The Australian prize money record and the Golden Easter Egg

OF THE last seven greyhounds who were either the Australian prize money record holders or went on to become such, only two (Miata- a stayer- and, strangely, Flying Amy) have not contested the Golden Easter Egg series. Of the other five, three have won the race, a fourth made the final twice, while the fifth failed to get past the heat stage.

At the time of the inaugural running of the Golden Easter Egg in 1990, the retired Queensland champion Dancing Gamble held the Australian prize money record, at $134,825. By way of comparison, when Ultra Sense annexed that first Golden Easter Egg the first prize money was a massive $80,000. So, in one race, Ultra Sense picked up the equivalent of just over 59 percent of what Dancing Gamble had earned during an entire illustrious career.

Dancing Gamble’s record was eclipsed in May 1990 by champion Western Australian bitch Sandi’s Me Mum, who would eventually retire with $272,831 to her name.

In 1991, the Golden Easter Egg would prove to be the race that saw Sandi’s Me Mum’s mark eclipsed, by the champion Victorian sprinter Highly Blessed. In winning the Egg final on 30 March that year, Highly Blessed took her overall prize money to about $273,000, courtesy of the $80,000 first prize. Highly Blessed went on to earn what was then a massive $294,565 in her career.

It is also the only time the Australian prize money record has been passed on the night of the Golden Easter Egg final itself.

Queensland superstar Flying Amy passed that mark in October 1995, but her owner-trainer Ron Ball never brought his star down to Wentworth Park for the Egg during her career. Flying Amy retired with $354,105 to her name.

In June 1996, Tenthill Doll went past Flying Amy’s prize money record, her task made easier by having collected $100,000 a couple of months earlier when she won the Easter Egg.

1998 will always be the year of Rapid Journey and in early April that year the great NSW sprinter won the Egg and added $100,000 to his growing bank balance. He finally eclipsed Tenthill Doll’s mark in November before finally retiring just over a month later after winning the Topgun and taking his earnings to an incredible $530,995. That tally would stand for a record 147 months.

The greyhound who went past it certainly made an impact on Egg history, but became the first to miss out on winning the race. The ill-fated High Earner lived up to his name on the racetrack, becoming the fifth Queensland greyhound to snare the prize money record when he went past Rapid Journey’s tally in February 2011. He eventually finished his career with $610,070 in the bank. In 2010 High Earner made the Egg final, but finished last behind Cosmic Rumble. He made it into the 2011 final, after passing the Australian record prize money tally in taking out The Temlee in February, but again failed to beat a runner home, tailing in behind Radley Bale. Sadly, High Earner died in May 2012, not long after being retired to stud.

Finally, Australia’s current highest prize money earner, Xylia Allen, was entered for the 2013 Egg but failed to advance beyond the heats, finishing sixth behind Crackerjack Lil.