Thursday, December 29, 2016
It has often been said that there’s a race for every greyhound.
Well, as far as Another Rouse was concerned, Penshurst owner and Tara Raceway regular Jack Casey must have been starting to wonder.
After all, when lining up in last Friday’s Berringa Park Maiden heat (512 metres) it had been 378 days since Another Rouse had made his debut at Tara Raceway on Friday, December 11, 2015 and following 22 starts he was still chasing his first win.
By Cape Hawke out of 2010 Mount Gambier Cup winner Kirkstall Jane, the black dog had been purchased as a six-month-old pup by Casey from Glencoe breeder-trainer Barry Shepheard.
The pair had previously teamed up to race the durable chaser Rouse Flyer, who all told had gone around 123 times for 26 wins and 44 minor placings.
Ultimately, Casey would name his latest purchase Another Rouse, no doubt hoping for more of the same.
But by September Shepheard had had enough and suggested to Casey that they have the dog assessed with a view to placing him in the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).
However, Another Rouse found himself back in work after being deemed unsuitable for re-homing when failing to pass the GAP assessment. Can’t this dog do anything right? Casey must have been asking himself.
The popular owner hadn’t missed too many of his dog’s runs – although at times he probably wished he had. But last week he opted not to make the trip over and take up his customary spot at the finish line fence.
Another Rouse, who had previously failed to run a place in three goes from box eight, came out running from the wide draw, leading all the way to win in 30.15 seconds, a time somewhat quicker than his previous personal best of 30.63 seconds.
It could be said that this had been a case of racing from GAP to glory!
In fact, his was the fourth fastest maiden run this year at Tara Raceway, being beaten only by Homer 29.84, Berry Bling 29.94 and King Obama 30.10.
Incidentally, not only had Casey been trying to win a race all year he had also been after one of the weekly meat trays which are drawn for members who are on-course.
And there are no prizes for guessing whose number came out first but was ineligible due to non-attendance!
Meat tray aside, it wasn’t a bad couple of the days for the Casey family with nephew Brendan being rewarded for his perseverance after Rizzocca won on debut over 390 metres at Warrnambool on the Saturday.
By Cosmic Chief, Rizzocca is out of Spin A Yarn, a winner of nine races at Tara Raceway for fellow Penshurst trainer John Burow.
Rizzocca, in fact, is only a month younger than Another Rouse but Burow had been having all sorts of problems with the then unnamed black dog’s temperament and several months ago gave him away to Casey.
Temperament, among other things, was indeed an issue as the dog’s new owner-trainer soon discovered – for starters, two stints at breaking-in establishments to finally get him chasing and then an operation for an undescended testicle.
Rizzocca, who ran a handy 22.38 seconds when winning his maiden heat, will line up from box three in Saturday night’s $1325 to the winner final at Warrnambool while Another Rouse looks to have drawn well in box two in the Laser Electrical Maiden final (512 m), which will be the first of 12 races in Sunday’s season opener at Tara Raceway.
Surely, Jack Casey will be back at the fence on Sunday, hoping Another Rouse can now go on with the job and win the first race run at Tara Raceway in 2017.
Hoping, also, to defy the meat tray odds and have his number drawn out of the barrel for a second consecutive week.