Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Cadillac Racing Sponsors of Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing

Terrific Beatific answers the challenge

Noel Perry (left) and Amy Bromley, Mel Freitag and Jason Newman (centre) with Beatific, winner of the Licensed Victuallers Challenge at Tara Raceway for the Federal Hotel.

Weather-wise, the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club couldn’t have hope for a better day than yesterday for the running of its inaugural South-East Hoteliers Day at Tara Raceway.

Eight local hotels – Jens, Pines, Park, South Eastern, South Aussie, Gambier, Commercial and Federal – were represented at the 11-race meeting. And, following the running of races carrying their names, seven hotel representatives each drew a box number in the Licensed Victuallers Challenge.

As it turned out, the Federal Hotel Stake was the last of the eight races to be run, the hotel having no choice but to accept the six. Certainly not the best of boxes but their supporters heartened by the fact that it was Beatific carrying the green rug.

Raced by Steve Williams’ Queensland-based Velocity Lodge, Beatific, a son of Fabregas x Velocity Willow, had won three races at Tara Raceway from five starts since joining Jason Newman’s Moorak kennels in October.

So when the black dog rounded the first turn in front in the 512 metres LVC, and with smart Adelaide greyhound Meet Joe Black in hot pursuit, the stage had been set for an interesting tussle.

But the $7 chance Beatific was simply too good. Defying the opposition to run him down, he defeated odds-on favourite Meet Joe Black by two lengths with a further four lengths back to Midnight Daisy in a best of day 29.82 seconds.

“It’s great to win my first piece of hardware,” said an appreciative Newman, referring to the winner’s trophy, at the presentation.

The win was the middle leg of a treble for Newman – his second for November. Boogie Woogie had been successful earlier in the day in the South Aussie Hotel Stake (400 m) and Departure Gate later in the Exchange Printers Mixed Stake (600 m).

And receiving the LVC trophy on behalf of the Federal Hotel was venue manager Amy Bromley who thanked the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club for what had been a thoroughly enjoyable day.

The driving force behind the inaugural South-East Hoteliers Day was MGGRC president Noel Perry who said the effort that had been put into the day had been worthwhile.

Kevin Patzel and Masters winner Charley Davidson with representatives from the Tarpeena Pines Hotel.

“We had good support from the hotels involved and the meeting attracted a good crowd. One of the pleasing aspects was the number of first-timers at the track. Many couldn’t believe just how good the Tara Raceway amenities are.

“I think we can now build on today’s Hoteliers’ Day and with their continued support make next year’s Licensed Victuallers Challenge an even bigger and better event.”

Perry said the club also needed to express its thanks to MC Kevin “KD” Douglas for his efforts throughout the day.

“KD has been great for our club and yesterday was no different. He was his usual professional self at the presentations and also took time to explain the intricacies of greyhound racing to the many first-timers on course.”

It was on July 28 and 29, 1986 that the Licensed Victuallers’ Coursing Club of SA conducted the final meeting in SA – the time-honoured 32-dog stake run over two days at Mintaro.

Dating back to the 1860s, coursing was actually the origin of racing as we know it today – greyhounds chasing a mechanical lure with the outcome determined solely by speed.

Yesterday’s Licensed Victuallers Challenge was a far cry from that final meeting at Mintaro all those years ago. In fact there were plenty who had never heard of the Licensed Victuallers.

But there would have been a few at Tara Raceway who still remembered what it was all about.

This was a time when greyhound owners and trainers, bookmakers, punters and city and country folk – and, of course, an abundance of hoteliers – made the annual pilgrimage to one of the coursing grounds dotted around SA to celebrate the Licensed Victuallers Cup.

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