Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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McIvor Verna the headline act

Thursday, August 24, 2017

It’s now been 3½ years since Maccaboy won the last distance race over 732 metres at Tara Raceway.

But staying races are back on the programme this Sunday following the installation of set of refurbished starting boxes sourced from the Sale Greyhound Racing Club.

Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder McIvor Verna will contest the first heat of the Back to Distance Racing series over 732 metres on Sunday.

Greyhound Racing SA steward Josh Evans signed off on the boxes at last Sunday’s meeting and after 11 nominations were received the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club opted to run two heats of the Destini Fireball Back to Distance Racing series – the final to be run on Sunday, September 3.

No doubt, McIvor Verna will be the headline act.

Raced by Barry Priest and trained at Moyston by Peter Franklin, McIvor Verna served notice of bigger and better things to come when winning her maiden over 600 metres at Tara Raceway in April against a field of grade 3/4/5 greyhounds.

She’s been back twice since then, winning two more 600 metre races, one of them in track record time.

And Sunday’s distance won’t be a problem as McIvor Verna – a winner at The Meadows over 600 metres last Saturday night – served it up to Adelaide’s best in the Stayers Cup (731 m) at Angle Park in June.

The 30 kilogram fawn bitch has drawn box one in the first heat with Lektra Destiny – second at Angle Park over 731 metres in May – the only other dog in the race to have run over the distance.

Enigmatic chaser Silverali, trained at Southern Cross by Peter Byrne, won two 725 metre races at The Meadows late last year and looks well placed from box two in the second heat.

He failed to fire in last week’s 600 metre event behind Cryer’s Plugger and the pair will clash again on Sunday with the Tom Cryer trained dog, despite having never run over the distance, sure to give a good sight from box one.

Back in 2003, Kevin Mugavin’s More Reward held the 732 metre Tara Raceway record at 44.78 seconds before Nicole Stanley’s Trailer Trash lowered it to 44.66 seconds 12 months later.

Bearing in mind that very few 732 metre races were run throughout the year, it was six years before Gary Lane’s Mantra Miss ran 44.20 seconds.

Tara Raceway 732 metre record holder Nellie Noodles.

By Malfoy out of the city-winning stayer Al Fresco, Mantra Miss would later produce Miss Jacovella, a former Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder, when mated with El Grand Senor.

And the following year saw the Robert Britton trained Nellie Noodles, when winning by the proverbial length of the straight, lower the record to 43.45 seconds – a time no other greyhound came close to in the ensuing period prior to 600 metre racing being introduced.

By the US sire Flying Penske out of Classy Creek (who failed to win a race in 10 starts), Nellie Noodles also held track records at The Meadows (600 m) and Shepparton (650 m).

A winner of 11 races and $80,000 in prizemoney, she came from the same litter as the top stayer Symmetry (24 wins, $253,000 prizemoney). A repeat mating also produced a couple of more than handy types in Czar and Mimicking.

McIvor Verna, also by a US sire in Bella Infrared (a grandson of Flying Penske), has now won five races and run 5 minor placings from 17 starts over distances ranging from 600 metres to 660 metres at The Meadows, Mount Gambier and Bendigo.

It will now be interesting to see how Sunday’s 732 metre times stack up against Nellie Noodles’ 43.45 seconds run on Sunday, March 27, 2011 given that track conditions at Tara Raceway are generally regarded as somewhat superior than that of six years ago.

But there couldn’t have been too much wrong with the track on that day with Banger Harvey running a then race record of 30.06 seconds when winning the Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) while Half Way Home clocked 29.81 seconds to win the Gambier Vets Maiden Stake.


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