When Destini Fireball (Where’s Pedro x Grey’s Destiny) managed to annex the Super Stayers final at the Meadows in a last gasp, the Emilio Rinaldi-trained half-miler set a unique record.
With six starts at 725 metres for six wins, the white and black stayer joined Brett Lee as the only greyhound to have won six successive races at the Meadows, arguably the toughest city track in the country at which to notch a series of consecutive victories.
Brett Lee achieved his six straight over the old 518 metres sprint distance back in 2001.
The only greyhound who has come close to matching that is Closing Argument who won five on end over 525 metres in 2005 and 2006.
Over the 725 metres trip Destini Fireball stands alone. His winning sequence began on 26 January when he won a Fifth Grade special event heat by four lengths. He won the final, worth $12,000, the following week in a Grade 5 Final record 42.94, albeit well outside Nellie Noodles’ track mark of 42.03.
Another win followed on 9 February before Destini Fireball faced his toughest test: drawn as one of eight invited stayers to contest the Group 1 The Zoom Top, worth $75,000 to the winner.
Of course he was facing the likes of the mighty Miata as well as the smart Tasmanian Bell Haven, the classy New Zealander Thrilling Brat and the seasoned New South Wales stayer He Knows Uno.
He jumped in front from his favourable box two draw and held off Bell Haven to score by a lip in a smart 42.58.
Then came the Super Stayers series with Destini Fireball making it five out of five with a dominant heat win in a best of the night 42.39, a whopping 42/100ths quicker than Miata.
Once again favoured by an inside draw, this time box one, it’s history now how Destini Fireball showed his tough mettle to come from behind to collect the $100,000 winner’s cheque, downing Irma Bale by the narrowest of margins.
I have no idea why it seems so difficult to string together lengthy sequences at the Meadows when compared with the likes of Sandown Park or Wentworth Park.
For example, at Sandown Park the record for the most consecutive wins over the 715 metres trip is 13, by Arvo’s Junior in 2003. At Wentworth Park, the record for the most wins in a row over the 720 metres distance is 10, set by Pearl Larricki in 2001.
At the old Olympic Park, the precursor to the Meadows, the 732 metres consecutive win record was held by the great Lizrene, who won eight on end in 1974.
So, Destini Fireball’s next run at the Meadows could prove a watershed moment if he can win, as he will assume the mantle of most consecutive victories all by himself.