As Worrolong-based greyhound trainer Lee Bartholomew tells it, so happy a dog is Arctic Bear that constant tail-wagging eventually necessitated removal of the lower part of his tail.
“But that certainly hasn’t affected his disposition,” she said.
Nor, it seems, the ability of the 37 kilograms predominantly white dog – splashed with a touch of brindle markings and a significant amount of ticking – to give Bartholomew and her husband Steve their first track record holder after an involvement in the sport of more than 40 years.
Lining up in yesterday’s Winning Post Supplies Stake (305 metres) at Tara Raceway, Arctic Bear had been chasing his second consecutive win in Juvenile company after a 400 metres win in quick time the previous week.
Juvenile races are for greyhounds under two years of age. This means the October 2019 whelping now has only two more race meetings in which to take advantage of the age-restricted format which by and large works particularly well for SA-bred dogs.
Yesterday was the first 305 metres Juvenile race to be run at Tara Raceway. And Arctic Bear, despite running wide on the home turn, led all the way from box four to defeat Gypsy Boy by 4¾ lengths.
The time of 17.35 seconds was a track record. The previous record belonged to Aston Olenna with a time of 17.49 seconds which was run back on January 31 in what had been only the third 305 metres conducted at the track.
By US sire Flying Stanley x Galactic Cat, Arctic Bear was bred at Moorak by Robert Chuck who, when it comes to the breeding of greyhounds, doesn’t seem to mind thinking outside the square.
“Galactic Cat is by the Irish sire Milldean Panther so there’s plenty of import in Arctic Bear’s pedigree. It’s disappointing that she was only able to have the one litter and was subsequently placed in the Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) program,” he said.
“But I have two of Arctic Bear’s litter sisters – Galactic Dreamer and Galactic Shima – that are also showing a bit of promise. I’m hopeful that down the track I will be able to breed with them.”
Meanwhile, Steve Bartholomew said they were now looking at running their record holder in a heat of next month’s time-honoured Newman McDonnell Memorial (512 m) at Tara Raceway.
“He hasn’t been over 512 metres since coming back from a short break. But he did win a heat of the Winter Classic in August prior to running fourth in the final behind his litter sister and kennelmate Mary Bridget.”
Mary Bridget, who won the 512 metres classic in brilliant fashion, is currently being trained for the Bartholomews in Adelaide by Laurie Cahalan of West Lakes Shore.
Incidentally, the Bartholomew association with Newman McDonnell goes back to the early days of greyhound racing in the South-East when Steve handled many of the inaugural South East Greyhound Racing Club president’s greyhounds at race meetings.