This Week in Racing History

APRIL

2nd

Farrago, who would later go on to become one of the best all-distance greyhounds of his time, won his maiden over 370 yards (338 metres) at Broken Hill in 1949 at the age of 17 months. It was his first win in three career starts.

Cheatin’ Charmer took out the 1988 West Australian Derby at Cannington by 10 lengths in a race record 30.90 for trainer John Nangle. It was also Cheatin’ Charmer’s seventh win in a row.

True Vintage won the 1988 at Launceston to register her ninth successive win. She would go on and win 15 in a row before tasting defeat.

3rd

Plunkett’s Pride used box one to perfection to defeat star bitch Macareena (box two) by a length and equal the 500 yards (457 metres) track record of 26.5 at Harold Park in 1954. Macareena lost the race when she clipped the heels of Plunkett’s Pride and gave ground. Macareena had equalled the track record seven months previously.

Oak Queen won the 1959 Easter Cup final at Launceston by five lengths in a race record 29 13/16 for the 548 yards (500 metres).

4th

Champion Queensland greyhound Top Simbi bounced back to his best form to annex the 1974 Foundation Gift over 558 metres at the Gabba, scoring by two lengths from Zepplin King with Dan Meadow third. Top Simbi had been narrowly beaten in a at the Gabba by Zepplin King three starts earlier before running fifth and third in top grade races at Harold Park.

Welcome Stranger won the 1990 by just over four lengths from Danlisker’s Tim, to notch his fifth win on end since returning from an injury-enforced three-month layoff.

5th

Victorian stayer Amerigo Lady, and top-class sprinters Rokoko and Sammie Sparrow, were found to have been ‘nobbled’ after finishing unplaced in their respective races at Harold Park in 1969. Police were called in on the subsequent and found evidence of ‘big betting by a syndicate’. The CIB later asked Harold Park stewards to postpone their own inquiry so that police investigations were not prejudiced. Sammie Sparrow, in particular, appeared to suffer from the effects of the drugging, failing to recapture his previously scintillating form.

6th

Night greyhound racing in Queensland commenced with the opening of the Gabba track in 1972. The opening had been delayed by a month due to Cyclone Daisy. Nearly 12,000 people packed into the Gabba and watched racing over 610 yards (558 metres). Jaffrine (box 6) took out the first event for one of Australia’s greatest trainers, . Later in the night, Irish Korina (box 2) won for Cleverley, giving him a perfect two starters for two winners evening. The feature event, the Skippa Invitation, featured Ragsie, Gerard The Gent, Lord Galaxy, and High Stepper. In a sensational race, the Paul Cauchi-trained former Victorian Ragsie (box 2) scored by half a head from the Victorian Gerard The Gent (box 4) with NSW speedster Lord Galaxy (box 1) third. Ragsie earned $630 for his victory and ran 32.76. Other winners on the night were Sir Mullaway (box 8), Silent (box 2), Kaismer (box 1), and Mitten Toes (box 3), who won the Foundation Gift. Some big name interstate bookmakers fielded on opening night, including Ray Hopkins, John Harrigan, and John Waterhouse. The bookies held over $300,000; the tote just $34,000.

7th

Likely Light completed a rare double when she won the 1973 Futurity at , over 530 metres. The black bitch, who had been beaten a nose in her semi-final, came from well back early to defeat Cosmic Gem by a head in a fast 31.07. Likely Light had previously won the 1972 NSW (now Paws of Thunder). The National Futurity victory proved to be her last as the injury-prone speedster failed to win at any of her final 10 races.

8th

Midnight Enemy won the 1972 Woodstock Cup (later renamed the Lord Mayor’s Cup) by two lengths over 530 metres at Wentworth Park, running a race record 31.1. Midnight Enemy had made the 1971 final but had been scratched due to injury.

Airbourne Bale won the 2007 Bendigo Cup (430 metres) from Run’s House for trainer Robert Britton, earning $25,000.

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