As the punters favourite El Grand Senor cruised past the post to record his sensational Melbourne Cup victory, few people will have realised the black son of Where’s Pedro and Elgrando Gold was in the process of annexing a 31-year-old record.
It’s history now and well reported that El Grand Senor won his 23rd race from a career now encompassing just 29 starts, downing Symmetry and Outa Credit by just over six lengths in a fast 29.55.
The win added $175,000 to his prize money, taking it to a stellar $425,000 and was El Grand Senor’s eighth in a row. Naturally, there must now be a hint of speculation as to whether he can go and equal or even surpass the TAB tracks record of 16 successive wins, held by the equally explosive Miss Elly Mint and set in 2009.
What El Grand Senor has already achieved is something that may never be broken, and that is surpassing the previous record of seven successive victories recorded by a greyhound when winning the Melbourne Cup.
That mark was set 31 years ago, in 1979, when Acclaim Star won his seventh race on end in taking the Melbourne Cup and collecting what was then the massive sum of $35,000.
The Bill Fletcher trained New South Welshman also exited box two (the same alley as El Grand Senor) in that historic success.
Acclaim Star’s seven on end in 1979 was easily the best sequence of wins ever registered in the period from the inception of the Cup at Sandown Park in 1956.
Queensland bitch Roanokee, trained by Roger Green, scored her seventh consecutive win and equalled Acclaim Star’s mark when she won the 1997 Melbourne Cup.
Since then, Kantarn Bale in 1999, Go Wild Teddy in 2000 and Bombastic Shiraz in 2003 have made it six wins in a row when taking out the Melbourne Cup.
For those who like omens, it might be worth remembering that when Acclaim Star took out the Melbourne Cup in 1979 he broke the Australian prize money mark, passing $77,000, surpassing the record set by the great stayer Lizrene in 1974.
Now that El Grand Senor has beaten Acclaim Star’s record sequence of victories going into a Melbourne Cup, the next truly significant milestone may be for him to surpass the 12-year-old prize money record held by the superstar Rapid Journey.