With the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s contracted race day veterinary surgeon based in Warrnambool, border restrictions have certainly made things difficult at times regarding the running of race meetings at Tara Raceway.
In the past, club president Noel Perry had successfully sourced outside vets from Adelaide, Kingston, Keith and Warracknabeal. However, for the latest lockdown he needed to look no further than Mount Gambier and Denis Goulding for Thursday’s race meeting and the one on Sunday.
Better known for his work within the equine vet industry, he has been caring for horses for more than 30 years. This includes acting as team veterinarian at four Olympic Games, numerous World Equestrian Games and other major international competitions.
Goulding was the Australian team vet at the Olympic Games in 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and 2004 in Athens, assisting the teams in winning four gold medals.
His involvement with greyhounds goes back to the beginning of mechanical lure racing in the South-East – out at Glenburnie in 1979 when the race programs of the day listed Clarke & Goulding as the club’s vets.
Speaking at the Lake Terrace East venue on Thursday, Goulding said he couldn’t believe the transformation the track and its amenities had undergone since he had last officiated there.
“It would have been something like 15 years since I was last out here,” he said. “And to be honest, I didn’t recognise the place when I drove in. The changes are impressive and certainly a credit to the local club.”
Meanwhile, the wins of litter sisters Bungaloo Erin and Bungaloo Sarah at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting on Thursday gave Kongorong trainer John Little his first double since Bungaloo Tex and Bungaloo Danni had been successful at the end of April.
By Pure Titanium out of Bungaloo Sunset, outsider Bungaloo Erin chased the favourite Pongo for much of the journey in the Todd’s Photographics 1-4 Wins Stake (400 metres) before finishing the stronger for a 1½ lengths win in 23.60 seconds.
And Bungaloo Sarah, after taking the lead down the back straight in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (600 m), ran out a 2½ lengths winner over another of her litter sisters in Bungaloo Ebony in 35.93 seconds.
Little also bred the litter, Pure Titanium racing on only 15 occasions for six wins at Sandown Park, The Meadows and Bendigo. The son of Shiraz Point x Special Times has since sired six litters.
Bungaloo Sunset whelped only the one litter which so far this year has produced 12 winners. She won seven races herself at Tara Raceway, her last win coming in May 2016 when she defeated Tom Cryer’s former top local chaser Cryer’s Fred.
Bourne Alvin (Paddy Whacker x Bungaloo Lucy), also bred by Little, was successful for Allendale East owner-trainer David Peckham. Leading for most of the 512 metres journey, he held out kennelmate Captain Obvious to win Thursday’s Exchange Printers 1-4 Wins Stake by 1¼ lengths in 30.17 seconds.
Earlier in the day, the win of Bourne Rose in the Williams Crane Hire Maiden (400 m) marked another training milestone for Peckham. Leading all the way, the daughter of Paddy Whacker and Raz’s Girl held out Santino Gold to win by three-quarters of a length in 23.68 seconds.
Bourne Rose’s win was a significant one for Peckham given that it was his 65th for the year at Tara Raceway. Include his wins at Angle Park and Murray Bridge and his overall tally on SA tracks for 2021 after race two on Thursday hit the 100 mark.
This year’s Mount Gambier Ian Badger Leading Trainer award looks likely to go down to the wire. Tracie Price currently leads with 72 wins and a total of 436 points from Peckham (66, 398).