More than 25 years on and Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield is still continuing to make his presence felt at the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s meetings at Tara Raceway.
This is where, back on January 25, 1997, he trained the winner of the first race run at the Lake Terrace East venue with a greyhound called Bright Option.
At last Thursday’s meeting Clayfield brought up his 10th winner this year – with Potch, who at her fourth race start found plenty of improvement when leading all the way to defeat Bungaloo Brooke by 9¾ lengths.
Contesting the second race, the Commercial Hotel Maiden Stake (400 metres), the December 2020 daughter of Magic Sprite and Majestic Tale carved out a winning time of 23.27 seconds.
This ultimately turned out to be the best of the day.
Potch is owned by her breeder, Morphett Vale-based Damien Smith who races the black bitch in partnership with his father Ross, of Reynella.
Interestingly, all of Clayfield’s winners this year have come by way of Majestic Tale – a winner of 16 races in Tasmania and South Australia – and her two litters by Aston Dee Bee and Magic Sprite.
Aston Dee Bee’s daughter Glenville Rose, a veteran of 112 starts, has won five races this year while her litter sister Shimmy Sharna has been successful on three occasions.
And Magic Sprite youngsters Tuivasa and Potch have both won their maidens.
Meanwhile, Hamilton trainer Lorraine Goodwin was the first to admit that she had been somewhat apprehensive as she made the trip over to Mount Gambier last Thursday with Agent Jade.
“It was the first time I had raced at the track and I really had no idea of how things work at Tara Raceway.
“Actually, I had been hoping that I would have been able to watch a race or two in order to pick up on race day procedure,” she said.
“So when Agent Jade, who was having her first start for me, drew box one in race one I felt like we had been thrown in at the deep end.”
But Goodwin found her way to the 400 metre start and Agent Jade did the rest.
Leading all the way in the Rocks Tavern Maiden Stake, she ran out a 5¼ length winner over Zippy Cadillac in a time of 23.72 seconds.
“Gee, that was certainly pretty exciting to have my first winner here,” said Goodwin.
By Barcia Bale out of the city-winning Miss Suzie Que, the rising four-year-old was having her first race start in almost 12 months.
According to Goodwin, Agent Jade’s third trainer, the 25 kilogram bitch has been injury-prone, hence having raced on only five occasions.
“She’s now been with me for a few months although originally the plan had been to prepare her for the Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) program.
“But she seemed to be appreciating some tender loving care and was holding up pretty well so I thought I’d have a go at getting her back on the track.”
Thursday regular Tony Hinrichsen, of Langhorne Creek, brought up his third double at the track this year when Barefoot Rebel and White Hulk took his tally of wins at Mount Gambier to 20.
Barefoot Rebel, a winner at the previous meeting, scored a strong win in the Trackside Meats Stake (512 m) when taking up the running from Velocity Cleo off the back before storming home for a 5¼ length win over Pirate Gold in 30.04 seconds.
The race was the second of two heats of the regular Fast Forward series, run this month over 512 metres in the six-dog format.
The fastest six qualifiers, irrespective of finishing position, will contest today’s added-money final.
In the first heat, the Hyland Fox Stake, giveaway greyhound Saint Prue, trained at Koroit by Rob Walsh, led all the way to defeat Myola Queen by 5¼ lengths in 30.17 seconds.
White Hulk broke a three-month run of outs when running down Who Knows Chloe to score by 1¼ lengths in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m).
Hinrichsen describes the son of Orson Allen and Flash Glance as something of an enigma.
“I actually pre-trained him and he looked to show a bit of a promise.
“But what I’m finding is that while he runs home strongly over 400 metres – as he did today – he struggles to run out a decent 512 metres.”
Hinrichsen is currently probably best known as the trainer of Filthy Phantom, who holds the Australian record for the most number of starts.
A fortnight ago the 6½-year-old ran second at Mount Gambier at what was start number 301.