Awesome Value’s win in last Sunday’s Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 metres) saw the continuation of a successful line that goes back to the early 1980s and the foundation dam Val Matese for the Mugavin family of Killarney.
Kevin Mugavin has enjoyed his share of success at Mount Gambier Cup days – Poetic Magic winning the cup in 2006 and Rich Shiraz in 2012. Then in 2015 he won the Banjo Boy Feature 600 metres event with Cheap Currency, a son of Poetic Magic.
Awesome Value, an April 2019 son of Fernando Bale and nine-race winner Cloona Lass, had opened his winning account the previous week in a heat of the maiden feature when defeating Paradise Five by three-quarters of a length in 30.31 seconds.
But after Paradise Five drew box one in the final, the daughter of Worm Burner and Thanks Tubby was expected to turn the tables for trainer David Peckham who races her in partnership with Kevin Douglas, the cup day MC.
Perhaps surprisingly, the early leader was Saint Eilish, winner of the second heat in a considerably slower 30.98 seconds. But down the back it was Awesome Value who took up the running.
And from then on the black dog never looked to be in any real danger when holding out an improved Saint Eilish for a 3¾ lengths win in 30.32 seconds. Filling third spot, a further 2½ lengths back, was odds-on favourite Paradise Five.
As far as Mugavin was concerned it was a case of making amends for two years ago when Spring Value, later to go on to bigger and better things, finished second to Galactic Titan in the Produce Store Feature Maiden final.
With Almighty Stripe the fastest greyhound to ever race over 400 metres at Tara Raceway lining up from box six, the Formula 400 final had the makings of a terrific race. Disappointingly, though, Tim Richards’ 22.55 seconds record holder injured a left hind leg calf in running.
But that’s taking nothing away from the eventual winner, Gotcha Laz who led all the way when defeating Bec Romyn’s Blue Tick Fern by 1¾ lengths with a further three lengths back to Garry Anders’ Ed Deeds in an equal personal best time of 22.88 seconds.
The brindle son of Fernando Bale x Sisco Sizzle has now raced at Tara Raceway over 400 metres on six occasions, resulting in five wins and a second for the good guys of greyhound racing – the Many Winners Syndicate and Koroit trainer Peter Keane.
Lindsay Brookes and Gary Thomson, two of the syndicate members who regularly enjoy a day at Tara Raceway with Keane, really soaked up the cup day atmosphere. Especially after Gotcha Laz’s litter brother, Me Silly, later in the day held out Don’t Forget Kev and Mick’s Kimmy in the Progreyhoundtips.com Stake (512 m) and gave Keane a training double.