Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Playing it cool at Tara Raceway

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Koroit trainer Peter Keane, something of a Tara Raceway regular over the past couple of months, was quickly into stride at last Sunday’s meeting when Cool Number scored an impressive win in the second race, the JB Irrigation Stake (400 metres).

Having only his second race start in four months, the black dog led all the way from box four, eventually running out a three length winner over a fast-finishing Lika Missile in 23.39 seconds, much to the delight of part-owners Lindsay Brookes and Gary Thomson who were on course.

Speedy Scar brings up a treble for Peter Keane at Tara Raceway last Sunday when defeating Dimora Bekim, Luca Flyer and Cryer’s Sid in the final event.

Raced under the banner of the Many Winners Syndicate, which also includes Keane, his sister-in-law Bev Keane and Graham Dix, Cool Number was purchased by the syndicate for $1000 after running second over 390 metres at Warrnambool in January.

By Magic Sprite out of Cover Girl, a Victorian provincial winner of six races, he started his career in Tasmania where he won his maiden at Launceston, the Many Winners Syndicate landing their first race with Cool Number at Warrnambool in April, last Sunday being their second win with the dog.

And as the day progressed things got even better for Keane. In fact, from a training point of view, last Sunday turned out to be his most successful day at a greyhound track in close to 29 years.

My Mandara, a son of Mepunga Geordie and State Chill, who won nine races at Warrnambool, was always on the pace from box two in the Mixed Stake (400 m), railing through approaching the home turn and running out a 2¼ length winner over Spirited Bingle in 23.32 seconds.

Owned by the breeder, Debbie Wright of Port Fairy, My Mandara’s win came on the back of some consistent recent efforts at Tara Raceway and Warrnambool, Keane previously successful with the fawn dog at the local track in late September.

So come the last race, the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m), and the Keane-trained Speedy Scar, despite being off the scene for a while, was expected to go well from box one.

Speedy Scar quickly took up the running, Keane’s treble looking pretty safe a long way from home although in the end Dimora Bekim made him work for his three winners when digging deep in the home straight and running the leader to a head in 23.44 seconds.

Peter Keane (right) with Cool Number, Lindsay Brookes (left) handles Speedy Scar while Gary Thomson is pictured with My Mandara.

And it was another winner for Brookes who owns Speedy Scar outright after purchasing the son of Nitro Burst x Lektra Candy as a pup for $1500 from Koroit breeder Nick Sheehan.

Keane’s first and only other training treble was at Warrnambool on December 30, 1989 when Star Profile (Roy Trease x Young Propriety) won over 450 metres, Linda Michelle (Bowetzel x Bridarlin) was successful in the Jean Walsh Memorial (680 m) and the beautifully bred Sydney Kate (Shining Chariot x Sydney Dingaan) scored at her first start.

Sydney Kate, incidentally, was a litter sister to Immortal Flash, who as a five-year-old and with 98 starts to his name, won the 1993 Mount Gambier Cup at Glenburnie.

Speaking at Tara Raceway last Sunday, Keane said he still had a vivid recollection of that first treble.

“Yes, I still remember the night well because the treble clinched the 1989 Warrnambool trainers’ premiership for me,” Keane said.

He trained his first winner in 1982 and since then has handled some more than handy dogs including the locally-bred Miami Mike, a son of Tempix and Kori Spot, who won over 732 metres at the old Olympic Park track in Melbourne.

But for all the greyhounds that have passed through his kennels over the years, Keane still reckons Hoppy’s Girl (Tangairn x Sydney Gem) is the best he’s trained.

She won six races at Olympic Park and Sandown Park, and one over 550 metres at Ballarat, before proving to be a prolific producer.

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