Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Local youngster set to tackle Angle Park classic

Venetian Jet’s impressive win in Sunday’s Commercial Hotel Mixed Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway now has Allendale East trainer David Peckham giving serious consideration to the forthcoming Champion Puppy classic at Angle Park.

Having only his second race start, the black dog scored a 7¼ length win over Surprise Tears in 29.97 seconds. And given the enormity of the win, Peckham was quick to nominate for Thursday night’s Angle Park meeting in order that Venetian Jet could have a look at the track.

Venetian Jet in full flight at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Heats of the Champion Puppy will be run over 530 metres on Thursday, July 14 and the final on Thursday, July 21. With final prizemoney of $14,275 the series is certainly a far cry from when it was first run in 1971 at Strathalbyn and won by Miss McGrew.

Speaking after Sunday’s win, Peckham said while Venetian Jet was lacking in race experience he was an ideal age for the non-penalty classic which is for greyhounds whelped on or after July 1, 2020.

“He’s still a big lump of a dog and very green, but given that he was whelped in July 2020 he certainly won’t be giving away anything when it comes to age.”

Venetian Jet is owned by the Ross Schurgott-managed Nineofus Syndicate in partnership with NSW breeder-owner Sandro Bechini. And as Schurgott explained, this is an involvement that goes back to 2018.

“It was back then that we purchased a greyhound through Sandro called Our Man Zed who won 15 races. We kept in contact and early this year we picked up Act Of Grace who won first up over 305 metres but couldn’t run any further.

“And more recently, Sandro, looking to retain a share, asked us whether we would be interested in having a go with Venetian Jet at Mount Gambier.”

There’s certainly not much wrong with his breeding, the 35½ kilogram youngster being by Fabregas out of Yielding, a litter sister to the Group 1-winning Ando’s Mac who all told won 28 races and close to $700,000 in stakemoney.

Christine Yourgules and David Peckham with Captain Larry after his best of day 512 metre win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Later in the day the Nineofus Syndicate and Peckham combined for another big win with Captain Larry in the second heat of the Four Reasons Why Tara Tipsters Grade 5 Stake (512 m).

Leading all the way from box three, the brindle son of El Grand Senor and Chill Easy defeated Myall Hiker by 9¼ lengths in 29.47 seconds – one of the quicker times recorded at Tara Raceway this year.

As far as Captain Larry was concerned, Schurgott said he had spotted an on-line advertisement for an unnamed dog that had been posted by a NSW trainer.

“The breeder of the litter had been looking to sell the dogs at around the $5000 mark and the keep the bitches. A month or so later he had been named – Captain Larry – and had won at his first start over 400 metres in 23.02 seconds.”

But soon after he injured his back and was off the scene for five months. Since returning, though, he has won seven of his past eight starts at Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier.

“It is a case of David’s efforts in getting Captain Larry back to the track now starting to pay dividends,” said Schurgott, who has this month’s Exchange Printers Anniversary Cup firmly in his sights.

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