On 9 June in a lowly maiden event run over 520 metres at Sale, a black speedster having only his second start in a race absolutely blew the opposition away in scoring by the very precise margin of 32.81 lengths. The question was soon being asked: is this some kind of record winning margin?
Mr. Wow (Bekim Bale x Sweet Stephi), trained by Des Dooley, exited box eight at a rate of knots and was soon a long way in front. He was aided by trouble in the chasing pack, but almost certainly would still have won by a huge margin.
Given the relatively poor long-term record keeping across the sport, there is no definitive answer as to whether this is officially the widest winning margin of all time. I am aware of two races where the margin is indeed greater.
The first of these took place in a race over 550 yards (503 metres) at Young in August 1957. A greyhound named Sky Jet was opposed by just one other runner in a heat of the Harold Park Classic (now the Vic Peters Memorial Classic). In those days, greyhounds would qualify at various GBOTA-controlled venues and be drawn into the semi-finals later run at Harold Park. Sky Jet demoralized his opponent, winning by an official 35 lengths and running 29.9, a new track record. That time was recognized as the new standard, since the rule requiring a minimum of four starters in a race to constitute a track record had yet to be made.
Three decades later and the up-and-coming stayer Shady City contested a 722-metres race at Richmond on 16 January 1987. The Bob Littlefield-trained brindle bitch was having only her ninth race start, and first over a distance beyond 620 metres. Shady City made light work of her opposition as she careered away to win by 35 lengths, running 42.88 to set a new track record.
A week later she won again at Richmond, but this time only by 15 lengths to take her career record to five wins from 10 starts. The closest any runner had come to her in those five victories was nine lengths. When Shady City won a race, she made sure to really win it. Of course Shady City became famous for her match race with the great Bold Trease at Harold Park in June 1987. She defeated an underdone Bold Trease by three lengths in that event.
I would hazard a guess that Mr Wow’s 32.81 lengths winning margin is probably the record for a maiden win at a TAB-class meeting. The closest maiden wins I am aware of to this margin are those of Spoken Joe, who won his maiden at Moss Vale (non-TAB) in September 1997 by 27 lengths; Mask Of Galaxy, who scored a maiden win at Traralgon in December 2005 by 23.75 lengths, and Mr Wow’s sire Bekim Bale, who won a maiden at Sandown in November 2011 by 21.75 lengths.
Mr. Wow’s 32.81 Length Win
Video Courtesy Of GRV