Long-time trainer put to the test

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Long-time trainer put to the test

Long-time Koroit trainer Peter Keane probably thought he was doing his five grandkids a favour when he purchased a three-month-old greyhound pup for them back in February 2022.

But the Keane kids, Jai 14, Byron 12 and Freya 10, along with Clay and Grace McKenzie, 10 and 8, have had a few birthdays since grandpa purchased the daughter of Shima Shine and Lulumon from Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club president Rob Gore.

The 2¾-year-old black bitch was having only her sixth race start when lining up in last Thursday’s Todd’s Photographics Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Mount Gambier’s time-graded meeting.

After settling in second spot from box four, Tested, as she is now known, finished strongly in the home straight when running down Moon Stroller for a 1½ length win in 23.54 seconds.

“I reckon she’s well named,” said Keane.

“She did not start racing until she was 2½ years old after requiring two operations for grass seeds.

“To be honest, I was starting to wonder whether she would ever hit the track. For sure, she did test me.”

Other members of the litter to have recently won at Tara Raceway have been Handy Molone for Gore and his wife Linda and Peter Franklin’s Moonlight Sid.

Thursday regulars Julie Green of Parwan and Michael Niele of Berringa ended the day with doubles when outsiders Lorelle Soldier and Big Deb Osti won the Fast Forward heats over 400 metres.

Lorelle Soldier, a daughter of Zipping Garth and Speculate, won her maiden for Green at Tara Raceway in August last year over 400 metres in a steady 24.44 seconds.

And it would be a further 38 starts before she won again last week when leading all the way from box one in the Trackside Pet Meats Pick 6 Fast Forward TG1-4W Stake.

On this occasion she defeated Tony Hinrichsen’s kennelmates Bomber Fury and Wrong Way Fury in 23.71 seconds.

Big Deb Osti and Gracie Pacey staged a great battle early in the second of the two heats, the Produce Store Fast Forward TG1-4W.

But in the run home it was Niele’s daughter of Bernardo x Eureka Osti who held out Moe Them Down for a 1¼ length win in 23.62 seconds.

The first leg of Green’s double was in the Gambier Vets Maiden Stake (305 m) when Sisters New never looked like losing after flying the start and then running out a seven length winner over Harpooned in 18.07 seconds.

Raced by NSW owner Frank Cremona, the pint-sized Sisters New is a nicely bred daughter of Fernando Bale and Front Page News and opened her winning account at start number nine.

The double was Green’s third at Tara Raceway this year.

Previously, Sudoku Shirley and Sweet Julie had been successful on May 9 and Sudoku Jade and Gracie Pacey on May 30.

For Niele, last week’s winning day kicked off with an impressive Bridgewater Bob leading all the way from box four in the Greg Martlew Autos TG5+W Stake (400 m) for a 2½ length win over Bourne Nancy in 23.12 seconds.

A winner at his previous start at Warrnambool, Bridgewater Bob has now won 10 races.

By Bernardo, the black dog is out of Spirited Bingle who is one of Mount Gambier’s leading dams this year.

Niele has now trained 16 winners at Tara Raceway this year.

This includes a treble and three doubles.

Velocity Lotus, last successful at Tara Raceway in November, was back among the winners last week when knocking over a handy field in the Icon Signs 5+W Stake (512 m) for Moorak owner-trainer Jason Newman.

Chasing her 15th win, the daughter of Keybow and Velocity Charm opened up a handy early lead and never really looked like being beaten when defeating Warringah Bale by 1¼ lengths in 29.93 seconds.

“It’s been a while between drinks for her,” Newman said.

“But I’m putting her lack of winning form down to an extended season which certainly did not do her too many favours.”

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