Thursday, September 29, 2016
It’s now been close to 30 years since Bea Bryant trained her first winner – Carry On Pom at Mount Gambier’s original greyhound track at Glenburnie.
As such she would have noticed a few differences when racing for the first time at the purpose-built Tara Raceway on Lake Terrace East in June this year.
Bryant had made the trip over from Heathmere with Colden Star which created a huge impression when winning over 400 metres by 13 lengths in 23.20 seconds. The daughter of Collision and Express Links then returned several weeks later for another impressive short-course win.
Last Sunday, Bryant was back at Tara Raceway for a third time – with a black and white bitch called Colden Girl that she had bred herself.
Colden Girl, a daughter of Farmor Las Vegas x Soul Calibur, had previously been at Lara with Robert Britton who had also trained both her sire and dam.
But according to Bryant she never really settled in the larger kennel environment and after six starts she returned to Heathmere.
Having her first race start since July, but with the benefit of a recent trial on the track, Colden Girl ran right up to her odds-on quote in last Sunday’s JB Irrigation Maiden (400 m) when rounding up tear away leader Star Eagle down the back before finishing strongly for an eight length win in 23.46 seconds.
The win completed a successful few days for Bryant and her owners – Roger Bryant and Colleen and Dennis Rose – after Colden Star had recorded a best of night 25.35 seconds win over 450 metres at Warrnambool on the previous Thursday night.
And later on Sunday there was much interest in another of their runners – Colden Girl’s litter brother Carry On Pendles which raced over 595 metres at Sandown Park where he gave plenty of cheek when running a 1½ length third.
FURTHER OPTIONS FOR GREYHOUNDS OF ALL ABILITIES
Greyhound Racing SA continues to investigate options to provide ongoing racing opportunities for greyhounds of all abilities.
GRSA racing manager, Shaun Mathieson, said this week that the next step in the evolution of the grading system was to provide a framework that analysed a greyhound’s true ability (speed or time) and placed them accordingly.
“A recent visit by leading Irish trainer Dolores Ruth provided an insight into the benefits of time-based grading which is used in Ireland and the UK and how it can be implemented successfully in Australia.”
On Wednesday, October 19, GRSA will conduct its first ever non-penalty meeting at Angle Park based on time grading with all greyhounds nominated for the meeting receiving a time rating figure which will be calculated on an average of their actual run time over the past few starts.
For example, a greyhound with six or more starts will have the time rating calculated on an average of the four fastest runs from its past six starts.
A time rating allocated to each individual start will be based on a GRSA-compiled SA Time Bands table that rates greyhounds from 1 to 12.
So for the purpose of the exercise let’s look at Fascinated’s past six Tara Raceway runs which were all over 512 metres – 30.52 (time rating 6), 30.87 (8), 30.39 (5), 30.18 (3), 30.49 (5), 30.49 (5).
Drop off the two slowest runs, 30.87 and 30.52, and she ends up with a rating of 4.5 which would see her grouped in a race with greyhounds of a similar time rating, notwithstanding that fields will consist of only maiden, grade 6 and grade 5 events with no mixing of grades.
Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club secretary/treasurer Barry Shepheard said the local club would be watching the time-based grading experiment with interest.
“Already, our club has been right behind Pathway racing for greyhounds with recent racing form that falls outside an identified time standard plus we’ve introduced Masters races for older dogs,” he said.