Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club would be delighted with the support it has received for its Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup heats (512 metres) that will be run at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
With connections from far and wide getting right behind the Group Listed series, six heats of eight greyhounds each will be run, meaning the two fastest second placegetters will make up the final field for Sunday week (March 31).
Arguably, this would be the best line-up ever for a Mount Gambier Cup, first run in 1981 at Glenburnie when won by Tara Topar, his winning prizemoney a far cry from this year’s first prize of $15,000.
The cup heats will kick off in race six with local youngster Galactic Athena – only 19 months old and giving away plenty in race experience with only four starts to her name – attracting plenty of attention after a Summer Classic heat win in 29.61 seconds and reports of some recent quick trials at Tara Raceway.
The brindle bitch, which has drawn box six, is by Paddy Whacker out of Galactic Rumball and is owned by Robert Chuck and trained by Steve Bartholomew, the long-time associates combining last year to run third behind Xtreme Caution in the Mount Gambier Cup with Galactic Athena’s half-brother Galactic Panther.
Jumping from box seven is Print The Money, back for a second crack at the cup for local syndicate the Southern Bar Boys after finishing unplaced in last year’s final as a $2.60 favourite. The black dog has been in the Mount Gambier kennels of David Williams since early January.
Leading Adelaide trainer Tony Rasmussen, who is based at Gifford Hill, is yet to win a Mount Gambier Cup but looks to hold a strong hand with Waterloo Monelli who has drawn box two in the second heat.
A winner of $77,000 in stakemoney, the son of boom sire Fernando Bale looks to be in top form judging by his 29.64 seconds win over 515 metres at Angle Park on Monday night.
Victorian trainer Heath McAdam is back with No Excuse (box three) who impressed at Tara Raceway earlier this month when defeating Lone Star by 7 ¾ lengths in a best of day 30.17 seconds on a track that didn’t appear conducive to quick times.
And the Nicole Stanley trained Wanchai Express, the fastest greyhound to go around Tara Raceway this year with a gallop of 29.46 seconds, will jump from box six.
The third heat should be a cracker with Koroit trainer Peter Byrne back again, this time with Saint David, a 29.30 seconds winner over 515 metres at Sandown Park and a last start second at that track over 595 metres.
Byrne, who ran second in the 2017 Mount Gambier Cup with Arabella Figg behind Fabregal in race record time, has had his share of injury problems with Saint David, who has drawn box three, but the lightly-raced son of Cosmic Rumble x Mepunga Kirsty is a very quick greyhound.
The Deborah Coleman trained Quara’s Flick (box five) is a recent winner at The Meadows and Bendigo, Simon Payne’s Molly Coaster (box six) impressed when winning in 29.70 seconds at Tara Raceway last Sunday as did Pure White Evil who clocked 29.65 seconds on February 24.
Pure White Evil (box seven) is a litter brother to Eye Got It, winner of last Sunday night’s Murray Bridge Cup with Cranbourne South trainer Andrew Paraskevas now chasing the Greyhound Racing SA March Cup bonus – $5000 if the same trainer can win both cups with either the same or different dogs.
The Robert Camilleri trained Slingshot Hammer looks the one to beat from box one in the fourth heat. A winner of 16 races and $103,000 in stakemoney, the white and blue dog ran third in a heat of the Maitland Gold Cup at his last start.
Rasmussen also looks to hold a strong hand in heat five of the cup with box seven runner Shima Mart, a recent winner at The Meadows over 525 metres in a quick 29.99 seconds while the Paul Abela trained Cavatron (box three) boasts a recent 29.66 seconds win at Sandown Park (515 m).
And Abela looks well placed to wrap up the cup heats with a win with Aston It Is who has drawn box one and comes into the race on the back of a recent Horsham Cup heat win (485 m).