Gifford Hill-based Tony Rasmussen, SA’s leading trainer, will collect Greyhound Racing SA’s $5000 bonus if either Little Earner or Cawbourne Terry can win Sunday’s Bourne Kennels Mount Gambier Cup (512 metres).
As was the case last year, GRSA allocated a $5000 bonus for any greyhound winning both the Murray Bridge Cup and the Mount Gambier Cup in the same year. Another bonus of $5000 has also been allocated to a trainer winning both cups but with different greyhounds.
And while the Rasmussen-trained Hot Sophie, a surprise winner of the Murray Bridge Cup in March, is currently sidelined, her trainer is still in the hunt for a $5000 bonus after Little Earner and Cawbourne Terry clocked 29.92 seconds and 29.76 seconds respectively to win their heats last Sunday.
Little Earner is raced by the Rasmussen family who purchased the daughter of Barcia Bale x Magic Earner from NSW in July last year at a “reasonable price”. She has now won nine races.
Obviously benefiting from two lead-up races at Tara Raceway earlier this month, Little Earner was able to find the front down the back straight before running out a 2½ lengths winner over Ask Me Now.
According to Rasmussen, the black bitch has come along nicely in the 12 months she’s been based at Gifford Hill (10 kilometres from Murray Bridge).
“Sunday’s race is probably a fair ask but finals can be funny races. She has run 29.59 seconds (515 metres) at Angle Park and if she finds the lead who knows what might eventuate because she is a quick bitch when on the lure,” he said.
Cawbourne Terry looked to be in some trouble early in his heat after an ordinary start from box five. But a rails run on the first turn allowed him to find the front down the back, the black dog ultimately holding off the local hope Rough Pearl to win by a head in 29.76 seconds.
By Swift Fancy x Cawbourne Ignite, Cawbourne Terry is owned by his breeder Stuart Dickinson of Camden (NSW), the black dog joining Rasmussen’s kennels 12 months ago and subsequently winning 10 races.
He’ll go into Sunday’s Group Listed $10,000-to-the-winner event with a fair idea of what finals’ racing is all about. He reached last year’s Group 1 Adelaide Cup final, along with the finals of the 2020 Murray Bridge Cup and the Murray Bridge Straight Track Cup.
And while Rasmussen is under no illusions as to how hard Sunday’s 40th Mount Gambier Cup will be to win, he rates Cawbourne Terry a strong chance of being in the money from box four.
“Look, this dog can run. Besides, anything can happen in these sorts of races.”