NORMALLY touted as the alley you want in a major final, box one has not really proven to be a huge advantage for so many who have come up with it for the Golden Easter Egg conclusion, at least as far as this century is concerned.
If you make the admittedly false assumption that every box has an equal chance of winning, or 12.5 percent in percentage terms, then box one’s four wins in 25 runnings (or 20 percent) looks pretty good.
On closer inspection though, three of the four wins came between 1992 and 1995. The first was in 1992, when the brilliant Jessica Casey scored well, at what was the last occasion the event was conducted on grass.
The Peter Wardle-trained Victorian bitch Mancunian Girl picked up the 1994 Golden Easter Egg, downing a typically classy field by four lengths from box one. A year later, Victoria made it two in a row when Malawi Law used box one to perfection to snare the final by three lengths.
That was it for 17 long years, until the Jason Thompson-trained Queenslander Don’t Knocka Him exited box one in the 2012 event and scored in race record time.
So, from the last 19 editions of the Golden Easter Egg, the prized rails alley has supplied a solitary victor. Hardly cause for celebrations really for the connections of the greyhound who does come up with the inside in the final.
Mind you, it’s hardly bleak city really. During this same time frame, no less than seven greyhounds sporting the red rug have finished runner-up and another three have taken third prize, so the financial reward hasn’t been especially poor.
Box one has been overshadowed in total Egg victories by box four, with five winners (or 25 percent) and equaled by box eight (with four wins). Just behind them are boxes two and five, both with three victories apiece.
The tailenders, all with just two successes each are boxes three, six, and seven.
Taking the last eight years in succession, the winning alleys have been 8, 3, 2, 6, 7, 1, 4 and 2. That’s almost a ringing endorsement for the ‘fairness’ of the box draw at Wentworth Park, with only the five alley missing the mark.
By way of comparison, the last eight Australian Cup winners over the 525-metres trip at the Meadows have been from boxes 7, 5, 1, 2, 1, 1, 7 and 4.
Egg Winners Box Positions:
1 1992 (grass), 1994, 1995, 2012
2 1999, 2009, 2014
3 1998, 2008
4 1991 (grass), 1996, 1997, 2002, 2013
5 1990 (grass), 2000, 2004
6 2005, 2010
7 1993, 2011
8 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007