Thursday, January 18, 2018
All being well, locally bred and owned greyhound Print The Money is a strong chance of tackling this year’s Mount Gambier Cup, heats of which will be run over 512 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday, March 11 with the final a week later.
Raced by the Southern Bar Boys Syndicate, Print The Money – a winner of 12 races from 38 starts and more than $47,000 in prizemoney – is trained at Avalon in Victoria by Michelle Mallia-Magri who went within a head of taking out last month’s Group 1 Hobart Thousand with the 34 kilogram black dog.
Syndicate members Ward and Diesel Leicester, Don Gordon, Rohan Von Stanke and Dion Pannenburg also raced his sire Red Lesta, a winner of 22 races and more than $50,000 in prizemoney, while his dam Rellim Lilly was unraced.
Speaking earlier this week, Gordon said it had always been the syndicate’s intention to hopefully have Mallia-Magri and her partner John (Magri) bring Print The Money over for the Mount Gambier Cup.
“Michelle is still hopeful of running him in the Australian Cup in Melbourne but that series will be out of the way by the time the Mount Gambier Cup is run.
“We’re all local boys and are very keen to see Print The Money race at the local track. Besides, we certainly couldn’t think of anything better than to have the Mount Gambier Cup standing in our trophy cabinet,” he said.
This year’s $22,000 cup will be the first Listed race run at Tara Raceway with the winner receiving $15,000. A one-off cup consolation will be worth $3000 while the cup heats this year will have added money.
Meanwhile, Portland trainer Robert Duncan is hoping Xtreme Shine and Xtreme Gift, members of the successful Barcia Bale x Xtreme Gretel litter, can continue to improve and measure up for this year’s cup.
Xtreme Shine led all the way to easily win last Sunday’s Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m) in a personal best 29.93 seconds while in the following race Xtreme Gift finished off well for a three-quarters of a length second to Archaeology in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (512 m) and should be better for the run.
Duncan has previously enjoyed Mount Gambier Cup success – as a part-owner of Durafi in 1987 at Glenburnie and 20 years later as trainer of Army Officer in 2007 at Lake Terrace East.
Durafi, a daughter of 1982 Melbourne Cup winner Kid Scandal, was trained by Connie Miller with the legendary Alan Evans summing up the race as only he could:
“I was at the Mount Gambier Cup carnival for the long weekend. Yes, I got beat again with Mr Chatters by the local champ Durafi, but I’ll be back again, being a masochist.
“The winner was trained by attractive club secretary Connie Miller and part-owned by Robert Duncan, a son of the former secretary of the Greyhound Owners, Trainers and Breeders Association (GOTBA), the late Roy Duncan.
“With that kind of experience I had no hope of taking home the cup.”
Incidentally, Evans did return, finally winning the Mount Gambier Cup with Mr Chatters in 1989.
In the 2007 final, Army Officer, a son of Brett Lee and Gentle Memory, defeated Cape Arrow who later went on to produce Cap Abbott’s smart bitch White Arrow.
Gentle Memory was an Irish bitch that had won six races before arriving in Australia where she was successful twice at Sandown Park.
And following on with the cup connection, Army Officer’s litter sister Beekeeper, when mated with US sire Kiowa Sweet Trey, produced the 2009 Mount Gambier Cup winner Drone, trained by Brian Weis.
Complementing this year’s cup carnival will be the Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m), an Open (400 m), Grade 5 (600 m) and a one-off Cup Day Back to Distance Racing (732 m).
In what will be a big few days of greyhound racing in Mount Gambier, heats of the supporting events will be run on Friday, March 9, the Calcutta on the following night and the cup heats on the Sunday with the box draw for the final being conducted on track that day.