Perseverance pays off as Kevin bookends meeting

It took a while, but Cundare trainer Kevin Quinn finally opened his winning account with maiden greyhound Grand Warrior in the first race at Mount Gambier’s time-graded meeting at Tara Raceway last Thursday. Making her debut 10 months ago over 390 metres at Warrnambool, Grand Warrior was still chasing her first win when lining up for start number 35 in the Williams Crane Hire Maiden Stake (400 metres).

By El Grand Senor out of Sandown Park winner Bel Air Mist, Grand Warrior always had the race in her keeping, leading all the way to defeat American Mustard by half a length in 23.88 seconds. For Quinn, a regular at Tara Raceway’s Thursday time-graded meetings, the win was his third at the track this year after Jack’s Fantasy had twice won in January.

The day ended even better though after Quinn bookended the meeting with rising five-year-old Scott Confusion who led all the way in the Bartholomew Pick 6 Stake (400 m) to defeat Tayah’s Express by 11⁄2 lengths in 23.68 seconds. And it had been a while between drinks with the daughter of Hooksy and Wentworth Park-winning stayer Lavana last successful back in August 2019 at Tara Raceway.

The double at Mount Gambier was Quinn’s first since September 5, 2019 when Slipaway Whitey and Topaz Warrior had won. Bec Romyn and Ashlee Griffiths, the mother and daughter team from Two Wells, both enjoyed success in their own right with Bella’s Night and Safe Drop respectively.

Bella’s Night staged a big performance in the JB Irrigation Stake (400m), eventually holding out kennelmate Thunder Kick, perhaps a little unlucky, to win by a length in 23.77 seconds. The well-supported Safe Drop opened his SA winning account with an impressive effort in the Progreyhoundtips.com Stake (512 m) when defeating Dressed Up and Beers With Geoff.

A son of Barcia Bale and former smart bitch Missile Flash, Safe Drop had plenty of ground to make up after beers With Geoff opened up a handy break mid race. But turning for home, he had the field covered, eventually running out a 41⁄4 lengths winner in 30.14 seconds.

Koroit trainer Robert Walsh and owner Paul Herry of Mortlake are now looking at the forthcoming Michelle Niele Memorial Dual Distance Challenge after Saint Rock’s win in the Metal Worx Stake (512 m). The son of Peter Rocket and Maisy Mac eventually shrugged off a determined challenge from the Griffithstrained Yenderra Eve before going on to a length win in a best of day 30.13 seconds.

The dual distance memorial, which comprises 512 metres heats on Sunday, March 7 and a 600 metres final a week later with $1000 added money, looks a good series for Saint Rock who has won over both the distances at Tara Raceway.

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