This Week In Greyhound Racing History: 26th November – 2nd December

26th NOVEMBER

Champion sprinter Rapid Journey began better than expected from box six and scored a scintillating three-lengths victory in the 1998 Melbourne Cup, downing Billy Cruise and Cerin Bale.

27th NOVEMBER

Farloc became the fastest greyhound in the world over 500 yards (457 metres) in 1954 when he ran in an exhibition at Harold Park and clocked 26.3, a time which was 2/10ths faster than the track and world record held jointly by China Lady, Macareena, and Plunkett’s Pride. The exhibition only came about because of an oversight in Farloc’s papers caused him to be a late scratching from the Harold Park Stake (1st Grade). The exhibition was not classified as a new track record.

Tasmanian star Fallen Zorro won the 2008 Carnival Cup over 715 metres at Sandown Park for trainer Shane Whitney. In a rare occurrence for a Victorian distance event, all three placegetters were interstate raiders: second was Princess Bale (originally from NSW) with Risk It, from South Australia, third.

28th NOVEMBER

In 1953 the GBOTA first introduced the Invitation Stake, run over 500 yards (457 metres) at Harold Park. It was the first race in Australia to award prize money to every starter, irrespective of finishing position. Total prize money for this first race was £170 ($340) and was distributed with £90 for the winner, £25 for second, £15 for third and £10 for all unplaced runners. The first field consisted of Arnfinn, Chief Putty, Cola Minda, Rua Lad, Sashweight, Silver Agricola, and Valiant Ross. Cola Minda (winner of the Harold Park Classic in September) won the race by half a length from Rua Lad with Arnfinn third.

29th NOVEMBER

The 1939 Melbourne Cup, run up the straight at Napier Park, initially resulted in a dead-heat between Sir Pontiac and John Beach with Mine’s A Pot only a head away third. A run-off took place and Sir Pontiac finished too strongly for John Beach to snare the £175 ($350) first prize money by a head.

30th NOVEMBER

Prince Kerdieil defeated Ballerina Queen by just over two lengths in a match race run over 500 yards (457 metres) at Wollongong in 1959. Prince Kerdieil won in 28.2 which was 3/10ths outside Ballerina Queen’s track record. The victory was his 15th, with 11 placings, from just 31 starts. He had won the 1959 Lord Mayor’s Cup at Wentworth Park and finished third in the NSW Country Championship.

1st DECEMBER

The second greyhound track to open in Sydney had its grand opening at Mascot in 1927. Races were conducted over 440 yards (402 metres) and 600 yards (548 metres).

Having just his third start in a race, Allocate kept his unbeaten record intact as he scored a decisive six lengths win in the 1973 Summer Cup, run over 732 metres at Harold Park. Exiting box one he downed Noble Mogul with kennelmate Corcoran just a half length away third.

Ralph The Mouth registered one of the most emphatic victories ever seen in the Hobart Thousand when he downed Awesome Torque by almost 10 lengths in 2005. The Leigh Wood-trained sprinter ran 25.60, a new race record.

2nd DECEMBER

Dynabolt registered a brilliant four and a half length win in the 1972 Summer Cup final, run over 800 yards (732 metres) at Harold Park, defeating a star-studded lineup which included Victorian’s Bandwagon John (second) and Lizrene (sixth). The fawn bitch ran a fast 43.1, just 1/10th outside the race record.

Whisky Assassin blitzed the 2004 Topgun field to win by nine lengths from Regal Ricky with Kobble Rock third. Whisky Assassin set a new track record for the 515 metres at Sandown, running 29.40. This clipped 9/100ths off Paua To Burn’s previous mark, which had only been established 35 days earlier. Paua To Burn was among the unplaced division. It was the last occasion the Topgun was run in December.