THE Adelaide Cup has been one of Australia’s most prestigious events since Angle Park commenced racing but it is a Queensland sprinter who arguably almost made the race his own at the start of the Group classification era.
Jurassic Vapour (Bogenfel x Black Vapour Jun ’92) made the final of three consecutive Adelaide Cups, and I believe is the only greyhound to have achieved that feat in a group 1 sprint event.
In 1995, Jurassic Vapour finished a well-beaten third behind NSW sprinter Forest Fin, but in 1996 he won the Adelaide Cup by four lengths in a brilliant display while in 1996 he had to overcome a no-race and a re-run to make his third final, but the old warrior rose to the occasion and again finished third.
Trained by John Keep, Jurassic Vapour started his career on October 9, 1993 with an 11-lengths victory in a maiden over 512m at Ipswich. It was a brilliant start for a 16-month-old. After a third and then a five-length win at Casino, Jurassic Vapour did not race again until March 1994 when he finished third in his first start at Wentworth Park, a track at which he never managed to really showcase his talents.
He made his first major race final in May 1994 when a nine lengths second to the sensational Flying Amy in a heat of the Queensland Puppy Classic (now the Flying Amy Classic) over 520m at Albion Park. He could only run fifth behind Flying Amy in the final.
Three successive wins followed, two at Albion Park and the last at Ipswich in a heat of the Ipswich Derby, over 520m. Jurassic Vapour ran fourth behind Grey Intent in the August 6 final.
Jurassic Vapour then won a heat of the Queensland Derby by 12 lengths before collecting the $12,000 cheque for winning the final, this time by five lengths in a race record 30.28.
After winning again at Albion Park, Jurassic Vapour was beaten at his next eight starts at Albion Park and Lawnton, running three seconds and three thirds including a second in the National Sprint Championship Queensland State Final (to Look Out Max).
He returned to his best with an eight-lengths win in the Casino Cup (best 8) on October 21 in a race record 27.32 for the 484m and then won a heat of the Gold Coast Derby before running second behind the smart Toss The Teddy in the final.
Taken to Sandown Park for the Melbourne Cup series, Jurassic Vapour ran second in his heat behind Glen Dee and then returned to Albion Park where he defeated Toss The Teddy by a length on December 1.
A fourth and fifth at Albion Park were followed by Jurassic Vapour’s first start over 512m at Angle Park, on December 29, where he overcame box five to score by just over three lengths in a best of the night 29.94.
Set for the Adelaide Cup, Jurassic Vapour won a top-grade event by a nose on January 5, 1995 and then easily won his heat of the Cup, defeating Perplexed by just over six lengths in 29.32, the best of the night.
Although nicely drawn in box eight for the final, Jurassic Vapour could not match motors with NSW sprinter Forest Fin who defeated Golden Currency by a length in a race record 29.33. Jurassic Vapour was nine lengths away third.
Jurassic Vapour then won two more races at Angle Park, the first by eight and a half lengths from Perplexed in a sensational 29.21 and the second by just over nine lengths from Perplexed.
Narrowly beaten into fifth place at Wentworth Park, Jurassic Vapour returned to Angle Park and reeled off three easy victories (including the heat and final of the St Patrick’s Day Sprint) and then won his heat and semi-final of the Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park. He was sixth behind Malawi Law in the final despite beginning well and being prominent early.
A string of six placings followed, at Olympic Park, Wentworth Park and Albion Park, the latter in the NSW-Qld State of Origin Series, before Jurassic Vapour won a heat of the Queensland Cup (Group 2) over 555m at Beenleigh. He then ran a half-length second to Diamond Rell in the final.
A couple of placings at Albion Park were followed by a fall at the Gold Coast in a heat of the Gold Coast Cup on July 19.
After winning at Casino on August 11, Jurassic Vapour again made the National Sprint Championship Queensland State Final, but was beaten seven lengths into second place by Flying Amy.
After a short break, Jurassic Vapour resumed on September 19 with a five and a half lengths victory in the Lismore Cup (best 8), running a race record 29.45.
Three defeats followed and then Jurassic Vapour made it back-to-back victories in the Casino Cup, scoring by seven lengths on October 20.
He added a further three successive wins, all over 520m at Ipswich, to reach the final of the City of Ipswich Gold Cup (Group 3) on November 18, running a solid second behind Super Crystal.
Jurassic Vapour closed out 1995 with four races in Brisbane and one at Wentworth Park, the highlight easily being his five-lengths second behind Flying Amy in the Eukanuba Cup (now the Winter Cup; Group 1), with Tenthill Doll third.
John Keep took the same campaign methodology into Jurassic Vapour’s tilt at the 1996 Adelaide Cup as he had the previous year, winning at Angle Park on January 4 and then making his second final with a disappointing six-lengths second behind Both Barrels in his Adelaide Cup heat.
Drawn in box eight for the final on January 18 (the same alley he’d had in 1995), Jurassic Vapour made every post a winner as he turned the tables on Both Barrels and won by four lengths in 29.55. Super Crystal was almost seven lengths away third while the brilliant Tenthill Doll was an injured sixth.
Over the next three months Jurassic Vapour campaigned in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth, winning twice at Albion Park to take the Publican’s Cup, making the semi-finals of the Golden Easter Egg, running fourth in the West Australian Interstate Challenge over 530m at Cannington to Storm Act (Flying Amy was fifth) and then winning his Perth Cup (Group 2) heat on April 13.
Drawn well in box two, Jurassic Vapour was no match for Tenthill Doll (box 1) in the final as she cruised away to defeat him by almost eight lengths in race record time. Storm Act was third.
After winning at Casino on May 10, Jurassic Vapour suffered six straight losses at Albion Park, Wentworth Park, Casino and even Cairns, where he finished fourth in a Cairns Cup heat.
Jurassic Vapour broke back into the winner’s circle in a heat of the Queensland Cup at Beenleigh and ran a solid one-length second to Ultra Dreams in June 24 final.
After a win in Brisbane, Jurassic Vapour was back at Angle Park in late July for a crack at the Potential Cup. He won his heat easily from box eight but finished third in the final behind local star Wolf Black, which notched its seventh successive Angle Park victory.
Given a three-week letup, John Keep set his charge a tough campaign. He made his third consecutive National Sprint Championship Queensland State Final, but could only finish last behind Silver Pageant. Then, on September 12, he ran second to the same greyhound at Albion Park.
Five days Jurassic Vapour made the final of the Lismore Cup by winning his heat by three lengths in a best of the meeting 29.72 and on September 19, he ran second in a heat of the Brisbane Cup (Group 1).
Drawn poorly in box six for both the Lismore Cup and Brisbane Cup finals, Jurassic Vapour finished fourth behind Grysbok in the former and eighth behind the high-flying Silver Pageant in the latter.
The 1996 Casino Cup was a heat and final event and Jurassic Vapour won his heat to make his third appearance in a Casino Cup, running third in the final behind Zipazoom.
After failing in a heat of the Gawler Gold Cup, Jurassic Vapour won again at Angle Park before heading to Ipswich for a failed attempt at the City of Ipswich Gold Cup.
Back at Albion Park, Jurassic Vapour made his second Winter Cup final by winning his heat from Star Tribute and then acquitted himself well by running third behind Roanokee in the December 12 final.
He closed out the year with a win at Casino and a fourth at Albion Park before heading once more to South Australia for his third attempt at the Adelaide Cup.
On January 2, 1997 Jurassic Vapour won at Angle Park and then finished second behind the Victorian Rare Deceit in his heat of the Adelaide Cup on January 9. Unfortunately, the heat was declared a no-race and was re-run on the Monday night, four days later. In the re-run, Rare Deceit again defeated Jurassic Vapour, but it meant the-now four and a half-year-old had made it into his third successive Adelaide Cup final.
The final, run three days later on January 16, fell to Rare Deceit, who used box one to perfection to defeat Grand Illusion by almost four lengths with Jurassic Vapour overcoming box six to take third place.
Then, on January 27, Jurassic Vapour had his swansong, running a half-length second to Sternberg at Angle Park.
He had raced 122 times for 46 wins, 28 seconds and 19 thirds, earning around $230,000 in prize money. This Queenslander loved Angle Park, competing 20 times at the course for 13 wins and seven placings. He also liked Casino where he won seven of 11 starts and was placed in the other four.
He managed three successive Adelaide Cups, National Sprint Championship Queensland State Finals and three Casino Cups as well as two Winter Cups, Queensland Cups, and Lismore Cups.
Jurassic Vapour made 11 Group finals in the early days of the Group system, seven of them at Group 1 (one win and four placings) and three at Group 2 (three seconds).
He sired the likes of Buncrana, Jurassic’s Image, Lenira Lass and Platinum Prince, who all won good races.
He died, aged 12, in 2004.