Since attaining Group 3 status in 1996, the Darwin Cup has gradually attracted some top-class contenders from across the country keen to compete at Winnellie Park.
In 2006, leading Queensland mentor Tony Brett arrived with Quidame, a brilliant black bitch with an imposing record over all distances.
By American sire Flying Penske out of Sheza Swifty, Quidame was whelped in May 2003 and commenced racing at the end of March 2005, winning her first two outings, both over 431 metres at Ipswich.
After a couple of narrow second placings at Albion Park and Ipswich and then a win over 520 metres at Ipswich, Tony Brett set Quidame for the Flying Amy Classic at Albion Park. Quidame finished third in her heat and then was a respectable fourth behind Poldar Thunder in the May 12 final.
Her next seven starts over the next two months were all over 520 metres at Ipswich as Brett gave the 28-kilogram sprinter time to settle into racing. With four wins and two placings in that series, Brett brought Quidame back to Albion Park for three races over the sprint course, winning one and running third in the other two.
Quidame was a strong greyhound and she looked to be potentially suited to middle distance and distance racing and on August 4 she made her debut over 600 metres at Albion Park. From box eight, Quidame scored an easy victory by just over six lengths in a best of the night 35.15.
She then reeled off three more wins over 600 metres, by six and a half, seven and a half and just over nine lengths, the latter in a fast 34.87, just 30/100ths outside the track record.
First-up over 630 metres at Ipswich, Quidame was beaten in a heat of a special event by Zemsel, but in the final a week later, she had her revenge, defeating that greyhound by four and a half lengths.
Brought back to sprint racing, Quidame rattled off four straight wins over 520 metres at Ipswich, culminating in a devastating nine lengths victory in the final of the Ipswich Young Guns on October 4.
After a familiarisation trip to Sandown Park, where she ran second behind the smart Traction Control in a Melbourne Cup Prelude, Quidame came back to make the final of the City of Ipswich Gold Cup, going under by half a head to Ravenhill in what was her first Group event.
After finishing unplaced behind the brilliant Bond in a Melbourne Cup heat, Quidame scored a couple of victories at home at Albion Park before running third behind Pororoca in a heat of the Brisbane Cup on December 8.
Returning to middle distance racing, Quidame scored an easy win over 600 metres at Albion Park and Tony Brett then brought her to the Meadows where she finished second to Chief Tanga first-up over the 600 metres trip.
Quidame ended the year with a victory by almost nine lengths in her heat of the New Year’s Cup (Group 3) at the Meadows.
During 2005, Quidame had raced 37 times for 22 wins and 12 placings. It was a consistent record and one she would build on during 2006.
Quidame began by running a solid third behind Paua To Burn in the New Year’s Cup final on January 7, before missing the start and finishing only seventh behind Chief Tanga over the same trip two weeks later.
Attempting the ‘half mile’ for the first time, Quidame won a heat of the Roy Maidment Memorial (Group 2) over 715 metres at Sandown, but could only run seventh behind Mid City Mandy in the final.
A third placing in a sprint at Albion Park was followed by a fifth in The Zoom Top (Group 2) over 725 metres at the Meadows on February 18.
Quidame then qualified for the final of the Group 1 Super Stayers (then known as the Gleeson & Tonta) by running second to Spalding in her heat. Quidame turned the tables in the final, leading all the way to score by just over a length from Spalding to collect $50,000.
A nine-length win in a heat of the 699-metre Victoria Cup at Cranbourne was next, but she was beaten a half head and head into third place by Odnoc Alorac in the final on March 19.
Two starts in Brisbane resulted in a second placing over 710 metres and another victory over 600 metres before Quidame was back to Victoria again, contesting the heats of the Lizrene Classic over 715 metres at Sandown on April 20. She led most of the way but was run down by Atomic Jet. Found to be injured, Quidame missed the final and was out of action for almost four weeks.
After resuming with a fourth placing in a sprint at Ipswich, Tony Brett ventured to Winnellie Park for the heats of the Darwin Cup (Group 3) on July 31. Quidame won her heat by seven and a half lengths in a fast 31.69. In the August 4 final Quidame drew perfectly in her favourite box eight, but she had to work hard to defeat Billy’s Hero by just half a length to collect the $15,000 first prize money.
After a close fifth at Albion Park in a sprint, Quidame reeled off two easy victories over 600 metres at the Brisbane headquarters before a narrow defeat behind Lucy’s Light over 630 metres at Ipswich.
Invited to contest the four-dog Super Stayers over 710 metres at Albion Park on September 21, Quidame was beaten only a length and a half into fourth place behind Miss Brook.
Then it was off to Wentworth Park where Quidame won her heat and the final of the Group 2 Sydney Cup, downing Mid City Mandy on both occasions to collect the $25,000 winner’s cheque.
A win over the talented Miss Grub gave Quidame her first 710-metres win at Albion Park, at her third attempt, and then she returned to Melbourne where again defeated Spalding, this time in a heat of the Hume City Cup (Group 2) at the Meadows. Quidame finished sixth behind Sargent Major in the final.
Back at Wentworth Park, Quidame won a heat of the Summer Cup (Group 2) by two lengths and finished a close length and a quarter third to outsider Glen Abbey Doll in the November 18 final.
Quidame closed out 2006 with a sixth at Albion Park over 520 metres on December 14. She did not race again for two months.
Quidame resumed on February 12 with a third over the sprint trip at Albion Park and then contested her last group event, the invitation-only Rookie Rebel, over 600 metres at the Meadows, where she ran a strong third behind the smart Train A Journey.
Quidame closed out her career with two victories, the first over 600 metres at Albion Park on February 22 and the last over 600 metres at the Meadows on March 3, downing Cash Up by just over four lengths.
Quidame had raced 70 times for 37 wins, 11 seconds and 11 thirds. Her average winning margin was 4.12 lengths and she was undefeated in nine starts ovr 600 metres at Albion Park. From box eight she scored seven wins and one second from just eight outings.
Black bitch 28kgs
70 starts; 37 wins, 11 seconds, 11 thirds
average winning margin: 4.12 lengths
2006: (29 starts – 13-4-4) In order: 37173521132124115112411116136
2007: (4; 2-0-2) – 3311
Darwin 537m: (2 starts – 2-0-0 ) In order: 11
Albion Pk 600m: (9 starts – 9-0-0)111111111
Ipswich 630m: 212
Meadows 600m: 213731