Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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The night a local greyhound syndicate threw caution to the wind

It’s a story that’s been told before. But given Kongorong greyhound Springvale Alysa’s mating to high-profile sire Fabregas and subsequent whelping last week of three dogs and three bitches it’s probably worthy of a recap.

The 2018 Mount Gambier Cup Calcutta, held at Tara Raceway the night prior to the running of the heats, was where it all began for Liz Newberry, John Little and Kevin Mullan – collectively known as the Bungaloo Syndicate.

Kevin Mullan (left) and John Little pictured at Tara Raceway with Springvale Alysa.

For those unfamiliar with the Calcutta format it’s where the heat runners are seeded into four or so groups and auctioned on the night. In theory, the first group auctioned are the so-called “lesser lights” while the final group comprises the best cup chances and attracts the most attention.

The Bungaloo Syndicate classed themselves as first group bidders and subsequently secured Xtreme Caution – certainly not regarded as one of the major cup players – for basically next to nothing.

“I don’t reckon he’s a hope in hell of winning the cup but at least he’ll give us an interest in tomorrow’s heats,” Little had said.

But it’s now history how Xtreme Caution, after running second to Blazing Moment in a heat, qualified for the final. And then, after drawing box one, leading all the way to defeat Lektra Stomp in the first Group Listed event to be run at Tara Raceway.

For Portland trainer Brian Weis, who picked up $15,000 for the win, it was his second Mount Gambier Cup success after Drone won the event in 2009.

Little had said at the time that if they were lucky enough to win the Calcutta they would look to purchase a performed greyhound. Xtreme Caution’s win gave them $4180 to play with.

“Initially we were keen on Dyna Quail who had won a 515 metres maiden by seven lengths in 29.88 seconds at Angle Park a couple of weeks after the cup. But that sale failed to eventuate,” he said.

“As it turned out, though, the dog that had run second to Dyna Quail was on the market. Being by Dyna Double One x Springvale Cool there was certainly nothing wrong with her breeding so we went with her.

“For $2000 we had ourselves a racing dog called Springvale Alysa and a bit of change to boot from the Calcutta winnings.”

Springvale Alysa retired at the end of November 2019 after 68 starts which resulted in 22 wins, 14 seconds and 11 thirds for $27,000 in stakemoney.

Springvale Alysa’s litter by Fabregas.

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