The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club (MGGRC) couldn’t have hoped for a better 512 metre race last Sunday as a lead-in to the Tara Tipsters Ryder-Cheshire Mount Gambier Home Foundation presentation.
And it was Mary Bridget, chasing her fourth consecutive win, who led all the way from box four when defeating Aston Ziebell and Nero Valentino by a neck and 3¾ lengths respectively in 29.92 seconds.
By the US sire Flying Stanley out of Galactic Cat, Mary Bridget is owned at Worrolong by Steve and Lee Bartholomew and trained by the former who is also a member of the Tara Tipsters.
The brindle bitch, a winner over distances ranging from 305 metres to 600 metres, has now raced on 41 occasions for 20 wins and six minor placings.
Aston Ziebell, winner of last month’s Exchange Printers Anniversary Cup (512 m) for Allendale East trainer David Peckham, was certainly gallant in defeat when chasing his 28th win.
But Peckham’s day had commenced pretty well when 5½-year-old Maximum Refusal, after shaking off Zoe’s Way in the Swallow Drive Meats Mixed Stake (600 m), ran away to a 4¾ length win over Sugar Freak in 35.74 seconds.
By Fernando Bale out of Kilkee Flex, the brindle dog has now raced on 147 occasions for 28 wins, 28 seconds and 29 thirds.
And rising five-year-old Nero Valentino is still a model of consistency for Edenhope owner-trainer Kerry Hawker whose contribution to the MGGRC’s charitable endeavours is nothing short of outstanding.
Enjoying their day at the dogs were Ryder-Cheshire Mount Gambier Home Foundation board members Matt Dixon (president), Bernadette Douglas (secretary) and Greg Clayfield whose brother Richard is one of the Tara Tipsters and a long-time greyhound racing participant.
At the presentation, Mr Dixon outlined the work of the Foundation and its building and maintaining two homes – Ryder and Cheshire.
“Each home accommodates five residents who have studio-style rooms with en suites, shared living areas and alfresco space.
“And discussions have now commenced for a possible third complex,” he said.
Mr Dixon also sincerely thanked the Tara Tipsters for their generous contribution to the Ryder-Cheshire Mount Gambier Home Foundation.
Meanwhile, Marc Cahill landed his first winner at Tara Raceway when Ballymote led all the way from box eight for a 5¾ length win over Compton Special in the Ary Sports Bar & Bistro Maiden Stake (400 m) in 23.82 seconds.
Based in Port Fairy for the past nine months after relocating from Riddells Creek, Cahill has been involved with greyhounds for the past 15 years. He also bred Ballymote.
A son of Barcia Bale and Spring Classic, Ballymote won his first race at start number 12 for Cahill and part owner Kevin Mugavin of Killarney.
A couple of races later, the Metal Worx Stake (400 m), and Mugavin’s blinkered Patrice Lass scored another good win at Tara Raceway when leading all the way for a four length win over Judiciary in 23.56 seconds.
Blinkered muzzles seem to be all the go at the moment with Aston Ziebell having won 13 races this year. And later on Sunday another dog in blinkers, Donnington Girl, scored a big win over 732 metres in the Todd’s Photographics Mixed Stake.
Having her first start at Tara Raceway for Ballarat trainer Cameron Morris-Flynn, Donnington Girl was always on the pace in the four-dog race but didn’t hit the front until off the back the second time around.
And from then on the fawn bitch by Zambora Brockie simply powered away, eventually running out a six length winner over Mick’s Kimmy in a time of 44.12 seconds.
Standing in for the trainer on Sunday was Kyle Goodwin of Hamilton who bred Donnington Girl, a daughter of Sublime News. She won seven races and $42,000 in prize money and is by US sire Kiowa Mon Manny out of Flying Mozoltov.