Portland greyhound Rotate opened his winning account this year for owner-trainer Robert Halliday when surprising in the Swallow Drive Meats Open Stake (512 metres) at Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting.
One of the outsiders in the six-dog field, the blue dog gained a clear passage early from box eight before settling in second spot mid-race behind the well-fancied Spring Value who looked to be travelling like a winner.
But off the back Rotate found the front before running out a three-quarters of a length winner in 30.03 seconds over $2.10 favourite Silent Jacko while the early leader was a further half-length back in third spot.
For the son of General Destini and Guru Doll it was his 10th win from 50 starts, Halliday later saying he would run Rotate in the Commercial Hotel Mount Gambier Cup heats (512 m) in a fortnight’s time.
“Look, I wouldn’t expect that he would make it through to the cup final but there’s always the cup consolation to fall back on.”
The long-time trainer has never won a Mount Gambier Cup but was successful in the 2018 cup consolation with his former terrific chaser Hutch who defeated Henry in a best of day time of 29.56 seconds.
In fact, Hutch contested three Mount Gambier Cups, reaching the 2017 final which was won by the flying Fabregal. The following year he finished unplaced in a heat behind Print The Money before winning the consolation. Then, in 2019, he ran Aston It Is to 1¾ lengths in a heat.
Meanwhile, Koroit trainer Peter Keane was back at Tara Raceway with Gotcha Laz for Sunday’s Bartholomew Pick 6 Grade 5 final (400 m). This was after being initially unaware that the brindle dog’s outstanding win at the track the previous week had been in a heat.
“To be honest, I had no idea that the race he won had been a heat until I received an email from GRSA a few days’ later informing me that Gotcha Laz had drawn box seven in Sunday’s final,” Keane said.
“I should have been aware of the procedure in relation to heats and final races at SA tracks. As a result Lindsay (Brookes) and I made the trip over with only one dog when we could have brought a few more had the nominations not already been closed.”
But for all that, the trip turned out to be worthwhile after Gotcha Laz, a member of the successful Fernando Bale x Sisco Sizzle litter, turned in an another outstanding effort in Sunday’s final when leading all the way to defeat Aston Model by 1¾ lengths in 22.92 seconds.
Gotcha Laz is now likely to tackle the Formula 400 at cup time. This is an Open event over 400 metres with heats on Sunday, April 11 and the final complementing the Mount Gambier Cup on Sunday, April 18.
The Keane-trained pair Me Silly and Hello Keen, both littermates of Gotcha Laz, are also likely to return for the Mount Gambier Cup heats after recently clocking 30.00 seconds and 30.04 seconds respectively over 512 metres when placed behind Rough In Vegas.