While much of the recent spotlight has well and truly been shining on the exploits of the previously undefeated Barcia Bale and the sensational efforts of Miata, Victoria’s representative for the National Sprint Championship final to be held in Hobart almost managed to stay ‘under the radar’.
The win by Fabregas in the Victorian National Sprint Championship at Sandown on 9 August has thrust this son of Bombastic Shiraz and Wicked Witch well and truly into focus.
Whether he manages to annex the big race or not is almost immaterial, as Fabregas has already established a unique record that may never be broken.
In fact, Fabregas might lay claim to this record as early as 26 July. Fabregas is currently undefeated in eight starts over the 515 metre trip at Sandown Park, a record no greyhound has ever managed to do on the current circuit.
I have been unable to find any previous star who has achieved anything like this over Sandown Park’s previous sprint distances: 513 metres, 511 metres, 508 metres and the old 555 yards.
Think of all the terrific champions who have raced at Sandown Park in the last half century or so and yet unless I’ve missed one somewhere (always a possibility given the poor record keeping in our sport), it is my contention Fabregas is the first and only greyhound to have ever won his first eight in a row at the course.
The closest I can find to Fabregas in terms of being undefeated at their first series of starts at Sandown are Kantarn Bale and Closing Argument. The former won his first five in a row at Sandown and went on to win 10 of his 15 outings there, while the latter remained undefeated in five starts at the course and distance. Hotshot, won his first four in a row at Sandown back in the late 1990s.
Dutchy’s Angel, who raced from 1999 to 2001, ran fifth at his first race on the track but then won his next seven in a row. Poetic Reward also won seven on end at one point over 515 metres, while African Zulu won seven straight over the old 508 metre trip.
So, when Fabregas annexed his sixth consecutive victory at Sandown on 26 July, it is my contention that he set a new record for being undefeated at the track over the sprint journey. Now, with eight on end, surely there is no other contender lurking in the musty halls of the dim, dark past to supplant him.
To find a greyhound with a better record than Fabregas at Sandown you have to look at the distance races. In 2003 former topline stayer Arvo’s Junior set a record of winning his first 13 over the Sandown 715 metres. No other stayer has come near that.
It might be no real surprise Fabregas has such an affinity with Sandown, His sire, Bombastic Shiraz, won his last six on end at Sandown and scored 11 wins overall from 17 starts at the track.