Munno Para West trainer Tim Aloisi has three runners into the Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup final this Sunday. And there appears to be plenty of upside to his trio’s chances in the 40th cup with Sunset Milo, Kipling and Rajasthan all having their first look at Tara Raceway in yesterday’s heats.
“It’s always a tough ask coming to a new track with greyhounds,” Aloisi said. “I tried it before and it didn’t work. I always said I wouldn’t try it again but I rolled the dice yesterday and it paid off.”
Not that Sunset Milo needs to find too much upside. Having his first start outside WA, where the son of My Bro Fabio and Jewel Action had won 14 races, he was in front going out of the first turn before finishing a 7½ lengths winner over Call Me Billy.
His time of 29.29 seconds for the 512 metres journey was the closest any greyhound has come to Rockoon’s record of 29.28 seconds run back on July 1, 2018.
Sunset Milo is a recent purchase from David Hobby and continues Aloisi and Matt Lehman’s successful relationship with the WA breeder who sold the pair their best dog to date – Honcho Monelli.
Kipling, the 410 metres Horsham record holder, showed his customary early pace from box five, matching it with Thunder On until the first turn. The son of Fernando Bale x Some Kinda Girl then took up the running, eventually having six lengths to spare over Two Times Twice in 29.56 seconds, the second-fastest of the five heats.
And Rajasthan, better known as a stayer, after drawing box one in the first heat found himself midfield down the back before storming home to go down by a head to Dyna Carnie in 29.84 seconds.
The race wasn’t a bad result for Aloisi, though. Rajasthan (Kinloch Brae x Telling You) and now a winner of close to $400,000 in stakemoney, will jump from box one in the $10,000-to-the-winner final. Dyna Carnie, trained at Allendale East by David Peckham, is owned by Aloisi in partnership with Lehman.
All told, Aloisi and Lehman have an interest in four finalists – Sunset Milo, Kipling, Rajasthan and Dyna Carnie as well as reserve runner Ask Me Now. Also sharing in the ownership of Kipling, Rajasthan and Ask Me Now are Damien Bates and Mick McSorley.
Involved in greyhound racing for eight years, Aloisi, 32, said his plan was to eventually train a few on a part-time basis although the main focus was on having Rob Camilleri and Deb Coleman of Lara train their better dogs.
“The cup finalists might have a run at Angle Park before they return to Lara. Then subject to how they are going they could return for the Adelaide Cup.
“But at the moment all we are focusing on is Sunday’s Mount Gambier Cup. This is a race we’d love to win because we really enjoy racing at Tara Raceway.”
Aloisi and Lehman were represented in last year’s Mount Gambier Cup final with Waterloo Monelli who finished unplaced after running second to Wanchai Express in a heat.
Making the trip down to Mount Gambier yesterday with Aloisi, Bates and McSorley was Reynella owner-trainer Wally Harkins, his first time at Tara Raceway and filling in as a catcher. He is best known as the owner-trainer of SA’s top stayer Sir Truculent.
Harkins’ story is quite remarkable in itself, the long-time participant finally cracking it for a top dog after breeding a litter by Worm Burner out of Establish, a winner of five non-descript races in NSW.
Initially, he sold all six members of the litter but retained a black dog (Sir Truculent) to train for interstate interests. Later, he purchased the dog back for $2000, Sir Truculent subsequently winning a further $30,000 and taking his overall record so far to 26 wins and $105,000 in stakemoney.