As far as owner-trainer Garry Harding was concerned, Tiggerlong Red’s time-graded win last Thursday at Tara Raceway in the Trackside Meats 1-4 Wins Stake (512 metres) had been a long time coming.
“By the time I took him over in February this year Tiggerlong Red had won only a maiden at Wagga over 320 metres in May 2020 for breeder Michael Finn,” said Harding, who is based just down the road from Horsham at Laharum.
“Then, due to injury, he was off the scene until May this year. Realistically, he is certainly better placed here at Tara Raceway behind the finish-on-lure but border restrictions have made things tough for everyone.”
Chasing his second win in 18 months, Tiggerlong Red put himself into last Thursday’s race when railing through on early leader Aston Mateo down the back straight.
And from then on the red fawn dog was always travelling like a winner, eventually running out a 1¼ lengths winner over King Smiley in 30.67 seconds.
By Dyna Double One out of 20-race winner Tiggerlong Dot, he boasts an illustrious brother in the form of the Group 1-winning Tiggerlong Tonk who all told has raced on 94 occasions for 42 wins and more than $760,000 in stakemoney.
As far as Harding was concerned, the win was his first as a trainer at Tara Raceway in almost two years when Incy Valley had been successful.
However, he is also associated with recent winner Minnie Banjo who he sent over to local trainer Tracie Price.
“She’s raced by a group of us in the name of the Giant Crows Syndicate. I trained her when she won a couple of races in quick time over 410 metres at Horsham earlier in the year,” Harding said.
“But after a few issues, I reckoned she also would probably be better suited behind the finish-on-lure. And with the constant uncertainty surrounding the borders I approached Tracie to see if he would take her.”
On December 16 Minnie Banjo, a daughter of Banjo Boy x Navada Flame, made her Mount Gambier debut with a dashing 5¼ lengths win over Educate in a best of day time of 22.98 seconds.
Meanwhile, Langhorne Creek trainer Tony Hinrichsen’s Filthy Phantom brought up his 27th win when finishing over the top of Aston Noah for a half length win in 23.18 seconds in the Hyland Fox 5+ Wins Stake (400 m).
With 262 starts accumulated in the space of four years, Filthy Phantom, is generally regarded as the greyhound to have raced the most number of times on Australian tracks. His time last Thursday was equal best of the day, matching that of Educate – almost four years his junior.
Filthy Phantom will now line up in tomorrow’s Gordon Refrigeration Masters Stake (305 m). Masters races are for greyhounds 3¾ years and upwards – the oldest nominated receiving priority in regard to receiving a start.
Whelped in April 2016, the son of Lochinvar Marlow x Ruby Swift will go into the race with 12 months to spare over Cawbourne Cross, who has gone around on 130 occasions and is the second-oldest runner.