Bessy Boo’s new city record, in context

BESSY Boo’s performance to score his 26th victory at Wentworth Park means the Christine Proctor-trained black dog is what the Americans would call ‘the winningest’ greyhound of all time in the history of the Glebe circuit.

Given that racing started at Wentworth Park on October 28 1939, with breaks for part of the Second World War and then a major remodelling in the mid-1980s, Bessy Boo’s efforts are remarkable, making him the first to register 26 wins on the course, with 23 over 520m and three over 720m.

Nonetheless, Bessy Boo actually ranks third on the list of the most number of wins over the 520-metre sprint course, behind Stately Bird, with 25 victories and Did I Entertain with 24 wins.

Bessy Boo’s 23 sprint wins have come from 80 attempts over 520m, where he has also run 14 seconds and 14 thirds as well as an amazing 15 fourths.

His record over 720m is pretty good, with three wins, one second and one third from just six attempts. So, in 86 starts at Wentworth Park, Bessy Boo has a solid 30 percent strike rate.

When looking down the list of the 14* greyhounds who have won 20 or more races at Wentworth Park, it’s no real surprise vast the majority have achieved the feat in the period since 1987, when Wentworth Park re-opened as the only metropolitan course in Sydney after the closure of Harold Park.

The previously-mentioned Stately Bird won 25 (of just 54 starts) over 520m at Wentworth Park, equalling the previous mark set by the brilliant all-distance bitch Turbo Top. She scored 22 wins over the old 530m grass surface distance as well as three over the old 722m trip on the pre-1987 track.

Slick Appeal won 24 races, the same number as Did I Entertain, but only 17 of these were over 520m, the other seven were recorded over 720m.

Flash Joan, Golden Milo and Classy Spider (1990 NSW Greyhound of the Year) share equal sixth place, with 22 wins apiece.

All of Classy Spider’s and Golden Milo’s wins were registered over the sprint journey, while Flash Joan won 13 (of 41 attempts) at 520m and nine over the longer journey.

Mister Britain (a 1989 NSW Greyhound of the Year finalist) won 21 races at Wentworth Park in a long career, clashing on numerous occasions with Classy Spider.

Mister Britain became the first greyhound to my knowledge to win at Wentworth Park at what was his 100th race start. Bessy Boo achieved the same feat, winning his 21st Wentworth Park race (and 31st overall) at his 100th race start. The only other greyhound I’m aware of to win at Wentworth Park at their 100th start was Watto Lotto, in 2014.

Among those with 20 wins at the course are Lucy Lawless (from 43 starts, and also trained by Christine Proctor), Benny’s Alarm (from 67 races), Sally’s Title (11 over 520m and nine over 720m), Zipping Willow (from only 28 attempts, an amazing 71 percent strike rate) and See Yah, the first greyhound to win 20 races on the new circuit (from only 38 tries; or a 63 percent strike rate).

* Note: I am aware the great stayer Farrarami won at least 19 races (from her first 37 starts at the track), but her overall racing record is not available anywhere, even though she competed just 25 years ago (The Dogs website doesn’t have a single start for her). I think she may well have gone on to win 20 or more races at the course.