By David Lewis
AS FOR greyhound racing, it’s only been a few years since Moorak’s Jason Newman got involved.
His first sighthound was Black Moscato, which he bought as a seedling.
Then came his first winner as a trainer with Like A Slug, then racing in partnership with John and Kerry Hawker.
Newman has also used the hard yards at Allendale East where he assisted David Peckham on his Bourne Kennels operation.
“I have to say that my time at Bourne Kennels has taught me a lot from one of SA’s most accomplished trainers,” said Newman.
Two years later, the pair dominated Sunday’s premier Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club meeting of the year, highlighted by the Group 3 Carlin & Gazzard MG Mount Gambier Cup.
Newman coached Mount Gambier Cup winner Departure Gate along with Velocity Cleo and Ajmer.
The day ended with the victory of Awesome Alpaca, trained by his partner Melissa Freitag.
Peckham took his tally of victories at Tara Raceway to 10 in a week as Earn The Blur, Denzell Bale, Aston Marlon and Midnight Daisy claimed victory on Sunday.
Newman, 40, attributes his rapid rise to opportunities that initially arose via Adelaide participants Damien Bates and Tim Aloisi.
“Damien had trained the departure gate for his mother-in-law, Sharyn McSorley, before he temporarily relocated to the interstate with his wife, and right or wrong he wanted me to do the dog’s training,” Newman said.
“This association saw further collaborations with Adelaide manager Troy Murray and Queensland owner Steve Williams.
“I think the fact that I was able to get greyhounds like Roxy Patron and Hot Diamond to win several races last year gave me extra confidence.
“That means I’m now trying to make a good dog better and keep it longer so owners can continue to place their trust in me.”
Newman is also involved in club affairs and, as a member of the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club Committee, was one of those instrumental in the MGRC winning Category 2 for Sunday racing last July.
He is also the club’s representative on Greyhound Racing South Australia’s Industry Consultative Group.
After last year’s cup, the MGRC committee had been looking for ways to improve the club’s biggest gathering of the year, particularly the presentation of the finalists to the public.
This year, the eight finalists were individually introduced by Kevin Douglas.
The handlers wore a personalized Greyhound Racing South Australia shirt embroidered with the greyhound’s name along with ‘2022 Carlin & Gazzard MG Mount Gambier Cup’.
Adding to the dealers’ appearance were stylish black MG caps, supplied by Carlin & Gazzard MG Sales Manager Adrian Jones.
The club had also sought to replace their remote race callers for their cup runs and finals.
Veteran caller Jim Jacques handled the heats in his own inimitable way, while Lachlan Stace, who was called up at the last minute for the final, did an excellent job.