Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Mary Bridget on track for the Anniversary Cup

A top effort by Mary Bridget to win last Sunday’s Commercial Hotel Mixed Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway now has her long-time Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew giving serious consideration to the forthcoming Exchange Printers Anniversary Cup (512 m).

Steve Bartholomew with Mary Bridget, an impressive 512 metre winner at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

The brindle bitch led all the way from box six when defeating Nero Valentino by five lengths in a best of day time of 29.71 seconds. And the win took her 512 metre record at the track to six wins from nine starts.

Speaking after the race, Bartholomew said Mary Bridget should be better for the run given that in recent times she has had little racing over 512 metres.

“In fact, today was the first time she had won over this distance at Tara Raceway since last year’s Mount Gambier Cup day in April when she defeated Rhonda Lily in a Mixed Stake in 29.41 seconds,” he said.

By the US sire Flying Stanley, Mary Bridget is out of Galactic Cat – a half-sister to the Bartholomew-trained Galactic Athena, winner of the 2019 Mount Gambier Cup. All told, she has now raced on 35 occasions for 15 wins, one of which was the 2021 Winter Classic by 9¼ lengths.

She is owned in partnership by Bartholomew and his wife Lee, who also race Mary Bridget’s litter brother Arctic Bear – the big white and brindle dog who has also won 15 races.

And if Bartholomew does take on this year’s Anniversary Cup he’ll be hoping for a better run than in 2021 when his last finalist, Rough Pearl, had no luck in what had been a rough-house affair.

Heats of the Anniversary Cup will be run on Sunday, July 16 with the $8000 final the following week.

Meanwhile, back on Thursday, June 22, time-graded meeting regular Tony Hinrichsen of Langhorne Creek landed a double with Correlate and On The Northerns.

Tony Hinrichsen with Jukebox Duke.

Then, last Thursday he doubled up again with the pair – On The Northerns going the extra yard when winning the Fast Forward final over 512 metres.

Hinrichsen was also back again for Sunday’s meeting, this time successful with 17-month-old Jukebox Duke in the Swallow Drive Meats Maiden Stake (400 m).

Only fairly away from box two, Jukebox Duke railed through to find the front down the back before running out a two length winner over litter sister and kennelmate Zip Along Lulu in 23.50 seconds.

Owned by Mypolonga farmer Brad Frahn, also the owner of On The Northerns, the littermates are by Zipping Garth out of Mercedes Monelli – a winner of seven races at Cannington, Angle Park and Murray Bridge.

Frahn purchased the littermates at four months of age from Lewiston breeder Rob Harnas and subsequently reared and then later broke them in.

“I got the pair at 15 months of age for pre-training and I have to say Brad had done a really good job with them,” Hinrichsen said. “And they’re improving all the time.”

In March, Frahn also bred a litter of five dogs and three bitches by Mepunga Blazer out of eight-race winner Cash Storm who was trained by Hinrichsen.

Malcolm Keenan of Tarpeena has done pretty well since taking over the training of his littermates My Madonna and Master Shameem. Mind you, it was only by necessity that he eventually became a greyhound trainer.

“By My Redeemer out of Raz’s Girl, I’d purchased them as pups but later, after their trainers had wanted to move them on, to be honest I had struggled to find anyone to take them,” Keenan said.

Handler Shane Flink and Nuran and Malcolm Keenan with Master Shameem.

“So in the end, in what was an interesting experience, I took out an owner-trainer licence back in November last year and set about training My Madonna. She’s now won four races since being in the kennels.”

In March, Master Shameem joined his sister at Tarpeena. And at his eighth start last Sunday for his new trainer – and placed at his past two runs over 512 metres – Keenan must have thought that if he was ever going to win over a bit more ground then today was the day.

Jumping from box one in the Williams Crane Hire Stake – the first heat of a grade six series – Master Shameem gave nothing else a chance when leading all the way before running out a five length winner over On The Northerns in 29.82 seconds.

“Gee, that was exciting,” said Keenan. “That was his first win since I’d been training him and his first win over anything further than 400 metres.”

Lektra Ringo, now in the Moorak kennels of Jason Newman, was always on the pace in the second heat, the Todd’s Photographics Stake, before finishing strongly for a 2¼ length win over Four Longnecks in 30.22 seconds.

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