WITH 2017 finally here, Australian Racing Greyhound is counting down the greyhounds which have made an indelible mark on the sport over the past 12 months.
These are the athletes which competed at the highest level and proved to be the best of their generation, with 27 group or listed victories between them over the past 365 days.
Of course there are always going to be differences in opinion, and it was incredibly difficult to limit our list to just 10 chasers, however we believe our list provides an accurate snapshot of the dogs which made the year that was.
#10 – Pantera Nera
Trained by Gavin Burke, Pantera Nera is one of the most reliable beginners in training and demonstrated his box manners when taking out the Group 2 Traralgon Cup and the Group 2 Black Top. The son of Milldean Panther and Go Jessie’s Girl also finished second in the Group 1 Megastar, third in the Group 1 Topgun and was a finalist in the Group 2 Bendigo Cup and the Group 3 Silver Bullet.
#9 – Ring The Bell
While his sister won the richest staying race in the world, the Group 1 Sandown Cup, Ring The Bell also stamped himself as a quality stayer with victories in the Group 1 National Distance Championship, the Group 3 Summer Cup, the Listed Super Stayers and the Listed Destini Fireball Stayers. He also finished second in the Group 2 Topgun Stayers, third in the Top Cat Video Cup, the Group 3 Sydney Cup and was a finalist in the Group 1 Gold Cup and the Group 2 Sale Cup.
#8 – Buck Forty
Buck Forty is often forgotten in comparison to his brother Burn One Down, however the son of Buck Fever and Fancy Jaffa is a group 1 winner, having won the Peter Mosman Classic in 2016. He also took out the Group 2 Launching Pad, ran second in the Group 1 Hume Cup, finished third in the Group 3 John Dillon Memorial and was a finalist in the Group 2 Bob Payne Spring Sprint at Wentworth Park.
#7 – Worm Burner
Arguably the best greyhound to have come out of South Australia in recent memory, Worm Burner gave superstar performers Zambora Brockie and Dundee Osprey windburn when winning the Group 1 National Sprint Championship, clocking 29.17 over the 515m trip at Angle Park. The son of Oaks Road and Little Looper also ran second in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup, third in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup and the Listed SA Sprint Championship and was a finalist in the Group 1 Topgun and the Group 2 Shootout.
#6 – Aston Bolero
One of the most consistent greyhounds in Victoria, Aston Bolero scored his biggest wins in the Group 2 Bendigo Cup, the Group 2 Shepparton Cup and the Group 3 Silver Bullet. The Jason Thompson-trained dog also finished second in the Group 1 Topgun, the Group 2 Maitland Cup and the Group 2 Warragul Cup. Additionally, he qualified for the finals of the Group 1 Australian Cup, the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson, the Group 2 Warrnambool Cup and the Group 2 Horsham Cup.
#5 – Dyna Double One
Whilst he has been retired for most of the year, Dyna Double One started 2016 with a bang, winning the Group 1 Rookie Rebel and the Group 1 Australian Cup before being retired to stud in March. Trained in Victoria, the black speed machine retired as the second highest prize money earner of all time, with an astonishing $1,160,116 in the bank.
#4 – Thirty Talks
The brindle powerhouse has been the most consistent greyhound in Queensland throughout 2016, winning 23 of his 35 starts since debuting in the Group 2 Vince Curry Memorial in February. Trained by Tony Brett, the son of Where’s Pedro and Unfinished secured his biggest victory in the Group 1 Brisbane Cup, whilst he also triumphed in the Group 2 Richmond Riches and the Group 3 Ipswich Cup.
#3 – Zambora Brockie
An absolute beast, Zambora Brockie took the sport by storm throughout the past year, winning the Group 1 Winter Cup at Albion Park and bagging a hat-trick of country cups – the Warrnambool Cup, the Horsham Cup and the Ballarat Cup – in addition to a success in the Group 2 Sandown Shootout. Aside from his victories, he also ran second in the Group 1 National Sprint Championship and was a finalist in the Group 1 Paws of Thunder, the Group 1 Temlee, the Group 1 Topgun and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup.
#2 – Ando’s Mac
The fawn flash won the sport’s most coveted title, the Group 1 Melbourne Cup, as well as the Group 1 Vic Peters Classic. The son of El Grand Senor and Brook’s Doll raced 30 times throughout the year for 18 wins and four minor placings, including 12 from 14 since joining Jason Mackay’s kennel back in September. The June 2014 whelp will be aiming to start the new year with a bang, having drawn box one in the Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup, with a win set to take his prize money earnings beyond $600,000.
#1 – Dundee Osprey
Undoubtedly the best chaser throughout the year. Trained by Geoff Scott-Smith, Dundee Osprey scored dominant victories in the Group 1 Harrison Dawson, the Group 1 Topgun and the Group 1 Sale Cup. He also won the Speed Star at Sandown Park, finished second in the Group 3 John Dillon Memorial, third in the Group 2 Shootout and was a finalist in the 2016 Group 1 National Sprint Championship, the Group 2 Launching Pad, the Group 2 Queensland Derby and the Group 2 McKenna Memorial.