Thursday, December 15, 2016
Mojito Mayhem’s successful comeback in a heat of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 metres) at Tara Raceway last Friday afternoon has made for a great story as far as local greyhound racing is concerned.
After wins earlier this year in the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup and the Anniversary Cup – the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s two biggest races of the year – Mojito Mayhem will now make an unprecedented bid for a cups clean sweep when jumping from box six in Sunday’s final.
Quite remarkably, the striking-looking black dog lined up from box one in a heat last week as an odds-on favourite at his first start after suffering what is generally a career-ending back leg injury at Ballarat in late August.
In last week’s heat, Mojito Mayhem and Galactic Viper matched motors to the first turn before the former shot away down the back straight, eventually running out a 4¼ length winner over McRay in 29.84 seconds – the fastest 512 metre time run at the track since Berry Bling’s 29.80 seconds on October 2.
Needless to say, Moyston trainer Peter Franklin, who had publicly stated that he believed Mojito Mayhem had probably lost three lengths, was delighted with the dog’s return to racing.
“Leading up to the cup heat he had been trialling pretty steadily over 450 metres at Ballarat where he hadn’t been breaking 26 seconds, although he’s certainly a different dog on the two-bend Tara Raceway track,” he said.
That he is, with last Friday’s win – his 20th overall – taking his local 512 metre record to 14 wins and four minor placings from 23 starts.
With a box six record of three wins and two minor placings from eight starts, Mojito Mayhem doesn’t look too badly placed in Sunday’s final although Franklin will be hoping for better luck in this year’s Christmas Cup than he experienced last year.
He looked to hold a strong hand in the 2015 cup with three finalists – Mojito Mayhem, his brother Future Past, and Vector – but failed to run a place in the race won by Fear The Rascal.
By Fear Zafonic x Graceful Amy, Mojito Mayhem was purchased by Bendigo owner Barry Priest as a pup with the dam, a staying type, having won 14 races.
And there’s certainly not a lot wrong with his damline – Graceful Amy being by Collide out of the unraced Amy Grace, a daughter of Flying Amy, one of Australia’s greatest greyhounds.
Glenville Jester’s strong finishing burst to defeat Old Jock and Cool Whipp in the second heat of the Christmas Cup was the culmination of an amazing five weeks for Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield with the April 2013 son of Vapour Whirl and Glenville Maggie registering five wins and a second from six starts.
The black dog has drawn the one in the final, and with a record from that box of two wins and two minor placings from five starts Glenville Jester is ideally placed to give Clayfield his biggest win at Tara Raceway since Glenville Maggie defeated Cryer’s Tiger and She’s A Jet in the 2011 Anniversary Cup.
And that would be a fair effort for a dog that only last month was running around in a Pathway race.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, after a double at Warrnambool on Tuesday with Ridd’s Flyer and Hay Miss, will be looking to wrap up a wonderful year in the Christmas Cup with either Old Jock or McRay who have drawn boxes three and eight respectively.
A four-year-old son of Bekim Bale x Swift Blaze, Old Jock, who was a finalist in this year’s Mount Gambier Cup, can’t be beaten in the Greyhound of the Year award.