Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Local hope storms into city feature final

Christine Yourgules and Leigh Rogers Feature heat winner Midnight Bandit pictured at Angle Park on Thursday night with members of the Nineofus Syndicate – Ross Schurgott (left), Mark Quinn, Stephen Maguire, Steve Mason, Sam Sterzl, Grant Sterzl and Garry Siney. Picture: Kurt Donsberg.

Allendale East greyhound trainer David Peckham will be chasing his third feature race success this year when Midnight Bandit lines up from box two in the Leigh Rogers Feature final (530 metres) at Angle Park on Thursday night.

This follows an outstanding effort at the city track last Thursday night when the son of Collision x Midnight Starlet overcame a slow start to win the fourth of five heats from Quinnish in a time of 30.94 seconds.

And it was a night that certainly ended better than it started after Midnight Bandit’s litter brother and kennelmate, Midnight Blast, had enjoyed no luck in the previous heat.

Midnight Bandit winning his heat of the Leigh Rogers at Angle Park on Thursday night. Picture: Kurt Donsberg.

“I was hoping Midnight Bandit could make amends but when he made a real mess of the start and was a clear last early I thought that it was going to be one of those nights,” Peckham said.

“But he displayed plenty of field sense when cutting down from box six on the first turn. He then took a rails run down the back before pulling out on the home turn and finishing full of running for a length win in 30.94 seconds.

“He’ll need to get his time down a bit but considering it was his first time travelling any real distance to a track, as well as his first time at Angle Park and under lights, then he should find improvement in the final. Besides that, he does look well drawn in box two.”

Previously this year Peckham had been successful with Aston Olenna at Murray Bridge in the SA Straight Track Cup and the Straight Track Championship.

Also making their presence felt at Angle Park last Thursday night were members of the Adelaide-based Nineofus Syndicate. They had purchased the Midnight dogs in a package deal from NSW breeder David Pringle in July this year.

“Actually, the win ended a pretty good day for us after another one of our dogs in Silent Jacko had won at Tara Raceway that afternoon,” said syndicate manager Ross Schurgott.

“We’re now hoping the forthcoming week will be even better. Night Patrol, also part of the package deal, is running at Sandown Park on Tuesday. Then the Midnight pair will be back at Angle Park on Thursday night.”

This year is the fifth running of the Leigh Rogers Feature. Greyhound Racing SA introduced the race in 2017 in recognition of the former long-time Angle Park food and beverage manager who lost his battle with a rare form of cancer five years ago.

The event is supported by family, friends and former work colleagues. Many travel long distances to share in the Leigh Rogers final. Among those are his sister Annette, of Mount Gambier, together with her husband Chris Klaassens, a Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club sponsor.

Meanwhile, former Broken Hill trainer Jack Trengove continued his outstanding run at Tara Raceway when leading-in four winners at last Thursday’s time-graded meeting.

Now based at Two Wells, Trengove has also trained four trebles and three doubles since first venturing down to the south-east on a regular basis in June.

Accompanying him last Thursday was his Broken Hill-based grandfather Peter Trengove who is currently holidaying in Adelaide. He is also catching up with his son Clint and wife Shelley and another grandson, Harrison (Jack’s cousin).

Appropriately, Trengove’s first winner was a greyhound called Harrison in the Hyland Fox Maiden Stake (400 m).

Hillbilly Road then followed up with an impressive win in 29.89 seconds in the Winning Post Supplies 5+ Wins Stake (512 m) when holding out Maximum Refusal to win by three-quarters of a length.

A recent purchase by Broken Hill baker Craig Thomas of five “Emerley” greyhounds, now being trained by Jack Trengove, contributed to the day’s big tally after Emerley Apep and Emerley Red won the final two events.

Emerley Apep, a son of Emerley Carlos x Dream Choice, looked good when scoring a 5½ lengths win over Bungaloo Danni in the Bartholomew Pick 6 Stake (400 m) in a quick 23.18 seconds.

Trengove wrapped up the day with a trifecta in the Metal Worx 1-4 Wins Stake (400 m) after Emerley Red (Aussie Infrared x Emerley Avenue) ran down his litter sister Emerley Aussie. On the line 1½ lengths separated the pair with Pulya filling third spot in 23.39 seconds.

And back at Angle Park that night, Clint Trengove (Jack’s uncle) continued the greyhound training family’s big day when Frankie Boy scored an outstanding win in a Leigh Rogers Feature heat.

By Fernando Bale out of Rhonda Rocks, Frankie Boy – a 12¾ lengths winner in 30.54 seconds – is a younger full brother to former champion chaser Sennachie.

Jack Trengove’s day at Tara Raceway on Thursday ended with four winners – including a trifecta in the last race with Emerley Red (Melissa Freitag), Emerley Aussie (Jack Trengove) and Pulya (Peter Trengove). Picture: Bronwyn Nicholson.

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