Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Slipper’s Kin a real tonic for trainer

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Slipper’s Kin’s win at Tara Raceway on Sunday in the Fairthorne Forestry Stake (400 metres), despite being a while coming, continued Glenroy greyhound trainer Richard Clayfield’s long-time successful association with McLaren Vale breeder-owner Barry Jones and his “Slipper” dogs.

Slipper’s Kin opens her Tara Raceway winning account at Tara Raceway last Sunday when defeating Flash Sox.

By Swift Fancy out of Slipper’s Tonic, the black bitch had arrived in the Coonawarra in February after a couple of 388 metre wins at Angle Park, Clayfield previously having won five races at Tara Raceway with her litter sister Slipper’s Away.

When Slipper’s Kin lined up from box four in Sunday’s grade six event she’d been around the local track seven times previously for six minor placings, her trainer by then perhaps questioning whether she was one of those professional placegetters.

But this was going to be her day – and Clayfield’s also as it turned out later – when she led all the way to defeat Flash Sox by three-quarters of a length in 23.65 seconds and give the experienced trainer his 46th “Slipper” winner.

Back in early 2014 Clayfield and Jones hadn’t known each other, the latter ringing another local trainer to see if he would be interested in training a couple of his dogs.

“It turns out that at the time the trainer’s kennels were full so he suggested Barry give me a ring to see whether I was interested,” Clayfield said.

Soon after Slipper’s Might and Slipper’s Will arrived, perhaps hanging on the coattails of their illustrious litter brother Ernie Bung Arrow, an SA Derby and Adelaide Cup winner.

For all that, though, Slipper’s Might won nine races at Tara Raceway and was the first dog to break the 23-second barrier for the 400 metre journey while Slipper’s Will was a 10-race winner.

They were by Lochinvar Marlow out of Slipper’s Tonic – a bitch that ran four minor placings from her only seven starts – with the litter also including the more than handy Woodnear, a winner of 25 races and $72,000 in stakemoney.

Others to later find their way to Glenroy included Slipper’s Shadow, Slipper’s Belle and Slipper’s Chance.

Big Casey (No. 2) and Lone Star (No. 1) dead-heat in the Easter Gift last Sunday while Bomber Creek was a close-up third.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s Easter Gift (512 m) appeared to be a good race on paper – and it didn’t disappoint.

Clayfield’s Lone Star was well drawn in box one while Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott was looking to make amends with Big Casey after Black Spring earlier had run second to the record-breaking Pirate’s Curse in the Easter Challenge (600 m).

And when Big Casey took the lead down the back straight from Lone Star it appeared as though the recent Mount Gambier Cup finalist was set to open his 2019 winning account at Tara Raceway.

But in the run home, Lone Star found plenty along the rails, 18-year-old Lachlan Stace, who was calling his first full race meeting, giving the nod by the narrowest of margins to the Clayfield runner over Big Casey.

Richard Clayfield and Kerry Hawker with Easter Gift dead-heaters Lone Star and Big Casey.

In the end, though, a dead-heat was declared, the Peter Crawley trained Bomber Creek making Stace’s job even more difficult when also storming home to be beaten a neck in third position.

By Lonesome Cry out of Up And Away, Lone Star, who won two races last year after missing the first six months due to injury, has now been successful four times this year and currently sits in second spot behind Cryer’s Plugger on the Greyhound of the Year leader board.

Lone Star is a half-brother to the Clayfield-trained Upset Boy who also figured in a dead-heat, back in 2015 in the Iron Dog final (600 m) with Boolite Bruiser.

Big Casey, a sizeable son of My Bro Fabio and Book Of Days, has now won five races at Angle Park and Mount Gambier since joining Abbott’s kennels in November last year.

Litter brother Bad Ronnie won at Wentworth Park over 520 metres last week while litter sister Book Of Luck was a finalist in last Saturday night’s Group 1 NSW GBOTA Association Cup (720 m) at Wentworth Park. Both greyhounds are trained at Ballalaba by Craig Sheridan who races Big Casey in partnership with John Dihm.

Black Spring and Big Casey will now clash tomorrow night in a Mixed 4/5 stake (485 m) at Horsham.

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