Super Field For Another Classic Hobart Thousand Final
Written By Neil Brown, Australian Greyhound Racing Association Correspondent Monday 12th December 2011
After a night of spectacular greyhound racing when eight heats of the keenly contested Group 1 Hobart 1000 took centre stage over the 461 metres at Hobart’s Tattersall’s Park.
We once again look forward to next Thursday night’s rich final sponsored by Aceland Stud, when one of the brilliant sprinters that have qualified will take home a cheque for $75,000.
The home town Hobart record holder Bergermeister was impressive when winning in 26.05. With the locals delighted to have five of the finalists Rewind a greyhound that has raced with success in Victoria ran the equal quickest of the night a sizzling 25.78 with sections of 5.04 and 10.97.
In form sprinter Dyna Tron made his third group 1 final in succession when he jumped straight to the front then raced away to win by seven lengths in equal best of the night time of 25.78.
Other heat winners included Graeme Bate’s David Bale in 26.23, Rewind’s litter sister Clyde’s Angel in 26.16. Plus Hobart track record holder Bergermeister (26.05), Galtee Again (26.05) and long shot Sandbanker (26.51).
The Dailly camp qualified their second finalist with Geelong Cup runner up Dyna Bert in a fast 25.85.
It is certain to be a keenly contested final with a number of chances.
What’s happening on race night?
The Hobart Greyhound Racing Club is giving away a lucky gate prizes to the value of $100 (cash, ipods and a Playstation 3 console). Bookings have been brilliant and all goes well for a bumper crowd. Jimbo the Clown, balloons and face painting will give the kids plenty to do and lollies no doubt will be in abundance. The Club have orchestrated a 45 minute window after the Thousand Final to allow for the presentation and Sky Channel have been great in assisting promotion with a live host (Peter Staples) and the traditional box cam will be on SKY1.
The History of the Hobart 1000
The Hobart Thousand was the brainchild of M.A. (Arthur) Morgan, widely regarded both in Tasmania and on the mainland as one of the founding fathers of greyhound racing in Tasmania, and one of the greatest administrators the sport has seen. Morgan was inducted into the AGRA Hall of Fame in 2009. The Hobart 1000 remains the longest running Classic event on the Australian greyhound-racing calendar.
Greyhound racing commenced in Hobart at the T.C.A. ground on January 30th 1935, Morgan and his original committee established the Hobart Cup as the Classic race of the year and it was run on February 2nd that year. The winner Elwick Boy collected 20 pounds for his owner S. Burton.
Morgan in his great desire to establish Hobart as the leading greyhound track in Australia, saw the Hobart Cup as the way to achieve this. The race was advertised as the Hobart Thousand in 1939 with a first prize of an Australian record 500 pounds. This started the mass influx of the top mainland chasers, searching for “Thousand Glory”, an influx that continues to this day.
The race reverted back to the Hobart Cup for 1942/43, because of financial constraints, and the fact that the mainlanders struggled to get here during the war. Further war restrictions saw the race in recess during 1944 and 1945. When the race resumed in 1946, it was again the Hobart Thousand and was run for a first prize of what Morgan had always wanted it to be, 1000 pounds. It was won by popular Hobartian Dick Baker with his top chaser Ebon’s Own, trained by Claude Best. The late 40s and 50s were indeed the halcyon days of the H.G.R.C. When Morgan started up the Maiden Thousand in 1949, (which was the richest Maiden series in Australia until the 1980s) it created a greyhound racing carnival of sorts with leading mainland trainers migrating to Tasmania with greyhounds to compete in the Maiden Thousand, Hobart Thousand double and sometimes Launceston Cup as well. Legendary NSW trainer Charlie “Chika” Morris would often bring up to 20 chasers and stay for 3 months. He did this for decades.
For 9 years straight ending in 1953, the Hobart Club distributed more stakemoney than any other club in Australia and the Hobart Thousand was always the lure for top quality racing and large public patronage. Until 1965 the race was run as a handicap, with Morgan having sole discretion, as was the case with most matters. Since 1965 all runners have been from the same mark.
Ill health forced Arthur Morgan from the helm of Hobart in 1967, but his dream race, known by all simply as “the Thousand”, has continued through all the thick and thin that Hobart has encountered, right to the present day, where it is now a National Group 1 race with a first prize of $50,000.
The most notable effort in the history of the Hobart Thousand must be the training feat of Hilda Williamson of Beaconsfield. She won back-to-back Thousands in 1961/62 with her grand Ophir Doll, and just for good measure made it a hat trick with Ophir Gold in 1963. Another notable feat was that of Beaut Dina. She won the event run in 1976 and was the dam of Scene Control, which won the last ever Hobart Thousand run at the T.C.A. in 1980. Both were owned and trained by Ted and Laurie Rigby of Evandale.
Arguments will always rage over the greatest dogs to win the Thousand. The best interstate chasers to gain victory would have to be Rookie Rebel (1958), Benjamin John (1969), (which ran down the immortal Zoom Top), Black Aztec (1981), and the freak Brother Fox (1985). Amongst the very best of the locals to salute would have to be Ophir Doll (1961/62), along with Royal Griffin (1978), True Vintage (1988), Bomber’s a Flyer (1996), Top Shiraz (2000) (who held off the speedster Brett Lee) and Black Caleb (2002) who defeated Melbourne Cup winner Classic Capri. Race record over the 457m trip - 2005 winner Ralph The Mouth 25.60.
The Hobart 1000 is the oldest feature race final in Australia it was first run as the Hobart Cup at the old TCA circuit in 1935. The race first became known as the Hobart 1000 in 1939, it reverted back to the Hobart Cup for two years in 1942 then was not held during the war years of 1944-45 and when the race recommended in 1946 it was again known as the Hobart 1000.
Victorian Champion Trainer Graeme Bate hold the record for most number of winners he has won the race on no less than four occasions. Victorian trained greyhounds have won three of the last five Hobart 1000’s decided since the race moved to Tattersall’s Park at the Elwick Racecourse. Superman, Train A Journey and the 2009 winner Prankster were split by local speedster Little Spaniard in 2008. While last year’s winner was Queenslander Octane Show.
Listed below are the names of many champions that have tasted victory in the time honored event. It is certainly an impressive list of past winners.
Hobart Thousand Honour Roll
1935 Elwick Boy, 1936 Miafort, 1937 Loch Maree, 1938 On Par, 1939 Mr Whackles, 1940 Silver Rover, 1941 Cavalry, 1942 My Kenya, 1943 Askalon, 1944 "Not Held" , 1945 "Not Held", 1946 Ebon's Own, 1947 Young Sign, 1948 Hero Minda, 1949 Erin's Ace, 1950 Neat Brandy, 1951 Pleasant Foam, 1952 Baron Dhu, 1953 The Mudlark, 1954 Pasha Chief, 1955 Minda Go, 1956 Baron Woomera, 1957 Rising Ace, 1958 Rookie Rebel, 1959 Peter's Treasure, 1960 Bow Rock,1961 Ophir Doll, 1962 Ophir Doll, 1963 Ophir Gold, 1964 Sandy Stone, 1965 Fairbairn Lady, 1966 Ipswich Low, 1967 Fiery Bob, 1968 Sue Narila, 1969 Benjamin John, 1970 Plunder Road, 1971Trion Scout, 1972 Beau Palomino, 1973 Sue's A Credit, 1974 Jamin John, 1975 Snowsim, 1976 Beaut Dina, 1977 Check Vista, 1978 Royal Griffin, 1979 Astradome Lad, 1980 Scene Control, 1981 Black Aztec, 1982 Kudaleen, 1983 Stony Point, 1984 Double Time, 1985 Brother Fox, 1986 Solitary Simon, 1987 White Gigolo, 1988 True Vintage, 1989 Scott James, 1990 Bacchant, 1990 Shantytown, 1991 Jenny's Legacy, 1992 Bomber Gleeson, 1993 Extra's Boy, 1994 Storm Hero,1995 Clint's Pirate, 1996 Bomber's A Flyer, 1997 Shantung Tiger, 1998 Mirren Bale, 1999 Latest Lad, 2000 Top Shiraz, 2001 Black Caleb, 2002 Star Witch, 2003 Nobody Knew, 2004 Regent Thunder, 2005 Ralph The Mouth, 2006 Superman, 2007 Train A Journey, 2008 Little Spaniard, 2009 Prankster, 2010 Octane Show