Sunday, August 25, 2019
The theory is that if a reserve runner happens to gain a start at a time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway then it’s a fair chance the greyhound will win the race.
This is because of the “worst to best” grading system for these meetings where the reserves are, in theory anyway, the best dogs drawn in the field.
It doesn’t always work out that way although at last Thursday’s time-graded meeting the two reserves gaining a start – Lost Love and Blackpool Remi – were both successful in their respective races.
Lost Love, a daughter of US sire Kiowa Producer who won 50 races and Gold Chalice, a 10-race winner with five of those wins being at The Meadows, found her way to Portland and trainer Nifty Lenehan back in April after having won 13 races on Victorian provincial tracks.
And the 3½-year-old brindle bitch did the job well, leading all the way from box four in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 metres) and holding out a fast-finishing Loroupe to win by three-quarters of a length in a best of day 30.19 seconds.
The winner is owned by Lenehan’s father, Brian, who also bred the litter – Gold Chalice, like all of his dogs from the early 1980s onwards, tracing back to his foundation brood bitch and Hall of Famer Sydney Gem.
A $2 bet placed in 1978 and how it started a greyhound racing dynasty is a story that’s been told plenty of times but probably worthy of recapping.
Brian Lenehan’s $2 Quaddie bet led to a collect of $1000, prompting him to purchase his first greyhound, a pup with full Irish bloodlines by Lively Band out of Monalee Again.
Lenehan had been looking for something he could eventually breed with so he purchased the pup for $800 after seeing her advertised in the Sporting Globe newspaper.
That pup turned out to be Sydney Gem, who despite a modest racing career, later had a remarkable influence on the lives of the Lenehan family and Victorian greyhound breeding.
Last week’s win was Lost Love’s first at Tara Raceway, Nifty Lenehan saying that her litter was the last to be bred by his father, hence the names of a couple of the litter – Brian’s Last and No More.
It hadn’t been all plain sailing for Blackpool Remi, chasing her first win in five months, and her owner-trainer Shaun Baulch who is based at Grovedale, a suburb of Geelong.
Picked up in July by Baulch, a two-dog trainer, the daughter of Barcia Bale and NSW city-winning sprinter Paua And Jewels after only four days at Grovedale suffered an early setback when running into a fence and injuring a front leg.
But Blackpool Remi at her fifth start for her new trainer led all the way last week in the Winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m) to give Baulch his first win with the black bitch and his third at Tara Raceway this year after Nick’s Never and Pandora’s Glory were successful in May and June.
All told, Blackpool Remi’s litter, which also includes Blackpool Doc, Blackpool Ivy, Blue Vegas and Mav, has now won 46 races.
Meanwhile, there were a few rough results at the time-graded meeting, none rougher than that of Tony Harding’s $41 chance Cindy La Moment who defied the opposition to run her down in the Laser Electrical Stake (600 m).
The win was the daughter of Nolen x Penny La Plume’s first in 12 months. That was when she won a heat of the Winter Classic (512 m), going into the final as the sentimental favourite but running into a talented one in the form of Smart Knocka who after winning the classic went to Angle Park where he was runner-up in the SA Derby (515 m) before winning the Adelaide Cup Consolation (515 m).
It had been a busy few days for the Hamilton-based Harding who had been at Horsham on the Tuesday and Murray Bridge the following day before making the trip to Mount Gambier on Thursday.
The three-year-old Cindy La Moment is widely-travelled, having now accumulated 84 race starts at Mount Gambier, Strathalbyn, Horsham, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Murray Bridge, Ballarat, Healesville and Shepparton for five wins and 12 minor placings.
Thursday’s meeting saw the temporary kennel house in operation for the first time. And neither greyhounds nor participants appeared to have any problems with the portable structure, situated alongside the existing kennel house which is currently being refurbished.
Already the original brick and concrete kennels have been removed with work, expected to be completed in late September, continuing this week on the $250,000 project.
Besides new stainless steel kennels (currently in place in the temporary kennel house), the project will involve adding internal cladding to the entire building and applying an epoxy floor coating.
The revised kennel house configuration will also incorporate a stewards’ room and bring the building into line with the modern facilities at the Angle Park, Gawler and Murray Bridge tracks.