At what proved to be his last race start, Rapid Journey used box one to full advantage to narrowly defeat West Australian star Reggemite in the 1998 Topgun, run at Sandown Park. Poetic Reward was a close-up third. The $70,000 first prize money took Rapid Journey’s earnings to $530,995, making him the first to pass the half million dollar mark.
Mr Metz, trained by Ron Ball, scored a narrow neck victory over the popular Dashing Corsair in the 2009 final of the Brisbane Cup.
The speedy Miss Baines took out the 1972 Courage Cup over 560 yards (511 metres) at Olympic Park for trainer Peter Clark, downing Cosmic Gem and Arkle Blue. On the same program, Arctic Flame broke Woolley Wilson’s track record, running 29.14/16 to clip 1/16th from the mark.
The Allan Wheeler owned and trained Winifred Bale scored a brilliant victory in the 1982 NSW St Leger (now the Paws of Thunder), running a fast 31.06 to score by two lengths from All Spice.
Champion Tasmanian sprinter True Vintage scored a hollow nine lengths victory in the 1987 Coca Cola Cup over 520 metres at Launceston.
The 1991 Hobart Thousand saw Jenny’s Legacy run a new race record of 26.11 to defeat Red Amerigo by a length and a half.
Spirit Master defeated Flying Yoyo by half a length with Indian Assassin only three-quarters of a length away third to annex the 1992 Canberra Cup. It was the last time the race was held in December.
The 1997 Penrith Stayer’s Championship, run over 720 metres, was taken out by the George Barnett-trained Rebel Assault who collected $10,000 for the victory over Georgia Bale and William Wallace.
In the closest finish ever recorded in the Brisbane Cup, Uno Joel won the 2007 running by a nose from Mandagery Man with Hot To Rumble only three-quarters of a length away third. Winning trainer Jason Thompson also had El Galo in the final (eighth).
The first running of the NSW St Leger (now the Paws of Thunder) took place, in 1957. The race was run on grass over 580 yards (530 metres) at Wentworth Park. The winner was Idle Sign, from Victoria, who downed Strange Guy by three-quarters of a length. The event was marred by the late scratching of favourite Half Fast in controversial circumstances. Stewards had the greyhound examined by the vet who suggested Half Fast was carrying a shoulder injury. Connections were adamant their charge was fully fit and offered to trial Half Fast after the last race to prove their point. The offer was refused so they drove all night back to Grafton where they managed to trial the dog in the morning. Half Fast broke the track record, thus vindicating their claims.
Trained by Geoff Watt, Busy’s Chief ran a race record 30.82 to defeat former Tasmanian Arkaroola in the 1974 NSW St Leger at Wentworth Park. This race was also marred by the scratching of the sensational New Zealand sprinter Brother Bee. The Kiwi was unbeaten in three Australian starts and had run the equal best time of the night in the semi-finals, but had been forced out because of an injured toe.
Storm Hero broke the race record with a 25.82 performance to take out the 1994 Hobart Thousand. Using box two well, Storm Hero scored by just over three lengths from Westgate Hero with Starlight Rebel (who had run second the previous year) third.
Victorian all-distance star Mandarin Girl defeated Busy’s Chief by three and a half lengths to annex the 1976 Christmas Cup (later called the President’s Cup) over 704 metres at the Gabba.
Trainer Darren MacDonald prepared first and third in the 2010 Hobart Thousand with Octane Show scoring in 25.83 from Numero Uno Bale and Perfect Fancy, making it an all-interstate trifecta finish.