Somewhat surprisingly, it took the Worrolong-based Rough Pearl eight starts to finally open his winning account over 512 metres at Tara Raceway.
Surprising, inasmuch, he’s the greyhound that previously this year had been placed in Mount Gambier’s two major 512 metres events – the Anniversary Cup and the Mount Gambier Cup.
Lining up in yesterday’s Trackside Meats Grade Five final on the back of an unlucky third in a heat the previous week, the son of Dyna Double One and West On Jorji was always going to be hard to hold out when settling in third spot down the back behind Fantastic Flame and Our Man Zed.
And in the run home he was simply too strong for the early leader, winning by 1½ lengths with another strong finisher in Black Spring a further length back in third spot in a best of day time of 29.81 seconds.
Raced by mother and daughter team, Lee and Elysia Bartholomew – and trained by the former – Rough Pearl now looks to be one of Mount Gambier’s better chances in the forthcoming local division of the SA Country Cup (512 m).
A maximum of two heats will be run at Tara Raceway on Thursday, September 24 with the two winners representing Mount Gambier in the final over 515 metres at Angle Park on Adelaide Cup night (Friday, October 9).
In the event of only one heat being conducted, first and second placegetters will head to Angle Park to do battle with representatives from Gawler and Murray Bridge in the $6430 G-SIX SA Country Cup final.
Last year’s Mount Gambier Country Cup representatives were Galactic Titan, trained by Lee Bartholomew’s husband Steve, and John Little’s Springvale Alysa – recently mated with Fabregas – who finished third in the final.
Rough Pearl was the second leg of a littermate running double for the Bartholomew girls – Dick Grayson leading all the way to defeat Mediation by two lengths in the Bourne Kennels Maiden/One Win Stake (512 m).
It took the white and black bitch 14 starts to open her winning account but her two runs since then have also been pretty good – a fast-finishing second to Gold Burner prior to yesterday’s win in 30.01 seconds.
Confession and Mediation, a couple of greyhounds formerly trained at Portland by Robert Halliday, performed quite well yesterday for their new connections.
Halliday, currently hamstrung by border restrictions, recently sent the pair on a giveaway basis to Mount Gambier in order that they could continue their racing at Tara Raceway where he believed they would be better suited.
Now racing Confession are Tarpeena-based Dita Mitchell and Shane Flink, of Mount Gambier, the former taking over the training of the son of General Destini and Guru Doll only a couple of weeks ago.
A maiden winner at Tara Raceway early in the year, the brindle dog never looked in any danger of defeat in yesterday’s JB Irrigation Maiden/One Win Stake (400 m), leading all the way to defeat litter brother Conductor by 7¾ lengths in 23.37 seconds.
Mediation, a nicely-bred son of US sire SH Avatar and Cairnlea Shadow, pushed Dick Grayson to two lengths and shouldn’t remain a maiden much longer for Mount Gambier trainer Noel Perry.
Adelaide trainers Kevin Bewley and Charlie Adcock, who threw their support behind yesterday’s Tara Raceway meeting, were both rewarded with a winner.
By Barcia Bale out of top producer Full Noise Turbo, Night Glow led all the way in the Progreyhoundtips.com Stake (400 m) for Bewley, defeating Shimmy Sharna by 1½ lengths in 23.15 seconds.
It was a case of Night Glow, raced by Robert Brown’s BG Punters Syndicate, maintaining her consistent Tara Raceway form, the black bitch having now raced at the track on five occasions for three wins and a minor placing.
And Adcock’s $41 chance Black Sombrero broke a nine-month losing streak when overcoming a slow start in the Bartholomew Pick 6 Stake (512 m) before moving into second spot down the back behind Callanish Sprite.
But in the run home Black Sombrero proved too strong for the leader, eventually running out a 1¼ lengths winner in 30.62 seconds and giving his new connections a quick return on their investment.
Black Sombrero changed hands earlier this month after previously being with Bewley, who, as it turned out, trained the runner-up Callanish Sprite.
The irony was not lost on Bewley.