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Some things mean a lot . . .
Monday, November 21, 2016
Kennelmates Glenville Jester and Slipper’s Shadow ran right up to their winning heat form of last week when fighting out the Newman McDonnell Memorial final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
Noted more as a short-course specialist, Slipper’s Shadow, a big, boisterous 36½ kilogram son of Cosmic Rumble x Slipper’s Tonic, not surprisingly quickly found the front from box six and down the back straight was a clear leader over Smart Maxwell and Glenville Jester.
Slipper’s Shadow turned for home in front but in a desperate finish it was Glenville Jester who grabbed the decision by a half head with Smart Maxwell not far back in third spot in a time of 30.27 seconds.
For Glenville Jester, a son of Vapour Whirl and Glenville Maggie, it was his third successive win at Tara Raceway and completed a remarkable turnaround in form for the black dog which is owned by Dale Lewis, Kevin Clayfield and his brother Richard who trains the winner and runner-up at Glenroy.
Only last month Glenville Jester had strung together some pretty ordinary performances over 600 metres which resulted in him finding his way into Pathway Racing for greyhounds having run outside a nominated time standard at their past four starts.
But the Pathway race obviously turned out to be a real confidence-booster with an easy 512 metre win preceding last week’s equally as easy McDonnell Memorial heat win.
Clayfield’s decision to step Slipper’s Shadow up in distance also seems to be paying off with the half-brother to Adelaide Cup winner Ernie Bung Arrow giving plenty of cheek on Sunday at only his sixth attempt over the 512 metre journey for owners Barry Jones and Mike Wiese.
And what about the five-year-old Smart Maxwell, a winner of close to $80,000, who jumped from box one as a $2.30 favourite when having his 142nd start.
Owned by Len Jones and trained at Horsham by Helen Hartigan, the beautifully bred son of Mogambo x Off Springer was always on the pace and eventually went down by only a half length.
It turned out to be a big day for Clayfield. Not only did he win his first McDonnell Memorial after a long involvement in greyhound racing he also was successful in the last race, the JB Irrigation Stake (400 m), with Slipper’s Chance (a litter sister to Slipper’s Shadow) in a best of day time of 23.11 seconds.
Part-owner Lewis also recalled his family’s involvement with Newman McDonnell who had actually given them one of their early greyhounds in Baranita, a daughter of Top Kabana and Baratena.
“Some things mean a lot on a greyhound track,” said Lewis. “Today’s win was one of them.”
FENNELL’S GOOD YEAR CONTINUES
Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell’s good year continued at Tara Raceway on Sunday when give away greyhound John Limes and Black Peer won the opening two events.
By Banjo Boy x Nicky’s Moment, John Limes is now raced by Fennell and John Hawker with the win coming on the back of two recent minor placings.
Having his eighth race start, the black dog was only fairly away from box four in the Produce Store Maiden Stake (512 m) but gained a rails run going into the first turn before taking over the running down the back straight.
John Limes finished the race off well, running out a two length winner over Gee She Roks with Azumi Spice a further 2¼ lengths back in third spot in a handy time of 30.57 seconds.
Gee She Roks, a February 2015 daughter of Cape Hawke and Freestyle Lass (a maiden bitch by Premier Fantasy x Mrs Trickett), ran a good race on debut for owner Ross Schurgott and Allendale East trainer David Peckham and looks to be a coming winner.
Black Peer, which last won when in a Pathway back on September 23, once again appreciated the drop back in class in Sunday’s Pathway over 400 metres.
Away well from box four, the son of Cape Hawke x Sick Money settled in second spot early behind Red River Rufus before finishing too powerfully – much to the delight of veteran owner Ray Keating who was on course – to score by three-quarters of a length over the early leader.
Fennell’s early double consolidated his fourth spot on the Leading Trainers’ list and took his total winners this year to 25.
STANLEY PUTS IN THE HARD YARDS AND MOUNT GAMBIER WINS THE COUNTRY CUP
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley’s long trip to Strathalbyn last week to trial Mount Gambier’s SA Country Cup representative Berry Bling on the Strathalbyn track paid dividends on Sunday night when the black bitch led all the way from box six in the $5000-to-the-winner feature.
For Stanley, currently sitting in second spot behind Tracie Price on the Tara Raceway Leading Trainers’ list, Berry Bling was her first runner at the Southern Raceway.
An $8.50 chance, the daughter of Lochinvar Marlow x Lady Bling had 2¼ lengths to spare on the line over Strathalbyn representative Scottish Thistle with a further 1½ lengths back in third spot to Memory Assassin (Gawler) in 31.66 seconds for the 536 metre journey.
Mount Gambier’s other representative, Fear The Rascal, experienced trouble on the first turn when running wide and finished in fifth spot for owner Don Nunn and Price.
However, connections would have been pleased when Fear The Rascal’s litter brother, Shannah’s Might (Fear Zafonic x Shannah’s Star) found form at Tara Raceway earlier in the day.
A $5 chance from box six in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m), Shannah’s Might took the lead going into the back straight and from then on never looked like being beaten, eventually running out a three length winner over Redda in a best of day 30.03 seconds.