Portland trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan well remembers those days at Toolong when still a schoolboy and walking greyhounds with his father Brian and his brothers.
“I still recall one of the dogs that I used to walk winning at the opening meeting of the new Warrnambool track in September 1978,” he said.
Lenehan was speaking after a pretty good day at Tara Raceway yesterday when he had been successful with Radioactive, Aston Shintaro, Hostile Savage and Daph’s Express.
Actually, it was better than a pretty good day. It was his best day ever at the track – his previous best being at Tara Raceway back in July 2019 when he was successful with Joshua Rocks, Nitro Missile and Lektra Brandy in the Anniversary Cup.
Radioactive, who had incurred the wrath of stewards early in the year in Victoria, kicked Lenehan’s day off with an all the way win in 23.19 seconds in the Todd’s Photographics Stake (400 m).
This was the son of Fernando Bale x Nicky’s Gift’s third win at Tara Raceway after owner Jarrod Sharp had contacted Lenehan to see if he would be interested in giving the black dog some runs behind the finish-on-lure.
Aston Shintaro staged a big last to first win in the Commercial Hotel Stake (400 m) when defeating Picogram by 1¾ lengths in 23.34 seconds.
And according to Lenehan, the black dog is another one that had issues early in his career.
“At one stage he just wouldn’t go. So he was sent to Koroit to be re-educated and as he showed today he is certainly going a lot better now.”
Hostile Savage led all the way in the Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (600 m), defeating Porridge Box, who made up a fair amount of ground, by 3¾ lengths in 35.18 seconds.
By Hostile out of Sweet Savage, Hostile Savage is owned by Jim Collins, formerly of Mount Gambier, who purchased the dog as a pup and then entrusted the rearing to Lenehan and Nicole Stanley.
The last time Lenehan received a call from leading Victorian trainer Tom Dailly he ended up with a Mount Gambier Cup finalist. This time it was to see if he wanted Daph’s Extreme who had won three races in Victoria before “going off the boil”.
The blue and white son of Fernando Bale x Zippy Daph went into yesterday’s Progreyhoundtips.com Stake (400 m) with two quick recent 390 metres runs to his name at Warrnambool for his new trainer. And he ran right up to that form with a 5½ lengths all the way win over Another Cadillac in 23.19 seconds.
Lenehan probably now gets excited every time his phone rings!