This Week in Racing History

APRIL

23rd

The final of the 1960 Autumn Cup, run over 580 yards (530 metres) at Wentworth Park, was taken out by Carnham Valley who defeated the brilliant Festival Time by a length and a half with Fine Mia third.

On the same night, champion Tasmanian stayer Oak Queen won the Autumn Stake over 790 yards (722 metres) by four lengths from My Debra in 44.5.

Radley Bale picked up a whopping $250,000 for taking out the 2011 Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park, beating He Knows Uno by eight lengths in a race record 29.67. Australia’s then highest stakes winner, High Earner, running in his second Egg final, was sixth.

24th

Half Fast won a match race at Grafton in 1959, defeating Shapely Pet by half a length in 28.0, breaking the track record by 2/10ths. The previous record had been held by Half Fast and Happy Cappy. In those days track records could be recognised even if there were less than four starters in a race.

25th

Highly Blessed took out the 1991 Honda McRrae Trophy final, run over 511 metres at Sandown, by eight lengths in a fast 30.00.

Queensland star Boronia Blossom won the 1996 Sandown Cup for trainer Ron Ball. In a blanket finish Boronia Blossom defeated Northern Legend by half a head with Reeta just a neck away third.

26th

General Jeff scored a sensational victory in the 1980 National Derby at Wentworth Park (530 metres), coming from box six and overcoming a slow start to win by nine lengths and run 30.78, equalling the race record. The win was General Jeff’s eighth in 12 starts.

The Graeme Bate-trained Hay Dinney won a class-packed Ballarat Cup final in 1989, defeating Hua by almost two lengths with Cranarma Lad third.

27th

A greyhound track opened at Phoenix Park in Port Pirie in 1972 with an eight-race program, all over 515 metres. It became the fifth track to open in South Australia in a year. The opening event was won by Better Quality (box 5). Hi Filute won the second race by 25 lengths. Broken Bit won the third event, Mister Fullock the fourth (by seven lengths). The feature event, the Skippa Trophy, was won by Bristol Miss (box 8) from Blue Sunbeam.

Texas Gold, rated in a podcast with ARG as one of the two best stayers Jason Mackay has ever trained, took out the 2006 Lizrene Classic over 715 metres at Sandown. Texas Gold scored by almost five lengths from Odnoc Alorac and Springvale Jinx with Sargent Major, who had won at its previous seven starts, only fifth.

28th

Victorian stayer Mandarin Girl won the 1977 Gabba Gold Cup (now the Albion Park Gold Cup), run over 704 metres, by four lengths from Chief Banjo and Grand Monaro, running 41.70, a new race record.

29th

Queensland star Pied Rebel took out the 1970 Interstate Challenge, renamed the Captain Cook Memorial Cup (best eight), over 580 yards (530 metres) at Wentworth Park. The race was marred by the fall of NSW speedster The Smoother who had run out at the first turn, clipped the heels of Ophi Sparkle and crashed into the Tasmanian runner More Champagne and Victorian Gary Moss. The Smoother broke his leg in the fall and it had to be amputated, forcing his early retirement to wht proved to be a successful career at stud.

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