Beautiful Tara Raceway debut win

With Mount Gambier’s time-graded meetings at Tara Raceway graded on a worst to best basis it was no surprise the Myrniong-based Hold Fast Bella ended up a reserve in last Thursday’s Todd’s Photographics Stake (512 metres).

But, as luck would have it, she gained a start from box one following the scratching of Awesome Alpaca.

And with some pretty handy recent form at Geelong and Shepparton she was always going to be hard to beat.

That’s how the race panned out, the fawn daughter of Orson Allen and Houso Delight leading all the way and eventually running out a 5¾ lengths winner over Premier Slice in 29.82 seconds – the quicker of the two 512 metre races on the day.

Hold Fast Bella is raced by the Chris Reynolds managed Pup To Track Seven Syndicate and trained by Mark Giddings who has several of the Pup To Track Greyhound Racing and Syndications dogs in his kennels.

“They have been really good with their syndicates and sponsorship of greyhound racing,” said the 28-year-old Giddings who has trained the winner for the entirety of her 27-start career.

“And the syndicate has enjoyed a good few weeks with Hold Fast Bella, winning three races in April. I was particularly pleased with the way she ran out the 512 metres today. Hopefully she can now go on with the job.”

The win was the second leg of a treble for Giddings after Old Mate Paddy kicked off the successful day with an all-the-way win over False Alarm in 23.23 seconds in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400m).

By Mepunga Blazer out of Miss Tron, Old Mate Paddy is a litter brother to Titan Blazer who was one of the top fancies for this year’s Mount Gambier Cup.

“I took over Old Mate Paddy only recently after his previous trainer, Daniel Gibbons, was looking for more kennel space,” Giddings said.

“Look, he’s certainly no Titan Blazer but he is fast early and suited to a bend start so I thought the Mount Gambier track would be a good fit for him.”

Jack’s Rose’s win in the Klaassens Contractors Stake (400 m) brought up Giddings’ treble and was his best day at Tara Raceway since Honey Edition and Enchanting were successful there 12 months ago.

Still looking for her first win this year, the daughter of Shima Bar and She’s A Rebel let loose down the back before running away to a 6¾ length win over Grand Warrior in 23.78 seconds.

Giddings is still best known for the success he achieved with Lioness Lulu, a daughter of Big Daddy Cool and Jackie’s Capri that he purchased for $2000 after she had won a maiden over 500 metres at Bendigo.

All told, she raced on 77 occasions, winning nine races, running 30 minor placings and earning stakemoney of close to $150,000.

Highlighting Lioness Lulu’s racing career was the 2016 Group 1 Association Cup (720 m) at Wentworth Park.

She was a $24 chance when defeating Whittaker in a heat but much shorter a week later when winning the $75,000-to-the-winner final.

Giddings said Lioness Lulu’s first litter, by Fabregas and whelped in August 2020, is at pre-training stage while a second litter by Aussie Infrared was whelped last November.

Meanwhile, Bungaloo Anne’s impressive win over 400 metres the previous Sunday had Kongorong trainer John Little hoping for more of the same when she lined up in last Thursday’s Metal Worx Stake (400 m).

And while it was not to be – the 2021 Christmas Cup winner finished fourth behind Crackerjack Lach – Little’s disappointment was to be short-lived given the effort four races later of litter sister Bungaloo Danni in the Gambier Vets Stake (512 m).

Chasing her first win since June last year, the daughter of Pure Titanium and Bungaloo Sunset settled in second spot down the back behind Bourne Brett before taking the lead turning for home and running out a 3¼ lengths winner over Saint Sunshine in 29.95 seconds.

For the father and son team of Doug and Paul Hammerstein of Ararat, Crackerjack Lach was the start of a good day when stormed home for a half-length win in 23.23 seconds.

The win was his 18th at start number 104 with trainer Paul Hammerstein, who has had the February 2019 whelping since his first win.

“He’s up in grade on Victorian tracks and starting to find it tough but over here if he gets a clear run like he did today then he’s always hard to beat,” he said.

The Hammersteins then combined to run the trifecta in the Commercial Hotel Stake (400 m) with Lektra Nick, Hokkaido Miss and Lektra Sammy who were in the first three throughout.

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