Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Nero Valentino is greyhound racing’s feel-good story

It had been a while since rising five-year-old Nero Valentino had last won a race – back in June, actually, when he was successful over 305 metres at Tara Raceway.

Twelve months earlier, Kerry Hawker, who runs the Edenhope-based Cadillac Racing complex in partnership with Cap Abbott, had purchased the son of Fernando Bale and Sweet Barbados for $2000.

Hadlie and Kaia with Kerry Hawker and Nero Valentino after his terrific win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

“Cap had been training him at the time for owners Gary and Phil Micallef but after nine wins they were looking to move him on,” Hawker said.

“To be honest, I didn’t really want to see him go. He’s such a lovely dog and besides, I thought the asking price made him a reasonable buy.”

Last Sunday’s Rocks Tavern Mixed Stake (512 m) had Nero Valentino still chasing his first win since the305 metre success. Mind you, the 15 starts since had resulted in 13 minor placings – generating sufficient points to have him leading the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year award.

And the black dog never looked in any danger of defeat at his 102nd start, leading all the way from box five and ultimately defeating Crackerjack Pop by four lengths in a best of day 29.69 seconds –also a personal best.

“He’s had a terrific year considering he’s now meeting the better dogs at Tara Raceway,” Hawker said. “With five wins, 15 seconds and eight thirds at the track this year he now leads the GOTY award by five points and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”

Earlier in the day Abbott’s promising youngster Top Cadillac made the step up in class when taking on a smart field of grade five greyhounds in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (512 m).

Always on the pace from box eight, the half-brother of former champion stayer Sir Truculent rounded up Buildin’ Rolls off the back before finishing strongly for a 2¼ length win in a personal best 29.74 seconds.

Abbott is now weighing up his options with the January 2022 black son of Feral Franky and Establish.

Mikayla and Maddie Schulz with Midnight Tracker after his 600 metre win last Sunday.

Meanwhile, 27-year-old Maddie Schulz landed her first winner as a trainer at Tara Raceway with Midnight Tracker in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (600 m).

The son of Collision and Midnight Starlet took up the running down the back straight before hanging on in a desperate finish with Iverson for a head win in 35.40 seconds.

“Midnight Tracker was given to me by Jack (Trengove) as a birthday present and today was my first win with him,” a delighted Schulz said.

“I’ve now been training since February and currently have 10 in work. Today’s winner was my seventh,” she said. “And my involvement with greyhounds is working in well with my other job as a ranger/fire fighter with Forestry SA.”

Leaving Two Wells at 4.30 a.m., Schulz and her sister, Mikayla, also brought down greyhounds to race for Trengove.

“Seasonal defeated her kennelmate Triangular over 400 metres while Emerley Bruce scored a big win also over 400 metres. Jack should be pleased with the result,” Schulz said.

Skye Made Me, trained at Dennington by Pat Bouchier, made an impressive debut in the Todd’s Photographics Maiden Stake (400 m) when defeating Coastal Value by 10 lengths in a quick 23.04 seconds.

By Shima Shine out of Love Made Me, Skye Made Me is a younger half-sister to nine-race winner Hooked On Love. And Bouchier speaks highly of the October 2021 bitch.

Pat Bouchier with smart maiden winner Skye Made Me.

“I pre-trained her and while still very immature I believe she has a bright future ahead of her, especially given that she looks like she’ll run much further.”

Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club president, Noel Perry, currently recovering from a hip operation, had his spirits boosted when Rough Girl Skye was an impressive winner of the Carlin & Gazzard Stake (512 m).

By Dyna Double One out of Lektra Rainbow, Rough Girl Skye led all the way when defeating Cadillac Lloyd by 4¾ lengths in a personal best time of 29.86 seconds.

Perry also bred the litter – Lektra Rainbow a winner of 10 races and $28,000 in prizemoney. She’s by Destini Fireball out of Lektra Angie who won her maiden at Tara Raceway over 512 metres back in November 2012.

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