Monday, May 29, 2017
SA greyhound racing dates released last week for the 2017-2018 season by Greyhound Racing SA has seen the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club allocated a record 78 meetings.
Sundays will remain the main day at Tara Raceway with 52 meetings to be conducted while 26 will be run on Fridays.
The allocation of the dates for July through to June came after what MGGRC secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard described as a successful two-month trial period when the club ran every Sunday and alternate Fridays.
“As a club we were more than happy with the support we received from owners and trainers,” he said. “Nominations for the Friday-Sunday meetings held up very well with the time-graded fixtures on Fridays proving to be popular with participants.”
The time-grading concept, likely to be soon introduced in several other states, endeavours to group greyhounds of a similar ability together in races and has given them the opportunity of finding winning form again.
And as Shepheard pointed out, the MGGRC had been keen to introduce innovative forms of racing in order that participants had been able to gain starts with their greyhounds.
“We started with Pathway racing for dogs that were running outside a certain time and also ran Masters events for older greyhounds in order that they could stay on the track longer.”
But, according to Shepheard, it appears likely that the time-graded format will replace Pathway and Masters events.
“We’re now at a stage where not too many greyhounds are missing out on a start and this is good. And participants like the idea of all greyhounds receiving prizemoney in the time-graded races which are framed on a ‘worst to best’ basis for maiden through to grade five greyhounds.
“GRSA is now keen to take time-grading to another level and as a result on June 16 the meeting will be grouped into three categories – maiden, one to four wins and five wins and over.”
December will be the busiest month in the new racing season with eight meetings being run, the main one being Sunday, December 24 which will feature the Christmas Cup, Royal Fashion Maiden and the Fashion D’Or Ladies Bracelet.
The time-honoured Anniversary Cup will be run on Sunday, July 23 and complemented by the John Reid Memorial Maiden and the Eric Lewis Memorial over 600 metres.
And the 2018 $20,000 Listed Mount Gambier Cup is set down to be run in late February and early March although this may change in order to avoid a clash with the Mount Gambier Harness Racing Gold Cup.
The MGGRC is also working in with GRSA in a bid to revamp the SA Country Cup and run the final at Angle Park on the night of the Adelaide Cup.
BELATED BIRTHDAY PRESENT
The wins of Cheyenne Black and Two Jobs at Tara Raceway on Sunday gave Serviceton trainer David Brodhurst his first double this year and also a belated birthday present after he turned 65 a few days ago.
For Brodhurst and his wife Valerie, who are popular regulars at Tara Raceway, Cheyenne Black’s win broke an exasperating run of four consecutive seconds when she was successful in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 metres).
But the black bitch’s chances of winning her first race since last December took a hit soon after box rise when she copped a fair sort of check.
Off the back, though, she was back in the race and giving chase after Bob Wombwell’s front-running Red River Rufus who was looking to make it a hat-trick of wins.
And in the home straight it was Cheyenne Black who finished full of running to defeat Ridd’s Flyer by 1¾ lengths with Red River Rufus holding on for third spot in 23.58 seconds.
By Cosmic Chief x Eva’s Flame, a winner of 11 races from 107 starts, Cheyenne Black, who found her way down to Serviceton in November 2015 via Lewiston trainer Don Turner, has now won nine races for Brodhurst.
The easy-going trainer still hasn’t worked out how Two Jobs’ turnaround in form came about after her Tara Raceway efforts earlier in the year had Brodhurst reaching for the phone book and the Greyhound Adoption Program’s number.
“She’s another one that had come down from Don,” Brodhurst said. “But to be honest, her Tara Raceway form for the first four months of this year had been awful.
“He suggested I find someone to give her to or try the GAP. As luck would have it, time-graded racing was about to commence and no one was more surprised than me when she came out and won over 512 metres in a best of day 30.21 seconds.”
By Cosmic Rumble out of the unraced Enlightment, Two Jobs then ran the promising Miss Legality – all at sea at The Meadows last Wednesday – to 4¼ lengths before finishing a strong second behind Lady Vixyma in a grade six heat (512 m) last week.
The fawn bitch, after drawing box one in Sunday’s final, settled in second spot behind odds-on favourite Swift Limes before finding the front off the back and running away to a 2½ length win over Yaramundi Domino in 30.40 seconds.
Sunday’s double continued Brodhurst’s good run at Tara Raceway with his small team. He has now accumulated 43 points and sits in 16th spot on the Leading Trainers’ list.
And Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott, successful at Gawler on Tuesday with Mo Town Roy, ended a rewarding week when the diminutive Panalo was successful in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m) on Sunday afternoon.
By Cosmic Rumble out of Wentworth Park winner Tifia, Panalo, another greyhound earmarked for GAP after some indifferent performances, took the lead off the back and finished strongly to defeat OK Ollie by 3¼ lengths in 30.59 seconds.
Panalo’s win was Abbott’s first with the black bitch who tips the scales at around 24 kilograms. Her last win had been in November last year when successful in a maiden event at Ipswich.