Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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The day Casey and the Captain joined forces

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The youngster is by one of Australia’s most successful sires and by the time he’s been reared, broken-in, pre-trained – together with everything else that goes with getting a greyhound on the track – it hasn’t been a cheap exercise.

So when Southern Cross owner-trainer Peter Byrne announces prior to the running of the Rock’s Retreat Stake at Tara Raceway last Friday that Saint Ray is for sale for $500 there’s added interest in what looked to be a run-of-the-mill maiden 400 metre event.

Saint Ray heads for Edenhope with Cap Abbott (right) after being purchased by Penshurst owner Jack Casey.

Well, there was added interest as far as Jack Casey was concerned as he’d been looking for a ready-to-race greyhound rather than purchase another pup and then wait something like 18 months for it to hopefully hit the track.

Casey, who regularly makes the trip over to Mount Gambier from Penshurst, borrows a race book – why pay $2.50 – to check out Saint Ray’s credentials.

The black and white dog is by Cosmic Rumble out of Mepunga Kirsty, is only young – whelped in September 2015 – and with only two starts, including a last start Warrnambool second, provided he’s competitive in Friday’s race then he could be a handy pick-up at $500.

After all, the last dog Casey purchased for $500 was Rouse Flyer who ended up winning a Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year.

Saint Ray is away well from box one and then chases Outlaw Dave until the home turn where he rails through, finishing the stronger to win by a length. And in the space of 23.46 seconds Casey has himself another greyhound. All he needs now is a trainer.

Leaning against the fence, close-by, is Edenhope trainer Captain Abbott, still bleary-eyed from a trip the night before to Angle Park in Adelaide where Mo Town Roy had run third and qualified for tonight’s  Shane McQueen Memorial final which carries $6000 to the winner.

Yes, he’ll train the dog and not only that, he’ll nominate Saint Ray at Angle Park for the Thursday night meeting.

“I’ve always wanted a city-class greyhound,” jokes the new owner.

But for this week, at least, Casey will have to settle for a country-class greyhound as Saint Ray failed to gain a start at Angle Park and will now race at Tara Raceway on Sunday in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m).



For promising youngster Galactic Spirit, last Sunday’s Allestree Holiday Units Mixed Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway was a fair step up in class.

Not that the daughter of Swift Fancy and Which Class hadn’t been racing well. Four wins, all over 400 metres, from only five starts says it all.

Moorak owner-trainer Robert Chuck with Galactic Spirit after her impressive 400 metre win at Tara Raceway on Sunday.

However, Galactic Spirit, owned and trained at Moorak by Robert Chuck, hadn’t won above a grade five and Sunday’s mixed 2/3/4 included seasoned performer Colden Star who is one of a relatively few greyhounds to have broken the 23-second barrier at Tara Raceway.

Galactic Spirit quickly found the front from box two while Colden Star was only fairly away from box three before applying the pressure down the back straight.

But the leader just kept finding and was never headed, eventually running out a three-quarter length winner over Colden Star with Bluestone running home well for third in 23.08 seconds.

Galactic Spirit’s splits were 10.80 and 12.28 while Colden Star had run 10.67 and 12.30 when clocking an overall time of 22.97 seconds on February 24 this year. Cryer’s Ricky’s splits for his record-breaking 22.78 seconds run on February 19, 2016 were 10.67 and 12.11.

Chuck said that after his 22-month-old bitch races at Tara Raceway on Sunday in the Mixed Stake (400 m) it was likely she would contest heats of a grade five over 390 metres at Warrnambool on Thursday, June 22.

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