The Peter Mosman Memorial Classic final, to be run on Saturday night 16 June, is completely dominated for the first time in its 61 editions by Victorian contenders.
Five southern raiders make up the eight finalists with Andrea Dailly supplying two runners, namely Gregorieva Bale (box 5) and Garrick Bale (box 6).
The pre-post favourite is Victorian Odie For Now who has drawn the cherry for trainer Kel Greenough and was the fastest semi-final winner (29.61).
The remaining Victorian pair are Proven Maddy (Wayne Vassallo; box 4) and Jordy Pordy (box 7), the West Australian Derby winner, trained by Jeff Britton.
New South Wales are represented by Spitfire Stu (box 2), Watto Lotto (box 3) and Bye Bye Bucks (box 8).
There is no doubt the lure of $50,000 first prize money has led to a surge in interest from Victorian trainers in the last two years.
In 2011 the Graeme Bate-prepared Victorian sprinter Allen Harper smashed the race record with a 29.58 run. That time clipped a whopping .28 secs off the previous mark, set in 2003 by Elite State, ironically another interstater, from Queensland. At the time, Elite State’s 29.86 effort was the sixth-fastest ever recorded over the 520 metres on the loam at Wentworth Park.
Since its inception in 1952 as the Bi-Annual Classic (for so-called ‘bad age’ greyhounds), the race has unearthed many future champions.
The Peter Mosman Memorial was formerly known as the Bi-Annual Classic and inaugurated in 1952 and run at Harold Park over 500 yards (457 metres). It was later renamed the Vic Peter’s Bi-Annual Classic in honour of the former Greyhound Breeder’s, Owner’s and Trainer’s Association (GBOTA) Secretary who died in January 1961.
The inaugural winner was Robin Buchanan who scored a narrow victory after exiting box nine. In those days, races at Harold Park could consist of 10 runners. Indeed, the second winner, Miss Oakey, set a race record 26.9 (there was no hundredths timing at that point) that was not broken until 1963, and she came out of box 10 to win by seven lengths. She was later sold to US interests.
Classy Jane, the dam of champion sprinter and super-sire Black Top, and Keen Linen, won the 1960 Bi-Annual Classic. Keen Linen went on to win both the Bi-Annual Classic and the inaugural National Derby in 1963.
The Smoother won the 1970 race by six lengths just over a month after taking the Australian Cup.
In 1978 Satan’s Legend became the first Victorian to win the race, scoring by seven lengths in 25.95, a new track record. A year later, the brilliant Tegimi made it two in a row for Victoria, something the southerners on Saturday night will be attempting to emulate.
Promise’s Free kept her unbeaten record intact when she annexed the 1982 version, winning by seven lengths to make it nine wins on end.
Brother Fox blitzed his rivals in 1985, winning by six lengths in 26.07, the second-fastest of what were 36 runnings of the race at Harold Park.
Paris In Spring won the last Bi-Annual Classic held at Harold Park, in 1987.
In 1988 the first version of the race was run on grass at the new Wentworth Park circuit. The event had been renamed the Peter Mosman Memorial, a fitting tribute to the former Chairman of the GBOTA who had tragically passed away in 1987.
Kinjarra won the first Peter Mosman Memorial. Only five events were run on the grass, with the winners including 1990 NSW Greyhound of the Year Classy Spider (1990), Farmer Wilson (1991) and 1992 NSW Greyhound of the Year How’s The Fort (1992).
Since 1993 the race has been staged on the loam surface. Worthy Reward took the honour of being the first to win the race on loam while the brilliant Solve The Puzzle (1998) became the first Victorian to annex it at Wentworth Park, winning by almost 10 lengths in a race record 30.04. Fellow Victorian Adrenalin Storm was second.
Winsome Dollars equalled the race record in 2001 but it was then broken by 2002 NSW Greyhound of the Year Big Sam Banner, who ran 29.97.
The aforementioned Elite State was Queensland’s first winner of the race. The black dog was already acclaimed, having won his first 13 starts in Queensland (a record) before tasting defeat in his semi-final and then going on to score an incredible win in the final.
Surf Lorian made it two in a row for Queensland when downing Victorian Sun Hero in 2004, only the second time interstate greyhounds had run the quinella.
This year it’s hard to see how Victoria will fail to score its fifth victory in the race, and probably snare its second quinella as well.