Wednesday, July 24, 2019
As far as the John Reid Memorial Maiden at Tara Raceway was concerned it was a case of third time lucky for the Mumbannar greyhound owner-trainer team of Jen and Monty Wilson.
On the back of unplaced finalists Bushman’s Wish in 2017 and Go Saints last year, they lined up with Cimarron Magic at last Sunday’s 40th anniversary meeting, the black dog drawing box one in what was the 15th running of the memorial.
A nicely-bred son of Magic Sprite out of five-race winner Smouldering Doll, Cimarron Magic found his way to Wilson’s kennels in February this year as a giveaway after early reports had suggested that he was not up to city standard.
But, after Cimarron Magic ran a couple of handy second placings over 400 metres at Tara Raceway in June, the Wilsons opted to set the May 2017 whelping for the Reid Memorial – hoping they could get on top of a few niggling injuries that had been hampering him.
“He went into Sunday’s event not having raced for a month – no trials and his first crack at 512 metres – but we did put extra work into him by means of the Tara Raceway slipping track,” said Monty Wilson, who makes regular 80 kilometre round trips to gallop his greyhounds up the straight.
Cimarron Magic, a $6 chance, went straight to the front in the memorial, the Wilsons’ prowess as conditioners of greyhounds looking likely to be tested down the back straight when the heavily backed favourite and first starter Cruising By loomed large.
The leader just kept finding, though, eventually running out a two length winner over the favourite while Silent Jacko, another first starter, battled on for third spot in 30.59 seconds.
This was Monty and Jen Wilson’s second memorial win at Tara Raceway after Lektra Excess had been successful in the 2017 Ivor Dowdell Memorial.
Once again members of the Reid family were out in force to celebrate the race that remembers one of the local greyhound club’s real stalwarts – and also to acknowledge the popular win of Cimarron Magic.
Quite remarkably, the John Reid Memorial race record still stands to the credit of Itza Bee who ran 30.22 seconds when winning the inaugural event back in 2005.
Trainer at the time was Robert Halliday, of Portland. He well remembers the son of Solve The Puzzle and Lilac Time.
“He was a pretty handy dog and early in his career I had received a few offers for him. I didn’t really want to sell him but when the offers kept coming I told the prospective buyers that I wanted $15,000 for him – big money back then and a figure I thought would scare them off.”
But the sale went ahead, Itza Bee at the end of a 97-start career having won 23 races and close to $100,000 in stakemoney.