It was a race inaugurated by the GBOTA, who were then operating out of Harold Park, to compete with the very successful National Futurity, run by rival organisation, the NCA, at Wentworth Park. This year marks the 44th running of the Ladies Bracelet, the bitches-only event which has thrown up five NSW Greyhound of the Year winners: Shapely Escort (1971), Mandarin Girl (1976), Winifred Bale (1983), Camden’s Ghost (1986), and Jessica Casey (1991).
The first running took place on 15 May 1971. Champion sprinter Shapely Escort came from box eight to score by four lengths from Geeta and Tarpeena Tip, running a fast 26.5 in heavy rain. Shapely Escort went on to be named NSW Greyhound of the Year.
From 1971 to 1987 it was run over 457 metres (500 yards) on the grass at Harold Park, From 1988 to 1992 it was held over 520 metres on the grass at Wentworth Park. Since 1993 it has been run over 520 metres on the sand at Wentworth Park.
When Is The Race Run
The only major race on the Australian calendar that has always been held in the same month, in this case, May.
Biggest Winning Margins
In 1997 Oriana made full use of early trouble to score by a whopping 16 lengths from Frosty’s Title. In 2010 Cindeen Shelby won by nine and a half lengths. Mint Mojo won by six lengths in 2001.
Closest Winning Margins
The closest finish was in 2009 when Starfire Havoc beat Brislane by a nose. In 1977 Nimity Streak held out Donna’s Tosca by half a head with Hoolahan a nose away third; in 2008 Miss Beeslee defeated Queen Lauryn by half a head. Spider Web downed World Park Lass by a neck in 1990.
Most Successful Trainer/s
Don McMillan with four wins: Short County (1992; the last race held on the grass track at Wentworth Park), Nella Lucy (1999), Magenta Rose (2006), and Bralyn Maisie (2007).
Gold Spring (1979 and 1980).
Reserve/s To Win
None. Miss Porsca was first reserve in 2006 and ran third behind Magenta Rose. Xylia Allen was first reserve in 2013 and finished third to Lagoon Lowanna.
Shapely Escort (Won 1971, fourth 1972), Dynabolt (seventh 1972, second 1973), Mercia Bale (second 1978, third 1979), Gold Spring (Won 1979 & 1980), Dyna Lace (second 1984, unplaced 1985), Camden’s Ghost (Won 1986, second 1987), Gembuka (third 1994 & 1995), Franklin Mint (sixth 1995, eighth 1996), Lucy Lawless (Won 1998, second 1999), Flash Of Light (fourth 2009 & 2010).
Some Beaten Stars
Top Saba (fifth 1971), Petite Panther (seventh 1971), Kim’s Monaro (third 1974), Classy Spider (seventh 1990), Mancunian Girl (eighth 1994), Midnight Flirt (second 1996), Kedo’s Millie (seventh 1997), Byrneville Kara (fourth 1998), Hotshow Vintage (second 2000), Flash Joan (fourth 2000), Jinderra Flame (second 2007), Queen Lauryn (second 2008), One Tree Hill (fourth 2008), Dana Beatrice (seventh 2010), Xylia Allen (third 2013).
Before the current version of the Ladies Bracelet, there was a race with exactly the same name conducted by the National Coursing Association over 580 yards (530 metres) at Wentworth Park in the late 1950s. A greyhound named Calorie won the 1959 running (held in July), which might have been the inaugural event. How long the NCA continued with a Ladies Bracelet I don’t know, though I suspect it was supplanted in favour of the National Futurity, which started in 1964.
One of the Wheeler family’s foundation bitches, Gail’s Beauty, had a profound influence until the early 1990s. Maybe Now (1974) and Amy’s Doll (1993) both had Gail’s Beauty in their sire line, while Smooth Spectre (1978), Winifred Bale (1983) and Silvertail Miss (1985) had her appearing in their dam line. Judo Art, the 1981 winner, had Gail’s Beauty in both her sire and dam line.
In 2006, both reserves gained a start in the final. To the best of my knowledge I think this is the only time a major race final has had both reserves take their place in the field. Miss Porsca wore the number 9 rug to take third place, replacing Molli Tears in box 3; Sweet Hand wore the number 10 rug to replace Smart Assassin in box 2.
Have to feel some sympathy for the connections of Navada Sunrise. She was first reserve in 2009, and not required; in 2010 she made the final, but was a late scratching.