This Week In Greyhound Racing History: 17th December – 23rd December

17th DECEMBER

NSW stayer Chief Zephyr won the 1959 Interstate Challenge, run over 785 yards (718 metres) at Sandown Park, by eight lengths from Boodler in 44.0, a new track record.

The Stan Cleverley-trained Benjamin John took out the 1969 Farrell’s Dog Food Trophy over 675 yards (617 metres) at Bulli running a fast 36.2 to set a new race record.

Trainer Graeme Bate became the first to prepare first, second, and third across the line in the Hobart Thousand when his charges Mirren Bale, Shelton Bale, and Bazooka Bale ran 1-2-3 in the 1998 final. Mirren Bale ran 25.82 for the 457 metres to equal the race record set four years earlier.

18th DECEMBER

Queensland champion Bogie Leigh scored by five and a half lengths in the 2003 Brisbane Cup final for trainer Tony Brett and earning $40,000 first prize money.

Little Spaniard downed kennelmate Topline Doovee by two lengths to give trainer Mick Springer the quinella in the 2008 Hobart Thousand final. Up north, Victorian speedster El Galo downed Trew Millions to take out the Brisbane Cup. El Galo had finished at the tail of the field in the previous year’s final.

19th DECEMBER

The main race of the evening, the 1936 Christmas Stake, run over 440 yards (402 metres) at Harold Park, was won by Peak Hill. On the same evening the track record for the 660 yards (603 metres) hurdles was broken by Not So Hot who ran 41.3 to clip 3/10ths off the previous mark. Flying Innis equalled King Cinbon’s 440 yards track record of 24.3 when he won the Harold Park Stake (First Grade).

20th DECEMBER

Elle’s Commando became the first Tasmanian to take out the Christmas Gift, run over 520 metres at Wentworth Park. Trained by NSW mentor Don McMillan, Elle’s Commando defeated the smart Victorian World Title in the 1997 running. Seventh home was Rapid Journey, ahead of Queensland speedster Nujooloo.

The 2008 Christmas Gift at Wentworth Park was reduced to just four starters and was taken out by Miss Elly Mint who scored by only three-quarters of a length from Wonderous with Nimbastic a similar margin away third.

21st DECEMBER

The great Zoom Top won the 1968 NSW St Leger at Wentworth Park, running a race record 31.0 for the 580 yards (530 metres) and downing Sandy Shane and Benjamin John.

Miss High Lo capped a sensational year by taking out the final of the 1974 Stayers’ Christmas Gift, run over 732 metres at Harold Park, downing Gaytilla by five lengths in a fast 43.03.

22nd DECEMBER

Early Copy took out the 1973 Sprinters’ Christmas Gift over 457 metres at Harold Park by seven lengths from Classic Wonder and Thunder’s Pride, running a brilliant 26.21. Queensland champion Top Simbi was sixth, while Kim’s Monaro fell.

Tasmanian stayer Helena’s Legend took out the 1994 West End Draught Distance Championship over 731 metres at Angle Park from Toli Gold.

Hotshot scored by three-quarters of a length from Proven Reward with Fraud third in the 1997 Silver Chief Classic final at Sandown Park.

23rd DECEMBER

Domitian took out the 1944 Melbourne Cup from Lucky Mane, run over 400 yards (366 metres) at the Napier Park circuit. Despite the Second World War, the race had continued, only missing being run in 1942 in the darkest days of the conflict.

One-turn specialist The Shoe broke his own track and world record for 500 yards (457 metres), when he blitzed a field at Harold Park to score in 26.0 in 1967, clipping 2/10ths from the record he had established a few months earlier. His record would stand until 1978.