Thursday, June 29, 2017
Popular local greyhound identity Brian “Smiley” Gordon, after more than 35 years with Banner Mitre 10 at Millicent, reckoned it was probably time to move on and recently took up employment with Millicent Industrial.
And what better venue for his long-time former workmates to give him an appropriate send-off – fluffy dog and all – but at last Sunday’s Tara Raceway greyhound meeting.
For seasoned supporters of the sport in Mount Gambier, the Millicent presence would have brought back memories of a time when the running of the Millicent Cup was one of the feature days on the racing calendar.
A race programme for the Millicent Cup Day run on Saturday, December 19, 2009 at Tara Raceway surfaced recently when the clubhouse was undergoing a major clean-up.
Major sponsors featuring on the programme’s cover were Kimberly-Clark Australia, Spider’s Carpentry, Seebohm Sportspower, the Grand Hotel and Valcarcel-Fuentes & Sons Scrap Metal Recyclers.
Brian Gordon actually sponsored a mixed stake on this day with the 512 metre event being won by the Tracie Price trained Slipaway Tommy.
Portland trainer Cassie Billington held a strong hand in the $1200-to-the-winner Kimberly-Clark Australia Millicent Cup final (512 m), with litter brothers Swarming and Singing Bee (Kiowa Sweet Trey x Beekeeper) and Kulu Jewel.
Other finalists were Broadway Angel (Richard Clayfield), Call Me Tilly (Josie Kelly), Drone (Brian Weis), Cryer’s Tiger (Tom Cryer) and Our Rule (Monty Wilson).
Drone, another of the Beekeeper litter, was attempting to win his second cup for the year after having previously won the Mount Gambier Cup but it was Swarming who scored an easy win over Cryer’s Tiger in a quick 29.96 seconds.
Disappointingly, the 2009 Millicent Cup Day would be one of the last, the race programme highlighting the fact that the once-strong greyhound area had no runners in any of the 10 races that day.
SOLITARY GIRL IS OUT ON HER OWN
Solitary Girl and Rumbling Moment, both quick winners over 400 metres at Tara Raceway earlier this month, continue to race well and look top chances at Sunday’s meeting.
Raced by Yambuk couple Ann and Tom Sinnott, Solitary Girl created a huge impression when winning her maiden by 6½ lengths at only her second race start in 23.02 seconds – the fastest maiden time recorded at Tara Raceway.
Beautifully bred, being by Lonesome Cry out of Up And Away, the fawn bitch then turned in another tremendous effort at Warrnambool on Tuesday when winning over the 450 metre journey by 12 lengths in a smart 25.38 seconds.
Solitary Girl looks well placed from box one in Sunday’s Greyhound-Data.com Stake, the second heat of a grade six series over 400 metres.
And being a November 2015 whelping, she could add further interest to the forthcoming Winter Classic (512 m), for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2015, if trainer Tom Sinnott opts to go down that path.
Also adding interest to the first race, the JB Irrigation Maiden Stake (400 m), will be Solitary Girl’s litter brother, Solitary Lad, who will make his racing debut from the tricky box six.
Rumbling Moment, trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell, will be chasing a hat-trick of wins when he jumps from box two in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m).
The white and black son of Cosmic Rumble and Stylish Moment became one of a few greyhounds to break 23 seconds for the 400 metre journey when running 22.97 seconds in a 7½ length win earlier this month.
Rumbling Moment then followed up with an equally as impressive eight length win in 23 seconds at last Sunday’s meeting.
Being whelped in September 2015, he’s another classic-aged youngster and Moment Syndicate manager Karen Price confirmed this week that he was a likely starter in the Winter Classic.
“His mother won the event in 2014 so it would be nice if one of her pups could also win the classic,” she said.
Another classic contender is litter sister Sophie’s Moment who will jump from box seven in the Rock’s Retreat Stake (400 m), the first heat of the grade six series.
Raced in the same interests but trained by Peter Whitehead, her recent 512 metre form has been outstanding – two sub-30 second runs certain to put her right in the mix.