This Week in Racing History

FEBRUARY

12th

Arabian Dixie, aged six years and one month, scored at Newcastle in 1949, her fourth victory at the track. It took her overall record to nine wins and 10 placings from just 32 starts. Arabian Dixie had broken two front toes and one rear toe when racing on what were described as poor tracks in late 1944 and 1945, at the end of the Second World War. Her trainer said her conditioning consisted mainly of swimming rather than galloping due to her poor feet.

Cyclone Daisy struck Brisbane and south-east Queensland and northern NSW in 1972. The resultant flooding and damage delayed the opening of the Gabba greyhound track from a previously planned 9 March until April.

Eiffella ran a race record 29.89 to win the 2005 National (NCA) Derby over 520 metres at Wentworth Park from Stryker’s Shadow and Victorian Ben’s Fury for trainer Mary Wright. Eiffella clipped 21/100ths off the previous race record mark, held jointly by Fond Regards (2000 winner) and Medinah (2002 victor). On the same night, Lukeamy won the National Futurity by a neck from Miss Bekkie Lee.

13th

Major Gossip gave trainer Don McMillan and well-known music guru Donnie Sutherland a $70,000 thrill when he took out the 1993 National Derby, downing the unlucky Deanne’s Dancer. This was the last Derby run over 520 metres on grass at Wentworth Park.

Speedy sprinter Penny Dancer won the $12,000-to-the-winner 2004 Richmond Cannonball, running a fast 22.78. Penny Dancer would return in 2005 and become the first greyhound to win the event back-to-back.

14th

Rising Ace won the closest Hobart Thousand to that time when he defeated the champion Rookie Rebel by a nose in the 1957 event. The field consisted of 10 starters. A year later Rookie Rebel would return to Hobart and win the Thousand by eight lengths from box 10.

Nitro Nori, trained by Chris Nutt, annexed the 2007 Cyril Rowe Memorial (aka South Coast Cup), run over 472 metres at Bulli. Nitro Nori earned $15,000. A year later Nitro Nori, now trained by Darren McDonald, won a second Cyril Rowe Memorial.

Trainer Jason Thompson rugged up half the field in 2009 Temlee, run over 525 metres at the Meadows. Thompson finished snaring the quinella when El Galo downed kennelmate Fedex by a neck to snare the $50,000 prize money. Thompson’s other starters were Nitro Burst and Hanify’s Impact. Queensland star Queen Lauryn was third.

15th

Having won just a maiden at Albury before being sent to Tasmania, the South Australian-bred Erin’s Ace defeated local hope Boongala by two and a half lengths in the 1949 Hobart Thousand. NSW sprinter Silent Dash was third. Erin’s Ace would go on to become the first to win both the Hobart Thousand and Launceston Cup, and later became the highest stakeswinner in Australia at his retirement.

In an incredibly close finish in which five dogs crossed the line within 1.7 lengths of each other, Strolling Benja caused a bit of an upset in downing Summer Jade by half a length with High Intensity a head away third in the 1988 Olympic Park Distance Championship, run over 732 metres at Olympic Park. NSW greyhound Chief Mocka was fourth with champion Bold Trease fifth.

16th

NSW speedster registered his fourth successive win in taking out the 1985 Hobart Thousand by six lengths from Tasmanian star Busy Vintage. Brother Fox ran 28.31 over the 497 metres at Hobart to set a race record, eclipsing the previous mark of 28.40 set by Black Aztec in 1981. This was the fifth and last time the Thousand was conducted over the 497 metres trip.

Miagi trounced the 2008 Wentworth Park Gold Cup field to win the 720 metre event by eight and a half lengths for veteran trainer Warren Harper. The race had been reduced to a best eight, with no heats run the previous week, just a prelude.

17th

Miss Grub won the 2007 Zoom Top, over 725 metres at the Meadows, by seven and a half lengths from Flashing Floods and Dosses Angel to snare the $30,000 first prize money for trainer Kel Greenough. On the same night, Train A Journey won the Rookie Rebel (600 metres) for trainer John Galea and Slater picked up the Temlee for trainer Darren Murray.

18th

Mr Whackles won the 1939 Hobart Thousand by half a length for trainer Les Brett. This was the first time the race had been called the ‘Thousand’, previously it had been known simply as the Hobart Cup.

Future NSW Greyhound of the Year, Kawati Boy, won the 1978 Wentworth Park Gold Cup by five lengths from Graceful Gem and Incredible Lass, running a race record 42.88, clipping a substantial 35/100ths off the mark set in 1977 by The Wee Lassie.

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