The Phantom gets down and dirty

Filthy Phantom, the greyhound who turns six years old next tomorrow, continued on his merry way at Mount Gambier last Thursday when winning the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (400 metres) for Langhorne Creek trainer Tony Hinrichsen.

Away well from box eight, he chased last start winner Saint Charlotte until the home turn where he railed through before running out a length winner in 23.29 seconds.

The win continued what has been a quite remarkable story – one that goes back eight years.

“I was actually part of a syndicate comprising four members of the AFL Masters club, the Phantoms.

“Together with Steve Huston, Paul Greenbank and Kym Golding we decided to purchase a greyhound called Ruby Swift who had just won her maiden at Ipswich,” Hinrichsen said.

“She was by the imported sire Premier Fantasy out of Black Caviar, an extremely well-bred unraced daughter of Brett Lee x Leprechaun Yap.

“So down the track we were always going to breed with her.”

But not before Ruby Swift had raced on 100 occasions for six wins, 36 minor placings and close to $10,000 in stakemoney.

In February 2016 she was mated with Lochinvar Marlow, the subsequent litter resulting in two dogs and five bitches.

“One of the bitches was named Breemelia Swift and went around 103 times for 15 wins – the last win being at Mount Gambier.

“And, of course, one of the dogs racves as Filthy Phantom.”

Filthy Phantom had his first start in December 2017 at Strathalbyn and followed up with his first win at the same track a couple of weeks later.

His first Mount Gambier win was in May 2018 when he defeated Crikey Creeky.

However, according to Hinrichsen, it was not until the middle of last year the black dog started to attract more than a passing interest.

“Apparently the unofficial Australian record for the most number of starts at the time was held by a Victorian greyhound called Galloping Graham who had been retired after 250 starts.

“Filthy Phantom was not too far off that mark and by the time October came around he had equalled the 250 starts “record” when running second to Bangor Lizzy at Mount Gambier.”

Last Thursday was Filthy Phantom’s 286th start and took his record to 34 wins, 47 seconds and 55 thirds.

Hinrichsen is now hoping his veteran chaser can take things one step further.

“Look, he’s a happy and healthy dog and loves racing.

“We’re now hoping he will be able to hit the 300 starts mark.”

Filthy Phantom has also sired two litters – last November to Rusty Fury (124 race starts) and Spring Leesa (177).

There should be a bit of durability among this lot.

Anzac Gift well received at local greyhound meeting

Hamilton-based greyhound trainer Tony Harding did not speak at the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s Anzac Gift presentation at Tara Raceway last Sunday.

But then again, he did not have to.

Just being out there was all that really mattered.

Local sporting identity Kevin “KD” Douglas had made a rush trip back from Adelaide to handle the presentation.

“And he went to great lengths to ensure that racegoers at the meeting entered into the spirit of the occasion by venturing outside the confines of the clubrooms to view the race and the subsequent presentation.

Douglas also wanted to make sure that Harding, a Vietnam veteran and these days a Tara Raceway regular, would be suitably acknowledged for agreeing to present the Anzac Gift trophy to the winner of the 512 metre event.

Harding had been conscripted at 21 and was based at Woodside for six months before serving as a rifleman in the 3rd Battalion RAR (Infantry) in Vietnam during 1967-1968.

Last Sunday’s Anzac Gift attracted a pretty handy line-up with the standout being dual 512 metre and 600 metre track record holder Giant’s Flash, trained at Compton by Tracie Price for the Garry Comans managed Giant Crows Syndicate.

And Giant’s Flash, a son of Banjo Boy and Navada Flame, was never going to be beaten.

Away well from box seven, he led all the way to defeat Butter Up Again and Shady Past in a time of 29.29 seconds – not all that far outside his track record of 29.19 seconds.

Speaking at the presentation, Price acknowledged the Anzac tradition and how his family had been impacted by the Vietnam war.

He also thanked his large “behind the scenes” team.

“Also, I believe it was a really nice gesture by the club to have Tony involved in the presentation of the Anzac Gift trophy.”

Later, Price – who ended the day with a treble – said he had grown up in Branxholme with Harding.

“We worked together for 10 years in Vic Rail, during which time he was my boss,” he said.

“I actually got Tony interested in greyhound racing and he trained dogs with me.”

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