Mount Gambier Weekly Recap

Racing News

Crushing the opposition at Tara Raceway
Two Wells trainer Jack Trengove still remembers his first trip to Tara Raceway – back in June 2021 soon after he had relocated from Broken Hill to SA.

He had eight runners engaged on that Thursday afternoon and did pretty well when landing a treble with Curiouser, It’s A Louie and Jackie’s Exhibit who had all been recent Broken Hill winners.

Trengove, 23 at the time, has made the trip to Mount Gambier plenty of times since but never with as much success as last Thursday when enjoying his best day at any track with five winners – Archer Four, Subzero Annie, Crusher, Seasonal and Sweeping.

Archer Four, a son of Worm Burner and Cawbourne Zebra – a six-race winner at Angle Park and Murray Bridge – was having his sixth start when lining up in the Winning Post Supplies Maiden Stake (305 metres).

And the brindle dog quickly pushed through from box four to find the front before racing away to 6¾ length win in a personal best 18.08 seconds for Mark and Janelle Archer of Townsville.

“This is my first involvement with Mark and Janelle and after rearing four of the litter for them it was nice to be able to win with Archer Four,” Trengove said.

Subzero Annie had been through six trainers in the space of six months for two wins prior to Trengove taking over 12 months ago and having now won eight races at Broken Hill, Murray Bridge, Gawler and Mount Gambier.

Raced by Adelaide owner Richard Crewdson, the daughter of Fernando Bale and the unraced Subzero Doll never left the rails and held on for a narrow win in 23.50 seconds over the wide-running Correlate in the Swallow Drive Meats TG5+W Stake.

Crusher, a 531 metre maiden winner at Gawler earlier this month, had no trouble in making the step up in class when leading all the way for a 4½ length win over Send It Sammy in 30.20 seconds in the Exchange Printers TG1-4W Stake (512 m).

By Fernando Bale, Crusher is out of former more than handy middle-distance performer Thriving. He is raced by Victorian-based Amanda Tullio who also bred the black dog.

Seasonal, a daughter of Shima Shine and 600 metre The Meadows winner Appointed, was never in any danger of defeat in the Metal Worx TG5+W Stake (512 m) when leading all the way and defeating kennelmate Springvale Jess by 7¼ lengths in a best of day 29.85 seconds.

“I’m currently training 10 dogs for the Tullio family although in the case of Seasonal she’s one that they gave me to race early in her career. She’s now won eight races so I’ve had a bit of fun with her,” Trengove said.

Sweeping, a litter sister to Crusher, wrapped up the kennel’s big day with an effortless five length all the way win over Full On Fury in the Todd’s Photographics TG1-4W Stake (400 m) in 23.38 seconds.

And the litter went close to landing a treble after kennelmate Apparently later in the day just went down in a maiden stake over 530 metres at Angle Park to Footrot Fan.

Trengove, who was back again for Sunday’s Category 2 meeting, said he was now looking at bringing down dogs to Mount Gambier on a fortnightly basis to race at the Thursday and Sunday meetings.

Memorial race to precede Mount Gambier Cup heats

It’s now been almost 12 months since long-time local greyhound racing stalwart Connie Miller passed away at the age of 76 after a long illness.

In 1983-1984 she had assumed the role of secretary of the South East Greyhound Racing Club, later to be known as the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing & Coursing Club Inc.

Given there were no computers back then, records were kept in a hard-covered account book with the secretary neatly entering all race results by hand. The book contained 170 pages of results.
And that was just for 1983!

And she still found the time to train the winners of the 1987 and 1988 Mount Gambier Cups with Durafi and Mitchell Boy. To this day she is still the only trainer to have won consecutive cups.

With the exception of 1996-1997 Connie was secretary until 2002-2003. She worked alongside presidents Newman McDonnell, Ian Badger, Noel Miller, Des Dowdell, Bill Ward, Craig Collins, John Woodland and Barry Shepheard.

In the 1990s she received club life membership and was also recognised by the SA greyhound racing industry with an Outstanding Service to the Industry award.

The Connie Miller Memorial will be conducted over 512 metres for grade five greyhounds on Sunday, March 31 and will be a lead-up to the $3000 Mount Gambier Cup heats (512 m) to be run on the following Sunday (April 7).

Also on cup heat day at Tara Raceway will be the presentation of the Ian Badger Trainer of the Year award to Tracie Price while Kerry Hawker’s Nero Valentino will receive the Greyhound of the Year award.

First run over 479 metres at Glenburnie in 1981 when won by Tara Topar, this year will mark the 44th running of the Mount Gambier Cup. Last year’s winner was the Daniel Gibbons trained Titan Blazer in a race record time of 29.36 seconds.

This year’s Group 3 Mount Gambier Cup will be sponsored by Cap Abbott and Kerry Hawker of Cadillac Racing and carry prize money of $36,000.

Greyhound Racing SA will once again link bonuses to both the Murray Bridge Cup (run on March 11 and 17) and the Mount Gambier Cup (the final on April 14).

There will be a $5000 bonus if the same greyhound wins both cups. There will also be a $5000 trainer bonus if the same trainer can win both cups (SA or interstate or different dogs).

So far, neither of the bonuses has been won although Victorian trainer Angela Langton came pretty close in 2022 with Weblec Ranger.

The son of Kinloch Brae and Weblec Rose defeated Mr. Ticket in the Murray Bridge Cup before narrowly going down to Jason Newman’s Departure Gate in the 2022 Mount Gambier Cup.

And the Calcutta, with the exception of a couple of Covid years, has always been part of the Mount Gambier Cup – right back to its beginnings in 1981 when the winner was sold for $100 in a Mount Gambier woolshed.

So how does a Calcutta actually work?

Well, participants purchase raffle tickets to enter into the initial Calcutta draw. Every dog running in the 2024 Mount Gambier Cup heats will then be raffled and allocated to the corresponding ticket holder.

The successful ticket holders are now considered the “owners” of the cup heat runners moving into the auction. And all proceeds from the raffle tickets sold are added to the prize pool.

The “ownership” of each dog will then be publicly auctioned to the highest bidder. Following this, 50% of the value of the winning auction bid is distributed to the “owner/s” of the dog after the raffle phase.

The other 50% is added to the prize pool. “Owners” may buy their dog back at 50% of the auction price. After the auction is completed the ownership is now settled until the completion of the cup heats and final.

Still confused? These couple of examples may help.

Daisy wins Speedy Sid in the raffle. However Peter wins the auction with a bid of $100. Daisy will receive $50 as “owner” and $50 will be added to the prize pool.

Don wins Speedy Jack in the raffle. However, Don also wins the auction with a bid of $100. Don will receive $50 back as “owner” and $50 will be added to the prize pool. This means Don has retained Speedy Jack at a 50% discount on the auction price.