Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club

Tara Raceway, Lake Terrace East, Mount Gambier, SA

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Zipping Cola regains his fizz

A lap out and Zipping Cola is on his way to a 29.52 seconds win in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway on Thursday.

To be honest, Allendale East greyhound Zipping Cola looked a bit out of place at Thursday’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway.

Here he was leading all the way in the Trackside Meats 5+Wins Stake (512 metres), eventually running out a 9½ lengths winner over Rough Pearl in 29.52 seconds. Has any greyhound run quicker than that at a Mount Gambier time-graded meeting? Probably not.

Actually, the race wouldn’t have been out of place at a Tara Raceway Sunday Category 2 meeting where, by and large, the better dogs race for better prizemoney.

But sometimes it’s not always about the money.

Greyhound racing in Mount Gambier, due to its location, has always relied heavily on Victorian support for its race meetings – particularly the time-graded fixtures on Thursday afternoons.

Border closures have impacted significantly not only on the nomination flow but more importantly, in many people’s opinion, on the social fabric of the meetings.

However, the standard of Thursday racing, complemented by valued support from Adelaide and surrounding trainers, has certainly improved as participants look to pick up extra wins, albeit for less prizemoney.

David Peckham with Zipping Cola.

But back to the David Peckham trained Zipping Cola, a blue fawn son of Barcia Bale and Zipping Meg, herself a finalist in Dyna Double One’s 2015 Melbourne Cup.

Raced by leading SA owner Tim Aloisi, Zipping Cola found himself in SA in late 2020 after a handful of starts in Victoria where he won a 425 metres maiden at Bendigo.

There were ups and downs, though. A couple of wins at Angle Park kicked off his Adelaide campaign before a 28 days suspension for marring stopped him in his tracks.

Peckham takes up the story.

“I didn’t have the dog then but a few months later he won in quick time over 395 metres at Murray Bridge. I remember Tim saying at the time that the run-home time had been good and he thought Zipping Cola would run out a strong 530 metres.

“The following week, though, he incurred a three months suspension for marring. It was then decided to send him down to Mount Gambier in the hope that the finish-on-lure might turn him around.

“The general consensus seemed to be that if Zipping Cola could sort himself out then he would be one of the better dogs racing at Mount Gambier – times over 512 metres of something like 29.50 or 29.60 certainly not out of the question.”

Peckham said the dog had been trialling well leading up to his mandatory satisfactory trial which resulted in him running a more than handy 30.09 seconds over 512 metres.

“To be honest, though, we had been disappointed with his first three race starts back. He really had us scratching our heads because we knew he was capable of much better.

“But then he started to find improvement in the run home with his past two races resulting in him running serious race times at Tara Raceway.”

Thursday was a good day for Aloisi (and co-owner Matt Lehman), also successful at Angle Park that night with former WA chaser Lashes Monelli who brought up her fifth successive 730 metres win.

Tim Aloisi with Lashes Monelli. “What’s the chances of her having a crack at Nellie Noodles’ 732 metres Tara Raceway track record?” Pic. Kurt Donsberg.

And with the forthcoming re-introduction of 732 metres racing at Tara Raceway what are the chances of getting Lashes Monelli down here for a crack at Nellie Noodles’ long-standing track record of 43.45 seconds?

Peckham said that with more opportunities for stayers at Tara Raceway he was now on the lookout for a distance dog.

Meanwhile, a substantial change to the marring and failing to pursue penalty structure will come into effect on Monday, January 31, 2022.

The new rule proposes that a greyhound’s first offence be a suspension of 28 days at the track where the offence occurred and the completion of a satisfactory trial.

A second offence is a suspension of 28 days at all tracks and the completion of a satisfactory trial. The third or subsequent offence is a three months suspension at all tracks and the completion of two satisfactory trials.

Marring and failing to pursue penalties will no longer be dealt with separately. They will be combined. A greyhound’s first penalty may be for failing to pursue, its second for marring, and third for failing to pursue, or any combination of the two.

The rationale behind the Greyhounds Australasia amendment is to enable greyhounds a better opportunity to continue racing should they be repeat offenders under these rules.


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