Cup contender looking to carry all before her

Racing News

Cup contender looking to carry all before her

It was a day of fast times at Tara Raceway last Sunday. And from a 512 metre point of view there were none faster than Lektra Carry, owned and trained at Toolong by Phil Lenehan who also bred the daughter of Fernando Bale and Lektra Perry.

Lining up in the Todd’s Photographics Stake on the back of a 450 metre win at Warrnambool the previous Thursday night, the white and black bitch led all the way, defeating her litter sisters Lektra Remi and Lektra Lyanna by 3¼ lengths and 2¾ lengths respectively in 29.47 seconds.

Lenehan said he had approached Sunday’s race with some trepidation given that the Warrnambool win had been soured somewhat after Lektra Carry had been severely interfered with in the catching pen.

“She had taken quite a battering after the race and I was hoping that wouldn’t put her off her game on Sunday at Tara Raceway. Fortunately she never missed a beat and that was a real relief,” he said.

Now a winner of six races from 16 starts, Lektra Carry is likely to line up in Sunday’s Exchange Printers Anniversary Cup heats (512 m). This is a time-honoured race Lenehan is yet to win although Neville Lenehan was successful in 2019 with one of his brother’s breed – Lektra Brandy.

Top Cadillac’s outstanding record over 600 metres at Tara Raceway continued for Edenhope owner-trainer Cap Abbott when the son of Feral Franky and Establish took his middle-distance record at the track to six wins from seven starts.

The black dog chased Zipping Shakira into the back straight in the Commercial Hotel Mixed Stake before taking up the running and racing away to a six length win in 34.63 seconds.

And with the time the second-fastest ever run at the track over 600 metres – only Giant Flash’s record-breaking run of 34.58 seconds on December 4, 2022 is faster – Top Cadillac sounded another ominous warning as far as the Anniversary Cup is concerned.

Meanwhile, later at Murray Bridge, Wild Banker scored a good win for Compton trainer Tracie Price over 455 metres in 25.67 seconds. Already a winner of three Anniversary Cups, Price looks to once again hold a strong hand in the $8000 event.

But back at Mount Gambier and Terang owner-trainer Mark Roberts, whose last winner at Tara Raceway was on January 12, 2023 with Hatchet Harry, had returned with a Lektra dog – Lektra Tony, a son of Houdini Boy and Lektra Jena.

A winner at the track over 400 metres in 23.04 seconds when with Lenehan, Lektra Tony led all the way from box two last Sunday in the Cadillac Racing Stake (400 m) for a 4¼ length win over kennelmate Lala Turbo in 22.64 seconds. Another best of day time for the Lektra dogs.

Another winner from the previous Thursday night at Warrnambool to race on Sunday had been Shore’s Pick, previously owned and trained at Yambuk by Tom Sinnott but now trained at Glenroy by Richard Clayfield.

By Bernardo out of Shore’s Girl, Shore’s Pick chased Moe Them Down in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m) until off the back where she took up the running before winning by 2¼ lengths in 22.88 seconds.

Simson trainer Calum Blake and his wife Jaz, whose last winner at Tara Raceway had been with Artificial Blue in December last year, had first starter Agon Caramel engaged in the Federal Hotel Maiden Stake (400 m).

The fawn bitch settled in second spot behind tearaway leader Time To Burn but on the line had 1¼ lengths to spare in a time of 23.38 seconds.

A giveaway greyhound, Agon Caramel is by Fernando Bale out of Rasputia, who won seven Victorian provincial races and $18,000 in prize money.

“She came by way of breeder Daniel Pell who we’ve had quite a few dealings with,” Calum said. “In fact, Artificial Blue also came from Daniel and the blue dog has now won 15 races and $23,000 in prize money.”

Subject to nominations, heats of the Exchange Printers Anniversary Cup will be run on Sunday, along with heats of the 20th John Reid Memorial Maiden (512 metres). The finals will be run on Sunday, July 21, in conjunction with the Eric Lewis Memorial over 732 metres.


Second time lucky for the Comet

Ian Bibby, Horsham Greyhound Racing Club president for more than 10 years, had made one of his occasional visits over to Mount Gambier the previous week with his five-year-old greyhound Crymelon Comet.

Chasing his first win since last November over at Horsham, the brindle dog served it up to Cadillac Landau over 400 metres before going down by half a length in 23.48 seconds.

Bibby and his travelling companion Gil Arnold then returned for last Thursday’s time-graded meeting with Crymelon Comet for the Produce Store TG5+W Stake (400 m) and went one better when he defeated Cadillac Lloyd by 2½ lengths in 23.72 seconds.

The win was his trainer’s first at Tara Raceway since Crymelon Spirit won there 13 months ago.

And as he tells it, there’s an interesting story surrounding the son of Hawk Alone and Crymelon Holly who has now raced on 125 occasions for 12 wins and $53,000 in prize money.

“Crymelon Holly looked set for a bright future after winning first up in January 2017 at Warrnambool over 390 metres in a quick 22.08 seconds. But she broke down at her third race start and never raced again.

“For her first litter we mated her with Barcia Bale. Her second litter, by $329,000 winner Hawk Alone, was bred by Mark Rodgers of Cressy and for a third litter we used Zambora Brockie.

“We ended up with three of the Hawk Alone litter – Crymelon Comet being the pick of them. And when he won at Horsham in December 2022 over 485 metres in a quick 26.87 seconds we started to give serious consideration to the forthcoming 2023 Horsham Cup.

“As a lead-up to the cup we took him to Ballarat for a hit-out. And while we were more than happy with the run, he broke a leg in the catching pen. Subsequent veterinary advice suggested he wouldn’t race again,” said Bibby.

And while these days he carries a stainless steel plate in the leg as a result of the accident he has still been able to win a further two races.

A couple of races later, in the Exchange Printers TG5+W Stake (400 m), Bibby had the six-year-old Butternut racing out of box eight. There was no joy there but really he’s only filling in time until the daughter of David Bale and Pah Leeze comes in season.

“She’s won 11 races at Bendigo, Warragul, Shepparton, Mandurah, Horsham and Warrnambool and I’m now looking at mating her with Crymelon Comet,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nathan Goodenough, based in the Adelaide suburb of Queenstown, has been involved with greyhounds in an on again-off again fashion for more than 20 years.

And accompanied by his brother Josh, he was back at Tara Raceway last Thursday with three of his six-dog team – Stilton Doll, Oregon Favors and Kota Lambai.

The last time Goodenough had been at Tara Raceway was back in September 2021 when he had landed his first double with Razzle Ann and Shantui’s Ember.

The brothers didn’t go home empty-handed last week either after Oregon Favors led all the way from box one in the Commercial Hotel TG1-4W Stake (512 m) when defeating Bernardo’s Boy by a length in 30.16 seconds.

By US sire Need My Moneynow out of three-race winner La La Oregon, the brindle dog was purchased from Victoria after having won three races.

“He was purchased by a syndicate of 10 owners,” said Goodenough who had been looking for a 512 metre dog. “I had actually brought him down for a confidence boosting run at Tara Raceway with today being his first win for us.”


Magnificent Mia continues to boost the charity jar

Cape Bridgewater owner Scott Blacksell, together with partner Jude Tait, continue to be generous supporters of what they see as worthwhile causes at Tara Raceway – Mount Gambier’s greyhound track situated on Lake Terrace East.

Back in the early days of the charity-based Tara Tipsters competition, Blacksell had put his hand up and donated $50 to the charity jar each time one of his greyhounds in Rooster or Worms Are Biting were successful at the local track.

Last year, the Tara Tipsters – 20 or so regulars at the Thursday and Sunday Tara Raceway meetings who battle for tipping bragging rights while contributing to a worthy local cause – threw their support behind the family of 22-month-old Mia Powell.

Mia had been diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare genetic disorder that affects the nervous system, with her parents focusing on treating the symptoms.

As it turned out, around this time one of Blacksell’s greyhounds just starting off her racing career had been Mocambora Mia, a well-bred daughter of US sire Superior Panama and Sweet On Me, a winner of 21 races, including the 2020 Summer Classic when trained locally by David Peckham.

Blacksell purchased a dog and bitch as pups from the December 2021 litter and reared them at Cape Bridgewater prior to the pair being broken-in at Koroit by Peter Byrne. Currently Peckham is training Mocambora Mia while her owner recovers from a hip operation.

Her maiden win over 400 metres came at start number four and happened to coincide with the Mia Powell Tara Tipsters fundraiser. This time Blacksell generously donated $100 to the charity jar.

Mocambora Mia has since won another three races at Tara Raceway, all over 400 metres. And an additional $150 in support of the Visually Impaired Club of Mount Gambier, Four Reasons Why and the Mount Gambier Cancer Support Group has jumped into the charity jar.

Concluding next week is the Tara Tipsters latest fundraiser – the Mount Gambier Cancer Support Group – representatives to be on track on Sunday, August 4 to receive a donation at the conclusion of the running of the Tara Tipsters Cancer Support Group Cup (512 m).

The next charity to be supported by the Tara Tipsters is Spare Ya Change 4 Kids which does important work in ensuring local kids are fed.

Meanwhile, a new report from IER, commissioned by the SA racing industry, highlighted the substantial economic, social and community benefits that the racing industry in SA contributed to the state economy.

And Greyhound Racing SA Chair, Grantley Stevens, said greyhound racing continued to be a major part of the communities at which racing is based.

“We host events and support charitable and grassroots causes throughout the year,” he said. “And we look forward to the ongoing delivery of the economic and social contributions we make to SA.

“GRSA conducts 448 race meetings annually, providing significant employment and contributing to local economies within both metropolitan Adelaide and regional areas.

“GRSA is immensely proud of the contribution it makes as part of the SA racing industry to the state’s economy and, more broadly, within the regional communities in which we race.”