My esteemed colleague Bruce Teague, commenting on Dyna Villa’s sensational Melbourne Cup victory, noted how this took that greyhound’s record to eight successive victories at Sandown Park. An unbeaten record, and certainly an incredibly successful sequence.
Bruce asked the question, ‘Could there be any other dog which has done that at any one track? Miata, of course, at Cannington, but any others?’
That question shows yet again how poor our overall record keeping in the sport has been, at least in terms of finding out information via a centralized agency or a repository of knowledge and information.
As far as my own collection of information is concerned –and it is far from complete- I can let Bruce, and others who might be interested, know that Dyna Villa’s efforts arguably pale into insignificance alongside a number of other performances down through the years. Of course, very few of the following have culminated with a victory in the most prestigious/richest race in the country.
To the best of my knowledge, the best winning sequence on a single track belongs to Queensland sprinter Minnie Flyer who put together an amazing run of 30 in a row at Mackay between 1994 and 1995, with 29 of them over 310 metres and one over 431 metres.
Next on the list are Station Master, who won 21 successive races at Cairns in the 1980s, and Sophocles, who notched 21 straight at Mount Isa in the late 1980s.
Naturally enough, city-class circuits don’t see numbers like the above, but nonetheless, there are plenty of examples of long sequences.
The best I’m aware of belongs to Paradise Street who won his first 14 consecutive starts over 700 metres at Cannington between 1998 and 1999. That number was equalled by Miata in 2012-2013 over the 715 metres trip at Cannington.
Back in 1974, Queensland’s first champion, Top Simbi, won 13 on end over 558 metres at the Gabba, a feat later equalled down south in Victoria in 1980 when Striding Ahead won 13 straight over 511 metres at Olympic Park.
Champion stayer Arvo’s Junior won his first 13 starts over 715 metres at Sandown Park in 2003, thereby matching Striding Ahead’s Victorian city track record. So, Dyna Villa has a little way to go just yet.
Other notable achievements in sequences include Smooth Keith, who won 12 on end over 457 metres at Harold Park in 1977; the great Tenthill Doll who holds the Wentworth Park 520 metres record sequence, with 11 on end over 520 metres between 1995 and 1996.
Over the 720 metres distance at Wentworth Park, the record stands to the credit of Pearl Larricki, who won her first 10 on end between 2000 and 2001.
There are greyhounds who have remained undefeated on some courses, having put together decent sequences. Among these are Tempix, who was unbeaten in 10 starts over 424 metres at Warragul between 1978 and 1979; National Lee, who won nine on end over 732 metres at Harold Park, Roanokee, who was unbeaten in eight starts over 457 metres at Toowoomba; and Prince Of Tigers, undefeated in eight starts at Mandurah.
Finally, it was only two years ago, but how quickly we forget: the fabulously brief career of Fabregas, the 2012 National Sprint Championship winner, who is the equal of Dyna Villa, having raced eight times over 515 metres at Sandown, for eight wins.