Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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The Phantom edges closer to record

Filthy Phantom (No. 2) brings up win number 25 when narrowly defeating Aston Peso at Tara Raceway on Thursday.

It’s now more than seven years since the Four Phantoms Syndicate – comprising Steve Huston, Paul Greenbank, Kym Golding and Tony Hinrichsen – purchased a greyhound called Ruby Swift who had just won her first race at start number 10 at Ipswich.

According to Hinrichsen, who then took over the training of the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Black Caviar, the idea had been for the syndicate to race Ruby Swift and then breed with her.

“As it turned out, she ended up racing on 100 occasions for six wins, 36 minor placings and something like $10,000 in stakemoney. Unfortunately, we had only one litter from her and that was by Lochinvar Marlow in April 2016.

“But, one of the litter, Breemelia Swift, did race on 103 occasions for 15 wins and $20,000 in stakemoney before whelping two dogs and two bitches to Aston Dee Bee in March this year,” Hinrichsen said.

And, of course, there’s also Filthy Phantom, a litter brother to Breemelia Swift and still going strong at 5½ years of age – as demonstrated at Thursday’s Mount Gambier time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway.

A $26 chance in what was a pretty handy Greg Martlew Autos 5+Wins Stake (400 metres), Filthy Phantom led all the way and held out Aston Peso to win by a head in 23.05 seconds.

“He’s always been remarkably sound, simply loves racing and is a real machine,” a delighted Hinrichsen said after the black dog’s 25th win – his first being at Strathalbyn on January 5, 2018.

The win came at Filthy Phantom’s 247th start which also includes 85 minor placings. Records are somewhat sketchy when it comes to what constitutes a record number of race starts for an Australian greyhound. By our reckoning, though, four more runs should have him in front.

Galloping Graham, a son of Cry Havoc x Pahurehure Lass, raced on 250 occasions on Victorian tracks between 1999 and 2004, finishing his racing career with 25 wins and 77 minor placings.

Hinrichsen ended Thursday with a double after Slash Focus was successful in the Produce Store 1-4 Wins Stake. The son of Mepunga Blazer x Milldean Focus had been in his kennels only since last month, the black dog’s previous racing virtually restricted to short-course events.

But you never know until you try. Especially after Slash Focus stepped up to 512 metres for the first time since February and led all the way for a 4¼ lengths win over Curious Nick in a tidy 29.97 seconds.

The double was the long-time trainer’s best day at Tara Raceway since Stiff Upper Lip, Release The Fury and Bottled Fury had been successful on January 16, 2020.

Tony Hinrichsen pictured at Tara Raceway on Thursday with Filthy Phantom after winning at his 247th start.

These days based at Langhorne Creek, Hinrichsen’s involvement in greyhound racing is a far cry from the late 1970s when he was living in the Adelaide suburb of Plympton Park.

“My first greyhound was actually one that I purchased from an auction at Angle Park. And I have to say that from a racing point of view it was pretty steady.

“Then I got hold of a giveaway called Bundy And Coke, the daughter of Magic Typhoon and Dark Marabou later winning in three states. In fact, at one stage she was being trained for me in Queensland where she ran a record 54.80 seconds at Ipswich over 875 metres.”

The 21 kilograms Bundy And Coke actually raced at Mount Gambier’s original track at Glenburnie and was the start of a long association Hinrichsen has enjoyed with greyhound racing in the south-east.

In 2009 he purchased Fighting Fury for $600, the daughter of November Fury and Placaleena winning a heat of the 2011 Mount Gambier Cup. Later, after a mating with Dyna Tron, she produced Menzel Boys who won the 2016 Summer Classic (512 m) at Tara Raceway.

And Lethal Fury, a litter sister to Menzel Boys, when mated with My Bro Fabio in November 2017 produced Balboa Fury, winner of the 2019 Winter Classic (512 m).

Meanwhile, according to Hinrichsen, Filthy Phantom’s bid to grab the record number of race starts title is temporarily on hold.

“I’ve been saying for a while now that I’d like to use him at stud with one of my own race bitches. With such a great record and, even after 247 starts, the sort of dog that would run through a brick wall, I reckon Filthy Phantom fits the bill.”

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