Background to the Vic Peters Classic

The Vic Peters Classic was once the most sought-after restricted-age trophy in the country and at one stage supplanted the Hobart Thousand as the richest in the country. It remains a prized scalp for any trophy cabinet with the winner joining some of the great greyhounds to have competed in the nation.

Inaugural running

The first event, simple called the Harold Park Classic, took place on 26 September 1951. Run over 500 yards (457 metres) on the spacious one-turn grass circuit at Harold Park, the event was the second-richest in the country, worth £1,000 ($2,000) to the winner, second only to the Hobart Thousand which had seen its first prize jump to £1,200 for 1951. One of Australia’s greatest ever trainers, Stan Cleverley, took out the race with Sharid, who downed Brilliant Sign by a length and a half with Yathong Chief third. The brilliant bitch ran a fast 26.8 and had been considered a certainty beaten earlier in the year when knocked down at a crucial stage in finishing eighth in the Hobart Thousand.

Names

The race was known simply as the Harold Park Classic between 1951 and 1961. In 1962 it was renamed the Vic Peters Memorial Classic to honour he passing of the GBOTA Secretary Vic Peters. It has been called the Vic Peters Classic since 2001.

Distances

From 1951 to 1986 it was run over 457 metres (500 yards) on the grass surface at Harold Park. From 1987 to 1992 it was held over 520 metres on grass at Wentworth Park. Since 1993 it has been run over 520 metres on the loam surface.

When Is The Race Run

The first few events after 1951 took place in late September and into October. Since 1959 the final has been held in either October or early to mid November.

Reserve Winners

Tegimi in 1978 and Ashby Bale in 2007.

Biggest Winning Margins

This race has possibly produced more big margin winners than most others around the nation. Bobniak (1997) holds the sway having won by eight and three-quarter lengths, followed by Placid Boy (1995) who won by eight lengths, Ashby Bale (2007) seven and three-quarter lengths, Collision (2003) and Isadoll (2010) both won by seven and a quarter lengths, Pine Top (1961) by seven lengths, Nitro Burst (2008) six and a half lengths, Belfast Johnny (2013) six and a quarter lengths, Worth Doing (1988) six lengths and Black Top (1962), Tegimi (1978), Brother Fox (1984) and Leon Mal (1993) all crossed the line five lengths clear of their nearest rivals.

Closest Winning Margins

A dead-heat is the absolute closest you can ever go in a race and in 1963 Seraphino and Test Pattern couldn’t be separated by the photo finish camera. In 1990 McVella and in 2004 Cheeky Renegade both scored by a nose while 1979 victor Scott Of Minmi won by a short head and 1970 winner Shapely Escort won by half a head.

Most Successful Trainer/s

Stan Cleverley leads with three, having trained inaugural victor Sharid (1951), Montana Jet in 1958 and Milimsimbi in 1969 while Andrea Dailly has scored with Cromlah Bale (2006) and Ashby Bale (2007).

Some Beaten Stars

Rhombo (third 1953), Sunview (fifth 1956), Take A Bow (second 1962), Miss Warcroft (third 1963), Zoom Top (fifth 1968), Silent Retreat (second 1969), Plunder Road (third 1969), Pied Rebel (fourth 1969), Size Seven (second 1970), Shane’s Monaro (fifth 1971), Benny McGrath (fourth 1972), Busy’s Chief (seventh 1974), Call Me Hobbs (fifth 1976), Emiline Bale (third 1977), Glider’s Son (eighth 1980), Winifred Bale (third 1982), The Ringer (second 1983), Holstein Boy (second 1985), Tutanekai Lad (second 1986), Tallest Peer (second 1991), Iago (second 1992), Keon Star (second 1994), Zazziam (sixth 1994), Tranquil Flyer (second 1996), Roanokee (fifth 1996), Token Prince (sixth 1997), Faithful Hawk (second 1998), Questions (third 1998), Dalalla (seventh 1998), Stately Bird (second 1999), Pearl Larricki (fourth 2000), Kippax (sixth 2000), Dancing Habit (fourth 2003), Eiffella (fourth 2004), Lukeamy (fifth 2004), One Tree Hill (sixth 2006), Talk’s Cheap (third 2007), Snozz (second 2008), Pedrosa (second 2009), Renegade Chief (third 2012),

Tidbits

It became the richest race in the country in 1954 when the first prize was raised to £1,500 ($3,000), holding the crown to 1957 when it was worth £1,900 ($3,800). It may have held the richest race title into 1958 as well, but I don’t have reliable proof of this. It was certainly the richest age-restricted event in the country between 1951 and 1962.

The race has been good for maiden gallopers with 50/1 ($51.00) chance Bongearon taking the 1964 version, future top-liner Kim’s Monaro winning in 1973 and Scott Of Minmi taking out the 1979 running.

Black Top equalled the-then track and world record time for 500 yards (457 metres) when he won the 1962 Classic in 26.4, joining his sire Top Linen at the top of the speed tree.

1970 winner Shapely Escort went on to become the 1971 NSW Greyhound of the Year while 1988 winner Worth Doing was controversially crowned with that prestigious title in 1989. Bobniak became the first to be crowned NSW Greyhound of the Year in the same year he won the award, in 1997. Go Wild Teddy achieved the same feat, in 2000.

Brother Fox became the fastest greyhound over 457 metres in the world when he annexed the 1984 Classic in a sensational 25.82, breaking the track record held by Satan’s Legend by 13/100ths.

Previous Winners

1951 Sharid
1952 Happy Kay
1953 Cola Minda
1954 Dasher’s Bow
1955 Knight Ruler
1956 Smooth Event
1957 Cantee (V)
1958 Montana Jet
1959 Festival Time
1960 Rocket Mac
1961 Pine Top (V)
1962 Black Top
1963 Seraphino/Test Pattern
1964 Bongearon
1965 Daily Tide
1966 African Ballet
1967 Mr Spot
1968 Sammie Sparrow
1969 Milimsimbi
1970 Shapely Escort
1971 Real Words (V)
1972 Woolley Wilson
1973 Kim’s Monaro
1974 Cell Block
1975 Alpha Brava
1976 Black Derby
1977 Rocket Monaro
1978 Tegimi (V)
1979 Scott Of Minmi
1980 Bavarian Aztec
1981 Gleefullee
1982 King Seagull
1983 Inch Time
1984 Brother Fox
1985 Daisy Doll
1986 Spanish Dance
1987 Alice Irene
1988 Worth Doing
1989 Alyssa Belle
1990 McVella
1991 Alastic Rebel
1992 Sparkling Spirit
1993 Leon Mal
1994 Barney Blue
1995 Placid Boy
1996 Tricky Wind
1997 Bobniak
1998 Bigbad Luther
1999 Flash Joan
2000 Go Wild Teddy
2001 Toll Security
2002 Long Stitch
2003 Collision
2004 Cheeky Renegade
2005 Watch The Web
2006 Cromlah Bale (V)
2007 Ashby Bale (V)
2008 Nitro Burst (V)
2009 Dancing Surf
2010 Isadoll
2011 Spring Gun
2012 Proven Nitro (V)
2013 Belfast Johnny