Over 25,000 races across 2000 meetings have taken place in 2011. It was a year where locals across the land struggled to win big races at home. Victoria lost the Australian Cup to Tassie, but took revenge by again claiming the Adelaide Cup and stealing the Hobart Thousand in a thriller. Sydney trainers couldn’t find a way to claim the Golden Easter Egg riches, while the Perth Cup went all the way to the sunshine state.
So who can lay claim to being each state’s best performed greyhound? Doing comparisons is always such a subjective thing, so it seemed worthwhile making a shortlist of those in contention, while still picking a stand-out. For those that find a glaring omission or two; remember that in the end, opinions are just that – opinions.
New South Wales
New South Wales had another strong year, with multiple greyhounds tasting big race success in 2011. The usual suspects of Lutiger, Azzopardi, Mackay etc. all had strong kennels which made the racing as keenly contested as ever.
WINNER – Fancy Dean – Winner of 22 events in the past year, with the clear majority being at Wentworth Park. He competed in three group two finals throughout the year, being Richmond, Maitland and Bulli Cups as well as the Group 1 Paws of Thunder.
Prince Diablo – Winner of 15 races including victory in the Canberra Cup. Was another dog that consistently found success in the top grade, earning a place in the invitation-only Topgun event. Was also runner-up behind Bogie King in the national Derby final at The Gardens.
Noble Pedro – Made the headlines with a record run of 29.43 in the Christmas Gift at Wentworth Park. Won a total 15 races throughout the past 12 months.
Spring Gun – Was an excellent winner of the Vic Peters Classic beating an in-form Mepunga Nicky. Showed dazzling early speed at times to win 17 for the year. Made an appearance in the Group 1 Brisbane Cup final too behind Glen Gallon.
Zipping Lad – Jason Mackay’s chaser emerged as the premier stayer in N.S.W and transferred that form to Victoria late in the year. Went very close in the Sale Cup and should have an even better 2012 with any luck.
It quickly became ‘Year of the Wheeler’ in the sports’ premier state as the prominent family took all before them in 2011. Victoria claimed the two richest races in the country as well as feature events in Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. Both metropolitan tracks had sprint and distance records broken in a year to remember for the garden state.
WINNER – Dyna Tron – Amassed a staggering 25 wins in the 52 weeks, and became the premier sprinter from November onwards. Won the Geelong Cup before taking the Wheeler-dominated Mebourne Cup in a great performance. Contested the Brisbane Cup final before clinching a heart-stopping Hobart Thousand final after copping a decent check in the run. Add the W.A Derby win from earlier in the year, and Dyna Tron stakes his claim as Australia’s most successful greyhound of 2011.
Radley Bale – He has been a tremendous dog for a long time now. Blew away the best dogs in the land in the quarter-million dollar Golden Easter Egg but couldn’t land another huge blow. Made the finals of the Adelaide, Warragul and Traralgon Cups without winning as well as a game second to Allen Harper in the Topgun. In total, he won 20 races for the year however.
Bobby Boucheau – Was the dominant stayer for the first half of the year, with the highlight being the record-breaking run to easily land the Sandown Cup. Bobby then took that form to Brisbane for victory in the Albion Park Gold Cup to add to his other Group 1 prize, The Meadows Superstayers event.
Shereen Bale – Arguably the best female sprinter in Victoria after claiming the Group 1 Maturity Classic. Made three other group finals in amongst 13 wins for 2011.
Mepunga Nicky – Got crowds excited with some amazing first sectionals, namely her 4.28 in the Adelaide Cup series which she won after success over Miata in the S.A Oaks a few weeks earlier. Ran second to Shereen Bale in the Maturity as well as a game effort in the Vic Peters behind Spring Gun. She just lost her mojo late in the year, but that shouldn’t dampen a very good year for the Robert Britton chaser.
That takes care of the star players from two main states, but for all the movers and shakers from the rest of Australia take a look at part two…