Record ‘debut’ for rising star

\"\"Caption: Lynette and Des Gough with their kennel star Silver Lake (Photo: Peter Morganti) 

By Andrew Thomson
A star was born in the heats of the Western Districts Derby at Ballarat with promising sprinter Silver Lake setting a new 450-metre track record.
Bred, owned and trained by Gippsland\’s Lynette Gough, Silver Lake clocked 24.69 seconds to clip 0.01sec off the previous benchmark, set by the Jason Thompson-trained Pirate Pete in November last year.
Silver Lake finished about eight lengths in front of Pirate Pete in the heat with Blackpool Flash runner-up. A Shepparton Cup (March 20 final) campaign, is now a strong possibility.
The Ballarat record-breaker was Silver Lake’s (Fernando Bale x Hot Charmola) fifth win from only six starts after he fell in his racing debut at Sandown on the first turn.
Those wins included 25.64 and 25.59 efforts at  Warragul, a slick 29.14 at Sandown and 25.09 at Ballarat.
Silver Lake is in the process of being transferred to Woodleigh trainer Graham James – a close friend of the Goughs.
“My husband, Des, is returning to work (after being on COVID Jobkeeper) and I’ve got five pups and three other littermates of Silver Lake to look after,” Gough said.
The Gough family has had the Charmola bitch line for a while and it has produced plenty of handy greyhounds, including Special Supreme, which previously won a VicBreeders at Sandown by 11.5 lengths in 29.56.
\”We\’ve had some good fun with them, they\’ve all pretty much won their grade fives and we\’ve won more than we\’ve spent,\” she said.
\”We got started through Dad, Bill Quaife. He had a heart attack and got a dog off Tommy Reid to walk – Chrisaak.
\”The dog won at Cranbourne as a six-year-old after having a
toe off and Dad had a lot of fun with him.
\”We then bred with him and brood bitch Charmola and that clicked good and we\’ve gone from there.\”
Gough said she only bred a litter when the previous litter was getting towards the end of their racing careers.
\”I try to race what I breed. Silver Lake has always shown ability, right from when I hand slipped him at Cranbourne when he ran under eight seconds home.
\”He then went to Sale puppy boxes and went brilliant and has just gone on from there.
\”I try to take my pups through slowly, give them time. I held him back for the VicBreeders at Sandown after he ran well in a trial  there.
\”He went 23.03 post-to-post first look good at Sandown and then we took him to Ballarat and he broke the 390 track record running 21.53.\”
Gough said Silver Lake crashed his head on the boxes at Sandown before he fell.
She then took him to Warragul, where he had trialled well and he duly saluted in consecutive outings.
\”After he whacked his head, I wanted to go somewhere he had gone well and Warragul was just perfect.
\”He\’s pretty good out of the boxes, but he has got plenty of
second sectional speed. He really warms up and I think he\’ll only get better.\”
Gough said littersisters Lady Loch and Little Kit had both won races, but had spells while having seasons.
Litter brother Bon Yogi has had his share of problems with ongoing tonsillitis issues, but Gough said a trip to the vet to remove the cause of the problem may be the solution.
\”He\’s trialled well at Warragul and raced at Healesville but the issues with the tonsilitis just won\’t go away,\” she said.
\”Graeme is a good friend and he\’s going to take over training Silver Lake. We\’re in a rain belt and it gets wet here, while Graeme is only five minutes away and on much better ground.
\”He had this litter and reared them.\”
The 64-year-old, who has been training about 20 years, said she had little idea just how good Silver Lake could be.
\”I hear all the chatter, but we\’ll just take it one run at a time. There\’s been a couple of offers, the best is $150,000,\” Gough said.
\”The Western Derby might not even go ahead after a car and trailer went through the kennel block wall. I\’m told the meeting is in doubt.
\”Either way, race or not, the dog is going to Greame and it\’s up to him where he goes. Des is going back to work and I\’ve lost my kennel foreman and I\’ve still got pups and three of Silver Lake\’s littermates in work.
“Silver Lake is just a natural, he never puts a foot wrong and he’s still learning.
“He trialled brilliantly (24.86sec) prior to the heats,” she said. “All he had to do was get the start right.
“Everyone falls in love with him. He’s got an aura about him.”
Dam Hot Charmola, won 13 races from 28 starts and five of her first six starts, clocking 25.31 at Shepparton, 25.33 at Ballarat and 18.98 at Healesville. But, stopper bone tendons issues cut short her racing career.
Her second litter (by My Redeemer) are 14 months old and she’s  due to whelp her third litter (by Feral Franky).
Gough said one of the My Redeemer pups was bigger than Silver Lake while the bitches would probably finish up between 27 and 30 kilograms.
\”The bitches look a good size for girls and Hot Charmola is in pup to Feral Franky. We\’ll have to wait and see about a return mating to Fernando Bale.\”
Gough said  Silver Lake\’s racing program would be up to  James, but agreed there were plenty of good races coming up – such as the Shepparton Cup, with the heats on Monday, March 15, and the final of the group two on Saturday, March 20.
Shepparton club manager Carl McGrath said something usually came out of the Shepparton Matchmakers and Shepparton Classic on the first weekend in March which went on to the cup while elite group performers Shima Shine and Tiggerlong Tonk are also potential contenders.

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