Next Saturday night at Wentworth Park the mighty El Galo lines up in the final of the Group 2 Over Flo at Stud Bob Payne Winter Stake over 530 metres. If he wins the final El Galo will become the nation’s highest stake winning greyhound, overtaking Rapid Journey’s record.
After winning his heat last week El Galo’s stake money rose to $515, 745, which is $15,250 short of Rapid Journey’s mark. A win and the $25,000 first prize will give El Galo the title and the accolades for doing so.
Both Rapid Journey and El Galo have outstanding records. Rapid Journey started 58 times for 37 wins, 6 seconds and 5 thirds with a best winning time at Wentworth Park of 29.78. El Galo has started 71 times for 45 wins, 13 seconds and 5 thirds, while his best at Wentworth Park is a sizzling 29.60 comparing favourably with Queen Lauryn’s track record of 29.44.
El Galo, owned in Victoria by Seona Hood and trained by her partner Jason Thompson, is a Where’s Pedro x Roxy Reason blue dog whelped in November 2005. He started racing in Queensland on August 20, 2007 winning a maiden heat at Albion Park over 520 metres by 8 ½ lengths in 30.30.
Nearly two years and 72 starts later El Galo will contest one of his many Group finals for a chance to write his name in the record book.
El Galo won his heat in 30.07 but his first split of 5.40 was the best. However, on Saturday the champ won’t have it all his own way with heat winners Dentax Bale, Cool Flight and Foxhill Bella offering stiff opposition.
Dentax Bale, owned by Australia’s biggest greyhound owner Paul Wheeler and trained by his son Brendan is a very promising youngster, with 12 wins from 18. The experienced Wentworth Park performer Cool Flight, part owned and trained by Syd Swain has won 18 from 50 (13 from 34 at Wentworth Park, best 29.79).
Foxhill Bella is trained by Denice Warren, who is a member of the renowned Day harness racing family, her late father Frank having trained Friendly Footman to win the 1981 Miracle Mile at Harold Park, with Kevin Newman the driver. The year after Denice’s brother Michael trained and drove Gundary Flyer to also win Harold Park’s most prestigious event. Another brother Neil is also a very successful harness racing trainer driver.
Foxhill Bella’s career has been interrupted by injury and the greyhound has started just 15 times for 8 wins and was the only greyhound to break 30 seconds in the heats, running a sizzling 29.79 with a first section of 5.41 only marginally slower that El Galo’s. Warren said her talented bitch pulled up very well after the heat and added that she is looking forward to the clash with El Galo.
“It is a rare opportunity to have a chance to promote greyhound racing in such circumstances, with El Galo shooting for the record and being such an exciting racer with enormous public support,” explained Jeff Browne, GBOTA Deputy Executive Officer.
“I am sure there will be a big and enthusiastic crowd present on Saturday for a mighty contest and a chance to see if El Galo can be successful and write his name in the record books,” Browne added.
Gates open on Saturday at 5.30 pm; admission is $5.50 adults with children under 18 accompanied by an adult free. The first race is at 7.27 pm.