhounds such as Spring Cuervo, Rock It Fernando, Like A Slug and Rough Pearl in heat two and is probably not all that well-suited in box one.
Robinson’s involvement in local greyhound racing goes back to 1979, a couple of months after the South East Greyhound Racing Club, as it was then known, ran its first meeting on July 21 at the racecourse.
By the time the first Mount Gambier Cup was run and won by Tara Topar in 1981, he had commenced what was to be a long involvement with the club as a steward. In 1995 he was awarded life membership.
Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew, awarded club life membership in 1998, has Galactic Horizon engaged in the first heat from box eight while his wife Lee trains heat two runner Rough Pearl, a son of Dyna Double One x West On Jorji.
Galactic Horizon, a member of the successful Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball litter, led all the way to win at Murray Bridge last month over 455 metres in 25.79 seconds while Rough Pearl also led all the way at the same track last Sunday night over 395 metres in 22.57 seconds.
Steve Bartholomew was at the opening meeting at Glenburnie all those years ago, not so his wife, though. At the time she was in hospital giving birth to Elysia – these days the official starter at Tara Raceway and part-owner with her mother of Rough Pearl.
Complementing the Anniversary Cup each year is the John Reid Memorial Maiden, GRSA’s Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson advising that a minimum of 10 greyhounds would be required in order that 512 metres heats could be conducted.
However, with only seven nominations received, a maiden race was graded for Thursday’s meeting. This means the winner will be ineligible to contest next week’s John Reid Memorial, the club to call for new nominations for what will be a best-eight final.
This year will mark the 16th running of the memorial, first staged in 2005 when won by Robert Halliday’s Itza Bee in a time of 30.22 seconds.
Distance races over 732 metres have been few and far between at Tara Raceway since last year’s Eric Lewis Memorial which saw Portland trainer Nicole Stanley run the trifecta with Candy Chimes, Ethics and Night Owl.
Nominations will be called for a one-off Lewis Memorial (732 m), also to be run at next week’s meeting. If insufficient nominations are received, the Mount Gambier club will follow the lead of the Sale Greyhound Racing Club.
Recently, the Victorian club received insufficient nominations to run a 650 metres memorial and in order to acknowledge the family as part of their memorial day they re-named a graded race.