Lords of the resurrection

Group 1 Melbourne Cup winner Lord Ducal.

IS it possible that a greyhound named Lord Regnar has just established a unique performance in Australian racing history? And is it possible that Lord Regnar has managed to displace Lord Ducal in achieving this feat?

The ‘regal’ duo have undoubtedly achieved a couple of feats which are extremely rare.

Lord Regnar (Collision x Nebbiolo Jul ’13) has certainly never set the racing world on fire but on August 15 he recorded only his fourth race victory in 76 starts, winning over 400m at Geelong for trainer Lori Courts.

What was significant about the win, and is possibly an Australian record, is that the victory came a massive 637 days after the last time Lord Regnar managed to pass the post in front. That was on November 17, 2015, over 410m at Horsham.

Between that victory, his third, and his fourth success, Lord Regnar was defeated 42 successive times.

Lord Regnar is hardly a complete duffer. He won his first race start, at Ballarat, and during his career, which at the time of writing is now 78 starts long, has managed 20 seconds and eight thirds as well as his four victories.

Lord Ducal (Bombastic Shiraz x Ducal Princess Apr ’07) was also a black dog. On November 26, 2009 Lord Ducal scored over 515m at Sandown Park. He then raced twice in Brisbane and was retired after running fifth at Albion Park on December 10.

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Trained by Jon Roberts, Lord Ducal returned to racing on May 26, 2011, contesting a 515m race at Sandown. From box two he led all the way to record a first-up victory, an amazing 546 days since he had last passed the post in first position and 532 days since his last race.

Lord Ducal contested a further five races after his triumphant return, winning what was the 34th and last start of his career on November 17, 2011, retiring with 11 wins, eight seconds and three thirds from what was, by any measure, an extremely unusual career.

Former Wentworth Park champion Turbo Top may have had a gap of around 370 days between victories. She won at Wentworth Park on February 21, 1985 and then, after whelping a litter of puppies to Tangaloa, returned to the track and won over 608m at Bulli on February 26, 1986.

As far as the longest gap between race starts is concerned, that record must surely belong to Consider It Done, which competed on October 4, 1994 and then came back an incredible 935 days later to run eighth over 290m at Dapto on July 17, 1997 at his 64th start.

Where’s Marcia (Barcia Bale x Where’s My Patch) was whelped in May 2013 and began her racing career on 1 May 2015, racing unsuccessfully four times before her last race on May 31 that year. After a break of 708 days, Where’s Marcia resumed racing on May 8 this year and scored a maiden victory over 315 metres at Traralgon. The sixth and, so far, last race of her career took place on May 31 this year.

No doubt there are other greyhounds who have had incredibly long breaks between race starts, although surpassing 935 and 708 days I would think is unlikely.

Equally, there will be other greyhounds who have had long breaks between victories, but the ‘aristocratic’ efforts of Lord Regnar and Lord Ducal must surely rank high on the ‘amazing’ list.

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