Thursday, July 4, 2019
Sunday’s inaugural Tara Trackstar, a 512 metre one-off race for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between January and June, will kick off a big month as the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club prepares to celebrate 40 years of racing in the South East.
To follow on Sunday week will be heats of the John Reid Memorial Maiden (512 m) and the time-honoured Anniversary Cup (512 m), the finals of both events to be run on July 21 along with the Eric Lewis Memorial (732 m).
Missing from the Tara Trackstar will be the track’s leading greyhounds at the half-way mark of the season – Cryer’s Plugger and Black Spring due to injury while trainer Dean Fennell has opted to keep Dimora Flash at 400 metres.
For all that, though, the Trackstar comprises six of Tara Raceway’s most consistent performers with Bab’s Jakit the top point scorer with 34 (calculated on a 4, 2, 1 points basis for wins and placings) followed by Molly’s Wally and Flash Jackie on 30, Giveaway Fury 29, Dare To Do 28 and Zambora Club 27.
Sneaking into the final six after a win last Sunday – the final meeting for the six-month period – was Dare To Do, owned and trained at Serviceton by Valerie and David Brodhurst.
Appreciating a drop back to grade five company, Dare To Do chased Rusty Sprocket for much of the 512 metre journey in the Rock’s Retreat Stake before railing through on the home turn and going on for a three-quarter of a length win in a personal best 30.10 seconds.
From the handy Goodesy x White Heart litter, Dare To Do was purchased for $1100 after she had won a maiden over 460 metres at Warragul in May last year.
The black bitch failed to win another race last year but has made up for lost time in 2019, winning six races and running four minor placings as well as matching it with the best of them in many of her races.
Dare To Do, the second leg of a Brodhurst double last week, looks drawn to run a big race from box two in Sunday’s evenly-matched Trackstar, her trainer no doubt hoping for the winning run to continue after Midnight Ruby’s win earlier in the day in the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 m).
Midnight Ruby, an $800 purchase from Adelaide last September, last won back in November last year, David Brodhurst later saying that no one had been more shocked than him with the black bitch’s win by a head over Buckeye.
The double was the husband and wife team’s first in more than 12 months, Swoosie and Cheyenne Black successful at Tara Raceway on May 13 last year.
Portland trainer Robert Halliday, who has Molly’s Wally jumping from box four in the Trackstar, took the training honours last Sunday with a treble – Midnight Rage, Hutch and Spirited Bingle.
Midnight Rage, after a keen battle early with Nangkita Keats, ran out a strong winner of the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m) in 23.36 seconds while Hutch never looked like losing The Border Watch Open Stake (512 m) when defeating Renmore by 6¾ lengths in 29.91 seconds.
And Spirited Bingle, an older half-sister to Midnight Rage, led all the way in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) to defeat Zambora Club by 1¾ lengths in 23.21 seconds. Midnight Rage (by Barcia Bale) and Spirited Bingle, a daughter of Collision, are out of Kokoda Spirit, winner of the 2013 SA Oaks at Angle Park.
Halliday’s treble was his second this year, after Koda Blue (a litter brother to Midnight Rage), Molly’s Wally and Hutch were successful at Tara Raceway on Sunday, January 13.
Based on the Heroes of Healesville concept, the Tara Trackstar will be conducted again in early January 2020 to cater for the best performed greyhounds at Tara Raceway between July 1 and December 31.
Meanwhile, with heats of the Anniversary Cup set down for Sunday, July 14, this Sunday’s Fairthorne Forestry Open Stake (512 m) will see cup contenders, including Hutch, Lektra Brandy, Dyna Naitch and Bomber Creek, going through their paces in readiness for the 35th running of the event.
Hopefully, trainers have been holding back for the John Reid Memorial Maiden, an event first run in 2005 when won by Halliday’s Itza Bee, because no 512 metre maidens have been run at Tara Raceway since May 19.
As is the case with all heats and final events, in the event of insufficient nominations being received for at least two heats, a one-off final will be run on July 21 with preference given to original nominations.