Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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When the Saints go marching in

Dean Fennell pictured with Thursday’s winning treble at Tara Raceway. From left: Saint Maddie, Saint Coco and Saint Caitlin.

It was another successful day at Tara Raceway on Thursday for the “Saint” greyhounds – Saint Coco, Saint Maddie and Saint Caitlin – all bred and owned at Koroit by Peter Byrne and trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell.

Kennel newcomer Saint Coco, with Fennell for only three weeks, was the first leg of the winning treble – the trainer’s first in 12 months – when leading all the way in the Maiden Stake (277 metres).

Contesting the first short-course race run at the Mount Gambier track in more than eight years, the daughter of Mepunga Blazer x Mepunga Kirsty just held out Sidney’s Star to win by a neck in 16.74 seconds.

After six wins at the track over 400 metres and 512 metres, Fennell opted to step up Saint Maddie to the middle-distance journey (600 metres) for the first time, the black bitch drawing box one in the Trackside Meats Mixed Stake.

By Peter Rocket out of Miss Lava, herself a winner on three occasions over 595 metres at Sandown Park and twice at Tara Raceway over 600 metres, Saint Maddie led all the way to win by a neck over the fast-finishing Rouse Rocket (also by Peter Rocket) in 35.51 seconds.

And Saint Caitlin, a daughter of Mepunga Blazer and Saint Jane – a 2015 Newman McDonnell heat winner at Tara Raceway – finished over the top of Trickeration and Solid Bling in the Stake (400 m), winning by three-quarters of a length in 23.54 seconds.

Fennell’s treble took him to 34 local winners this year and sees him sitting comfortably in third spot behind David Peckham and Tracie Price in the 2020 Ian Badger Leading Trainer award.

For Gifford Hill trainers Tony and Lisa Rasmussen there were two winners but no easy pickings.

Frodo Baggins overcame a slow start in the Bourne Kennels Stake (400 m) to run down Dashing Pedro for a half length win in 23.18 seconds. And Cawbourne Jumpy led all the way to hold out Compton Peggy in the South Eastern Hotel Mixed Stake (512 m) for a narrow win in 30.30 seconds.

Near misses for the Rasmussens included Sidney’s Star by a neck, Buddy Guy by a nose and Top Right who also went down by a neck.

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