Thursday, August 17, 2017
Meningie greyhound owner-trainer Cameron Butcher hit Tara Raceway last Sunday morning on the back of a fair sort of week.
First of all there had been a double with Dawning Hope and She’s A Looper at Gawler on the Tuesday before things got even better at Angle Park on Thursday night when On Fire won the SA division of the National Sprint Championship.
He’s now won 29 races from 46 starts for $114,690 in prizemoney and will fly to Queensland on Sunday to prepare for the $75,000-to-the-winner final which will be run at Albion Park next Friday night.
Also on Thursday night, Butcher’s champion chaser Worm Burner – winner of last year’s National Sprint Championship at Angle Park – finished an unlucky third over 515 metres at Sandown Park.
She’s A Looper, a litter sister to Worm Burner and herself a winner of 20 races and close to $50,000 in prizemoney, was one of four greyhounds Butcher brought down for last Sunday’s Mount Gambier meeting.
After her impressive Gawler win over 643 metres she looked to be well placed from box eight in the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (600 m) but Tara Raceway can be a daunting prospect for the uninitiated.
As it was, She’s A Looper was slowly away and looked to be in trouble early when forced very wide on the first turn. But by the time the field had hit the back straight she’d sorted herself out, eventually running away to a 6¾ length win in a quick 35.13 seconds.
And Molly Be Nimble, another 20-race winner, made it a double for Butcher when virtually leading all the way in the ClassicBet Mixed Stake (512 m) to defeat the local legend Cryer’s Fred in 30.20 seconds.
Accompanying Butcher last Sunday was Adelaide-based Fred Versari, actively involved in the sport since its early days in various forms including owning and training, running a pet shop and the transport of greyhounds between Adelaide and Melbourne.
Versari, who has seen plenty of dog tracks in his 80 years, still reckons Tara Raceway is one of the best country tracks anywhere in terms of its lay-out, atmosphere and conviviality. Butcher, a first-time visitor, agreed.
REAPING THE REWARDS
Greyhound of the Year contender Baz’s Moment will be chasing his fourth consecutive win when he lines up from box seven in Sunday’s Laser Electrical Mixed Stake (400 m).
He was part of a winning treble for Compton trainer Tracie Price – his second in a fortnight – at Tara Raceway last Sunday when Gangster Of Love and Banjo Queen were also successful.
Price is now reaping the rewards of an intensive breeding programme which should see him play a strong hand in the Destini Fireball Winter Classic, held over until September 17.
Classic age Baz’s Moment, a son of Swift Fancy x Which Class, has won his past three over 400 metres but is certainly capable over the classic distance of 512 metres while his litter brother and kennel mate Swift Limes has been more than competitive in higher grades – his 2¼ length third to Molly Be Nimble last Sunday a fair sort of effort.
Price won the 2014 Winter Classic with Stylish Moment (the dam of Sophie’s Moment, another genuine contender for this year’s event), and followed up again in 2015 with Cee Me Burst who now has an eight-month-old litter by Cosmic Rumble.
Gateway To Eden finally drew in close and served notice that he also will make his presence felt come classic time for trainer Nicole Stanley with an impressive 512 metre win last Sunday over fellow classic contenders Lektra Stomp and Away We Go.
Meanwhile, the debut of the Price-trained Same Scenario from box eight in the Produce Store Maiden Stake (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday will attract plenty of interest.
The black bitch, whelped in January 2016, is by Fabregas out of 16-race winner Who’s Doing What, a former top local bitch and a litter sister to Star Recall (40 wins, $445,000 prizemoney).
By High Earner x No Recall, Who’s Doing What has a second litter to follow – a September 2016 whelping by Knocka Norris with Price on record as saying these are the best-looking pups he’s ever seen.