Punters Declare Topgun A Match Race Between Punch One Out & Tomac Bale

Punters with online bookmaker Sportsbet think this Saturday’s Top Gun final is a battle of two – signalling out Punch One Out and Ernie Bung Arrow as the ones to beat.

The duo have attracted almost the identical amount of money with absolute daylight to the rest of the field. Punch One Out is now the outright favourite, firming from $6.50 into $4.20 in the last two weeks, while Ernie Bung Arrow remains one of the outside hopes at $7.50.

Tomac Bale ($4.20 out to $4.50) and Spud Regis ($4.00 out to $4.80) have both drifted in betting, as has Dyna Nalin ($6.50 out to $8.00).

“If the early money is anything to go by, it’ll be Punch One Out and Tomac Bale fighting it out at the death for the cash but we do expect late support for a number of the other star runners in this gun field,” Sportsbet’s Ben Hawes said.

2013 Topgun Betting Market & Odds

(prices in brackets from 16 October)
$4.20   Punch One Out          (in from $6.50)
$4.50   Tomac Bale                 (out from $4.20)
$4.80   Spud Regis                   (out from $4.00)                   
$5.50   Peter Rocket               (steady)
$6.50   Xylia Allen                   (out from $5.00)
$7.50   Ernie Bung Arrow       (out from $7.00)
$8.00   Dyna Nalin                  (out from $6.50)
$12      Gold Town                   (steady)
$16      Marcus Joe                  (steady)
$21      Glen Gallin                  (steady)

Topgun punters can claim a $500 free bet from Sportsbet by using the link below and opening a new betting account with the online bookmaker.

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Australian Racing Greyhound readers can also enjoy a further $1600 in Free Bets from our exclusive free bet offers.

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2013 Group 1 Topgun Preview

This Saturday Night the Meadows plays host to the 21st edition of the invitation-only Group 1 Topgun.  With a wonderful field of sprinters engaged the race features champion greyhounds from 4 different states. Victoria,  South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia – each entrant with their own realistic chance of taking out the first prize and the title of Topgun winner.   This year’s event will also be the final race of champion Queensland greyhound Glen Gallon, who with victory would surpass Miata as Australia’s highest stake winning greyhound.

As Greyhound racing’s most controversial race, arguments have continued around the Topgun format since the first running in 1993 when the race finished in a dead heat between Golden Currency and Worth Backing.  The Topgun creates media attention and is marketing genius. It gets participants talking and butting heads, participants argue for and against and ultimately the result is media attention on a race that many don’t believe should exist, let alone carry the status that it does.  A walk up start, Group 1 status and $150,000 to the winner.  These arguments add to the aurora of the event, the build-up, the spectacle.  It is what the industry needs – fuelling discussions between participants, stakeholders, observers and punters alike.

Adding to the furore to this year’s event is the drawing of champion greyhound Xylia Allen in box 5. Whilst definitely deserving her place in the final field, Greyhound Racing Victoria have done themselves and the integrity of the industry no favours by allowing Hall of Fame trainer Graeme Bate to be listed as her trainer.  Recently disqualified for elevated Testosterone levels Bate is facing nine months on the sidelines if an appeal before VCAT is not successful. GRV have since approved the transfer of Bate’s team to his son in law Peter Hunt. Some would say that in fairness to others in the industry, Bates punishment should have affected his whole team, not just changed the name of the dog’s trainer.

Nevertheless, the aurora of controversy surrounding the Topgun will continue and with a quality field assembled, Australian Racing Greyhound looks into each of the 8 finalists and 2 reserve runner’s chances.

Sky Channel TOPGUN – The Meadows Race 8 – 525meters – 9:52PM Vic Time

Box 1 – Peter Rocket (Where’s Pedro – Belron Blue) – Vic

The Keith Hellmuth-trained Victorian sensation has been a wonderful performer since first gracing the track some 49 starts ago.  With a career record of 20 wins and 19 placing’s, the August 2010 whelp has won in excess of $225,000 in prizemoney. With group wins in the Group 1 Megastar and the Group 2 Horsham Cup he is a multiple group finalist capable of running sub 30 at
the Meadows. With wonderful track form (12 starts – 5 wins and 6 placing’s) he looks well drawn in the cherry with the bonus of a wide runner drawn to his outside. Should have room to move early.

Box 2 – Punch One Out (Knocka Norris – Little Egyptian) – Qld

Owned and Trained by Grant Fennelly, the 27 kilogram speed machine is coming off her first group win when successful at her most recent start- the Group 3 Gold Coast Cup when running a flying 29.75 (BON) at Albion Park.  Often mistaken as being a he, she is a flying machine as evidenced by track records at Wentworth Park and Richmond.  With 44 career starts resulting in 22 wins and 14 placings, the February 2011 whelp has won in excess of $125,000 in prizemoney.  She is a speed machine capable of anything on her day.  Whilst yet to win at the Meadows (1 start – 1 third),, she did trial just .10 seconds outside the track record last week when scorching in a solo trial running 29.55.  Well drawn and with fast beginner to her immediate outside she will have every chance.

Box 3 – Tomac Bale (Dyna Lachlan – Princess Bale) – Vic

The first of three finalists for Australia’s greyhound dynasty The Wheeler Family.  Trained by Victorian Mentor Mark Delbridge, Tomac Bale headlines a kennel who have had an amazing 2013.  Loves the Meadows with 7 wins from 11 starts here including a 29.67 PB. Group 2 winner of the Launching Pad, he is a multiple group finalist and was second at his most recent start, the Group 1 Adelaide Cup Final. 23 starts resulting in 12 wins and 4 placing’s and in excess of $150,000 in prizemoney.  If he begins will take plenty of catching. A speed machine who can be risky (at times) at box rise – followers will know his chances in the first few strides.

Box 4 – Spud Regis (Bombastic Shiraz – Phiona) – Vic

December 2010 whelp who has faced criticism and negative comments about his invitation into this year’s event.  Returning from a brief stud career, his last performance was very impressive winning at this track and trip in BOD 29.83 one month ago. Track specialist with 10 starts resulting in 6 wins and 1 placing. The son of legendary greyhound Bombastic Shiraz, he is himself a 3 time group winner including the 2012 Group 1 Adelaide Cup, Group 3 SA Derby and Group 1 Australian Cup. With 31 careers starts returning 16 wins and 10 placing’s, he has been a superstar on the track winning $450,000 in prizemoney.  In the kennel of leading Victorian Mentor Andrea Dailly, Spud Regis will have plenty of support despite the awkward draw in box 4.  He is a tenacious chaser who is brilliant early – a win would not surprise despite a limited preparation.

Box 5 – Xylia Allen (Turanza Bale – Tayah Bale) – Vic

Champion bitch who has had a wonderful 2013 campaign, including 4 Group wins (3 Group 1’s) – Group 1 National Sprint, Group 1 Sapphire Crown, Group 1 Peter Mosman and Group 2 Launceston Cup.  Tenacious chaser who would run through a brick wall. Can be tardy early but does have excellent race awareness and field sense. 42 Career starts resulting in 17 wins and 16 placing’s including $377,000 in earnings.  Fast PB of 29.63 at this track and distance. Second of the Wheeler runners and is a winning chance.

Box 6 – Glen Gallon (Flying Stanley – Incoherent) – Qld

Queensland Champion and third on the overall all-time prizemoney list with $618,000 in career earnings. Regular group performer in the hands of leading Queensland mentor Tony Brett. The four year old superstar is having his final race start before retiring to stud and is looking for his 4th Group 1 win (Brisbane Cup 2011, Winter Cup 2012 and 2013).  A TOPGUN win would take his prizemoney past the great Miata as the all-time highest.  70 career starts resulting in 37 wins and 15 placing’s. Champion dog sure to be well supported in this despite the terrible draw.

Box 7 – Ernie Bung Arrow (Lochinvar Marlow – Slipper’s Tonic) – SA

Up and coming superstar from South Australia in the hands of popular mentor Ken Gill.  The November 2011 whelp is the baby of the field and has only faced the starter on 14 occasions for 13 wins and 1 second. Last start Group 1 Adelaide Cup winner where he was ultra-impressive in what was his toughest test to date.  The TOPGUN will be his first start at the Meadows and outside of South Australia. Trialled well and is sure to be improved after having his first look. Exceptional from the boxes, he has the ability to lead and is a definite winning chance.

Box 8 – Dyna Nalin (Ashom Bale – Tally Bale) – WA

West Australian speed machine and the third runner owned by the Wheeler dynasty.  In the hands of leading WA trainer Paul Stuart (Miata) who is no stranger to winning big events away from home.  Strong chaser who was victorious in winning the Group 1 Perth Cup in devastating fashion. Well drawn in box 8 as he can be a little tardy at box rise.  Group performer who possesses a powerful motor and can finish over the top of these.  Career earnings in excess of $278,000 from 38 starts for 25 wins and 7 placing’s.  Has raced well at the Meadows with 3 starts resulting in 2 wins and a second including a 29.89 PB. Winning chance.

Reserves

Box 9 – Gold Town (Surf Lorian – Golden Gwen) Vic

Trained by Lara mentor Peter Hunt, Gold Town has been a group performer throughout his 64 start career. Does have wonderful Meadows form with 19 starts resulting in 5 wins and 11 placings.  Was in outstanding racing form prior to last start, when he fell in a heat of the Group 2 Geelong Cup.  Recent form includes fast wins at Wentworth Park (Group 2 Bob Payne winner in 29.59BON) and Geelong (29.81B). Bank balance in excess of $191,000 – he is a strong greyhound capable of surprising if fortunate of gaining a start.

Box 10 – Marcus Joe (Velocette – Mojo Glory) Vic

Out of form recently, including a last start fall in a heat of the Group 2 Geelong Cup series.  The April 2011 whelp is owned and trained by Marcus Hill mentor Barry Maloney.  Has an incredible 29.66 PB at the Meadows and did win the Group 1 Maturity here in July 2013 beating Dyna Nalin.  25 career starts resulting in 7 wins and 10 placing’s he has close to $150,000 in career earnings. Is in a strong winning chance if he can rediscover his earlier career form

Selections – 2, 3, 8 and 1

With the race full of chances and conjecture, this year’s winner will not only be added to the honour role, but will be listed alongside some of Australia’s all-time greats – including: Rapid Journey (1998), No Intent (2001), Bombastic Shiraz (2003) and Meticulous (2007) as well as a host of famous Australian greyhounds of years gone by.

Saturday, 26 October 2013


Greyhound Box Draw For The Meadows – Saturday, 26 October 2013

Race No. 1Topcat Video Productions Final7:14 PM (VIC time)
Maiden Final event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1SIENNA’S FANTASY [5]24130.75(1)R Britton (Lara)
2MIDNIGHT MANEUVA (NSW)[M]54452NBTJ Britton (Anakie)
3RALPHY CINEL (NSW)[M]51322NBTM Crowe (Myrniong)
4DI’VOIRE BELLE [M]57322NBTP Akathiotis (Reservoir)
5ALLEN RENEGADE (NSW)[5]32130.57(1)S Collins (Lara)
6MEPUNGA MOSS [5]130.34(5)J Britton (Anakie)
7WHY NOT HEATHER [M]32NBTW Gray (Wendouree)
8WARRIOR KING (NSW)[5]3129.96(8)B Ennis (Lara)
9ALLEN ODIN (NSW)[M]Res.2443NBTS Collins (Lara)
10BRODUS CLAY [M]Res.F2333NBTT O’donovan (Devon Meadows)
Race No. 2Rsn – Racing & Sport7:35 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $7,150 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,000 2nd: $1,430 3rd: $720.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1SPREADING RUMORS [5]1724130.04(4)J Maple (Little River)
2OZZY BALE (NSW)[5]34321NBTP Hunt (Lara)
3LEKTRA HAPPY [5]1112430.48(8)A Dailly (Anakie)
4ZIPPING MAKKA (NSW)[5]23T1530.23(6)J Delaroche (Cranbourne North)
5IZACK BALE (NSW)[5]37368NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
6KING IVOR (NSW)[5]24245NBTK Walker (Henty)
7PENN BALE (NSW)[5]2213230.29(3)A Dailly (Anakie)
8DYNA HULA (NSW)[5]3111330.31(1)A Dailly (Anakie)
9GIFT OF TIME (NSW)[5]Res.47334NBTK Walker (Henty)
10LEKTRA LOIS [5]Res.2818730.22(4)A Dailly (Anakie)
Race No. 3Hume Cup Ht17:58 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $10,285 Prizemoney.
1st: $7,200 2nd: $2,060 3rd: $1,025.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1JUST AS FANCY (NSW)[4]2352234.44(8)K Bravo (Lovely Banks)
2DESTINI FIREBALL (NSW)[3]3743734.27(2)E Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
3KAYO MARCIARNO [5]55257NBTG Neocleous (Yinnar South)
4NEW TIBUR [4]1261634.69(8)R Britton (Lara)
5SUPERSONIC HAWK (NSW)[5]33161FSHJ Britton (Anakie)
6LEKTRA GREY [5]16241NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
7PARIS SPARKS [4]5615834.62(4)D Pulis (Moe South)
8INFINITE WISH [5]11112FSTDA Langton (Anakie)
9ECHELONIC ACTION [5]Res.74273NBTL Jones (Woodend)
10CANDLE WISH [5]Res.43848NBTJ Maple (Little River)
Race No. 4Hume Cup Ht28:17 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $10,285 Prizemoney.
1st: $7,200 2nd: $2,060 3rd: $1,025.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1GALLOPING ROCKY [4]3131134.76(2)R Conway (Bunyip)
2FREDDY’S SMILE (NSW)[5]24447FSHM Carter (Violet Town)
3DESTINI GOLD [5]3174434.93(2)E Rinaldi (Lethbridge)
4EMA’S PRINCESS (NSW)[5]8216734.65(6)R Britton (Lara)
5DYNA WERRIBEE (NSW)[4]3213135.08(7)S Collins (Lara)
6ROCK DOMINATION (WA)[5]2165434.76(6)J Briffa (Lara)
7PROVEN IMPALA [1]7211534.23(2)J Borg (Maryborough)
8BOOKKEEPER (NSW)[2]1122134.21(1)G Dainton (Cosgrove South)
9SWEET IT IS [5]Res.6443434.96(1)L Jones (Woodend)
10CANDLE WISH [5]Res.43848NBTJ Maple (Little River)
Race No. 5Hume Cup Ht38:40 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $10,285 Prizemoney.
1st: $7,200 2nd: $2,060 3rd: $1,025.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1CINTIARNA [3]1852134.33(8)S Collins (Hazelwood)
2BLUE GIANT [4]7346334.53(8)P Akathiotis (Reservoir)
3EASTON BALE (NSW)[5]33232NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
4EVIE’S ENTITY [5]42261FSTDL Smith (Devon Meadows)
5STETSON DONNA [5]33647NBTP Dundon (Finley)
6MAJOR LEAGUE (NSW)[4]2826134.71(6)B Ennis (Lara)
7HAILSTORM BILLY (NSW)[5]16532FSTDA Langton (Anakie)
8SHADOW LANE [4]1343134.52(5)M Carter (Violet Town)
9SWEET IT IS [5]Res.6443434.96(1)L Jones (Woodend)
10ECHELONIC ACTION [5]Res.74273NBTL Jones (Woodend)
Race No. 6Macro Meats8:57 PM (VIC time)
Free For All event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $8,940 Prizemoney.
1st: $6,260 2nd: $1,790 3rd: $890.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1JOSHUA BALE (NSW)[4]2112330.14(1)M Delbridge (Balliang)
2BUCKLE UP MASON (TAS)[3]1112129.76(2)G Bate (Lara)
3ALLEN MAKOTO (NSW)[1]1616329.78(4)M Delbridge (Balliang)
4IONA SEVEN (NSW)[4]2111430.31(1)R Britton (Lara)
5BRENT BALE (NSW)[2]1185330.00(8)M Delbridge (Balliang)
6IMRY BALE (NSW)[1]3611729.83(2)G Bate (Lara)
7GOLD TOWN [4]1111F29.92(1)P Hunt (Lara)
8DR. PAULIE [4]7747230.12(3)L Delbridge (Balliang)
Race No. 7Hume Cup Ht49:19 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $10,285 Prizemoney.
1st: $7,200 2nd: $2,060 3rd: $1,025.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1ALPE D’HUEZ [5]31532NBTK Bravo (Lovely Banks)
2CZAR (NSW)[4]5214534.70(8)R Britton (Lara)
3BING GORDYN [5]42442NBTD Pell (Toolleen)
4HURRICANE ISAAC [4]1765334.62(1)A Flores (Yinnar South)
5SEE HIM FIRST [4]3141734.53(6)M Mallia-magri (Avalon)
6MAGPIE BOB [4]11361NBTD Hobby (Nambeelup)
7DASHING MAN (QLD)[4]3221234.45(1)B Ennis (Lara)
8ESPECIALLY [5]64451FSTDP Knott (Carnegie)
9ECHELONIC ACTION [5]Res.74273NBTL Jones (Woodend)
10CANDLE WISH [5]Res.43848NBTJ Maple (Little River)
Race No. 8Sky Channel Topgun (gobis)9:52 PM (VIC time)
S/E Group 1 event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $224,500 Prizemoney.
1st: $150,000 2nd: $43,000 3rd: $21,500 GOBIS: $10,000.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1PETER ROCKET [2]2112729.95(4)K Hellmuth (Pearcedale)
2PUNCH ONE OUT (NSW)[4]13211NBTG Fennelly (Mount Nathan)
3TOMAC BALE (NSW)[1]3251229.67(2)M Delbridge (Balliang)
4SPUD REGIS [1]1223129.63(1)A Dailly (Anakie)
5XYLIA ALLEN (NSW)[2]3321429.63(1)G Bate (Lara)
6GLEN GALLON (QLD)[4]2426329.69(3)T Brett (Grandchester)
7ERNIE BUNG ARROW (SA)[4]11111FSHK Gill (Lewiston)
8DYNA NALIN (NSW)[2]1411229.89(1)P Stuart (Nambeelup)
9GOLD TOWN [4]Res.1111F29.92(1)P Hunt (Lara)
10MARCUS JOE [3]Res.4726F29.66(3)B Moloney (Marcus Hill)
Race No. 9Hume Cup Ht510:20 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $10,285 Prizemoney.
1st: $7,200 2nd: $2,060 3rd: $1,025.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1MY ILLUSION (NSW)[4]5622134.98(2)T Turnbull (Crowlands)
2TAKE IT ALL (NSW)[3]4426134.59(1)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
3BORN ALI [3]6521134.35(8)R Britton (Lara)
4REBELATION [4]3225434.64(7)M Mallia-magri (Avalon)
5JETHRO (TAS)[2]1441334.57(2)K Greenough (Pearcedale)
6ARISING [4]3371234.27(8)J Cottrell (Langwarrin)
7LUKEY DEEZ [4]1356334.65(3)M Carter (Violet Town)
8HALA BELLE [4]5131434.44(1)J Borg (Maryborough)
9SWEET IT IS [5]Res.6443434.96(1)L Jones (Woodend)
10CANDLE WISH [5]Res.43848NBTJ Maple (Little River)
Race No. 10Hume Cup Ht610:37 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $10,285 Prizemoney.
1st: $7,200 2nd: $2,060 3rd: $1,025.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1DYNA WILLOW (NSW)[5]71122NBTS Collins (Lara)
2VICKY POLLARD [5]11257FSTDD Pell (Toolleen)
3HAWK ALONE [4]1432134.73(5)A Dailly (Anakie)
4SURF MAIL [3]6313334.79(2)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
5IMMY ROSE [4]1514834.41(1)N Rooney (Lara)
6SPEED LANE [4]6352734.75(6)M Carter (Violet Town)
7ARIZONA PEARL (NSW)[5]64343NBTG Bate (Lara)
8OUR PALE ALE [5]63383NBTM Quick (Haddon)
9SWEET IT IS [5]Res.6443434.96(1)L Jones (Woodend)
10ECHELONIC ACTION [5]Res.74273NBTL Jones (Woodend)
Race No. 11Ajs Corporation10:57 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $7,600 Prizemoney.
1st: $5,320 2nd: $1,520 3rd: $760.

No.NameFormBestTrainer

1OWEN BALE (NSW)[4]7414130.08(8)S Collins (Lara)
2LUCIFER’S FURY [4]2126730.39(4)P Love (Strathfieldsaye)
3ORARA GEORGE (NSW)[4]5334130.65(7)C Mclennan (Airport West)
4KOKODA SPIRIT [5]1426530.15(3)M Morrissey (Strathfieldsaye)
5DYNA SUZIE (NSW)[4]5226830.24(3)S Collins (Lara)
6DOLCE VITA [4]4231630.17(3)P Triaca (Redcastle)
7COLLIN BALE (NSW)[5]3778829.99(2)A Dailly (Anakie)
8SHERWOOD FLEX (NSW)[4]3334130.27(4)M Bannerman (Reefton)
9KALIMNA ELITE [5]Res.5656530.62(1)R Sharples (Murchison)
10DYNA TONY (NSW)[5]Res.6645630.62(7)S Collins (Lara)

This Week In Racing History: October 22nd- October 28th 2013

22nd

Bright Agricola took out the Harold Park Derby for owner Schute Saxon and trainer George Bunn, scoring over 800 yards (732 metres) at Harold Park, just five weeks after springing a toe. His owner said if it hadn’t been the Derby he would not have run him.

On the same night, Dream’s Image won the 1949 Two-Year-Old Produce Stakes over 500 yards (457 metres) at Harold Park by half a length from the politically-incorrectly named Chief Nigger.

Edie Beauchamp collected $15,000 for winning the 2005 Canberra Cup, the first year the event had been given Group status. The Cup was first run in 1979.

Queensland invitee Black Enforcer won the 2005 Topgun for trainer Tony Brett.

23rd

Awesome McLaren won the 1997 South Australian Derby in 29.79, just 4/100ths outside the race record set four years earlier.

El Grand Senor downed Enry Walt and Snozz in the 2010 Topgun, at the Meadows, running 17.48 for the second section and clipping 4/100ths off his own record for that section.

24th

Tasmanian sprinter Awesome Cole narrowly annexed the 2004 Canberra Cup, using box one to full advantage.

Cindeen Shelby took out the 2009 Topgun, becoming the first NSW winner since Placard in 2000. Sired by 2003 Topgun winner Bombastic Shiraz, Cindeen Shelby had run officially seventh the previous year in the Topgun. She also emulated the feat of Wylie Boy in winning the Topgun at the second attempt.

25th

One of the fastest sprinters of all time, The Smoother, won at his first start in 1969, scoring by a widening 12 lengths over 400 yards (366 metres) up the Wyong straight in 20.4, the best time of the meeting.

The final of the 1976 Sydney Cup, postponed from the abandoned meeting of the 16th, was run on a Monday evening and saw Glahda defeat the Victorian stayer Minnie Jubilee with Camden Glider (later the dam of NSW Greyhound of the Year Glider’s Son, and Peter Glider) third.

26th

Recognised as the first great greyhound of Queensland night racing, Top Simbi won his maiden race over 558 metres at the Gabba in 1972 by 16 lengths.

Bob’s One became the first NSW greyhound to win the Ipswich Cup since Whip Tip 11 years earlier when he scored in the 1999 version, defeating Ngarutao by three-quarters of a length and earning $15,000.

The Reg Kay-trained Fool’s State won the 2004 Ipswich Cup in a race record 30.52, scoring by almost six lengths and earning $20,000.

Jaimandy Coops picked up a massive $140,000 for snaring the 2006 Topgun, run at Sandown. Jaimandy Coops scored by almost five lengths from evergreen Train A Journey, running 29.48, just 8/100ths outside the race record.

27th

David Bale and Desalle Bale ran first and second for trainer Graeme Bate in the 2012 Topgun. David Bale won by just a head and earned a whopping $150,000 for his 29.92 romp at The Meadows. David Bale had only been first reserve, and gained a start from box 8 when NSW representative Bye Bye Bucks was scratched.

28th

Victorian star Tegimi won the 1978 Vic Peters Memorial Classic by five lengths over 457 metres at Harold Park. After striking interference when second in his semi-final, Tegimi was only first reserve for the final, but gained a run from box two when fellow Victorian Basmarg was scratched. He was the fourth Victorian to win the prestigious classic since its inception in 1951.

Brilliant sprinter Head Honcho (later a top-rank sire) won the 1993 Shepparton Cup for trainer Jason Thompson, downing the smart Tranquil Flame.

WA’s Best Sprinter Targets Topgun Trophy

Dyna Nalin is set to represent WA in the Group 1 Topgun at the Meadows next Saturday night.

WA’s talented youngster continues to assert his dominance in WA greyhound racing, winning an astonishing 25 out of 38 races. His biggest WA honour came in the final of the Group 1 Perth Cup when, at just 23 months of age, he rattled home for victory and $140,000 in prize money.

Dyna Nalin, along with 28 other greyhounds, received his invite to the Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun around a month ago.

Trainer Paul Stuart says he was a little surprised at first when Dyna Nalin gained a start. Initially he had doubted whether or not his chaser would make it through to the invitation-only final after he ran second in the Group 3 Mandurah Cup last Friday night.

“Running second probably hindered him if anything because they probably expected him to win,” Paul Stuart said.

“If he won he would have been an automatic start, but because he didn’t win he left himself open to be not selected.”

Dyna Nalin has drawn box eight in the final

“Box eight reduces his chances of winning quite severely,”

“It’s hard to win at the Meadows from box eight in any race, let alone in a Group 1, with seven of the highest rated dogs in the country.”

Stuart believes that there are a number of dogs in the race that are drawn to win.

“Peter Rocket has drawn the best out of the lot of them, he has got the red box, with a bit of a wide runner next to him in box two (Punch One Out).”

“Tomac Bale is drawn quite well with box three, he should probably go close to leading.”

“Ernie Bung Arrow likes it out wide and he has box seven, he also likes to use a little bit of the track early.”

Being a slow beginner with little early pace, Stuart believes Dyna Nalin is going to need a lot of luck take home the Topgun title.

“He won’t lead, no chance.”

“His best scenario is to come out with them and maybe get a run across with the seven dog (Ernie Bung Arrow) because it has got the speed.”

“Peter Rocket is the dog to beat because he has got the red.”

Paul Stuart will fly over with Dyna Nalin on Sunday morning, leaving girlfriend Adele Hobby to look after the kennels and a pregnant Miata.

“He will have a trial at the Meadows Monday night and that will be it going into Saturday.”

As for the Victorians home track advantage, Dylna Nalin has an almost perfect record at the Meadows. From just three starts, he has two wins and a second to his name.

“He ran second in the Maturity at the Meadows. Overall, including trials, he has been around there five or six times.”

Despite his signature come-from-behind style, Dyna Nalin mustered enough early speed to lead the field and win in his first start at the Meadows.

After the Topgun, Dyna Nalin will contest the Group 1 Melbourne Cup series.  The black dog does not need to go into a prelude, having qualified by winning the Perth Cup earlier in the year.

Stuart is also contemplating a run in the Shoot Out at Sandown.

“He is going for the Melbourne Cup anyway and hopefully he gets a run the in the Shoot Out.”

“The Shoot Out is 10 days after the Topgun and the Melbourne Cup heats are a week after that.”

“I’ll see what happens, I don’t know if I will bring him home or not, he is okay over there if he stays.”

The son of Ashom Bale and Tally Bale broke in well but didn’t have the early speed to match the dogs around Victoria. Therefore he looked to suit Cannington’s 530 metre trip.

“He was a bit of an experiment that turned out.”

After Dyna Nalin’s Perth Cup performance, he showed Cannington onlookers that he was the real deal when he easily upstaged one of WA’s strongest Puppy Classic fields.

Dyna Nalin’s strong finishing style fell through for him in the Mandurah Cup over the 490 metre trip last week. After jumping averagely, Dyna Nalin gave his fellow competitors more than a few lengths before storming home. However, he ran out of distance on the line, allowing Te Amo to hold on to the victory.

“He can’t be perfect everywhere otherwise he would be Brett Lee.”

“He is always a place chance because that is the way he races, he can come from last and still run a place.”

“I can never be 100% confident with him because he’s at risk of getting caught in traffic.”

Dyna Nalin is Paul Stuart’s second participant in the Group 1 Topgun- in 2011 the late Pedrosa represented WA. Unfortunately he finished unplaced.

“I thought he deserved to be in the race, but being a WA dog it makes it tougher. It was good to see them consider him.”

WA’s talented chaser has proven once before that he can lead early at the Meadows, so here’s hoping he can find himself at the front end of the pack and put himself in a prime position for the Topgun title.

Gill’s Arrow Is Shooting Straight For Stardom

With an unusual name and an adorable roman-nose, Ernie Bung Arrow was always going to stand out on the racetrack. On Thursday night, the highly talented youngster emerged on an all new level when he took out the Group 1 Adelaide Cup in front of a bumper crowd at Angle Park.

Trained at Lewiston by Ken Gill, Ernie Bung Arrow has now won 13 of his 14 race starts with his only defeat occurring in August when he ran a close second behind Emerley Zodiak at Angle Park.

The son of Lochinvar Marlow was the favourite heading into the event on Thursday evening, despite being drawn out wide in box eight and facing a sharp rise in class against proven group performers such as Tomac Bale, Ronan Izmir, Peter Rocket and Kokoda Spirit.

However, punters evidently knew a good thing when they saw it.

When the lids flew open for the $75,000-to-the-winner final, Ernie Bung Arrow showed the electrifying early speed that has become a trademark for the black powerhouse, finding the front on the first corner and shooting away.

As the runners turned for home, Ernie Bung Arrow was in no danger as he ran to the line five and a half lengths ahead of the Mark Delbridge-trained Tomac Bale in a scintillating 29.70s. Filling the trifecta was dual group winner Ronan Izmir for Jason Thompson, with fellow Victoria Iona Seven finishing seven lengths behind the winner in fourth.

For Gill, it was the biggest win throughout his 42 year training career. While he had previously trained winners of both the SA Derby and the Gawler Cup, up until last Thursday, the illustrious Group 1 win had eluded him. However, with an ideal draw going into the race, Gill knew he had his best chance of snaring a win at the top level in the SA’s most prestigious event

“I’ve been in a group 3 a couple of times- I’ve won the Derby before and I have won the Gawler Cup before- but a Group 1 is a little bit better”.

“I was reasonably confident without being over-confident going into the race- box eight suits him because he gets a clear run and nothing is going to hit him early”

“He has early pace and it wins 90% of races if they can lead, so I hope he can keep it”.

Remarkably, it was also the second Group victory for Ernie Bung Arrow from just his last three starts. Last month, the ultra-talented youngster claimed the Group 3 SA Derby and the $25,000 winner’s cheque. While he does not turn two until the end of next month, Ernie Bung Arrow has now accumulated a wealthy bank account just shy of the $120,000 mark- not bad for a pup that was purchased for just $800.

Ernie Bung Arrow’s victory in the Adelaide Cup has now earned him an interstate vacation this weekend. The 31.8 kilogram dog will head to Victoria this Saturday night where he will trial at The Meadows. It is anticipated he will be racing at the track in just under a fortnight when the stars of the canine world assemble for the Group 1 Topgun.

“We are hoping (He gets a start in the Topgun). He is booked to fly over there Saturday morning and we are going to trial him Saturday night at The Meadows whether he gets a start in the Topgun or not”.

After the Topgun, Gill is likely to avoid the tempting Melbourne Cup series in favour of a feature race closer to home, before looking at some age-restricted series’ for the dog he proclaims to be ‘the best dog I’ve trained’.

“I don’t know about the Melbourne Cup because he has got one back on over here in Adelaide that he is just about a shoe in for, the Brian Johnstone, and that’s worth 30-odd thousand and is a group 3. He is still only a young dog so I don’t think we will head to the Melbourne Cup. We will try and keep him in his own age as much as we can”.

Whatever series he goes on to target, if Ernie Bung Arrow maintains his brilliant early speed and tenacious chasing attitude, he looks set for a fruitful career ahead on the track.

Bell Haven Chasing Consecutive Sydney Cups

Tasmanian stayer Bell Haven will return to the mainland tonight to defend her title in the Group 3 Bohemia Crystal Sydney Cup at Wentworth Park.  Bell Haven claimed the race last year when defeating Ebby Miss by three lengths in a speedy 42.25s. However, she will face a tough test tonight when she exits box four in the $25,000 to the winner final.

The Ted Medhurst-trained greyhound has only been lightly raced since finishing second behind Lashing Jill in the Tasmanian Distance Championship- with her last start heat performance just her second start back since August.  Beginning well from box six, the black bitch parked behind the leader for much of the race and stuck on well to finish second behind the fast finishing Set Sail South.

Medhurst said that he had specifically targeted the Sydney Cup series with Bell Haven, rather than some of the other staying features that have been held around the nation in recent weeks. Given that it was her first run back for nearly a month, Medhurst was also pleased with her performance last Saturday

“I was pleased with her run last week. She has had a few injury problems which we have tried to manage and I think we have got a hold of them now”

“We purposely decided that as she started to get on (in age) that we would basically race her at Wentworth Park- about every month they have a decent race up there and she has shown a real liking for the track”.

“The only other distance race that was on was at The Meadows and, although she got beat a nose there in a Group 1, she is yet to win on the track. So, we decided to avoid the Meadows this time and just concentrate on the Wentworth Park race”.

Heading into the event, Medhurst considers it to be a fairly even affair. The Mangalore mentor admits that he would have preferred to see his distance diva drawn out wide, but still thinks she can feature in the finish if she places herself prominently in the early stages.

“I think that the wider the draw for her, the better. It’s a very strong and even field. The depth of the field is very strong so if any of the four, five or even six top contenders do something wrong the other dogs will beat them”

“If we have a bit of luck we will be there, but if we have a bit of bad luck we mightn’t be”

“I haven’t had a real good look at the speed maps of the race, but to be a winning chance I think she would want to be in the first four early. As I said, there are some really good dogs in there which are just as good as her and you can’t give them too much of a start”.

Medhurst also believes that Bell Haven will have derived confidence from last week’s run, with her previous start at the Glebe circuit a rough and tough event from the get-go

“I think the run last week brought her forward a little bit and has done her confidence a bit of good. Last time she raced she got flattened and got bumped a fair bit, but last week to run a nice even race and get to the line good we were pleased and conversely her confidence seems to have lifted a bit”

The daughter of Head Bound and It’s A She left for Sydney yesterday in order to prepare for tonight’s feature. Following their usual routine, Bell Haven will be handled by group winning trainer Debbie Cannan . Cannan part owns the bitch with fellow Tasmanian Russel Milner, who also owned former TOPGUN hero No Intent.

“She has followed the same regime this week as she does every time that she races interstate- she flies out the day before the race and she will be back home the day after the race”.

“Deb’s the type of person that it doesn’t matter whether they run last or win, she still loves them. She loves the animal and she gives them a kiss and pat every time she sees them irrespective of whether it’s before or after the race”

At just over three and a half years of age, Bell Haven is entering the twilight stage of her career. With a great record of 62 starts for 26 wins and 18 minor placings, Medhurst says that he is happy to continue racing her until she decides she has had enough of the racing caper

“She is marvellous, we think the world of her and it’s all about her. When she is not Bell Haven and if she doesn’t perform well for a few starts in a row then we will seriously consider retirement.”

“She has done everything for us and the main thing is her, we just think the world of her- the owners love her.  I just respect her so much because of the traveling she has done. She has been so unlucky in a couple of big races but in our eyes she has been just magnificent”

“To win a Sydney Cup with her last year was a dream and if we could do that with her again it would be wonderful- more for the dog than anybody else”.

The Group 3 Bohemia Crystal Sydney Cup is race eight tonight at Wentworth Park and will jump at 9:47pm.

Lenehan’s Golden Boy Excels In Bob Payne

When legendary Victorian breeder John Lenehan purchased his first greyhound in 1978 he could have never imagined that he would still be reaping the rewards nearly four decades later.

Lenehan purchased a pup, which would grow up to race under the name Sydney Gem, for $800. Sydney Gem went on to have a handy racetrack career but in the breeding barn she was phenomenal. The daughter of Lively Band and Monalee Again established a fantastic breeding line that has unearthed many champions of the racetrack and still exists to this day.

Fast forward to Saturday the 28th September 2013 where another descendant of the prolific producer, Gold Town, stamped himself as one of the most consistent chasers in Australia at present, with a dominant victory in the Group 2 Bob Payne Spring Sprint at Wentworth Park.

Some may call it luck how Lenehan started off in the game, others may call it fate. Either way it is a remarkable story.

“I’ve always loved greyhounds. My dad had them when we were children but there were 14 of us in my family and he couldn’t afford to race them. It was like a dollar to race them and two dollars if you won so you couldn’t make much money. He reared them up but never raced them much”, Lenehan explained.

“I always wanted to get into greyhound racing. I bought a farm and I had eight children so I never had much money myself. I put on a $2 quadrella one day at the horses and I won $1000 so I decided to buy a greyhound with it and it turned out to be the best thing I ever did”.

“We’ve had some great dogs over the years. We had Sydney Dingaan that won the Melbourne Cup and a stack of races. She was the first dog inducted into the hall of fame at Warrnambool. Bomber Gleeson won the Shepparton Cup, Warrnambool Cup and the Hobart Thousand and was 3rd in two Australian Cups and 3rd in the Golden Easter Egg in Sydney. We also bred Black Pirate, Wild Pirate, Sheedy and Nashemraro”.

“Sydney Gem was inducted into the hall of fame in Melbourne earlier this year for being an outstanding broodbitch. All of our dogs are still bred down from that one bitch- the first dog I brought 38 years ago”.

Lenehan has predominately bred and reared his greyhounds throughout his involvement within the sport, with his greyhounds being trained by some of the nation’s best.  Gold Town is trained by successful Lara conditioner Peter Hunt.

The son of Surf Lorian and Golden Gwen went into the $40,000 to the winner feature on Saturday night well in the market. However, he had to contend with a poor draw in box five.

After a moderate beginning, Gold Town managed to miss the early interference that put the race favourite, Zipping Willow, out of play. The striking black dog parked himself prominently in third position in the run down the back before looming up beside Good Odds John around the side and assuming the lead as the field entered the straight. Gold Town then put the paw to the floor, dashing ahead of his competitors, holding out the fast finishing Xylia Allen by one length in a blistering 29.59s

Lenehan was thrilled with the performance of his classy campaigner

“I thought he would need a lot of luck but it was just his own track sense that got him there. I thought he would have to be out quick, I thought the six (Cracker Jack Lil) would be a lot quicker than him, so it was a great win”.

“It was not until he got to third I thought ‘well he is coming home hard, he’s got a good chance’. But I didn’t really expect him to win”.

Gold Town has now won 19 races with 22 minor placings from 61 race starts. The 32 kilogram chaser has raced competitively at the elite level for quite some time now, with Lenehan believing that he is starting to mature as a race dog in his recent runs.

“He ran 3rd in the Silver Chief in Melbourne earlier in the year where he was slow out of the boxes and got checked. He just missed out on second and he also ran second in the Traralgon Cup

“I was talking to Graeme Bate, it’s his stepson Peter Hunt that trains him, and I reckon he has improved out of sight in his last couple of runs and in the field”.

“Graeme said all along that he’d be a champion if he could only box well. Most times he misses the start and even now he doesn’t get out quick. He is just using his track sense now, he knows where to go”.

“He just seems to have found his way. He will go through fields and not run into other dogs now”.

In the lead up to a busy time of year for Group racing in Victoria, Gold Town has now affirmed himself as a genuine contender for some of the big feature races which are fast approaching. Lenehan is hoping that his powerhouse sprinter will do enough to earn an invitation for the Group 1 Topgun, but is happy to leave the decisions with Hunt.

“We are hoping to get into the Topgun but that’s a select field and only eight go into it. It’s worth $150,000 at The Meadows but I’ll just leave it to the trainer”.

“Graeme said that he (Hunt) has got a great setup and that he does a great job, it’s spotless and clean. Peter knows exactly what to do with them, he trains really well”.

Xylia Allen Excels In National Sprint Championships Victory

If there were any doubts that Xylia Allen was a true champion, they were dismissed on Saturday night as the bonny black bitch stormed home to record an astonishing triumph in the group 1 AGRA National Sprint Championship at The Meadows.

Gaining a start in the race as the AGRA Wild Card runner, Xylia Allen was blessed with box one for the $75,000 to the winner final and used the coveted rails alley to perfection as she dashed away to claim her fourth group victory; her third at group 1 level.

After a moderate beginning, Xylia Allen was outpaced in the run to the first turn by the fancied Tomac Bale, who took up the lead as the field made their way into the back straight. With Kel Greenough’s sizzling speedster Paw Licking parked on her outside, Xylia Allen tried to push through along the rails in search of the bunny however, she was denied a run by the race leader. In a move that showed tremendous field sense, Xylia Allen quickly switched to the outside, slipped into another gear and shot away from her opposition to score an emphatic victory by just under two lengths in a scintillating 29.63 seconds. Tomac Bale was gallant in defeat, running second, whilst the NSW representative, Zulu Zeus, ran a great race to finish third.

Xylia Allen’s legendary trainer, Graeme Bate, was elated with the win of his special bitch, commending her racing style and how she puts herself into the race at the right time.

“I was very impressed with her genuine brains and her ability to work out the race and where to move as she was going around”, Bate said.

“It was her best win at The Meadows, it has been a track where she has had trouble”.

After finishing fourth in the state qualifier the week prior behind Tomac Bale, Bate was confident that she could produce her best on final night. Down back straight, it became obvious that the 31 kilogram powerhouse was the one to beat.

“I was very confident (before the race)”, Bate reflected.

“Up the back when she hooked to the outside was when I thought she had a good shot”.

Xylia Allen now boasts the record of 38 starts on the track from which she has managed 17 wins and 12 minors.

As mentioned, it was the fourth group win for the daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale who claimed her first group trophy in February this year, when annihilating her opposition in the group 2 Launceston Cup. Xylia Allen continued to race competitively in group company over the following months, before her defining moment came in the group 1 Sapphire Crown in May, where she defeated flying NSW bitch, Punch One Out, in a brilliant 29.51 seconds at Sandown.

Xylia Allen then lined up for a campaign in NSW, where she spearheaded a talented Bate-trained team that was targeting the group 1 Peter Mosman Classic at Wentworth Park. After running third at the Ultimo circuit in the group 3 Ladies Bracelet just over a month prior, Xylia Allen transformed into a different bitch, pinging straight to the front of the field from box two to claim the Classic by one and three quarter lengths in a sizzling 29.47 seconds.

Since triumphing in the Peter Mosman, Xylia Allen had raced without luck in the group 1 Winter Carnival Cup at Albion Park, whilst she also contested the group 1 Maturity Classic series at The Meadows. Her success on Saturday proved that she is back to her brilliant best.

With three dazzling wins at the highest level to her name at such a young age, Xylia Allen now looks set to enjoy a successful racing season in the near future. Bate, who has already compared her to his previous champions Kantarn Bale and Lansley Bale, rates her as one of the best sprinters currently racing in Australia.

“Of the three dogs in the Greyhound Of The Year (Miata, Xylia Allen and Destini Fireball) she was the only sprinter so she would have to be up there”, Bate commented.

“She has already earned $360,000. To do that at 28 months is a pretty good effort. I am very excited about her future and I am hoping she can keep going”.

Although alluding to the fact that her future career may entail races over the staying trip, Bate is holding off whilst she is racing so dominantly over the sprint.

“I wouldn’t step her up at the moment with the way that she is racing. Perhaps if she was getting into trouble or being knocked around but she is racing well”, Bate said.

Xylia Allen’s next mission will be the group 3 Coffex Coffee Oaks at Angle Park with the heats to be run on Thursday 5th September before the $25,000 final the following week. After that, it will be a busy few months with major Victorian races including the group 1 Topgun and the group 1 Melbourne Cup.

“I have always loved the Melbourne Cup, it is one of my signature races and I think I have a fair dinkum chance in it this year. She is my number one greyhound”, Bate said.

Saturday was the pinnacle night of a great weekend for Graeme Bate who was named Trainer Of The Year at the AGRA awards night on Friday. “It was a bit of a shock”, Bate admitted.

“I didn’t really expect it because I thought a few of the other trainers would be in front of me”.

“I thought I was just going along for Xylia Allen”.

Xylia Allen was also nominated for AGRA Greyhound Of The Year however, she was pipped at the post by the mighty Miata who took out the top honour for the second year in a row. Whilst she may not have taken out the big one, Xylia Allen still had her moment in the spotlight when she took out the Run Of The Year for her phenomenal performance to take out the group 1 Sapphire Crown.

State Of Origin – NSW Greyhound Racing’s Top 17

With the deciding game of this year’s State of Origin series this Wednesday night, Australian Racing Greyhound has compiled our own state teams featuring the best of all time from Queensland and New South Wales. As always, a list of this nature draws with it controversy and we the authors acknowledge that an argument can be made for the countless other (greats) who are not listed below. This list represents the New South Wales team and their contribution to Australian greyhound racing; past, present and future.

1. COACH PAUL CAUCHI

Cauchi is a hall of fame inductee and was a leading trainer in NSW during 1971, 1972 and the 1980’s. Cauchi started his training career in 1958 and trained numerous champions including Ragsie, Coorparoo Flyer, Miami Moss, and Pied Rebel just to name a few. Cauchi trained winners of the group one Association Cup and the group one National Sprint Championship amongst a stack of feature wins.

2. COACH ALLEN WHEELER

How could you write a list of the best to come from NSW without mentioning the man that started the Bale dynasty? Although breeding was his forte, Wheeler still managed to train some of the dogs he bred to win group finals and he also took out the Sydney city owners and trainers premiership four times. The legacy of the Wheeler family will live on forever with their line of Bale, Dyna and Allen chasers.

3. Chief Havoc (Trion- Thelma’s Mate) Whelped September 1944

The white and fawn speedster was known in his era as ‘the wonder dog’ and was believed to be the fastest greyhound in the world. Chief Havoc or Patches as he was affectionately known was purchased by Jack Millerd at five weeks of age. Chief Havoc had 36 starts on the track for 26 wins and seven placings. He set or equalled records in races at Harold Park, Wentworth Park, Bathurst , Dubbo, Dapto, Tamworth , Maitland, Wollongong , Gosford, Parkes, Lismore, Casino, Cessnock and Grafton. When in his prime, crowds of 17,000 would flock to Harold Park to witness Chief Havoc race. He was seen as so superior in comparison to his opposition that trainers refused to nominate against him. In the breeding barn Chief Havoc sired 453 litters and became a legendary sire so much so that the first 15 NSW Greyhounds of the year were direct descendants of him. Chief Havoc died in 1957 and was laid to rest at the Gunnedah track.

4. Macareena (Chief Havoc- Casson) Whelped June 1951

After her father Chief Havoc stunned the nation with his sheer speed, Macareena came along and emulated his success- something that no one saw coming. Throughout her career the brindle bitch set the track ablaze, setting a total of 20 track records- one more than Chief Havoc. In a time when handicapped racing was popular, competitors started refusing to nominate their charges against Macareena unless their greyhounds were given a head start against her. Macareena retired with the outstanding credentials of 96 starts for 50 wins and 32 placings.

5. Black Top ( Top Linen- Classy Jane) Whelped February 1961

The great Black Top was bred at Birmingham Gardens, a suburb of Newcastle by Edna Hanson out of Bi-Annual Classic winner Classy Jane. Frank Holmes, the trainer of Classy Jane was given a pup from the litter as thanks for guiding her to victory in the prestigious event. The pup Holmes chose was Black Top. The black pup only raced for twelve months yet managed to record 17 wins and 2 seconds from a mere 20 starts. His most notable wins included the 1962 St Leger (running race record time), the 1962 Vic Peters Classic (in race, track and world record times over 500 yards) and the 1962 Interstate Challenge. Black Top retired to stud and commenced his duties in August 1963. The well-bred dog was a phenomenal sire- mating 1326 bitches, producing 6000 puppies with his progeny winning approximately 10,000 races. The Black Top dynasty was enormous with his offspring claiming countless records and feature races.

6. Zoom Top (Black Top- Busy Beaver) whelped August 1966

The dazzling Zoom Top has to be one of the most versatile chasers of all time. Almost half a century since she was born her legend lives on and she is still commonly referred to as one of the best to ever grace the track. The fawn flash started racing at just fourteen months of age breaking her maiden at Goulburn over 500 yards. Zoom Top was renowned for her ability to adapt to different distances without batting an eyelid. Zoom Top had 136 starts for 68 wins, 25 seconds and 14 thirds. Zoom Top won on 24 different tracks throughout her career, set or equalled 15 track records and won races from 292 metres up to 795 metres. Zoom Top made 17 major finals throughout her career winning eleven of them; Wentworth Park Gold Cup 68, 69 Association Cup 68, 69 Richmond Oaks 68, Dapto Silver Collar 68, Sydney Cup 68, Summer Cup 68, NSW St Leger 68, Olympic Park Distance Championship 69 and NCA Cup at Sandown 69.

7. Promises Free (Temlee- Tara Silk) whelped February 1980

Promises Free, or the Blue Flash as she was known as at the time was a champion bitch owned and bred by Alan Pringle. In 1981 Promises Free took out the NSW St Ledger at Wentworth Park running 30.82 seconds. The 28 kilogram bitch also claimed two major races in 1982. In April she went to Harold Park and won the Bi-Annual Classic before heading back to Wentworth Park in June where she claimed the National Futurity. As a proven group winner, Promises Free was retired to the breeding barn and produced the litter of the century when mated to Brother Fox. Whelped in 1986, it was Promises Free’s fourth litter and included nine male pups that were all retired to stud after their careers. The litter including Amerigo Man, Bogenfel, Carnival Boy, Edmonton, Fortune Bay, Half Nelson, Jet Cruiser, Walkabout Sid and West Cape. These dogs each went on to become influential sires, with their bloodlines pulsing through many of the chasers we see on the track to this day.

8. Winifred Bale (Temlee- Emiline Bale) whelped August 1980

Even the race caller was cheering for Winifred Bale in the 1983 National Sprint Championship at Harold Park, proclaiming ‘Go Winnie Go’ as she stretched out in front of the field. Winifred Bale was owned and trained by Allen Wheeler Jnr and had 81 starts for 41 wins and 28 placings. Winifred Bale helped to put the Wheeler’s on the map, forging a path of greatness for them within the industry. The red fawn and white bitch was the NSW Greyhound of the year in 1982 and 1983 and in the process gave Allen Wheeler his first NSW greyhound of the year which up until that point had eluded him with both Emiline Bale and Mercia Bale nominated but never receiving the top honour. Winifred Bale won feature events across two years; in 1982 she took out the Sandown Laurels and NSW St Leger whilst in 1983 she notched up victory in the Appin Opal, Ladies Bracelet, National Futurity, Richmond Oaks and the National Sprint Championship.

9. National Lass ( Chief Dingaan- Waroo Lass) Whelped September 1982

It is hard to compose a list of the best without including Richie Dean’s terrific bitch National Lass. Owned by Richard Zammitt, the black bitch was the NSW Greyhound of the year in both 1984 and 1985. During her career, National Lass was a sizzling sprinter but later made the transition to the staying trip where she was simply electrifying. Her feature wins included the 1984 Coca Cola Cup at the Gabba and The Sun Toy Fund Cup at Wentworth Park. In 1985 she returned and took out three feature races at Wentworth Park- The Sydney Cup, Summer Cup and a consecutive Sun Toy Fund Cup as well as the Christmas Gift at Richmond. In 1986 she claimed the Wentworth Park Gold Cup. National Lass also broke six track records, one of which was her own at; Gosford 689m (41.20 seconds), Wentworth Park 722m (42.70), Richmond 620m (37.20, 37.03), Richmond 537m (31.24) and Dapto 722m (42.82). National Lass was retired after dropping a back muscle at Wentworth Park but went on to become a fantastic broodbitch with her pup Little Deaver winning the 1991 St Leger and the 1992 National Derby.

10. Brother Fox ( Little Blade- Pitstock Park) whelped February 1983

Brother Fox was without a doubt one of the best dogs not only of his generation, but of all time. The red brindle speed machine only had nineteen starts on the track but that resulted in twelve wins and five placings. The great champ started his career in the Grafton Maiden Classic in 1984 winning his heat before finishing third in the final. Brother Fox went on to notch up victories at Maitland and Singleton before heading to Harold Park to contest the Vic Peters Memorial Classic. Brother Fox was emphatic in the final scoring by five lengths in a track record time of 25.82 seconds. Brother Fox returned to the race track the following year winning the Potential Stakes at Wentworth Park before heading to Tasmania for a crack at the Hobart Thousand. In his heat, Brother Fox not only won but also set a track record of 28.35 seconds. ‘The Fox’ then broke his own track record in the semi-finals (28.21) before taking out the final the following week (28.31). After an unsuccessful Adelaide Cup series, Brother Fox returned to NSW and took out the Vic Peters Bi-Annual Classic (now the Peter Mosman) at Harold Park. This was the last feature win for Brother Fox who was then retired to stud by Steve Kavanagh. Despite having a service fee of $1,000 Brother Fox was inundated with bookings and went on to become a leading sire and sire of sires.

11. Worth Doing ( Brother Fox- Versatile Miss) Whelped November 1986

Anyone who witnessed this speed machine at his best would say Worth Doing is one of the fastest dogs they have seen. The beautiful blue brindle dog claimed two group one’s throughout his career. In October 1988 Worth Doing took out the group one Vic Peters Memorial final in track record time clocking 29.74 seconds. The following February, the son of Brother Fox returned to Wentworth Park and triumphed in the group one National Derby. In the era of grass at Wentworth Park, Worth Doing emerged as a champion after his staggering 20 length win where he smashed the track record running a scintillating 29.50 seconds- a time that in those days was unheard of. Worth Doing was retired to stud and became a champion in the breeding barn as a sire of multiple group winners, many of whom went on to stand at stud and become great producers themselves.

12. Jessica Casey (Amerigo Man- Osti’s Shadow) Whelped Jan 1989

Jessica Casey was a beautifully bred bitch who was destined to be a star on the race track. The blue brindle speedster raced in an era dominated by tenacious and champion chasers and proved herself worthy of being compared to them. Jessica Casey was the NCA NSW 1991 Greyhound of the year, crowned after her stunning performance in the 1991 National Sprint Championship whilst she also took out the 1992 Golden Easter Egg.

13. Rapid Journey ( Amerigo Magic- Miss Courtney) Whelped May 1995

Rapid Journey is often thought to be the best dog of the 90’s. Bred in NSW by John and Jane Curruthers, the red brindle powerhouse did not have the most fashionable bloodlines but he certainly possessed the heart to make up for it. Rapid Journey did not set the world on fire when he first started his career and spent his early days racing around local country tracks. As he matured he developed into a handy city dog before blossoming into a champion. Rapid Journey retired with the career statistics of 54 starts for 33 wins, 6 seconds and 5 thirds. Included in those wins were track records at Wentworth Park (520), Dubbo (516), Cannington( 530) and Beenleigh(555). Rapid Journey took out the 1998 Adelaide Cup, 1998 Golden Easter Egg, 1998 Perth Cup, 1998 National Sprint Championship, 1998 Melbourne Cup and the 1998 Topgun. When claiming the Topgun Rapid Journey became Australia’s Highest Stakes Earning greyhound with $530,995 in the bank.

14. Mint Magic (New Fox- Franklin Mint) Whelped May 1997

Ray Watson’s Mint Magic was a brilliant chaser of her time facing the starter on 37 occasions from which she managed 25 wins and 6 placings. The red brindle bitch started her career racing around the Hunter Valley, breaking her maiden at Singleton before moving on to Cessnock and Maitland. Throughout her career, Mint Magic took out the group two Border Park Galaxy over two consecutive years in 1999 and 2000 whilst she also emulated her sire New Fox when taking out the group one Topgun at The Meadows. The 29 kilogram bitch held track records on the grass at Maitland 457m (25.33) and Singleton 384m (21.05).

15. Paua To Burn (Awesome Assassin- Alice Dooley) Whelped July 2002

The great Paua To Burn was bred, owned and trained by Steve White. White raced her dam and her grand dam, with Alice Dooley producing some handy city winners and record breakers from her first three litters to Light Of Fire, Awesome Assassin and Elle’s Commando however it was her fourth litter, a repeat mating to Awesome Assassin that a superstar of the track was born. Paua To Burn had 58 starts from which she notched up 28 wins and 13 minors. The black and white bitch made 17 group race finals and took out her fair share including the 2004 Laurels, 2004 & 2005 Sapphire Crown Classic, 2005 Golden Easter Egg, 2005 Temlee, 2006 New Year’s Cup and the 2006 Rookie Rebel. Paua To Burn also set five scorching track records throughout her career; Nowra 520m (29.98), Bulli 472m (26.02), Sandown 515m (29.41), The Meadows 600m (34.09) and Wentworth Park 520m (29.51)

16. Cindeen Shelby (Bombastic Shiraz- Proper Shelby) Whelped August 2006

Cindeen Shelby was bred by Deen Parkinson and owned by Ray Parkinson. The red fawn bitch started her career racing at the Gardens, Maitland, Gosford and Wentworth Park before claiming her first group final, the 2008 group two Young Stars Classic at start fifteen. This was the start of a fantastic career for Cindeen Shelby who was later transferred to Kel Greenough’s Victorian kennel. Greenough steered her to victory in the 2009 group one Topgun, 2009 group one Paws of Thunder, 2009 group one Sapphire Classic and the 2009 group two black top. By the time she retired in 2010 Cindeen Shelby had won 32 of her 55 starts with 9 seconds and 3 thirds and over $443,000 in prizemoney.

17. Black Magic Opal (Magic Sprite- Glamorous Opal) May 2011

A good list would not be complete without a greyhound representing the present and future. Bred by Les and Carol Hudson on the Central Coast of NSW, Black Magic Opal may not have a shelf full of trophies from group wins yet, but he looks set to be the next star of the sport. So far the black dog has claimed one group race, the group two Maitland Gold Cup before being sold to Victoria. A NSW pup at heart, Black Magic Opal has won 19 of his 24 starts with 4 minor placings and despite his tender young age, he looks as if he can conquer the group racing scene in Australia and potentially become one of the greats.

State Of Origin – Qld Greyhound Racing’s Top 17

With the deciding game of this year’s State Of Origin series this Wednesday night, Australian Racing Greyhound has compiled our own state teams featuring the best of all time from Queensland and New South Wales. As always, a list of this nature draws with it controversy and we the authors acknowledge that an argument can be made for the countless other (greats) who are not listed below. This list represents the Queensland Team and their contribution to Australian Greyhound Racing; past, present and future.

1.Tony Zammit – (Trainer – Coach)

Champion Queensland Trainer and Hall of Fame inductee. Winner of 17 Metropolitan Queensland Training Premierships including 11 in a row. Trained Qld Greyhound of the Year winners and finalists as well as countless group winners. Zammit has produced top chasers including – Surf Lorian, Credibility and Trojan Tears amongst a host of other superstars. Involvement in the industry spanning over 40 years and a testament to the racing game. Possesses the ability to always have his chasers give 110%.

2. Tony Brett (Trainer)

Tony Brett has put the polish on some of the best greyhounds to have graced the track in recent years including Bogie Leigh, Black Enforcer, Glen Gallon and Queen Lauryn to name only a few. A trainer that tests his ability on a national scale, he isn’t afraid to travel interstate targeting feature group races and the rewards that they bring. A trainer with a great belief in his ability he has put the polish on Greyhound of year winners and finalists, track record holders and countless group winners.

3. Top Simbi (Milimsimbi – Susie Voile) Whelped March 1971

In the 1970’s, Thursday night racing at the Gabba would come alive under lights and the greyhound the crowd came to see was the Queensland Greyhound Hall of Famer Top Simbi. He excelled at the Gabba winning 20 and running second 3 times from 24 starts. Overall he won 30 races from 49 starts. He was the Gabba Greyhound of the year in 1973 and 1974. A white and brindle chaser his best wins included Lord Mayer’s Cup, Gabba Sprint Championship and the Exhibition Trophy. Trained by Bert Kennedy he was famous for living on the family lounge and was the Gabba 558m track record holder.

4. Pretty Fearless (Pretty Short – Fearless Payout) Whelped January 1985

The 1987 Queensland Greyhound of the Year and another inducted into the Queensland Hall of Fame, Pretty Fearless travelled the country racing and beating the best at the time. Trained by Reg and Mary Crawford, the brindle chaser won the Coca-Cola Cup at the Gabba and the Mining Cup (Perth) and All State Challenge (Perth). He started 47 times for 20 wins and 20 placing’s and finished his career on top of the prizemoney list at the time with $103,000 in stakes.

5. New Tears (Pretty Short – Starfire Lady) Whelped June 1985

A brilliant race track performer who would become an even greater success at stud. A race career that compiled 32 starts resulting in 24 wins, he was a track record holder at Ipswich, Tweed Heads and Olympic Park. At stud he dominated the Australian scene and his name can be found in the pedigree of some of the all-time greats including – Trojan Tears, Sobbing Sal and Light Of Fire. His daughters have thrown champions including Brett Lee, Big Daddy Cool and No Intent to name but a few. A Queensland star both on and off the track, a Queensland Hall of Famer and one of the most potent pedigrees in Australian racing.

6. Tenthill Flyer (Chariot Supreme – National Queen) Whelped May 1988

The broodbitch responsible for generations of greyhounds, Tenthill Flyer produced the first two inductee’s into the Australian Greyhound Hall of Fame in brilliant bitches, Tenthill Doll (by Malawi’s Prince) and Flying Amy (by Credibility). The Jim Gallaway trained chaser had ability on the track setting a track record at Moree and winning a Lord Mayer’s Cup at the Gabba. Found in the pedigree of many champions, she changed the industry off the track producing offspring who can be found in the champions of the past and today.

7. Credibility (Worth Doing – No Liability) Whelped December 1989

Super-fast greyhound on the track who would make his mark as a sire, producing champions whose pedigrees dominate Australian racing. The winner of 21 races with a further 9 placing’s from 39 starts, he was a Track record holder at Toowoomba. He tasted success in winning the Lawnton Cup, Gold Coast Derby, and was a finalist in the National Derby, Tweed Galaxy and Richmond Derby. At stud he produced Just The Best, Nobody’s Fool, Yo Yo’s Boy, Faithful Hawk and Bearability to name a few. A Queensland Hall of Fame inductee.

8. Flying Amy (Amerigo Man – Tenthill Flyer) Whelped May 1992

The Ron Ball trained immortal Flying Amy was a superstar both on and off the track, where her influence continues in racing pedigrees throughout Australia. With 59 career starts resulting in 42 wins, 5 seconds and 5 thirds, the 1994 and 1995 Queensland Greyhound of the Year winner is the best of all time. An inductee into the Hall of Fame, the brindle bitch broke the magical 30 seconds at Albion Park on 9 occasions and was the long standing track record holder at an unheard of 29.73. A multiple group winner and finalist, she is the dam of Just The Best and the most influential greyhound in Queensland history.

9. Tenthill Doll (Malawi’s Prince – Tenthill Flyer) Whelped March 1993

Greyhound Hall of Fame inductee Tenthill Doll was Queensland born and commenced racing on the old Toowoomba track prior to her sale to NSW for $20,000 after 13 starts. A wonderful racetrack performer, she finished her career with 56 starts for 31 wins, 10 seconds and 7 thirds. A multiple group winning bitch and finalist she would be remembered for her success in 3 consecutive Group 1’s, the Egg, Perth Cup and Australian Cup. Finishing her career with $382,000 in prizemoney (Australian Record at Time) she was known for her ability to lead or come from behind in what was a remarkable career. From the same dam as fellow legend Flying Amy, a brilliant greyhound that changed the lives of those around her.

10. Just The Best (Credibility – Flying Amy) Whelped January 1997

Champion sire Just The Best has influenced the pedigrees of greyhounds the world over. The winner of 9 races from 15 starts, with a further 3 placing’s his average winning margin was in excess of 11 lengths. Sub 30 sec runs at Albion Park indicated his ability and he came close to the Albion Park track record with a Best 29.78 – the second quickest ever at the time. Injury stopped a race track career but his success continued off it. At stud JTB produced champions including Hall of Famer Bogie Leigh, Surf Lorian, Elite State and Big Daddy Cool plus many more. JTB female offspring continue to produce with his dams throwing champions including stud dogs and group winners. With royal bloodlines he was destined to be a success and continues to be so.

11. Bogie Leigh (Just The Best – Hypo Havoc) Whelped April 2001

With a career record of 68 starts for 48 wins, 12 seconds and 5 thirds Bogie Leigh set race tracks alight throughout Australia winning over $488,000 in prizemoney. Trained by leading mentor Tony Brett the black chaser was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005. Bogie Leigh started in 13 Group race finals, winning the 2003 Group 1 Brisbane Cup, 2003 Group 1 Sapphire Crown Classic, 2003 Group 2 Queensland Futurity, 2003 Group 3 Lismore Cup, 2004 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, 2004 Group 1 Australian Cup. She was the 2004 QLD Greyhound of the Year and the best of her time.

12. Surf Lorian (Just The Best – Barrio Fiesta) Whelped April 2002

Multiple track record holder Surf Lorian produced on the track and continues to produce off it as a leading sire of Group winners and track record breakers throughout Australia. From 19 careers starts, Surf Lorian won 15 with 1 second and 1 third. Track record performances at Albion Park 520 (29.73 Equal (Twice)), Ipswich 520m (30.18), Gold Coast 429 (24.06), and Gold Coast 457 (25.61). The winner of the Group 2 Peter Mosman at Wentworth Park, Surf Lorian was also a Group finalists in the Group 1 Winter Cup at Albion Park and the Group 2 Qld Derby. At stud he has produced Slater, Made To Size, Miss Hot Gossip, Blue Lorian plus many more.

13. Black Enforcer (Token Prince – Miss Corleone) Whelped June 2003

Black Enforcer was a track superstar who dominated racing in 2005. From 35 career starts he finished with 26 wins and 2 placing’s tasting group success when winning the Group 1 Topgun and Group 2 Queensland Derby. He represented Queensland in the National Sprint Final finishing 4th in the final behind Pure Octane. He ran BON times at every track he raced; Albion Park, Gold Coast, Wentworth Park and the Meadows. Retiring to stud with $207,000 in prizemoney, the black chaser was a member of a fantastic litter that included Qld sprint start Token Jet. Black Enforcer has continued to make a name for himself at stud with his offspring winning Group events and being track record holders.

14. Made To Size (Surf Lorian – Queen Size) Whelped April 2005

The Reg Kay trained superstar joins the team as the fastest ever at Albion Park, an unheard of 29.57 TR. The red fawn chaser broke the magical 30 seconds at Albion Park on 7 occasions in his decorated career that finished with 48 starts for 21 wins, and 19 placing’s. On the track he won the Group 1 Winter Cup, Group 3 Pert Cup Consolation, and was a finalist in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup and Group 1 Brisbane Cup where he suffered a career ending injury. Sold at stud to overseas interest he now stands in Macau.

15. Dashing Corsair (Malfoy – Rose Flamenco) Whelped April 2007

The champion greyhound was the first ever to win both the National Sprint (2009) and National Distance (2011) finals – an event that first started in 1965. The 2010 Queensland Greyhound of the Year was trained by Dwyer Lennon and has won the most races at Albion Park, 33 in total eclipsing the long standing record of Winged Runner. Overall he was an iron dog, facing the starter on 124 occasion’s for 57 wins, 16 seconds and 14 thirds. He was a brilliant sprinter and stayer as well as multiple group winner and finalist. He won the 2009 Group 1 National Sprint final in Perth, the 2011 Group 1 National Distance in Brisbane, Group 3 Big Dog Cup, the Super stayers invitational. Overall he sits number 14 on the all-time prizemoney list with $455,000.

16. High Earner (Collision – Double Guess) Whelped May 2007

Second overall in the prizemoney list behind the mighty Miata, the ill-fated High Earner set Australian racetracks alight with his tenacious chasing ability and brilliant box speed. The winner of 33 starts, with a further 13 seconds and 8 thirds from 69 overall starts he was a 6 time Group winner and 12 time Group finalist. With Group 1 wins in the Perth Cup (twice) and Temlee he was a favourite all over Australia. From an outstanding damline that has also produced El Galo and Never Enough he lived up to his name on the track before his ill demise off it when his stud career was just beginning.
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17. Glen Gallon (Flying Stanley – Incoherent) Whelped August 2009

Third on the all-time prizemoney list with $597,000, Queensland’s favourite greyhound continues to inspire the industry with his performances around Australia. The 14 time Group finalist and 3 time Group 1 winner has raced the best since his 8th start. With 64 starts resulting in 36 wins and 12 minor placing’s, he has traversed Australia captivating the industry with guts and determination. Trained by leading mentor Tony Brett, Glen Gallon last start won the Group 1 Winter Cup at Albion Park. Although reaching the twilight of his career, he will long be remembered as one of the greats for Queensland and Australia.

Pushing The Boundaries: Roanokee

In March 1997 trainer Roger Green stated the best distance for his smart young sprinter Roanokee was “from 450 to 500 metres, but he has such brilliant early pace he is capable of getting away with a big 520 metre sprint at Wentworth Park.”

By New Tears out of Free Method, the brindle dog was already proving to be one of the best sprinters to come out of Queensland having made the finals of three major races at Wentworth Park. In the last of these he had just failed to run out the 520 metres, going under narrowly in the National Derby.

As it happened, Green was wrong on one count. Roanokee would never again make a Wentworth Park major final. Yet, just a few months after his statement, the champion sprinter would blitz a reasonable line-up in the Queensland Derby, taking the event in race record time before going on to snare his biggest prize: the 1997 Melbourne Cup, defeating a hot field.

Roanokee was whelped in November 1994 and commenced racing at the July carnival in Grafton in 1996 where he won his first two starts, both over 407 metres, before finishing second at his next run.

Green decided to have a crack at the Young Star Classic series at Wentworth Park with his 20-month-old speedster. He led up in his semi-final but was run down by the smart Kedo’s Millie, and in the final he again reached the lead but ran out of steam in the home straight and faded to finish sixth to Jazzy Tom.

Five successive victories followed, at Toowoomba, Ipswich, Lismore and the Gold Coast, before a seventh to Grysbok in the Lismore Cup (a best eight event).

In October Green had Roanokee back at Wentworth Park for a crack at the Vic Peters Memorial Classic. In his semi-final, Roanokee led all the way and broke his duck at Wentworth Park, defeating Tricky Wind by just over two lengths.

In the final he was never able to reach the lead and faded from second to fifth place behind Tricky Wind, Tranquil Fire, Byrneville Kara and Louisiana Lass, in what proved to be a very good field.

Returning to Queensland Roanokee notched five straight wins at Ipswich and the Gold Coast, including a solid success in the Ipswich Gold Cup.

Green set Roanokee for the Winter Carnival Cup (then known as the Eukanuba Cup) over 520 metres at Albion Park. In his heat he was run down and narrowly beaten by Saint Hallett, but in the $45,000-to-the-winner final Roanokee kept going to defeat Weeping Vixen and Jurassic Vapour in a fast 30.06.

Roanokee ended 1996 having raced 20 times for 14 wins and three seconds.

He began 1997 with wins at Ipswich and Toowoomba and then went back to Wentworth Park for a crack at the National Derby, winning his heat and semi-final and drawing box one for the final. In an exciting and close-fought race Roanokee led everywhere but on the line, fading right at the end to be beaten a neck into third place by Comrade In Arms and fellow Queenslander Deep North.

It wasn’t long after this that Roger Green confessed Roanokee struggled beyond 500 metres but his early speed should help him annex a major Group event.

After a win at Dapto he was set for the Golden Easter Egg but was knocked out after running could only run second in a heat and fifth in his semi-final.

At the end of April he failed to beat a runner home in his heat of the Australian Cup at Sandown, but was later found to be injured and would not race again for almost two months.

When Roanokee returned, in June 1997, he put together a wonderful sequence of nine consecutive wins. It started with two wins over 457 metres at Toowoomba, followed by wins in the heat and final of the Gold Coast Cup (457 metres) and then a resounding success in the heat and final of the Queensland Derby at Albion Park.

In the Derby final, Roanokee scored by six and half lengths in 30.00, setting a new race record and finally proving Roger Green’s claim that he could win a major 520 metre event.

Three more victories followed, at the Gold Coast, Ipswich and a heat of the Brisbane Cup, downing Barrio Babe, to make it nine straight since he resumed.

Barrio Babe reversed the placings in the Brisbane Cup final, downing Roanokee by three-quarters of a length with Victorians Lansley Bale and Chicago Blue third and fourth respectively.

Invited back for a second crack at the Lismore Cup, Roanokee led all the way to score narrowly from Leonie’s Osti. In fourth place was Rapid Journey, then just beginning to make a name for himself.

Roanokee was invited to contest the Topgun in October and did well on a wet track, beaten just under three lengths into third place by Chicago Blue and Awesome Assassin.

Victories followed at Ipswich and Albion Park and then the-now three-year-old took on the Melbourne Cup, easily winning his heat before picking up the $100,000 winners purse in downing Lansley Bale and World Title in the final. It was to be the high-water mark of his grand career.

Back in Brisbane, Roanokee again made the final of the Winter Carnival Cup (that year called the Nutrience Cup), but from a wide alley could only run sixth behind Wine Glass in the final.

He closed out the year with a win in top grade at Albion Park to finish 1997 having raced 32 times for 23 wins and four placings. It was no surprise when Roanokee was named as Queensland Greyhound of the Year, defeating Smooth Rumble and Wine Glass for the honour.

He began 1998 by again failing to make the Australian Cup final when last behind eventual final winner Fibba in his heat.

The brindle quickly bounced back with victory in the Toowoomba Cup before ending his career with another failed tilt at the Golden Easter Egg, running second in his heat and fourth in his semi-final.

Roanokee finished with 40 wins, six seconds, and two thirds from only 59 starts. He was undefeated in seven starts at the Gold Coast and eight runs at Toowoomba, all of them over 457 metres. At Albion Park he won eight of 11 starts with two seconds. He earned $297,850 in prize money, at the time an amount second only to Flying Amy among Queensland-domiciled greyhounds.

Bombastic Shiraz Bows Out In Grand Style

2012 will be remembered as the year one of Australia’s greatest ever sires retired from his stud duties, but not before stamping his authority as the best sire once again from the Australian Greyhound Racing Associations rankings that award points to offspring who compete in group races on a sliding scale. Taking out first place after a sensational year, Bombastic Shiraz finished with 1580 points, last year’s winner Collision was runner up with 1111 points and Where’s Pedro again took out a top three placing in third with 928 points.

Undoubtedly Bombastic Shiraz’s best offspring for 2012 and one of his greatest of all time is the Western Australian superstar Miata (x Winsome Bluebird). During her amazing year establishing herself as one of the greats, she claimed four group one races including; Cannington’s Galaxy, Wentworth Park’s Association Cup, Hobart’s Distance Championship and Sandown’s Bold Trease. This now makes her eligible for the greyhound racing hall of fame, a feat that now seems imminent with still plenty of racing left in her career.

In total Bombastic Shiraz’s offspring took out eight group ones, four group twos and four group three races.
Continue reading Bombastic Shiraz Bows Out In Grand Style

Graeme Bate & Gunda Bale Upset The Laurels Classic Final

Gunda Bale caused one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Macro Meats Laurels when the rank outsider proved too good at Sandown Park tonight.

With first split record holder Purcell Bale missing the start from box 2, the field jostled for position in the run to the first turn. Many greyhounds found trouble however Gunda Bale stuck fast to the rails and found herself three lengths clear on entering the back straight.

The chasing pack set off in pursuit of the unexpected front runner, however they could do little to reign in the lamp lighter, Gunda Bale going on to defeat the gallant Oenjay Dancer by 1.5 lengths with favourite and kennel mate Langi Bale a further 1.5 length away third in 30.01 seconds.
Continue reading Graeme Bate & Gunda Bale Upset The Laurels Classic Final

Breaking Down The Numbers

I can only speak for myself, but I find the ever-changing list of Australian prizemoney records seen on this site to be really fascinating. It’s amazing how numbers can tell a story, or in a lot cases, be so misleading.

What it does do is read as a who’s who of our sport over the past 20 years, with just about every Melbourne Cup, Australian Cup, Topgun and Golden Easter Egg winner getting a mention. I found it a bit of a stroll down memory lane, with mumblings along the lines of ‘Oh remember him’ being heard many times as my eyes scanned down the table of names. But when the raw figures are broken down, without any other context and looked at in a bit more depth, some fascinating findings begin to emerge.

First of all, the three dogs at the top of the tree – High Earner, El Grand Senor and Radley Bale – all raced at a similar time and have all retired within the last two years. They all won between 33 and 37 races, however El Grand Senor had 59 fewer starts than Radley Bale and 26 less than High Earner.
Continue reading Breaking Down The Numbers

David Bale’s Topgun Win Named Australia’s Best Greyhound Race For October 2012

AGRA’s Run of the Month for October 2012 has been awarded to New South Wales owned and Victorian trained chaser David Bale.

His enormous performance to win the Group 1 Top Gun at the Meadows was a run full of merit considering he came from box eight and was posted wide on the first turn.

He made up an enormous amount of ground to run down his kennel mate and early leader Desalle Bale picking her up right on the post.
Continue reading David Bale’s Topgun Win Named Australia’s Best Greyhound Race For October 2012

David Bale & Graeme Bate Reign Supreme In Topgun Upset

Rank outsider David Bale ($31.20) caused one of the biggest boilovers in Group 1 history, running down kennelmate Desalle Bale in the shadows of the post to win the Sky Racing Topgun at The Meadows in 29.92.

Starting from box eight after the scratching of Bye Bye Bucks, the son of Bartrim Bale and Dyna Beauty began moderately before pushing into a midfield position as they reached the first corner. With kennelmate Desalle Bale flying out in front, David Bale outpaced Spud Regis and Zara Zulu, pushing into second as Desalle Bale reached the second section in a sizzling 17.59.

Never giving in, David Bale continued to cut away at Desalle Bale’s lead, eventually reaching the tearaway leader with a last stride to score by just half a head. Queenslander Don’t Knocka Him ran on well for third, while favourite Glen Gallon ($3.20) finished fifth after missing the start and finding trouble in running.
Continue reading David Bale & Graeme Bate Reign Supreme In Topgun Upset

Beautiful One Day …..

You might need Harry Potter’s magic wand to work out how the Topgun will be run but one thing is very likely – nominal favourite Glen Gallon has a tough task ahead of him. There are five dogs outside him that should lead him to the turn. Will he find a way through? It’s possible but I would want some decent odds to back him, much more than the $3.10 now on offer.

On general form the two Queenslanders, Glen Gallon (1) and Dont Knocka Him (3), are the pick of the bunch. The latter is absolutely flying at his home track of Albion Park. That includes his early sections where he has been a little hard to pick in the past. However, his two previous runs at The Meadows were only average. Could that be due to the differing sizes of the box apertures?
Continue reading Beautiful One Day …..

Group 1 Hume Cup Heats This Saturday Night

It’s a Group racing bonanza at The Meadows this Saturday night with the running of the Group 1 Topgun and six heats of the Group 1 Hume Cup over 600 metres.

This year’s Hume Cup series is worth $75,000 to the winner for the first time in the race’s history, and has been well supported with an outstanding group of middle-distance chasers assembled.

The first heat looks one of the hardest on the program with the likes of Cronos Bale, Don Chendo, Adelaide Cup finalist Wattle Bee and One Last Dance ready to do battle in a great start to the night.
Continue reading Group 1 Hume Cup Heats This Saturday Night

Bye Bye Bucks Scratched From 2012 Topgun

The sole representative from New South Wales Bye Bye Bucks has been scratched from the $215,000 Group 1 Sky Racing TOPGUN after sustaining an achilles tendon injury.

Trainer Ken Lewis confirmed the news this morning.

“We are absolutely devastated. His achilles has been diagnosed as a grade one tear, so he certainly won’t be back racing in the short term. A few people have suggested in could be a two to three month injury, but we will see how the dog goes.”
Continue reading Bye Bye Bucks Scratched From 2012 Topgun

The Topgun – 20 Points Of Interest

This year will see the 20th running of the Topgun, the only major race in Australian racing history to start with a dead-heat.

Since that amazing race in 1993, the Topgun has gained a lot of traction for a race that is arguably an elitist event which flies in the face of what has always been an egalitarian sport.

Should it really have a $150,000-to-the-winner prize tag? Or, is it arguably a race that is staged as a kind of ‘reward’ for the mighty efforts of the best of the best from the previous year of racing?
Continue reading The Topgun – 20 Points Of Interest

Glen Gallon Draws Box 1 Favouritism For Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun

Queensland star Glen Gallon has been installed a $3.50 favourite after drawing box one in the Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun – this year worth $150,000 to the winner for the first time in the race’s 19-year history.

Trained by Tony Brett (who took out the 2005 version of this race with Black Enforcer), Glen Gallon will push his prizemoney to over $450,000 if successful in Saturday’s Group 1 extravaganza. The son of U.S. sire Flying Stanley and Incoherent sent an ominous warning to his rivals with a sizzling 29.66 trial at The Meadows last week. His record of three wins from five starts off the red box underlines his favouritism in Australia’s richest invitation-only event.

Reigning Australian Cup winner Zara Zulu has also fared well after the box draw, with the Ros Hume-trained star to exit box two on Saturday night. The daughter of Mogambo and Zulu Zepha is blessed with enough early speed to take up a prominent position in the all-important run to the first turn.
Continue reading Glen Gallon Draws Box 1 Favouritism For Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun

2012 Topgun Field Finalised For Group 1 Glory

The scene is set for one of the biggest greyhound races of the year as fields for the 2012 Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun – to be held at The Meadows on October 27 – have now been released.

The field is headlined by Andrea Dailly pair Heston Bale and recent Adelaide Cup winner Spud Regis – two greyhounds involved in a serious car accident less than two weeks ago. The speedy duo again have the chance to turn tragedy into triumph with victory in Saturday week’s Group 1 extravaganza – now worth $150,000 to the winner for the first time in the race’s 19-year history.

Queensland fans will have two greyhounds to cheer home on the night with Don’t Knocka Him and Glen Gallon making the dynamic field of eight, with the duo both legitimate chances to give their state victory for the first time since 2005 when the Tony Brett-trained Black Enforcer was victorious.

Despite the heart-breaking injury to star Barcia Bale, maestro trainer Graeme Bate will be represented by litter sister Desalle Bale, a winner of four from five over the 525-metre journey at The Meadows and a chaser blessed with lots of early speed.

Trainer Jason Thompson will be aiming for his third Topgun success (No Intent, Whisky Assassin) with the brilliant Peggy May – already a two-time Group winner and a top-three finisher in 41 of her 51 race starts.

Her Australian Cup conqueror Zara Zulu has also made the final cut, while New South Wales will have a sole representative in Bye Bye Bucks – a dog already victorious in two quality Group 2 races in his home state.

The all-important box draw for the Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun will take place on track at The Meadows this Saturday (October 20).

As always, patrons on course for the October 27 extravaganza will have the chance to win some amazing prizes, including AFL memberships, bikes for the children, TAB giveaways and entertainment for all ages in what has become one of the biggest nights at The Meadows.

2012 Topgun Field

  • Bye Bye Bucks (NSW) Ken Lewis FSH
  • Desalle Bale Graeme Bate 29.88
  • Don’t Knocka Him (Qld) Reg Kay NBT
  • Glen Gallon (Qld) Tony Brett 29.69
  • Heston Bale Andrea Dailly 29.45 record
  • Peggy May Jason Thompson 29.89
  • Spud Regis Andrea Dailly 30.04
  • Zara Zulu Ros Hume 29.75
  • David Bale (Reserve) Graeme Bate 29.83
  • Transcend Time (Reserve) Mark Azzopardi FSH

Topguns On Show In Sandown Melbourne Cup Preludes

Four of Australia’s most exciting greyhounds pressed their claims for a berth in the Sky Racing Topgun after commanding victories in their respective Melbourne Cup Preludes at Sandown Park tonight.

However it was a greyhound that wasn’t invited to nominate for the $150,000 to the winner feature that recorded the fastest Prelude win.

General Destini, winner of the Group 2 Berwick Mazda Harrison-Dawson at Sandown Park in May, showed that he is back to his very best when he defeating Carol Allen by 3.5 lengths in 29.38 seconds.
Continue reading Topguns On Show In Sandown Melbourne Cup Preludes

Seven More Greyhounds Join Topgun Invitees After Trainers Protest

The long history of controversy over the selection of greyhounds for the 2012 Topgun continued yesterday when complaints from connections forced the Melboure Greyhound Racing Association (MGRA) to include a further seven greyhounds in the “invitee list” just three days as after the original list of 23 was announced.

MGRA Manager Marg Long explained the decision behind the late entries saying “Trainers were welcome to put their case forward for greyhounds that weren’t in the original list of 23, and we decided that another seven greyhounds should be placed on the list after discussing their names with the panel.”

The seven greyhounds added to the original list of 23 invites were Bogie King, Don Chendo, Coal King, Mepunga Geordie, Proven Nitro, Ritza Ryder and Transcend Time.
Continue reading Seven More Greyhounds Join Topgun Invitees After Trainers Protest

2012 Topgun Invitees Announced

Twenty-three of the country’s best greyhounds have been handed first round nominations for the Group 1 Sky Racing Topgun – this year worth $150,000 to the winner – to be run at The Meadows on October 27.

The Topgun panel will meet again on Friday, October 12, to cut the field down to eight from the list of trainers who have accepted the first round invitation sent out today.

The field for the ‘Cox Plate of greyhound racing’ will then be announced on Sky Racing’s The Catching Pen on Monday, October 15, with a box draw to be held on track at The Meadows on Saturday, October 20 – a week before one of the most anticipated nights of greyhound racing on the calendar.
Continue reading 2012 Topgun Invitees Announced

What ever happened to…….?

It’s funny how people put so much energy into looking at a feature race before it happens and very little time following the same dogs once it is over. We read the form, study the box draw, make judgements about the dogs’ abilities and so on, and before the race is run it feels like we know each runner personally. Yet as soon as the race is over, the form guide gets thrown out, as do the original thoughts and it’s on to the next big event.

Well, with Nationals run and won once again, I’d thought it would be a nice opportunity to look at the finalists from both the sprint and distance finals over the last couple of years.

For many, the Nationals are a chance to see runners from states not usually followed, and once the events are over, it is so easy to forget about those that shaped one of the biggest races for the year. Hopefully for most, it will be a chance to answer the question ‘What ever happened to that dog?’
Continue reading What ever happened to…….?

Sire Study – A Look At The Over And Under Achievers Of Greyhound Sires

It has been said in the past, that a good way to judge a sire is to see how many dogs he produces that are as good, if not better on the track, than the sire was himself. While it may be a subjective argument, and obviously doesn’t apply to all and sundry, it is interesting to compare that strategy to the dozens of sire available today.

With so many options to choose from now – from dashers to stayers, imports and home-grown – it can almost be mind-numbing looking through the databases, trying to compare one to the other. Perhaps using the method above is a way to separate the field somewhat and get a grip on any represented value.

While obviously most breeders/owners will be looking for a certain set of non-negotiables when selecting – temperament, tenacity, strength/speed etc – it’s remains intriguing to have a look at those on the sires list which appear to be over-achieving, and also those that may not have lived up to expectation.
Continue reading Sire Study – A Look At The Over And Under Achievers Of Greyhound Sires

2012 Greyhounds Of The Year In Review – Queensland, SA, WA, & Tasmania

We’ve seen what Victoria and New South Wales have produced in the past twelve months, but there’s been plenty of talent displayed elsewhere too. Here’s a list of what was considered the pick of the crop from around the country…

Queensland

The sunshine state continues to produce good greyhounds year in and year out and 2011 was no exception. The year started brilliantly with the phenomenal return of High Earner, while winning the National Sprint Championship and Brisbane Cup on home soil would be the highlights.

WINNER – High Earner – Achieved what so many previous stars couldn’t – took the long standing prizemoney record from Rapid Journey to become the highest earner of them all. The back-to-back Perth Cup win was something special after coming out of retirement, and then made the finals of the Australian Cup (2nd) and Golden Easter Egg.

Glen Gallon – This youngster only began his career in May, however still found the victory step 12 times in 2011. His Brisbane Cup win as a 10/1 shot was excellent considering the strength of the field. Is engaged to run in the Silver Chief final at the Meadows at time of writing, in an attempt to make it back-to-back Group 1’s.

Dashing Corsair – Dwyer Lennon’s iron dog retired after competing in a record third Nationals final in September. Had 14 wins in 2011 which included success in Perth and Sydney as well as at home.

He Knows Uno – Had 12 wins for the year and kept crowds excited with his barnstorming racing style. Started the year in W.A but eventually travelled around competing in the highest grade. Ran second in the Golden Easter Egg and Winter Carnival Cup along with a fifth in the Topgun.

Iso Octane – Made the move from Victoria early in the year and became the dominant local sprinter. Had 13 wins for the year including a streak of eight in a row throughout June/July and took out the Winter Carnival Cup in the process.

South Australia

It was a modest year for the croweaters in 2011. Having two Adelaide Cups due to a schedule change was fun, but the local crop of sprinters struggled and S.A was the only state without a Topgun Invitee. GRSA also announced a down play of staying races in years to come to focus on the popular short course racing.

WINNER – Kalden Mayhem – This dog really came of age in the second half of the year, taking out the Strathalbyn and Gawler Cups. Had a remarkable 19 wins for the year over a variety of distances and grades. With any luck, this bloke should have a big 2012.

Point Two Over – Was probably the leading sprinter for the year; however the FFA level sprinters in S.A are all fairly even. Point Two Over claimed the state sprint title amongst his 10 wins in 2011.

Stack ‘Em Flat – Can this chaser still be classed as South Australian? Sure – owned and bred by Bruce Lellman, he was really the only dog to find success interstate during 2011. Amassed an impressive 16 wins including victories at Sandown, The Meadows and Albion Park.

Western Australia

High grade races in W.A had been dominated by Pedrosa in recent memory, but this year there was a distinct rise in depth. The staying ranks were very competitive too, but there was only chaser making all the headlines.

WINNER – Miata – It took three starts for Australia to hear the name Miata, when she made the Cannington track record her own. That was just the beginning, as by year’s end she would not only break her own 530m mark twice, but hold the 642m record also. Her only interstate journey resulted in a second in the S.A Oaks, beaten by Mepunga Nicky who proved to be unstoppable in the Adelaide Cup. If trainer Paul Stuart continues going down the staying path with this bitch, we could have a national star very shortly.

Vocal Enforcer – Excellent year for Andrew McLaren’s chaser. Improved notably throughout the year and capped it off with a Group win via the All Stars Sprint. Had 18 wins in the past 12 months.

Pedrosa – Was not as dominant as times gone past, but still managed to win 9 times at FFA level for the year. Tragically, the ‘King of Cannington’ went amiss when competing in the Melbourne Cup series and would never be able to race again. Leaving a career record of 30 wins from 50 starts, he will be sorely missed.

Tasmania

What a great year it was for the Apple Isle, with track records and Groups victories being claimed on the mainland. Many complain about the lack of depth down in the southernmost state, however in 2011 there was talent on display at every turn.

WINNER – Damek – Has probably the best winning record of any current dog in the country, as his career tally stands at 43 wins from 57 starts, with 20 of those wins in 2011. Connections gave up on the interstate idea to focus on dominating the local racing scene, which he did with ease. Was crowned state sprint champ before picking up an injury before the national final. While his invincibility has faded late in 2011, he is probably the most dominant Tasmanian greyhound on home soil in the past decade. The only blight on a tremendous career is his lack of Group race glory.

Rewind – Had an exceptional year. An astonishing 22 wins went the way of Rewind in 2011, however it would have been the 23rd that connections would have wanted the most. He led for every inch of the Group 1 Hobart Thousand final except the last one, when beaten a nose by Dyna Tron earlier in December. His third in the Group 1 Maturity final at The Meadows proves he can do at home or away.

Clyde’s Angel – Consistent chaser who racked up 13 wins and made an Adelaide Cup and Hobart Thousand Final, as well a FFA win at Sandown.

I’m a Fencer – 15 wins and a still the Healesville track record holder.

St. Pierre – Won the Devonport Cup in January before sensationally winning the Australian Cup at the Meadows. Made the final of the Tweed Heads Galaxy before disappearing in the second half of the year.

So we must move forward to another year, where another 25,000 races await. That means a new batch of track records, photo finishes, large crowds, big dividends and much more fun in the world of greyhound racing. All participants and readers are wished are happy New Year and the best of luck in 2012.

2012 Greyhounds Of The Year In Review : NSW & Victoria

Over 25,000 races across 2000 meetings have taken place in 2011. It was a year where locals across the land struggled to win big races at home. Victoria lost the Australian Cup to Tassie, but took revenge by again claiming the Adelaide Cup and stealing the Hobart Thousand in a thriller. Sydney trainers couldn’t find a way to claim the Golden Easter Egg riches, while the Perth Cup went all the way to the sunshine state.

So who can lay claim to being each state’s best performed greyhound? Doing comparisons is always such a subjective thing, so it seemed worthwhile making a shortlist of those in contention, while still picking a stand-out. For those that find a glaring omission or two; remember that in the end, opinions are just that – opinions.

New South Wales

New South Wales had another strong year, with multiple greyhounds tasting big race success in 2011. The usual suspects of Lutiger, Azzopardi, Mackay etc. all had strong kennels which made the racing as keenly contested as ever.
Continue reading 2012 Greyhounds Of The Year In Review : NSW & Victoria

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