Former Tasmanian greyhound Agent Meatball ran his rivals ragged on Thursday at Tara Raceway when bringing up his first win this year in a time of 29.52 seconds in the Gordon Refrigeration 5+W Stake over 512 metres.
In fact, it was an effort reminiscent to that of 12 months ago when the son of Fernando Bale and Sweet About Lola steamrolled a maiden field at his second SA start in 29.61 seconds – the fastest maiden time recorded at the Mount Gambier track.
But as his Portland-based trainer Brian Weis tells it, Agent Meatball’s win on Thursday had been a real drought-breaker.
“To be honest, for most of this year he’d been on the sidelines and virtually did nothing for three months. So I said to my wife Sally, who owns Meatball, we either had to place him in GAP or put him back in work.
“For sure, he’s anything but a tough dog but I thought his run behind Compton Robbie the previous Sunday hadn’t been too bad. And going into Thursday’s race I reckon it had been the best he’s ever looked.”
Agent Meatball’s win had been the second leg of a double for Weis after Menari Houdini led all the way in the Commercial Hotel 1-4W Stake (400 m) and defeated Cadillac Gas by two lengths in 23.54 seconds.
And she was another one that Weis and part-owner Noel Perry had been contemplating retiring.
“But we decided to bring her back and give her another go,” Weis said. “I have to say, though, Thursday’s win was totally unexpected.”
By Worm Burner, Menari Houdini is out of Xtreme Gift, a winner of eight races and a litter sister to Xtreme Caution who won the 2018 Mount Gambier Cup for Weis.
The Thursday double for Weis was his first since October 27 last year when Rough In Vegas and Agent Meatball were successful at Tara Raceway.
For Weis, his involvement in greyhound racing goes back to the 1990s and when he moved from Warrnambool to a property in Portland.
“It was there that I formed an association with Robert Duncan who was looking for somewhere to rear a litter of pups. I told him I’d build a few yards and he could rear his pups there,” he said.
Weis trained his first winner at the end of 1998 at Warrnambool with a greyhound called Flying Richo who previously had won his maiden at Mount Gambier over 277 metres for Tracie Price.
And several years later Duncan and Weis must have been doing something right after the former won the 2007 Mount Gambier Cup with Army Officer and Weis his first Mount Gambier Cup in 2009 with Drone.