Monday, March 11, 2019
Hobby trainer Heath McAdam, based at the Bellarine Peninsula seaside town of Ocean Grove, had this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup well and truly in mind when making the 400 kilometre trip to Tara Raceway with No Excuse for Sunday afternoon’s meeting.
The brindle dog’s last win had been at Sandown Park over 515 metres in 29.79 seconds at the end of December, although a 29.83 seconds effort when running second a couple of weeks ago at the same track had McAdam keen to test the waters in Mount Gambier.
This was the trainer’s first visit to the track and with No Excuse drawing box six and running into a more than handy field of grade five greyhounds in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (512 m) there was a fair chance that he would know exactly where he stood after the race from a cup point of view.
As it turned out, lack of track knowledge made no difference, No Excuse going straight to the front and eventually running out a 7¾ length winner over Lone Star in 30.17 seconds – the best of the day on a track not conducive to quick times due to solid rain earlier in the day.
Raced by the seven-member Larry Syndicate, the winner is by Fernando Bale out of Victorian city-winning stayer Scusami Hotel, the 42-year-old McAdam purchasing the September 2015 whelping in August 2018.
“He’d actually had 63 starts when we purchased him,” he said. “Since then he’s raced a further 25 times for wins at Horsham, The Meadows, Sandown Park and now Mount Gambier, his effort today really pleasing from a Mount Gambier Cup point of view.”
Meanwhile, Rose Ali, one of the best local chances for this year’s cup, brought up her fifth win from seven starts at the track when finishing strongly to defeat China Catch ‘Em by a nose in the final of the JB Irrigation Grade 5 final (512 m).
Now jumping better, Rose Ali was in front going out of the first turn but was unable to match the pace of China Catch ‘Em who opened up a handy break down the back straight and at one stage looked some chance of causing a massive boilover.
But Rose Ali, the middle leg of a treble with Our Man Zed and Kolora Posie also successful, ultimately continued Allendale East trainer David Peckham’s outstanding run at Tara Raceway this year when grabbing the leader in the shadows of post in a time of 30.33 seconds.
For the luckless China Catch ‘Em, trained at Charlton by Kevin Ashton, it was his fourth consecutive minor placing at Tara Raceway, the brindle dog last winning in June last year at Tara Raceway.
Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott ran the quinella in the Rock’s Retreat Mixed Stake (600 m) with litter brothers Black Spring and Spinning Jakit finishing the race off strongly, the former winning by five lengths in 35.96 seconds.
By Spring Gun x Lektra Scarlett, the brothers’ efforts had Abbott later in the day declaring that they would be part of a big team that he would be nominating in a bid to try and finally win a Mount Gambier Cup.
In 2007 he ran second to Army Officer with Cape Arrow and then in 2010 White Arrow, a daughter of Cape Arrow, finished fifth behind Kirkstall Jane.
And Kongorong trainer John Little is hoping to return to Murray Bridge this Sunday with Springvale Alysa for the Murray Bridge Cup Consolation (455 m) after she showed early pace before finishing fifth in a heat last Friday.
Little said Springvale Alysa, who last raced at Tara Raceway on January 20 when successful over 512 metres in 30.05 seconds, would then tackle the Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup (512 m), heats of which will be run on Sunday, March 24.