Tuesday, May 5, 2020
While the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club is still a long way from returning to its pre-COVID-19 two meetings a week format, it was heartened to be able to run a nine-race program at Tara Raceway on Thursday.
With border and intrastate restrictions, not to mention the canine gastroenteritis outbreak and the fact that Victorian trainers are currently unable to race in SA, would suggest the club has probably done pretty well so far to run one meeting a week, let alone two.
After a couple of cancellations, Sunday meetings were dropped, the one meeting a week format – run solely for locally-based greyhounds – kicking off on Thursday, April 9 with seven races but no patrons, catering or on-course TAB.
The following three Thursday fixtures attracted sufficient greyhounds to run eight-race programs, Thursday’s meeting, though, the best to be conducted at Tara Raceway for a while and highlighted by Galactic Athena’s bid to win five races in a row at the track.
The Steve Bartholomew trained, Robert Chuck owned brindle bitch took advantage of her litter sister Galactic Destiny moving out on the home turn when they met last week over 400 metres, Galactic Athena making it four wins in succession with a 2½ lengths victory in 23.26 seconds.
Winning in slightly quicker time last week was the David Peckham trained Squishy Pea who ran 23.24 seconds – the pair now set to clash in Thursday’s Bourne Kennels Mixed Stake (400 m).
A daughter of Paddy Whacker and Galactic Rumball, Galactic Athena won’t turn three until August and is still right in the mix for another crack at the Mount Gambier Cup (512 m) which will be run this year once the borders are re-opened.
If successful, Galactic Athena, who won the 2019 Mount Gambier Cup in a race record 29.43 seconds, would become the first greyhound to win two cups in the 40-year history of the event.