Saturday, August 8, 2020
Gifford Hill-based Tony Rasmussen, SA’s leading trainer, expects to have as many as eight runners in the forthcoming Group Listed Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
This follows his appearance on Thursday afternoon at the Mount Gambier track where wins by Cawbourne Toe, Viking Vince, Buddy Guy and Hot Sambuca preceded a double at Angle Park later that night with Vivid Dream and Major Havoc.
Six winners for the day and prompting him to reflect on that night at Angle Park back in 2002 when he trained six winners on the 10-race card.
Rasmussen, who will return this Thursday with mixed grade 5/6 finalists Buddy Guy, Hot Sambuca and third-placed Cawbourne Terry, said he would also be bringing down the greyhound he believes to be his best cup chance.
“They’re certainly better off having had a run on the track, especially leading into a bigger race, so that’s the plan for this week,” he said.
“Mind you, none of the four winners today had been around here before so that has to speak volumes for the track, in terms of its layout and camber, etc., and to those involved in its preparation.”
And Rasmussen was quick to make his presence felt at Tara Raceway, Cawbourne Toe leading all the way in the first race, the Swallow Drive Meats Stake (400 m), to defeat Connie’s Entity by three-quarters of a length in 23.20 seconds.
By Cosmic Rumble out of Cawbourne Ruby – a winner of six races from 27 starts on New Zealand tracks – the win continued Rasmussen’s successful association with NSW breeder-owner Stuart Dickinson.
A running double then followed when four-year-old Viking Vince found the front down the back before going away to a 1¾ lengths win in 23.16 seconds over Renmore in the Progreyhoundtips.com Stake (400 m).
The win of Viking Vince had a decided local flavour to it with the son of Fernando Bale and Group-winning stayer Shimaguni owned by Glencoe cabinetmaker Bryan Cram who was at Tara Raceway for the first time.
“I’ve had a few greyhounds in the past but Viking Vince is the first one that has actually got to race for me,” he said. “And today is also the first time that I have seen him race live and not on television.”
Cram, who originally was a member of a syndicate that raced the former WA brindle dog, two months ago purchased him outright. Two wins at Angle Park last month then followed prior to his Mount Gambier success.
Buddy Guy, one of 12 greyhounds being trained by Rasmussen for the Tsols Tips Syndications, led all the way in the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (512 m) when defeating the consistent Saint Caitlin by 2¼ lengths in a handy 29.94 seconds.
The brindle dog boasts a fair sort of pedigree, being by boom sire Fernando Bale out of nine-race winner Erelda Bale who is a member of the litter that includes Fanta Bale (42 wins and $1.3m in stakemoney).
And wrapping up a big day for Rasmussen was Hot Sambuca, successful in the Metal Worx Mixed Stake (512 m) in a time of 30.02 seconds after a keen battle with Fantastic Flame and Elle Limes.
In his kennels since breaking-in, Hot Sambuca was bred by his owner Angela Meimetis of Currency Creek, the Fernando Bale x Cuddletime Tears litter also including Hot Sophie, winner of this year’s Murray Bridge Cup for the same connections.
Meanwhile, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club found itself in a predicament after its race day veterinary surgeon, Craig Finlayson of Warrnambool, was unable to cross the border to officiate at Tara Raceway.
Long-time Adelaide race meeting veterinary surgeon, Chris Doyle, stepped in for Thursday’s meeting and will do so again this week.
Racing will then switch to Sundays for the Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup heats and final on August 23 and August 30 with officiating veterinary surgeon being Greg Moore of the Angle Park Veterinary Surgery.
Tara Raceway will then return to Thursday afternoon meetings during September.