Sensational middle distance performer Hailstorm Billy broke the Warrnambool track record over 650 metres last Thursday night.
The son of Westmead Hawk has always shown enormous ability, especially over the middle distances, so it came as no surprise to see him register new figures for the Warrnambool 650 metre journey, recording a cracking 37.12 seconds.
Exiting from box two, the Angela Langton trained chaser began only fairly, before punching up on the rail into second place as the field raced through the catching pen.
Stalking early leader Smart Maxwell, Hailstorm Billy began to really put the big strides coming off the back straight, and soon after raced to the front. Despite having strong chasers in Sisco Rage and Lethal Three pursuing him, Hailstorm Billy never looked like being overhauled in the final stages and went on to win by 2 ½ lengths from Sisco Rage, with a head back to third placegetter Lethal Three. The time of 37.12 seconds eclipsed the previous mark of 37.20 seconds held by Red Hot Andy, recorded in May 2011.
The victory by Hailstorm Billy was his 12th from 46 starts and took his stakes earnings over $81,000.
Hailstorm Billy has always displayed the talent to be worthy of track record status. Some of his personal best times across Victoria are absolutely first class, having run 29.35 seconds at Sandown over the sprint course, whilst over the 595 metres he has recorded a super 34.25 seconds. Some of this other PB’s include a 30.88 second run at Ballarat over the 545 metres and a stunning 34.47 seconds for the 600 metres at The Meadows.
Hailstorm Billy’s breeding is also noteworthy, as he is by UK Sire Westmead Hawk out of Shelby Shiraz (Bombastic Shiraz-Proper Shelby).
Shelby Shiraz was lightly raced, having only started on 22 occasions, recording 8 victories. She won at Wentworth Park in 30.22 seconds and at The Meadows in 30.07 seconds, but most notably is a full litter sister to champion Cindeen Shelby.
Cindeen Shelby was the best race bitch of her era, with victories in the 2009 Australian Cup and 2009 Paws Of Thunder, retiring with stake earnings in excess of $440,000.
The elusive ability to “throw on” has once again proved it’s not always the best performed chaser on the track who succeeds in the breeding barn however. Certainly Shelby Shiraz has more than held her own against her highly rated litter sister Cindeen Shelby when the success of their progeny is compared.
Further, Hailstorm Billy was not the only star of the litter either, as his litter brother Set Sail South also had a superb race record until he unfortunately broke his hock in the final of the Sydney Cup last October.
As far as Hailstorm Billy is concerned, this was his first test at anything beyond 600 metres, and he returned a track record. You get the feeling he is on the cusp of bursting in to the Metropolitan staying ranks with perhaps a Group race victory not beyond him.