This Week in Racing History

FEBRUARY

5th

Champion all-distance chaser Sentinel won the 1936 NSW 700 yards (684 metres) Championship, run at Maitland, by six lengths from Gay Toby, running 38.6 to clip 6/10ths from Gay Toby’s track record.

Harold Park became the first city track in Australia to use automatic starting boxes, in 1946.

Plunkett’s Pride proved himself one of the best sprinters in the country when he won a top-grade Bulli Stake over 500 yards (457 metres) at Bulli in 1954. Plunkett’s Pride scored by 10 lengths and ran 26.9 to equal the track record.

6th

Tonight’s Wish won the first running of the Dandenong Dry Cleaners Stake (later the DDC Launching Pad) over 715 metres at Sandown Park, in 1997. The race had previously been conducted at the now defunct Olympic Park. Tonight’s Wish would make the 1998 final, but finish unplaced, before returning to score again in 1999.

The Jason Thompson-trained Fedex exited box two to win the 2009 National (NCA) Derby over 515 metres at the Gardens, the first time the race had been held at the Newcastle-based circuit. On the same night, the National Futurity (515 metres) was run for the first time at the Gardens, with victory going to Digital Magic (box one), trained by Mick Abbott.

7th

Pacific Sky, from Victoria, took out the 2004 National (NCA) Derby over 520 metres at Wentworth Park from box eight. On the same night, Nulkaba Lass defeated Victorian bitch Knockabout Wilma by a neck to snare the National Futurity. Both winners picked up $40,000 apiece for their efforts.

8th

Benjamin John ran down Zoom Top to win the 1969 Hobart Thousand for trainer Stan Cleverley. The brilliant sprinter, exiting box one, was two lengths behind Zoom Top but came from behind her to run away and score by three lengths in 29.0, just 1/10th outside the track record he had set in the heats 12 days earlier.

Matelot won his ninth successive race when winning over 544 metres at Cairns in 1990. The black dog scored by 10 lengths and ran 32.05, taking 1/100th off the track record, held by Townsville. Matelot went on to win 12 races in succession before finishing fourth in a heat of the Cairns Cup.

9th

Golden Ambition defeated Bold Trease by two lengths to win the 1987 Metro Toyota Trophy final over 732 metres at Olympic Park. Golden Ambition ran 43.42 which was the second-fastest time ever recorded at the track to that point, behind Pharaoh’s Mask’s track record of 43.09. Ironically, Bold Trease had run second to Pharaoh’s Mask the night that greyhound set the track mark.

West Australian superstar Miata took her earnings to an Australian record $671,008 in 2013, going past High Earner’s record of $610,070 set just two years previously.

10th

Two divisions of the Launceston Cup were held on the new White City track for the first time, in 1940. The first division was won by Dancoma while the second division fell to Mickey Minda.

11th

Worth Doing won the 1989 National Derby, run over 520 metres at Wentworth Park, in 30.03 and earned $25,000 for his connections. The win was his eighth on end and his fourth for the year. He would have just one more start, winning at Richmond, before being retired to a great career at stud and a controversial success in being crowned NSW Greyhound of the Year for 1989, having raced just five times for the year.

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