Hats off to Larry

Hats off to Larry

No, the headline does not refer to Del Shannon’s 1961 hit song but to Coleraine owner-trainer Bob Wombwell’s Eskimo Larry, winner of the Winning Post Supplies Formula 400 final (400 metres) at the recent Mount Gambier Cup meeting.

Away quickly from box seven, Eskimo Larry led all the way for a two length win over Lektra Tony in the very tidy time of 22.91 seconds.

The win took his earnings to more than $30,000 and the race record of the son of Sennachie and Serene Rose to an impressive 12 wins and five minor placings from 26 starts in Victoria and SA.

“He’s certainly been a handy dog, having won four races in succession for me at Warrnambool in January-February last year before I sent him, and his brother Eskimo Roger, off to Buln Buln East trainer Steve White,” said Wombwell.

“Eskimo Larry then won seven races at Traralgon, Warragul and Sale while with Steve but after sustaining an injury back in November both dogs recently found their way back here to Coleraine.”

Wombwell’s involvement in greyhound racing in Mount Gambier goes back to the early days at Glenburnie.

But it was not until early this year that feature race success at either of the local tracks finally came his way.

“My first feature win over here, after pretty well a lifetime in greyhound racing, was in this year’s Sims Family Memorial with Eskimo Moana,” he said.

“Feature race success was a fair while coming at Tara Raceway but it was very rewarding to be able to win the two races with littermates that I also bred.”

Dennington brother and sister team, Dustin and Aimee Drew, and Jon Malone of Winslow – regulars in recent weeks at Tara Raceway race meetings and trial sessions – reaped their rewards at the cup day meeting.

Aston Colette, who found the front going out of the first turn in the Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m), ran out a four length winner at start number four over fellow Dennington trainer Pat Bouchier’s well backed first starter Tappet.

Aston Colette, a November 2021 daughter of Go Wild Teddy and Aston Cha Cha, ran a handy 29.86 seconds which more than pleased Dustin Drew.

“Coming in season interrupted her initial preparation and later she was not showing a great deal on the track,” he said.

“But once we brought her over here she seemed to really fire up and I’m putting that down to the finish-on-lure.”

And later in the day kennelmates Aston Malle and Aston Kalkara fought out the finish of the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (512 m) – the former successful by 1¾ lengths in a personal best time of 29.55 seconds.

This year’s Cadillac Racing Mount Gambier Cup went off well, enhanced by on-course caller Brenton Yates, bookmaker Darren Guthridge complementing the TAB and Allen Williams as the MC.

Back in 2013 Bernie Rogers won the Anniversary Cup (512 m) with Camo’s Prinny.

On cup day he was strumming his guitar and entertaining the crowd with a diverse range of music.

With a jumping castle, face painter, spud and coffee vans, races for the kids and obligatory ice cream truck, it seems pretty well everyone was catered for.

Spotted among the crowd was Kevin Guthridge, leading Mount Gambier trainer on several occasions in the early days of greyhound racing out at Glenburnie where the first Mount Gambier Cup was run in 1981.

Guthridge never won a Mount Gambier Cup but was part of the inaugural event won by Tara Topar when Cindy’s Range finished second.

Also on course were MGGRC life members Allen Peckham and Ralph Patzel.

Peckham, the father of present-day trainer David, won the cup with Argyle Sally at Glenburnie in 1994 while the first cup run at Lake Terrace East in 1997 was won by the Patzel-trained Ashanti Gem.

And for the last word on the cup.

One of the surprise packets this year was Mighty Quinn who went into the series having won four races – all at Horsham – and came out as the second-fastest heat winner before beating all but Chapel Road in the Group 3 final.

The son of Shima Shine and Swift Current, trained at Echuca by Rod Clark, was last early from box two in the final before finding trouble going out of the first turn.

He then set off in pursuit of Chapel Road before being beaten by two lengths in 29.56 seconds but still collecting his biggest cheque to date of $6000.

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