Thursday, December 13, 2018
The twists and turns of the 2018 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year continued this week.
Coming into last Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting, Paraphernalia and Oh No Beta shared the lead on 60 points, the former taking a one point lead after running third behind Hutch and Swift Limes in race five, the JB Irrigation Open Stake (512 metres).
And with the Nicole Stanley trained Oh No Beta lining up in race nine, the Greg Martlew Autos Free For All (400 m), there was a strong chance that the son of Lochinvar Marlow x Sometimes Speedy could be back in front by the end of the day.
But he also ran third, behind Usain Insane and Ramified in a quick 22.95 seconds, the pair still sharing the lead – on 61 points apiece – and only two Category 3 meetings remaining to sort out the winner.
As expected, Oh No Beta will contest a heat of this Sunday’s The Santa Sprint (400 m), drawing box three in a pretty handy field that includes Blazing Moment, Faster Bolt and Cryer’s Harper.
On the other hand, Paraphernalia, already a finalist in this year’s premier 512 metre events, the Mount Gambier Cup and Anniversary Cup, as well as a Mount Gambier SA Country Cup representative and Iron Dog winner, will not be running on Sunday.
Horsham trainer Jeff Guy accepts full responsibility for what can only be described as an “error of judgement”.
“To be honest, I was keen to switch distances with him so the 512 metre Christmas Cup was never really an option, my first choice being over 600 metres,” he said.
“I really thought that I had listed the 400 metre distance as a second preference on Paraphernalia’s nomination form but it turns out, after speaking with the Greyhound Racing SA grader, that this had not been the case.
“However, all is not lost. Even if Oh No Beta wins on Sunday, Paraphernalia’s still in with a chance providing there’s a race for him at the Christmas meeting on Friday, December 21.”
Two consecutive wins for Cryer’s Plugger sees him now sitting in third spot on 53 points in the GOTY. In an unlikely turn of events, wins in a heat and final of the Christmas Cup for the Tom Cryer trained dog while Oh No Beta and Paraphernalia fail to collect points at the final two Category 3 meetings and all of a sudden we have a triple dead-heat in the GOTY.
Besides Cryer’s Plugger, two other sub-30 second 512 metre winners from Tara Raceway last Sunday in Hutch and Dynamo Jezz will contest Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup heats.
Hutch, having his second run back after injury for Portland trainer Robert Halliday, looked good when defeating Swift Limes by 5¼ lengths in 29.92 seconds while Dynamo Jezz, trained at Lewiston by Don Turner, scored an easy win in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m) at his first look at the track in 29.91 seconds.
In what should be a terrific battle, Hutch and Dynamo Jezz will clash in the first heat of the Christmas Cup from boxes seven and four respectively.
John Little’s Springvale Alysa has drawn well in box one in the second heat although Peter Crawley’s Bomber Creek and Cryer’s Plugger will apply plenty of pressure from boxes two and four respectively.
Also engaged in this heat are the Tracie Price trained Swift Limes and David Peckham’s Usain Insane – both trainers chasing their third Christmas Cup – Price successful with Who’s Doing What and Fear The Rascal in 2014 and 2015 and Peckham with Napoleon Wiz and Bourne Again in 2011 and 2013.
Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott looks to hold a strong hand in the Christmas Challenge (600 m), Spinning Jakit likely to appreciate the drop back to grade five company when he jumps from box three in the first heat and Pool Hall, well boxed in the eight in the second heat, and a winner over 600 metres at Angle Park on Monday night.