We’ve seen what Victoria and New South Wales have produced in the past twelve months, but there’s been plenty of talent displayed elsewhere too. Here’s a list of what was considered the pick of the crop from around the country…
The sunshine state continues to produce good greyhounds year in and year out and 2011 was no exception. The year started brilliantly with the phenomenal return of High Earner, while winning the National Sprint Championship and Brisbane Cup on home soil would be the highlights.
WINNER – High Earner – Achieved what so many previous stars couldn’t – took the long standing prizemoney record from Rapid Journey to become the highest earner of them all. The back-to-back Perth Cup win was something special after coming out of retirement, and then made the finals of the Australian Cup (2nd) and Golden Easter Egg.
Glen Gallon – This youngster only began his career in May, however still found the victory step 12 times in 2011. His Brisbane Cup win as a 10/1 shot was excellent considering the strength of the field. Is engaged to run in the Silver Chief final at the Meadows at time of writing, in an attempt to make it back-to-back Group 1’s.
Dashing Corsair – Dwyer Lennon’s iron dog retired after competing in a record third Nationals final in September. Had 14 wins in 2011 which included success in Perth and Sydney as well as at home.
He Knows Uno – Had 12 wins for the year and kept crowds excited with his barnstorming racing style. Started the year in W.A but eventually travelled around competing in the highest grade. Ran second in the Golden Easter Egg and Winter Carnival Cup along with a fifth in the Topgun.
Iso Octane – Made the move from Victoria early in the year and became the dominant local sprinter. Had 13 wins for the year including a streak of eight in a row throughout June/July and took out the Winter Carnival Cup in the process.
It was a modest year for the croweaters in 2011. Having two Adelaide Cups due to a schedule change was fun, but the local crop of sprinters struggled and S.A was the only state without a Topgun Invitee. GRSA also announced a down play of staying races in years to come to focus on the popular short course racing.
WINNER – Kalden Mayhem – This dog really came of age in the second half of the year, taking out the Strathalbyn and Gawler Cups. Had a remarkable 19 wins for the year over a variety of distances and grades. With any luck, this bloke should have a big 2012.
Point Two Over – Was probably the leading sprinter for the year; however the FFA level sprinters in S.A are all fairly even. Point Two Over claimed the state sprint title amongst his 10 wins in 2011.
Stack ‘Em Flat – Can this chaser still be classed as South Australian? Sure – owned and bred by Bruce Lellman, he was really the only dog to find success interstate during 2011. Amassed an impressive 16 wins including victories at Sandown, The Meadows and Albion Park.
High grade races in W.A had been dominated by Pedrosa in recent memory, but this year there was a distinct rise in depth. The staying ranks were very competitive too, but there was only chaser making all the headlines.
WINNER – Miata – It took three starts for Australia to hear the name Miata, when she made the Cannington track record her own. That was just the beginning, as by year’s end she would not only break her own 530m mark twice, but hold the 642m record also. Her only interstate journey resulted in a second in the S.A Oaks, beaten by Mepunga Nicky who proved to be unstoppable in the Adelaide Cup. If trainer Paul Stuart continues going down the staying path with this bitch, we could have a national star very shortly.
Vocal Enforcer – Excellent year for Andrew McLaren’s chaser. Improved notably throughout the year and capped it off with a Group win via the All Stars Sprint. Had 18 wins in the past 12 months.
Pedrosa – Was not as dominant as times gone past, but still managed to win 9 times at FFA level for the year. Tragically, the ‘King of Cannington’ went amiss when competing in the Melbourne Cup series and would never be able to race again. Leaving a career record of 30 wins from 50 starts, he will be sorely missed.
What a great year it was for the Apple Isle, with track records and Groups victories being claimed on the mainland. Many complain about the lack of depth down in the southernmost state, however in 2011 there was talent on display at every turn.
WINNER – Damek – Has probably the best winning record of any current dog in the country, as his career tally stands at 43 wins from 57 starts, with 20 of those wins in 2011. Connections gave up on the interstate idea to focus on dominating the local racing scene, which he did with ease. Was crowned state sprint champ before picking up an injury before the national final. While his invincibility has faded late in 2011, he is probably the most dominant Tasmanian greyhound on home soil in the past decade. The only blight on a tremendous career is his lack of Group race glory.
Rewind – Had an exceptional year. An astonishing 22 wins went the way of Rewind in 2011, however it would have been the 23rd that connections would have wanted the most. He led for every inch of the Group 1 Hobart Thousand final except the last one, when beaten a nose by Dyna Tron earlier in December. His third in the Group 1 Maturity final at The Meadows proves he can do at home or away.
Clyde’s Angel – Consistent chaser who racked up 13 wins and made an Adelaide Cup and Hobart Thousand Final, as well a FFA win at Sandown.
I’m a Fencer – 15 wins and a still the Healesville track record holder.
St. Pierre – Won the Devonport Cup in January before sensationally winning the Australian Cup at the Meadows. Made the final of the Tweed Heads Galaxy before disappearing in the second half of the year.
So we must move forward to another year, where another 25,000 races await. That means a new batch of track records, photo finishes, large crowds, big dividends and much more fun in the world of greyhound racing. All participants and readers are wished are happy New Year and the best of luck in 2012.