Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Tracing back to a legend

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Zuma Creek and Hutch, after a stirring battle in the 512 metre Open at Tara Raceway last week, will face off again this Sunday in the Open Stake over the same distance.

The clash at the opening meeting of what will be another busy year of greyhound racing in Mount Gambier, went down to the wire with Zuma Creek eventually running down Hutch to win by a half length in 29.92 seconds.

A life-size memorial of legendary Australian greyhound Chief Havoc stands at the Gunnedah Greyhound Park in NSW.

The Tara Raceway track specialist should win again, looking well suited from the four in a six-dog field with a vacant box on his inside, although the Robert Halliday trained Hutch, who followed up with a win over 525 metres at The Meadows on Wednesday, won’t be too disadvantaged from two and a vacant box on his outside.

And who knows what Nicole Stanley’s enigmatic Hit The Runway, winner of the recent Christmas Cup, is likely to serve up from box eight?

By high-profile sire Fabregas, Zuma Creek is trained at Mortlake by Peter Crawley for Purnim owner Danny Kelly who bred the litter out of a bitch called Skye Creek – also trained by Crawley for six wins on Victorian provincial tracks.

Skye Creek boasts a strong pedigree, being by High Earner out of Bogie Skye, also the dam of Bogie Bekim, a 2017 SA Greyhound of the Year finalist and a winner of $285,000 in prizemoney.

However, the pedigree was strong long before then, with the legendary Australian greyhound Chief Havoc appearing on the dam’s side way back in 1949 as the sire of a bitch called Tiny Barbara.

By Trion x Thelma’s Mate, Chief Havoc was whelped in Tamworth in September 1944 before being purchased as a pup by Jack Millerd, of Werris Creek, for eight guineas. Later, Millerd moved to Gunnedah where Chief Havoc was trained in the family backyard.

His first win was at Grafton where he smashed the 440 yard record and set the foundation for what was soon to become his status as a legend – attracting a crowd of 17,000 one night in 1947 at Harold Park in NSW.

Chief Havoc won 26 of his 36 starts, broke 20 track records and in the end intimidated the opposition to an extent that many trainers refused to enter their dogs against him, hence his early retirement to stud.

A plaque and a life-size memorial of Chief Havoc now stand at Gunnedah Greyhound Park. Part of the plaque reads: “Chief Havoc – the Gunnedah Wonder Dog. He broke or equalled records at Grafton, Cessnock, Gosford, Casino, Lismore, Wollongong, Wentworth Park, Harold Park, Maitland, Tamworth, Dapto and Bathurst. He proved one of the best sires in the world and the bloodlines of many Australian greyhounds of today can be traced to Chief Havoc”.

Crowds flocked to Angle Park in the early 80s to see star stayer Bay Road Queen in action.

Earlier on Sunday, Kelly and Crawley have two runners in the time-honoured Val and Col Sims Memorial Maiden final (512 m) – Bomber Creek, a younger half-brother to Zuma Creek, and Drysdale Creek, who didn’t look too bad when working home well for third place in a heat last week behind Joshy Wink Wink.

By Cosmic Rumble, Drysdale Creek is out of another High Earner bitch in Capella who won 11 races and $30,000 in prizemoney and traces back to the former champion SA stayer Bay Road Queen through a mating with Tangairn.

Raced by Moonta Bay couple Merv and Glenys Pedler, the daughter of Tegimi and Village Swallow won the 1982 National Distance Championship and also the NSW Association Cup at Harold Park in the same year.

And it was greyhounds such as Bay Road Queen who were responsible for the crowds flocking to Angle Park on a Thursday night back in the early 1980s.

Meanwhile, Moyston breeder Peter Franklin reports that Blonde Caviar’s second mating has resulted in the whelping of a litter of seven dogs and three bitches to boom sire Barcia Bale on December 22.

By Where’s Pedro out of Lemon Cruiser, Blonde Caviar’s first litter was by US sire Bella Infrared and produced last year’s Sims Memorial winner McIvor Neville who defeated Tipping Woody and Jaeda Sienn in 30.64 seconds.

Another member of the litter is McIvor Verna, who has won 10 races and run eight minor placings for prizemoney of more than $36,000. She also holds the current Tara Raceway 600 metre record at 34.84 seconds.

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