This Week In Greyhound Racing History: 3rd December – 9th December

3rd DECEMBER

In what proved to be a roughly run Topgun, the 1999 version was taken out by the NSW sprinter Mint Magic, trained by Ray Watson. Run over 518 metres at the Meadows, the Topgun was run on a Friday night and had two overseas competitors, both from Ireland. It was also the first time the race had been granted Group One status. Mint Magic scored by 10 lengths from the Irish entrant Sweeping Storm, with Kantarn Bale third. Daydream Believer, also from Ireland, fell in the trouble at the first bend.

On the same night, Lynishia Star broke the 600 metres track record at the Meadows, running 34.24 to eclipse Poetic Reward’s previous mark by 8/100ths.

Mozilla came from box five to win the 2005 Potential Stakes, run over 520 metres at Wentworth Park, defeating Jayell and Ficelle D’Or in a good 30.13, just 3/100ths outside the race record.

4th DECEMBER

Victorian all-distance bitch Mandarin Girl annexed the 1976 Summer Cup, run over 732 metres at Harold Park. The Reg Darvill-trained greyhound scored by a neck from Megan’s Rebel with Cabanossi third. She earned $6,000 for the victory and would later be crowned NSW Greyhound of the Year.

Duel Lively upset the more fancied Ringside Fire and Tonight’s Wish to take out the 1997 Bookmaker’s Trophy (now the Carnival Cup) over 715 metres at Sandown Park.

Victorian sprinter Nobody Knew took out the 2003 final of the Hobart Thousand, scoring by five lengths from local hope Bubalo. The win was worth $40,000.

5th DECEMBER

Waiwera Marika became the first New Zealander to win the NSW St Leger (now the Paws of Thunder) when she scored by three-quarters of a length from Dylan in the 1998 version. She was trained in Australia by Harry Hampson.

Lindale Blue, only the second West Australian to represent the state in the Topgun to that time took out the 2002 version, run at Sandown Park. Lindale Blue downed Excite Ability by four lengths and ran 29.76, a new race record.

6th DECEMBER

Glorious Ninth won the 1947 Sprint Championship over 500 yards (457 metres) at Harold Park. The race held significance for the run of Chief Havoc who finished sixth, beaten five and a half lengths. It was Chief Havoc’s second unplaced run (and last) of his career and the only time he would finish out of the placings in nine city starts.

7th DECEMBER

Zoom Top became the first and only greyhound to ever make a clean sweep of the four major distance races held in Sydney when she took out the 1968 Summer Cup over 800 yards at Harold Park. The Fawn Flash downed her litter sister and kennelmate Busy’s Charm by three lengths. Bunyip Bint, who had broken the 14-year-old track record the previous week in the semi-finals finished down the course.

A triple dead-heat for first in a photo-finish took place over 558 metres at the Gabba in 1972. The numbers 4 (Dino’s Chance), 6 (Sir Mullaway), and 8 (Black Karo) went into the frame as the joint winners. Sir Mullaway had won on the opening night of the Gabba track earlier the same year.

The 2000 Topgun became the last to feature representatives from England, Ireland, or the United States. The event was run at Sandown and taken out by Placard from NSW who downed the English contestant Droopy’s Zola by almost five lengths. Winged Runner, from Queensland, was third, while American entrant Gentle Memory was last.

8th DECEMBER

The 1979 Sun Toy Fund Cup, an annual best-eight event held to support a charity run by The Sun newspaper, was taken out by the classy Mercia Bale. She defeated Gini’s Choice by four lengths with Jodarlene third.

9th DECEMBER

On a fast night of racing, the semi-finals of the 1972 NSW St Leger (now the Paws of Thunder) saw the five-year-old 580 yards (530 metres) track record equalled and then broken. Likely Light ran 30.8 to equal Roman Earl’s track mark, set in March 1967. That was the second time she had equalled the record, which had also been matched by six other greyhounds over the years. Later that night, Benny McGrath flew out of box one to score by 12 lengths in his St Leger semi-final and run 30.7 to set a new track record.