Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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The Bug comes out of his shell

Rowsley-trained greyhound In The Bug caused something of a surprise at last Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting when leading all the way and winning the Ary Sports Bar & Bistro Stake (732 metres).

On the line, the son of My Redeemer and Miss City Girl (a winner of six short-course races on Victorian provincial tracks) had 7¾ lengths to spare over Redshift Uniform with a further 3½ lengths back to Wind Burn Flash in a time of 43.67 seconds.

Gerald Lanigan with In The Bug after his impressive distance win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Fellow Victorian Redshift Uniform, trained at Thomastown by Michael Katsiris, was having her first start over the distance while local stayer Wind Burn Flash, trained at Moorak by Jason Newman, was chasing her fifth consecutive distance win at the track.

Owned by John Condon, In The Bug is trained by Emily Azzopardi, a former jockey and now partner of fourth generation greyhound trainer Matt Lanigan. And it was Lanigan’s father, Gerald, a leading trainer in the Gippsland in the 80s and 90s, who handled the winner.

“There are very few greyhound tracks I haven’t attended,” Lanigan said. “But today is the first time I’ve been to the Mount Gambier track and I have to say it’s a really nice set-up.

“And the 732 metre distance here worked in really well for In The Bug because it is pretty hard to find staying races to suit in Victoria. It was certainly good to see him handle a strange track so well.”

Lanigan said the brindle dog had come to Rowsley after breaking-in and initially had been very timid. As such, it had taken a while for Emily and Matt to gain his confidence.

“But distance racing is definitely his caper. His two runs over 680 metres and 715 metres at Geelong and Sandown Park where he finished third and second were both pretty good.”

He said it was now likely that In The Bug would be back in Mount Gambier on Sunday, July 23 for the Eric Lewis Memorial (732 m).

Meanwhile, the Lanigan-Azzopardi training team has struck up a working relationship with the Bartholomew family of Mount Gambier. Currently they are training litter brothers Divine Nature and Unique Destiny for Steve, Lee and Elysia.

By Blue Moon Rising out of Galactic Destiny, Divine Nature has won two races at Warrnambool, two at Geelong and last Saturday night ran second over 525 metres at The Meadows. And Unique Destiny has won at Bendigo and Ballarat.

Last Sunday was also a good day for the Bartholomew family after Mary Bridget (trained by Steve), Arctic Bear (Lee) and Devilish Child (Elysia) were all successful at Tara Raceway.

Anniversary Cup contender Mary Bridget led all the way in the Mixed Stake (512 m), making it successive wins over Nero Valentino in a best of day time of 29.64 seconds.

Arctic Bear chased Aston Secret in the Commercial Hotel Open Stake (400 m) until the home turn where he railed through before running out a three-quarter length 23.27 seconds winner – his third on the trot.

Devilish Child – also one of the Blue Moon Rising x Galactic Destiny litter – took up the running from Cadillac Lloyd down the back in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 m) before running out a two length winner in 23.20 seconds.

Perennial placegetter Four Longnecks had been chasing her first win since the end of March for Mount Gambier trainer Adam Mackereth and co-owners Wal Egan, Chris Gabriel and Ian Ross when lining up in a tidy Carlin & Gazzard Grade 6 final over 512 metres.

Adam Mackereth was all smiles after Four Longnecks won the Carlin & Gazzard grade 6 final (512 m) last Sunday.

And last Sunday turned out to be their day after the daughter of Elite State and Dusty Pearl chased Lektra Ringo into the home straight before finishing strongly for a three-quarter length win over the early leader and Master Shameem in 30.53 seconds.

In the following race, the Klaassens Contractors Stake (512 m), Four Longnecks’ litter sister Two Fifty Three looked to face a tough task when taking on Aston Marvel, trained at Dennington by Dustin Drew.

After all, the son of Aston Kimetto and Aston Lolita had previously run third at Tara Raceway in the Border Challenge, second in a Mount Gambier Cup heat and second in the Mount Gambier Cup Consolation.

But Two Fifty Three, who had strung together consecutive wins over 512 metres and 400 metres back in June, displayed plenty of early pace from box seven to lead Aston Marvel before settling in second spot down the back.

From thereon Aston Marvel was always going to win but Two Fifty Three certainly gave it her best shot after finishing full of running in second spot, beaten 1¾ lengths in 29.89 seconds.

And it’s fair to say that Adam Mackereth and family would have headed home well pleased with the efforts of Four Longnecks and Two Fifty Three.

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