Age shall not stop them racing – the golden oldies of greyhounds

Thunder Rama, which turns six in September 2017, is still winning races. PIC Greyhounds WA Facebook.

WHICH greyhound holds the record for being the oldest to still compete in a race? Which greyhound holds the record for being the oldest to win a race? Two questions for which the answers are not at all clearcut, unfortunately.

The recent effort by Thunder Rama (Hallucinate x Bananarama Sep ’11) to win his 45th race, from 180 starts, means the red fawn dog is, at the age of 71 months, one of the oldest to not only still be racing, but also winning.

It stands to reason that if a greyhound has won anything approaching, or beyond, 50 races, then the chances are the chaser concerned is aged four years (48months) or older.

Equally, any greyhound which has contested more than 150 races in its career is likely to be four years and beyond.

Just who qualifies as the oldest greyhound to have still been competing on an Australian racecourse is well and truly open to debate.

There is a claim that a greyhound named Baron Ridgeside, who raced in Tasmania and was trained by Viv Berresford, was winning races when aged over seven years (84 months). This was apparently in the 1950s.

Another Viv Berresford-trained greyhound, Logan Belle, allegedly won a race when aged six years and eight months (80 months), again in the 1950s. I have not been able to find any definite information about either of these two greyhounds.

There is no doubt, however, about the credentials and performances of three greyhounds who were still racing at the age of seven years, and over.

The following list is a far from comprehensive collection of some of the oldest greyhounds to have raced on Australian tracks over the decades.

Green Lizard (Colonial Warrior x Dixieland Mar ’97). Active from May 1999 until May 2004. Retired at the age of 86 months. 223 starts for 64 wins, 44 seconds, 31 thirds.

Krayzelberg (Token Prince x Classic Vane May ’98). Active from May 2000 until July 2005. Retired at the age of 86 months. 178 starts for 23 wins, 27 seconds, 21 thirds.

He’s Rapid (Rapid Journey x La Cenerentola May ’02). Active from April 2004 until May 2009. Retired at the age 84 months. 106 starts, 10 wins, 12 seconds, 19 thirds. NOTE: The black dog raced 105 times at Rockhampton (his only other start being at Ipswich).

Porplyzia (Primo Uno x Come Uppance Jul ’07). Active from June 2009 until April 2014. Retired at the age of 81 months. 145 starts, 16 wins, 24 seconds, 22 thirds.

Bold Trease (Roy Trease x Irish Temptress Mar ’84). Active from 1985 until May 1990. Retired at the age of 74 months. 104 starts, 51 wins, 22 seconds, 12 thirds.

Bribie Pine (Brother Who x High Tech Feb ’89). Active from August 1990 until November 1994. Retired at the age of 69 months. Complete career record unknown; at least 60 starts for at least 10 wins.

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Matrix Reloaded (Jurassic Vapour x She Can Cry Nov ’01). Active from June 2003 until July 2007. Retired at the age of 68 months. 228 starts for 12 wins, 12 seconds, 33 thirds.

Stagger (Primo Uno x Instructed First Aug ’09). Active from February 2011 until March 2015. Retired at the age of 67 months. 137 starts for 64 wins, 26 seconds, 12 thirds.

Knocka’s Return (Knocka Norris x Winning Shiraz Mar ’11). Active from November 2012 until September 2016. Retired at the age of 66 months. 104 starts for 41 wins, 21 seconds, 13 thirds.

Miss Mini Dozer (Bombastic Shiraz x Kiss The Line Feb ’06). Active from July 2007 until July 2011. Retired at the age of 65 months. 213 starts for 19 wins, 33 seconds, 37 thirds.

Head’s Together (Head Honcho x Head Turner Dec ’96). Active from July 1998 until March 2002. Retired at the age of 63 months. 105 starts for 52 wins, 20 seconds, eight thirds.

Macareena (Chief Havoc x Casson Jun ’51). Active from January 1953 until June 1956. Retired at the age of 60 months. 96 starts, 50 wins, 19 seconds, 13 thirds.

Owey (Harvard Bale x Keen Express May ’03). Active from December 2004 until May 2008. Retired at the age of 60 months. 172 starts, 56 wins, 39 seconds, 31 thirds.

Rewind (Collide x Ricky’s Angel Feb ’09). Active from October 2010 until December 2013. Retired at the age of 58 months. 101 starts for 61 wins, 20 seconds, six thirds.

Bessy Boo (Bekim Bale x My Black Bess Mar ’12). Active from November 2013 to December 2016. Retired at the age of 57 months. 158 starts, 44 wins, 27 seconds, 28 thirds.

Saltwater Pete (November Fury x Absolute Chaos Apr ’04). Active from December 2005 until December 2008. Retired at the age of 56 months. 148 starts for 74 wins, 33 seconds, 14 thirds.

Just Proper (Knocka Norris x Proper Jessica Aug ’10). Active from April 2012 until April 2015. Retired at the age of 56 months, 114 starts for 65 wins, 16 seconds, 12 thirds.

Ballroom Dancer (Eureka Man x Lady Cuthbert Apr ’95). Active from October 1996 until December 1999. Retired at the age of 56 months. 165 starts, 33 wins, 32 seconds, 33 thirds.

Jurassic Vapour (Bogenfel x Black Vapour Jun ’92). Active from October 1993 until January 1997. Retired at the age of 55 months. 122 starts, 46 wins, 28 seconds, 19 thirds.

There are many others whose records are not readily available and raced for lengthy periods with great success. For example, Ada Yin (Chief Havoc x Yin No ’47). She raced until at least February 1952, retiring around 51 months of age.

Sagacious Nomad won a maiden at Grafton in July 1954 and then scored a win at Casino in 1958, aged six years and four months (76 months) but I don’t know when he finished his career.

There are plenty who will have raced on country and non-TAB circuits with limited success over the years and who never make it into the spotlight.

This writer would certainly be interested in hearing about any greyhounds in the above category.

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  1. Our boy Deano (LIL’ BIT SPARKY) was whelped Oct 2011, so is soon to turn 70 months (5 yrs 10 months) of age. He is a Reserve at Ipswich on Tuesday, with his next outing being career start #148. His record stands at 13 wins & 41 placings :slight_smile:

  2. ‘Look Alive Pixie’…86 Months over 7 yrs old.
    Whelped in April 2002 had her last race on 13th June 2009, 217 races.
    It’s the trainers job to keep a greyhound fit and free of injury. What a man WOW!

  3. Viv Berresford is my late father. My mother is still alive and would probably be able to help with the evidence. If you want to contact me I can put you in contact.

  4. Bit Rich (Bit Chili x Sophie’s Belle) raced till he was 59 months. Whelped Jan 08. He had 150 starts for 34 wins, 32 seconds and 21 thirds. He won his 99th, 100th and 101st starts. He was greyhound of the year twice at Nowra firstly in 2010 & again in 2012, when between the age of 4yrs and 5yrs. He is still with us today.

  5. A great record indeed, but having only raced in the UK (Sheffield) I think I can leave it out of my Aussie-based list. Thanks for mentioning it though.

  6. Thanks Ruth. That was a ‘bit rich’ of me to forget such a good, consistent performer!!

  7. Another Bit Chili product. They seem to race on forever. Good luck to you and thanks for the info.