The Best Litter Ever Seen?
The story about the phenomenal Tasmanian-based Where's Pedro x Stylish Dotty litter of nine, which has just achieved an incredible 150 collective victories, revived thoughts of what is arguably the best city-class brace of pups ever bred, namely the Black Top x Busy Beaver litter.
Bred by Hec and Leah Watt, this litter was whelped in August 1966 and the three bitches and two dogs would go on to race as Zoom Top, Busy's Charm, Top Bomber, Busy's Gem and Busy's Ace. Together they would amass success in at least 146 races, and an awful lot of these were on city tracks in top-class races.
On a per capita basis it would be hard to unearth a litter with a better record. Of course, the two standouts were the bitches Zoom Top and Busy's Charm, although their litter brother Top Bomber was no slouch either.
According to the book Greyhounds and Mechanical Lure Racing by William Bracht and published in 1972, the Black Top x Busy Beaver litter raced collectively 354 times for 146 wins (another source suggests 147), 71 seconds, and 38 thirds (again, another source suggests 39).
To achieve a better than 41 percent winning rate across five littermates is quite phenomenal. It helps if not one but two of those littermates are champions.
Zoom Top won 68 of her 136 race starts, a win record only surpassed by Queensland provincial star Saltwater Pete who finished his career in 2008 with 74 victories. He raced mainly at Townsville, winning 49 of his races at the north Queensland venue.
Busy's Charm won 50 races from 113 starts (although the Greyhound Recorder claims she won 51 races from 117 outings, but I am unable to confirm this).
So, between the pair, they won an incredible 118 races. Of these 63 were on the major city tracks at the time, namely Harold Park and Wentworth Park in Sydney and Sandown Park and Olympic Park in Melbourne.
The pair managed to make the final of almost every major race then run in Australia, including six distance race finals in Sydney between 1968 and 1969. Zoom Top won four (Wentworth Park Gold Cup, Sydney Cup, Summer Cup, and Association Cup) while Busy's Charm won one (Stayer's Christmas Gift). The only one they lost was the 1969 Sydney Cup where Busy's Charm fell and Zoom Top, after hurdling her, charged home to run fourth.
There have been many brilliant litters in the pantheon of Australian racing. For example, Dream's Image x Lady Janellan (Rookie Rebel and Sunview); Arctic Light x Shy Magna (Likely Light, Arctic Flame, Joker's Wild); Brother Fox x Promises Free (Amerigo Man, Walkabout Sid, West Cape) Head Honcho x Malawi Blue (Bentley Babe, Blue Eyed Blonde, Briannon); and Token Prince x Elusive Rebel (Pure Octane, Where's Hoover) are a few scattered examples.
Just as an aside, Where's Pedro, the sire of the Tasmanian stars, was a member of the Brett Lee x Elusive Rebel litter that included Hallucinate, Crash, and Carnage.
Given that the Black Top x Busy Beaver litter probably held the record for the most number of wins, the effort by the Where's Pedro x Stylish Dotty litter is more than likely a new win record.