El Galo Sets Sandown Alight In Bert Bryant Memorial

El Galo’s renowned early speed was on full display at Sandown Park tonight as he blitzed his rivals in the $14,500 Bert Bryant Memorial.

Having just his third start at the Lightwood Road circuit and his first since winning the 2008 Schweppes Melbourne Cup Consolation, El Galo ($1.50F) began like a rocket from box 5 to lead by three lengths through the first turn and equalled the first sectional record of 4.99.

The seven-time Group race winner extended his lead to five lengths down the back, setting a new mark of 17.86 for the second split before smashing the race record and setting the equal fastest time of 2009 – 29.55.

Shiver Inside ($10.40) was gallant in defeat finishing 5.5 lengths adrift, but the punters who took the short odds about Australia’s best greyhound were never in any doubt.

The win was El Galo’s 39th from 61 starts, and took his prizemoney to $462,080. Jason Thompson will now set his champion for the Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park. If successful, the $150,000 first prize would smash Rapid Journey’s Australian prizemoney mark.

Earlier in the night, Toowoomba Banker took out the $14,500 Ron Nestor Memorial.

Trained by Scott Holmes, Toowoomba Banker ($9.70) began fairly before sweeping to the lead down the back straight before powering to the line to win by 4.5 lengths in 29.92.

The win was easily the biggest of Toowoomba Banker’s 40 race career and provided his first-time owners with their biggest thrill in greyhound racing.