As 2010 fades into the archives and speculation begins as to which greyhound stars will be crowned Greyhound of the Year in their various states, one certainty for a ‘regional’ title is the Rockhampton star One Stone (Lindale Blue x Flying Kokomo).
The Jason Feeney-trained white and brindle dog was anointed 2009 Rockhampton Greyhound of the Year but he will certainly make it two titles in a row because 2010 has been even better.
Whelped in November 2006, the four-year-old probably set a new record for the most number of victories at Callaghan Park, the Rockhampton track where greyhound racing has been conducted since May 1982.
When One Stone scored over 407 metres on 13 November, he completed his 31st win at Rockhampton, going past the previous mark of 30 set by Moth Eaten Tweed. He has since won a further two races at the course (to 22 December) to give him 33 wins from 64 outings at Rockhampton.
One Stone is owned by 13 Australian Army reservists and his novice trainer, Jason Feeney, is one of them. The smart sprinter also has his own Facebook page where it is recorded his favourite food is roast chicken and his best mates are a cat named Rastus and a fellow racing greyhound named Andy (Serious Heart).
In 2009, when One Stone annexed the Rockhampton Greyhound of the Year title, he raced 28 times at the course for 16 wins, two seconds and one third. In 2010, One Stone collected 17 wins (including seven in a row), seven seconds and one third from 30 starts.
His favourite distance is clearly 407 metres where he has collected 30 wins and 10 placings in 53 efforts; over 510 metres One Stone has three wins and four seconds in 11 attempts. He was beaten at his first six starts, all in 2008 and all at Rockhampton under a different trainer, before beginning his rise to the top with his first win at his first start for 2009.
Yes, he is a one-trick pony. One Stone has raced three times at Mackay for a third and two fifths and once at Albion Park where he also finished fifth.
Sophocles, with 57 wins at Mount Isa, probably holds the record for the most number of wins at a single circuit. Others with great single-course successes include the likes of Another Wheeler, 50 wins at Bundaberg; Saltwater Pete, 49 wins at Townsville; Minnie Flyer, 46 wins at Mackay; Heads Together, 45 wins at Cairns; Owey, 36 wins at Townsville; Lonely Drifter 34 wins at Capalaba; Kel’s Ideal, 33 wins at Capalaba; Winged Runner, 31 wins at Albion Park; and Henry’s Folly, 31 wins at Ipswich.
Notice all of the above are Queensland greyhounds. The tyranny of distance and the relatively small pool available in each location are probably key factors in allowing one greyhound to truly dominate a particular course. No matter, it still takes a remarkable greyhound in terms of sheer longevity and keenness to be able to score so many victories at one circuit.
It’s also a testament to the joy and pleasure greyhounds can give so many unsung stalwarts of the industry. One Stone has earned just $12,670 in prize money, hardly a king’s ransom, but I doubt if the 13 reservist soldiers involved in the partnership could give a hoot. Long may he run.