Wednesday, September 25, 2019
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club looks to be well represented in this year’s SA Country Cup final, to be run over 515 metres at Angle Park on Adelaide Cup night (Friday, October 11), after Springvale Alysa and Galactic Titan won the local qualifying heats at Tara Raceway last Sunday.
Trained at Kongorong by John Little, Springvale Alysa brought up her fourth consecutive win for owners Liz Newberry, Kevin Mullan and Little when leading all the way over the 512 metre journey to defeat Lektra Brandy by 1¼ lengths in 30.05 seconds.
And the daughter of Dyna Double One and Springvale Cool has certainly given connections a remarkable ride over the past 18 months, having now won 21 races and close to $25,000 in stakemoney.
This is a story that goes back to the 2018 Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta, to a greyhound called Xtreme Caution and to his Portland trainer Brian Weis who still wonders what the hell he was thinking on that Saturday night.
Truth be known, he probably wasn’t thinking at all after what had been a pretty heavy day!
Xtreme Caution wasn’t regarded as one of the major cup players and as such was in the first group to be auctioned – Little and Mullan pleasantly surprised when they were able to pick him up cheaply with virtually no opposition from Weis or his rowdy band of supporters.
It’s now history how Xtreme Caution reached the final after running second in a heat, drew box one in the final a week later and led all the way at $14 to give Weis his second Mount Gambier Cup, the first Group Listed event to be run at Tara Raceway.
Little had said at the time that if they were lucky enough to win the Calcutta they would look to purchase a performed greyhound. Xtreme Caution’s win gave them $4180 to play with.
“Initially we looked at Dyna Quail who had won a 515 metre maiden at Angle Park at the end of March 2018 by seven lengths in 29.88 seconds. But that sale fell through.
“It was then that local owner-trainer Adam Mackareth said he would ring long-time Adelaide owner Barry Stewart for us to see if he had any dogs for sale.
“Stewart had nothing at the time but suggested we try McLaren Vale owner-trainer Gavin Harris who, as it turned out, had a maiden bitch called Springvale Alysa for sale.
“Springvale Alysa had actually run second to Dyna Quail in that maiden race at Angle Park and for $2000 we had ourselves a greyhound and some Calcutta change. It was the best move we ever made.”
Galactic Titan maintained his unbeaten record at Tara Raceway – six wins from six starts – when taking over the running down the back straight in the second heat of the Country Cup and going on to a 3¾ length win over Black Spring in 30.09 seconds.
Galactic Titan, a son of Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball, is owned by his Moorak breeder, Robert Chuck, and trained at Worrolong by Steve Bartholomew, the pair combining earlier this year to win the Mount Gambier Cup with litter sister Galactic Athena.
And this is not the first time that Chuck and Bartholomew have been involved in a Country Cup, Magic Elite representing the Mount Gambier club back in November 2009 when running fifth to Little Bitta at Gawler.
Interestingly, Magic Elite, the dam of Chuck’s 2015 Group 3 Angle Park Howard Ashton winner Galactic Viper, is a litter sister to Elite Touch, the dam of Galactic Rumball.
Bartholomew’s Country Cup involvement actually goes back to 2001 when So Gentle, a daughter of Light Of Fire x Melbourne Magic and bred by David Peckham, finished sixth to Fiery McLaren at Angle Park.
From a feature race point of view, connections will be hoping for a change of luck with Galactic Titan. The August 2017 brindle dog won a heat of this year’s Champion Puppy at Angle Park in July but after drawing box one in the final was scratched due to injury.
Both heat winners will now race at Angle Park on Monday night over 515 metres as a lead-up to the $7500 final. Galactic Titan has drawn box one in a Mixed 4/5 Stake while Springvale Alysa has also drawn well in box two in a Grade 5 event for bitches only.