Monday, January 7, 2019
For former football coach Tim Richards it seems that open paddock galloping on the shores of Lake Albert at Meningie is working for his greyhounds.
Richards, who back in 2005 coached Jervois to a record-breaking premiership win over Tailem Bend in the River Murray Football League, these days is heavily involved in greyhound racing and based in a region that also boasts Cameron and Yvonne Butcher’s former super sprinter Worm Burner.
A periodic visitor to Tara Raceway throughout 2018, he wrapped up his year at the Mount Gambier track via a double with Sketchy Gun and Blue Blaze on December 16 before landing another double five days later.
On that occasion Sketchy Gun defeated kennelmate Crackerjack Jake in the Christmas Challenge final (600 metres) while Game Face improved on a first-up second at the previous meeting when defeating Pierce Bale and subsequent winner Sophie’s Moment in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m).
Game Face, a son of Cosmic Rumble and Kulu Mystery (a winner of seven races over short courses at Lismore and Ipswich) was picked up by Richards in May last year after having won four races in Victoria – including a 29.88 seconds 515 metre win at Sandown Park.
The black dog has turned out to be a handy acquisition, winning a further six races, five of those at Angle Park. In fact, such was his form leading into last October’s Adelaide Cup at the city track that Richards opted to run Game Face in the Group 1 event.
“He’d won three races in a row prior to the cup so I figured he was probably worth a try but unfortunately he fell in the heat won by Alpha Aion and was then off the scene for a couple of months.
“He’s won at Angle Park and Mount Gambier since returning and I thought he worked home quite well for third place last Thursday night at Angle Park behind Fabwik.”
Richards’s involvement in the sport goes back to April, 2016, his first dog being Cosmic Wonder who had last won at Cowra in October 2015 prior to his new trainer winning four races with him between June and August, 2016.
And as testament to the perseverance of Richards, Cosmic Wonder would race for a further two years without winning another race, eventually retiring after 133 starts and well over five years of age.