Mount Gambier Week in Review

Racing News

Local trainer’s big day at Tara Raceway

For Allendale East greyhound trainer David Peckham – six times Mount Gambier’s leading trainer – last Thursday equalled his best-ever day at the track after his team won six of the 12 races at the time-graded meeting.

Peckham’s big day kicked off in the second race, the Hyland Fox TG1-4W Stake (305 metres), when Lynette Ann led all the way from box seven and defeated Tamborine Girl by 1¾ lengths in 17.74 seconds.

By Spring Gun, the black bitch is out of Daisy Maree, a winner of three races at The Gardens and Gosford and a litter sister to 29-race winner Not Available ($174,000 in prize money) and Lochinvar Hugo (30, $100,000).

Raced by the Bald/Lapinskas Syndicate, Lynette Ann has now won two races from 19 starts. Interestingly, she is currently on the market for $500.

Wins by Bella Prue and Aston Piston followed before Sweet Lynette, Captain Red Tin and Bourne Nancy wrapped up Peckham’s day with a running treble.

Bella Prue, raced by the John Podgorski and Partners Syndicate, settled midfield early in the Winning Post Supplies Fast Forward heat (400 m) before working home well for a 1¼ length win over Cadillac Burns in 23.64 seconds.

Purchased as a pup from Koroit breeder Peter Byrne, she was reared at Portland by Nicole Stanley and Nifty Lenehan. Bella Prue is by Tommy Shelby, a winner of $1,020,870 in prize money, out of the city-winning Mepunga Prue.

Aston Piston, an $11 chance in the Carlin & Gazzard Fast Forward heat (400 m), was back on the track after a break of more than four months.

And after quickly finding the front from box four, the Ray Borda-owned son of Aston Kimetto and Aston Adele was never headed when scoring a 1¾ length win over Quick Gypsy in 23.12 seconds.

Sweet Lynette, a litter sister to Lynette Ann and raced in the same interests, led all the way to defeat Saint Maddix in the Gordon Refrigeration TG1-4W Stake. The win was her first over the 512 metre journey and her third overall.

Captain Red Tin, whose last win had been at Tara Raceway over 400 metres back in July, found winning form again in the Swallow Drive Meats TG5+W Stake (400 m) for the Ross Schurgott-managed Nineofus Syndicate.

The son of Bernardo and Dusseldorp, who led all the way from box three, brought up his sixth win at the track when defeating Kerry’s Cadillac by 2¾ lengths in 23.28 seconds.

Bourne Nancy, a litter sister to Captain Red Tin and also raced by Peckham, never looked like being beaten when leading all the way in the Ary Sports Bar & Bistro TG5+W Stake (400 m). In what was win number nine, she defeated She’s Fired Up by 2¼ lengths in 23.28 seconds.

The six winners took Peckham’s Tara Raceway total this year to 79 and currently have him sitting in second spot behind Tracie Price of Compton.

Speaking later in the day, Peckham said his previous six winners had come on February 16, 2020.

“That was a Sunday meeting with the winners being Bourne Maximum, Call Me Billy, Fabs You Go, Squishy Pea, Dyna Carnie and Bourne Blackjack.

“And as far as today is concerned, it also goes without saying that the help I receive from the team is greatly appreciated. Many thanks Christine, Kevin and Andrew,” he said.

Peckham also bred Mocambora Izza, trained at Cape Bridgewater by Scott Blacksell, who would be appreciating all the help he’s receiving from partner Jude Tait as he awaits further surgery on a troublesome hip.

By My Redeemer out of Raz’s Girl, Mocambora Izza brought up her 15th win when leading all the way from box three in the Trackside Pet Meats Pick 6 TG5+W Stake (400 m).

Meanwhile, Aston Piston, Quick Gypsy and Acoustic Flash – all from last Thursday’s fourth and final Fast Forward heat – will go into Thursday’s Category 2 prizemoney final as the three fastest qualifiers – 23.12, 23.25 and 23.49.


First litter for Greyhound of the Year

Another Pick, winner of the 2021 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year for Edenhope-based Captain Abbott and Kerry Hawker of Cadillac Racing, recently whelped her first litter – six dogs and three bitches – to high profile sire Wow (Fernando Bale x Miss All Class).

A daughter of Unlawful Entry x Proud Fantasy, Another Pick was purchased as a four-month-old pup by Abbott and Hawker. She won the 2021 GOTY with a total of 72 points – 12 wins, nine seconds and six thirds.

All told, Another Pick raced on 81 occasions for 17 wins and 18 minor placings in a career that commenced in August 2020 and concluded in May 2022.

Two years prior Abbott had won the GOTY with Black Spring who recorded 13 wins, nine seconds and four thirds for a total of 74 points.

And this year Abbott and Hawker look set for further GOTY success, this time with Nero Valentino who picked up a further two points on Sunday after running second to Aston Ziebell in the Open Stake (512 m).

Nero Valentino has now accumulated 68 points through six wins, 19 seconds and nine thirds and leads Wind Burn Flash by 18 points.


A Festival of Fun at Tara Raceway
So successful was this year’s Family Fun in the Sun promotion at South Australia’s four greyhound tracks, Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) announced last week that a Festival of Fun would be staged to coincide with the January 2024 school holidays.

From a racing perspective – and complementing the Family Fun in the Sun – Gawler, Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier all ran a $10,000 race while Angle Park’s was $14,000. But really it was all about getting families to the track.

And it worked. In fact, as far as Mount Gambier was concerned, Tara Raceway’s February 12 meeting had never seen so many kids at one of its meetings, taking advantage of the bouncy castle, the ice cream van, face painting, kids’ races and getting up close and personal with the greyhounds.

Mount Gambier’s Festival of Fun will be conducted on Sunday, January 21. From a racing point of view the highlight will be the final of the Summer Classic, an age-restricted race run over 512 metres for all greyhounds whelped on or after January 1, 2022.

Once again, the race will carry $10,000 in prize money which makes it second only in monetary value to the Mount Gambier Cup. Certainly a far cry from the inaugural Summer Classic conducted back in 2015.

That was the year that Cryer’s Ricky, owned and trained by Margaret and Tom Cryer of Apsley, gained a start in the final as a reserve and subsequently defeated Peter Franklin’s Future Past in a time of 29.96 seconds.

By pure coincidence Margaret Cryer was in Mount Gambier on February 12 this year and had decided to attend the Tara Raceway meeting, not even realising the Summer Classic final was being run.

So who better to present the trophy to the connections of the winner, Honey Rocks – owned by Ron Murch and trained locally by Tracie Price?