Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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The $500 pup that turned around a trainer’s fortunes

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A decision back in early 2009 by Apsley trainer Tom Cryer and his wife Margaret to take a trip to Bendigo and check out a litter of pups with a view to purchasing one has turned out to be the best move he’s made in a 50-year involvement in greyhound racing.

Shady Grove Fox, the dam of Cryer’s Midget.

The litter of 12, bred by Dean Crocker, was by Texas Gold, a winner of 21 races, most over 700 metres or further, and a son of the successful US sire Flying Penske, while the dam Shady Grove Fox, a winner of three races, was a granddaughter of another US sire in Derryfoyle.

And Tom Cryer still remembers the day they picked out a black bitch which he said was certainly a bit on the small side but at $500 probably worth taking a punt on.

“As it turned out, she never grew to any great size, hence her subsequent racing name of Cryer’s Midget. In fact, by the time she commenced racing in August 2010 she was less than 23 kilograms although later in her career she added another kilogram.”

In a racing career spanning a little over two years, Cryer’s Midget, the 2011 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, raced on 51 occasions for 11 wins and 15 minor placings at Tara Raceway.

Upon the black bitch’s retirement, Cryer then opted to breed a litter, something that he had not done for a number of years.

“At the time, greyhound racing was undergoing a significant change in Mount Gambier with the club preparing to run weekly TAB meetings at Tara Raceway so I figured it could be a good time to breed another litter,” he said.

Cryer settled on Spring Gun, a relative newcomer to the stud dog ranks but one that had already shown plenty of promise as a sire after having won 18 races from 27 starts on the track.

Margaret and Tom Cryer with last Sunday’s treble . . . Cryer’s Harper, Cryer’s Bob and Cryer’s Plugger.

Three brindle dogs, whelped in February 2013, and later to be named Cryer’s Fred, Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Jack, duly found their way to the track, collectively going around 297 times for 78 wins – Cryer’s Ricky’s 22.78 seconds run at Tara Raceway on February 19, 2016 still standing as the 400 metre record.

Cryer’s Midget was mated again with Spring Gun, subsequent January 2015 whelpings Cryer’s Bob, Cryer’s Jed, Cryer’s Plugger and Cryer’s Sid having so far raced on 277 occasions for 48 wins.

Back in February 2015, Cryer’s Ricky, after gaining a run off the reserve bench in the Summer Classic final (512 metres) when Mojito Mayhem was scratched, won the inaugural classic in what is still a race record time of 29.96 seconds.

The Cryers also collected a service to Spud Regis as part of the prize, Cryer’s Midget later mated to the Group 1 winner for her third and final litter – Cryer’s Harper having now won five races from 28 starts.

And at Tara Raceway’s meeting on Sunday, Cryer landed his first-ever treble.

Cryer’s Bob led all the way in the Rock’s Retreat Mixed Stake (600 m), Cryer’s Plugger overcame early crowding to take the lead down the back and run out an easy winner in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (512 m) while Cryer’s Harper led all the way in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m).

Cryer’s Midget’s treble takes her tally to 28 wins this year and gives her the lead by one win over Who’s Doing What on the Leading Dam list – an award that next year will be officially recognised by the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.

By High Earner x No Recall, Who’s Doing What, after winning 16 races at Cannington, Geelong, Angle Park, Warrnambool, Strathalbyn, Gawler and Mount Gambier, has two litters on the track – by Fabregas and Knocka Norris.

And Tracie Price, the record-breaking trainer with 134 Tara Raceway wins this year, reports this week that the Compton-based Who’s Doing What has whelped a litter of five to the boom sire Fernando Bale.

Who’s Doing What with her latest litter by Fernando Bale.

Another Scenario and Same Scenario, from the Fabregas litter, have both won five races from 24 starts while the Knocka Norris litter includes Smart Knocka (seven wins from 13 starts including the Adelaide Cup Consolation and the Peter Rocket Winter Classic), Smart Marty (six from 21) and Whatta Knocka (five from 20).

Meanwhile, next week’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway has been switched from Friday back to Wednesday (December 12). Heats of the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 m) and supporting events will follow on Sunday, December 16.

Finals of all events will be run at the Christmas meeting on Friday, December 21 while a time-graded fixture on Sunday, December 30 wraps up a busy year of greyhound racing in Mount Gambier.

Commencing in January, all time-graded meetings will be run on alternate Wednesdays in conjunction with Murray Bridge – the change of days allowing for more time between runs and possibly helping with the nomination flow.

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