Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Robbie’s chasing some fun in the sun

Portland trainer Robert Halliday looks like he might have a contender in Compton Robbie for next month’s Summer Classic, an age-restricted race run over 512 metres for greyhounds whelped on or after January 1, 2021.

By Glen Gallon out of Lots Of Yap, the April 2021 black dog stepped up to 512 metres at yesterday’s New Year’s Day meeting at Tara Raceway after having won the Peter Whitehead Memorial Maiden (400 m) on December 18.

Shirley and Robert Halliday with Compton Robbie after his impressive 512 metre debut at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

Jumping from box one in the Carlin & Gazzard MG Stake, Compton Robbie led all the way when defeating Four Longnecks by 5½ lengths in a pretty tidy 29.94 seconds given that it was only his fourth race start.

As far as Halliday was concerned, he reckoned he was just about at the stage where it would make more sense to buy a ready to race dog rather than breed another litter and then have to wait two years to see what he had.

“I was at Tara Raceway back in October when Compton Robbie had his first start for Tracie Price. And I thought there was a lot to like about his third placing so I made Tracie an offer and he accepted,” the octogenarian trainer said.

Halliday is no stranger to Summer Classic success. In 2017 he was successful with Hutch who defeated Blitz And Bolt in the final in 30.30 seconds.

And Compton Robbie’s dam, Lots Of Yap, won a heat of the 2015 Summer Classic before finishing fourth behind Cryer’s Ricky in the final. The following month she went on to win the Mount Gambier Cup.

This year’s Summer Classic will be part of the Greyhound Racing SA Family Fun in the Sun promotion. South Australia’s four greyhound clubs – Angle Park, Gawler, Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier – will all be involved.

Each club will host a feature race in January or February with Angle Park’s worth $14,250 and the other clubs $10,000 each. This will make Mount Gambier’s Summer Classic second only to the Mount Gambier Cup when it comes to prize money.

Speaking at Tara Raceway yesterday, Halliday said he had been more than happy with Compton Robbie’s first effort over 512 metres.

“I thought he handled himself pretty well. He overcame a bit of trouble on the first turn and then looked to stretch out well before finishing strongly for a five length win over Four Longnecks who has been racing consistently.

“No doubt the Summer Classic will be tougher again. But his time of 29.94 seconds today was a good starting point and hopefully he’ll just continue to improve.”

Meanwhile, only a half head separated Ebby Tock and Mick’s Kimmy at the end of the 732 metre Nellie Noodles New Year’s Gift.

Karen and Tracie Price and Noel Perry (MGGRC president) with Ebby Tock, winner of the Nellie Noodles New Year’s Gift (732 m).

In what was a terrific race, Adelong, a winner of four Tara Raceway distance races from five starts, opened up a handy break early. But it was her arch rival Ebby Tock who took up the running turning for home.

And just as the daughter of Aussie Infrared and Zipping Kelly looked set for a comfortable win, Mick’s Kimmy, the 4½-year-old back marker, emerged from the pack to finish strongly, narrowly going down at start number 120 in 44.08 seconds.

Raced by NSW owner Michael Eberand and trained at Compton by Tracie Price, Ebby Tock’s distance record at Tara Raceway now stands at seven starts for four wins and three minor placings.

The New Year’s Gift is named after Nellie Noodles, who held the Mount Gambier 732 metre track record from March 27, 2011 until April 10, 2022 in a time of 43.45 seconds.

Adelaide-based Ross Schurgott’s Nineofus Syndicate enjoyed a good weekend when Captain Larry opened his winning account in Victoria with an all the way win over 525 metres at The Meadows on Saturday night.

Captain Red Tin cools off after winning at Tara Raceway on Sunday for trainer David Peckham and the Nineofus Syndicate.

Trained at Lara by Brendan Pursell, Captain Larry – previously a winner of 12 races at Mount Gambier, Angle Park and Murray Bridge when trained at Allendale East by David Peckham – ran a close to best of night 29.80 seconds when winning by five lengths.

Then at yesterday’s Tara Raceway meeting, Peckham and the Nineofus Syndicate landed an early double when Captain Red Tin and Venetian Jet were successful in the Bartholomew Pick 6 Maiden Stake (400 m) and the Exchange Printers Stake (400 m).

Captain Red Tin, a member of the successful Bernardo x Dusseldorp litter, led all the way when defeating Turbo Gear by 4¼ lengths in 23.70 seconds.

And Venetian Jet (Fabregas x Yielding) also led all the way, running out a 3¾ length winner over Hannah Rocks in a personal best 23.24 seconds.

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