The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, September 17 with GRSA. FREE TRIALS (for members/$10 non-members): Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track. PATHWAY RACING: All eligible greyhounds will be considered for some Pathway races at Sunday meetings. Trainers must advise NO PATHWAY if they do not wish to be considered. See GRSA website for Pathway conditions. WORK COMMENCES ON KENNELHOUSE UPGRADE: See “Gallery”.

Third time lucky for ‘iron dog’?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

With 95 starts to his name for 26 wins and 37 minor placings, the 4½-year-old greyhound Cryer’s Plugger has developed into something of an iron dog in his own right following a career that now spans more than 2½ years.

And Tom Cryer, his 86-year-old trainer from Apsley – the first town to welcome you when driving along the Wimmera Highway and crossing the SA border into Victoria – will be hoping for a case of third time lucky as far as this year’s Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog series is concerned.

Two years ago, when the Iron Dog was run as two rounds over 600 metres and 400 metres with a 512 metre final for the top eight point scorers, Cryer’s Plugger defeated Hay Miss in the first round and ran second to Azumi Swift over the short course before finishing fifth in the final to Paraphernalia.

Black Spring defeats Kolora Posie in the second heat of the Iron Dog (600 m) at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

Then last year he defeated Blitz And Bolt in both the 600 metre and 400 metre rounds before once again running fifth in the 512 metre final behind Paraphernalia – the only dog to have won back-to-back Iron Dogs.

Cryer’s Plugger will go into Sunday’s 732 metre second round with maximum points of six after leading all the way in last week’s 600 metre heat to defeat Dyna Quota by 2¾ lengths in 35.25 seconds.

Bred by Cryer’s wife Margaret, the brindle dog is the result of a repeat mating by Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget – the first litter including Cryer’s Fred, Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Jack and proving to be highly successful.

Cryer’s Plugger has drawn box eight in the second of two distance heats and is likely to advance to next week’s third round over 512 metres with the maximum 12 points as he is the only greyhound in his 732 metre heat that has won over the stayers’ journey at Tara Raceway.

Cryer, who has been training greyhounds for 45 years, said he was now past the stage of walking his dogs and these days opted to free-gallop them on his property.

And Tom and Margaret Cryer must be doing something right because Cryer’s Bob, a litter brother to Cryer’s Plugger, also has maximum Iron Dog points after leading all the way in last Sunday’s third heat to defeat Spinning Jakit by 4½ lengths in 35.41 seconds.

Tom and Margaret Cryer and Kerry Hawker with Cryer’s Bob.

Sunday’s first 732 metre heat should be an interesting race with Cryer’s Bob having won three staying races from five starts at Tara Raceway while Dyna Quota earlier this year won the SA Distance Championship (731 m) at Angle Park for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley.

Adding even more interest to the race will be Black Spring – also a 731 metre winner at Angle Park –who came from a long way back last week in the second heat to defeat Kolora Posie by 1¼ lengths in 35.54 seconds.

By Spring Gun out of Victorian city-winning stayer Lektra Scarlett, Black Spring is a litter brother to Spinning Jakit, the pair giving Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott a strong hand in the Iron Dog series.

Black Spring’s win was the third leg of a treble for Abbott, Bab’s Jakit and Bronte Jakit winning earlier in the day and continuing the long-time trainer’s successful year at Tara Raceway where he is currently sitting in second spot behind David Peckham in the Ian Badger Leading Trainer Award.

The treble was the second this year for Abbott who on May 9 trained three consecutive winners in the form of Bowled Harro, Giveaway Fury and Bronte Jakit.

Also running in the first heat on Sunday is the Amanda Darmanin trained Miss Jacky, a winner of four races at Geelong and Mount Gambier.

By Pure Octane out of Miss Jacovella, Miss Jacky is a granddaughter of Mantra Miss who ran a 732 metre track record of 44.20 seconds at Tara Raceway in March 2010 for Bushfield trainer Gary Lane.

Stanley, who still remembers her first 732 metre win at Tara Raceway with Our Torri in the 2002 W. A. Fary & Son Distance Championship in a time of 45.60 seconds, won the 2016 Iron Dog with Old Jock.

And Abbott picked up the 2014 Iron Dog with his more than capable bitch Manila Express.

Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog points after the first round (600 m): 6 Black Spring, Cryer’s Bob, Cryer’s Plugger; 5 Dyna Quota, Kolora Posie, Spinning Jakit; 4 Noosa Parade; 3 Fire Eyes, Ruby’s Willow; 2 Good Yarn, Miss Jacky.