FERNANDO Bale’s victory in the Peter Mosman Memorial final at Wentworth Park took his incredible winning streak to 13 on end. That makes him only the sixth greyhound since 2000 to have reached such a mark, with four of those going on to add further victories to their tallies.
Fernando Bale joins Elite State, who won at its first 13 race starts before being beaten, M’Lady’s Fool (who won 14 on end), Miata (15 in a row), Miss Elly Mint (a TAB-class or better Australian record of 16 straight), and Tropical One (who set a new Australian record of 24 in a row, all non-TAB, in 2003-04) with lengthy winning streaks this century.
Overall, Fernando Bale only has 14 greyhounds ahead of him who have won more races in a single streak since the start of racing in Australia in 1927.
In sequence, they are the aforementioned Tropical One, with 24 successive victories; Sophocles, the previous record holder, who won 21 straight in 1987 (as with Tropical One, they were all non-TAB class); Miss Elly Mint (16); Kate’s A Scandal (1981), Miata (2012), and True Vintage (1988), who all won 15 on end; Afro Freeway (1983), Flying Amy (1994), Harryed (1950), M’Lady’s Fool (2001-02), National Lass (1985), Pinot Noir (1999), Promises Free (1981-82), and Time Machine (1988).
Only Miata, Afro Freeway, both West Australians, and National Lass (a dual NSW Greyhound of the Year) were stayers; the remainder all achieved their lengthy win streaks over the sprint course.
Notably, the only Victorian greyhound on that list of 14 is Harryed, so Fernando Bale’s next run will be an attempt to become only the second Victorian in 88 years to win 14 on end.
As it stands, his 13 straight has only been achieved previously by a Victorian greyhound named Ima Turner, which apparently won his first 13 race starts back in 1979. I say ‘apparently’ because I’ve been unable to find Ima Turner’s complete race record anywhere, although he did win the 1979 Warrnambool Cup.
If Fernando Bale stands up to racing and remains injury free, it’s hard to see him not conquering the all-TAB win record of 16 held by Miss Elly Mint. Then again, 88 years of history shows us this record is no simple task.
Of course, compared to the consecutive win record of 37 set by JJ Doc Richard in 1995 in the United States, which eclipsed the previous mark of 36 set by the amazing Pat C Rendezvous just the year before or the 32 on end by British champion Ballyregan Bob in 1986 (who was then retired to stud), we Aussies are a long way off the pace.
It would be wonderful for greyhound racing in this country if Fernando Bale could keep on winning and adding to his streak because at some point even the mainstream media may be forced to take some kind of notice, and on a positive note for a change.