Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Quick return to the winner’s list

For Penshurst trainer Brendan Casey – off the scene for what must have seemed an eternity as he waited for his three pups to finally hit the race track – his first winner back came fairly quickly.

He was at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting for the second consecutive Thursday with his Aussie Infrared x Banjo Lass littermates – Flax Mill and Matetsi having run minor placings on debut the previous week.

There’s not a lot of either of them – Flax Mill a 28½ kilogram fawn dog and named after the Penshurst Flax Mill that shut down some 70 years ago.

Brendan Casey with Flax Mill after his maiden win at Tara Raceway last Thursday.

And 22½ kilogram bitch Matetsi – raced in partnership with Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club committee member Michael Robinson. She takes the name of a village in Zimbabwe.

The other member of the trio is Swan Burow, yet to run a place at her two race starts. She was originally owned by the late John Burow of Penshurst, her name coming about through his passionate support of the Sydney Swans.

Flax Mill, a short-priced favourite in last Thursday’s Commercial Hotel Maiden Stake (400 metres), was slowly away from box eight before quickly rounding up the field and running out a 2¼ length winner over Full On Fury in 24.38 seconds.

In the same race was Matetsi, always on the pace at her first attempt at 400 metres, and eventually missing out in a photo for second placing.

The win of Flax Mill was Casey’s first in 12 months following wins by littermates Striking Holly and One Eyed Bill over distances of 400 metres and 600 metres respectively at Tara Raceway.

Casey’s involvement in greyhound racing actually goes back to 2004.

“I had been looking to get a greyhound of my own and as luck would have it, I collected $1800 off a daily double at the gallops,” he said.

“This was around the same time that Leon Garner of Warrnambool had a litter by No Intent out of Mepunga Image advertised for sale.

“I settled on a fawn dog that later raced as Busted Sav. He spent the majority of his racing career being trained at Lara by Ed Stanley. It was certainly a good introduction for me with him winning six races at Sandown Park, The Meadows and Cranbourne.”

Meanwhile, evergreen chaser Worms Are Biting landed his first win this year at Tara Raceway for Cape Bridgewater owner-trainer Scott Blacksell.

Having start number 138, Worms Are Biting led all the way from box one in the TG5+W Stake (400 m) and held out a fast finishing Correlate for a 1½ length win in 23.85 seconds.

In a career that kicked off three years ago with a seventh placing over 410 metres at Horsham, the 4½-year-old black dog has now won 11 races – nine over 400 metres at Mount Gambier and two 390 metre wins at Warrnambool.

Jude Tait and Worms Are Biting.

And for last year’s Mount Gambier Community Christmas Day Lunch, Blacksell, highly regarded for his charitable contributions through his greyhounds, had pledged a $50 donation for every win by Worms Are Biting in the lead-up to Christmas.

By Worm Burner out of 13-race winner Maximum Bella, Worms Are Biting was purchased by Blacksell and his partner Jude Tait as a four-month-old pup from Allendale East breeder David Peckham.

They also purchased two My Redeemer x Raz’s Girl pups from Peckham. Mocambora Izza has won 12 races while Mocambora Bella was retired after five wins.

“We purchase our greyhounds as pups and then rear them ourselves,” Blacksell said.

“Our most recent pup purchases from Dave were a dog and bitch by Superior Panama out of Sweet On Me. They now race as Mocambora Max and Mocambora Mia and both recently won their maidens.”

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