ANYBODY looking through the form for the Sandown meeting on Thursday night (April 14) might have noticed two greyhounds drawn to compete who, between them, recently joined a select band of performers to have won at their 100th race start.
On Sunday April 10, Lister Bale (Bekim Bale x Dyna Obelia), a black dog whelped in December 2012, contested race 8 over 440m at Sale. Lister Bale was sent out favourite from his favourable box 1 draw and duly saluted, recording his 24th career victory at start number 100 (he has also run 33 placings).
Hession Boots (Heston Bale x Mandy Shiraz) is also a black dog, whelped in May 2012, and the rising four-year-old scored his 26th race win at start number 100 back on March 1, over 570m at Horsham.
A quick look back through the records shows the performances of both Lister Bale and Hession Boots is not only a rarity, but they now have bragging rights alongside some of the greatest racers this country has produced.
While the following list is far from comprehensive (being culled from my own records), Lister Bale and Hession Boots have joined such luminaries as Bessy Boo, Tonight’s Wish, Fair Sentence, Mister Britain, Bold Trease, Busy’s Charm, Zoom Top and Sashweight in winning at their 100th race start.
Sashweight won her 40th race at start 100 when she scored at Wollongong on November 1, 1954, taking her career prize money to £3,500 ($7,000), which was second only to Gwydir Boy.
Zoom Top won her 53rd race when she scored an equal track record victory over 740 yards (676m) at Maitland on June 26, 1969.
In what must surely be a unique occurrence, Zoom Top’s litter sister Busy’s Charm resumed from an injury-enforced spell to win her 45th race at start 100, running over 500 yards (457m) at Bulli on January 21, 1970.
The mighty Bold Trease, at five years of age, made it 51 wins in 100 starts when he scored over 732m at Olympic Park on September 18, 1989, right at the end of a glorious career.
NSW sprinter Mister Britain made it 35 wins in 100 races when he won over 520m on what was still the grass surface at Wentworth Park in 1990.
Fair Sentence, one of the most prolific of Victorian country performers, collected win number 39 when victorious over 450m at Ballarat on July 31, 1991.
The Alan Chauncy-trained Shining Osti set a new track record at its 100th start, in 1995, taking time honours for the 650m journey at the Gold Coast (Parklands) course.
Topline Victorian stayer Tonight’s Wish made it 46 wins in 100 races when successful over 731m at Angle Park on May 6, 1999, and was promptly retired to stud on that high note.
Bessy Boo, who recently established a record 26 wins at Wentworth Park, won his 31st race, at his 100th start, back on November 11, 2015, not surprisingly achieving the feat at the Glebe circuit.
A couple of others worthy of mention are Watto Lotto, who also won at Wentworth Park at his 100th start, in 2014, and Just Proper, who won over 383m at Darwin on October 26, 2014. That was his 58th victory. He went on to win 65 races in his 114-start career, 64 of them in Darwin.