While doing some research for what will be a longer and more in-depth article, I happened to come across one of those weird but amazing stats that greyhound racing tends to throw up.
In fact, racing and sport in general can always be relied upon to provide quirky facts and figures if you care to look long and hard enough.
OK, to the point. What would be the odds of a greyhound drawing a different box at every one of its first eight career starts?
I’m not great at maths, and I’m more than willing for someone to correct me, but I think the chances of the above occurring are 40,000 to one.
Well, I found one who did and it was none other than Alpha Brava, one of best sprinters of his, or any other, time.
Whelped in August 1973, the fawn son of Benjamin John and Kellie Moss, was trained by Arthur Tighe.
Alpha Brava began racing on 29 March 1975, winning a maiden at Harold Park over 457 metres from box two.
Two weeks later, after breezing through the non-betting qualifying rounds, Alpha Brava contested a semi-final of the National Derby over 530 metres at Wentworth Park and won from box eight. He was narrowly beaten into third place in the final after exiting box three.
His next two starts resulted in a third from box five at Harold Park and a fifth over 507 metres at Dapto from box four.
After again qualifying in non-betting heats for the Young Star Classic at Wentworth Park, Alpha Brava had his sixth start, from box six, and scored easily. He was scratched from the final due to a virus.
Five weeks later Alpha Brava resumed and won a heat of the Dave Alexander Memorial at Harold Park from box one.
Then, on 2 August, he exited box seven to win the Dave Alexander Memorial by five lengths.
Thus, from eight career starts, Alpha Brava had scored five wins, from boxes 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8, run two thirds, from boxes 3 and 5, and been unplaced once, from box 4.
Alpha Brava went on to an illustrious career, often coming from seemingly hopeless positions to win good races.
I know of no other greyhound of any prominence whose first eight race starts consisted of all eight possible box positions.