Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Timely boost for ‘last of the volunteers’

Until recently, about the only time the locally-based Kevin Jones wasn’t at the Thursday and Sunday Mount Gambier greyhound racing meetings was if there was a Test match being played at Adelaide Oval.

For sure, more often than not Jonesy would be studying the form, perched on the bench seats painted in the 10 race-rug colours and situated directly outside the clubrooms.

Kevin Jones . . . “last of the volunteers”

Failing that, he would probably have been over the other side of the track to catch a greyhound at the conclusion of a race for a trainer in need of assistance.

And in between race meetings, there was always a fair chance he would be at the track, lending a hand in some shape or form.

Volunteers have a long history of involvement in the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club, one that goes back to the early 1970s. It’s probably fair to say that Jonesy is one of the last remaining volunteers.

Last month at a Thursday afternoon race meeting he suffered a heart attack and was transferred to the Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide. Later, he returned home in order to stabilise his breathing prior to returning to Adelaide where he will undergo surgery.

Meanwhile, Jonesy’s mate, Monty Wilson, a trainer from just over the border at Mumbannar, had Santino Gold engaged in Thursday’s time-graded Progreyhoundtips.com Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway.

Jonesy races Santino Gold, a striking-looking fawn son of Hostile and Paula Mechelle, in partnership with the trainer. As luck would have it, he witnessed the dog’s maiden win last month first hand just prior to taking ill.

Monty Wilson pictured with Santino Gold after his win at Tara Raceway on Thursday.

Jumping from box seven in Thursday’s 1-4 Wins event, the $20 chance looked to be in trouble early before gaining a rails run down the back straight and eventually running out a one length winner over Five Bucks Down in 23.78 seconds.

For the trainer, it was a race of mixed emotions.

“Somehow this win wasn’t quite the same without Jonesy leading the dog back after catching him at the conclusion of the race,” he said.

“But for all that, I did speak to him later in the day and he saw the race on Sky Racing. Needless to say he was delighted with the result. It certainly boosted his morale.”

And, or course, it goes without saying. Kevin Jones’s many friends in greyhound racing wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to soon seeing him back at Tara Raceway.


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