FERNANDO Bale’s 14th consecutive victory, in track record time at Bendigo on Sunday night, has placed him in truly exalted company.
He is now equal seventh on the consecutive victories list of winners, having joined eight other greyhounds who have notched a sequence of 14 wins in a row. Only six greyhounds in Australian history have strung together longer winning sequences.
On a state-by-state basis, Fernando Bale has equalled the record for the most consecutive wins by a Victorian-domiciled chaser. That mark, of 14 wins on end, was set way back in 1950 by Harryed, so Fernando Bale has achieved something no other Victorian has managed for 65 years.
Harryed (Percyton Lad x Hamura Belle) was whelped in July 1948 and owned and trained by Harry Nugent, who purchased him as a way of getting some walking exercise. The greyhound proved to be a fast beginner and keen chaser.
His winning streak of 14 in a row on the track began in March 1950 when Harryed was just 20 months old. Among the highlights were his double victory on 27 April taking out a heat and then the final of the April Handicap up the White City straight (his sixth seventh consecutive victories) and his defeat of 1949 Melbourne Cup winner Royal Regent over 400 yards (366 metres) at Napier Park on 23 May to notch his 13th successive win. That victory surpassed the previous Victorian successive wins record, set in 1940 by Totara.
Nugent then took Harryed for a weak race at Sale on 27 May, which the dog duly won to make it 14 straight and eclipse the previous Australian record of 13 on end, set by Sentinel in 1935-36. Neither Nugent nor the racing media were aware at the time that Harryed had surpassed Sentinel’s mark.
Harryed’s winning run ended on 29 May when he found trouble in a race at Napier Park and finished fourth.
For Fernando Bale, the Bendigo Cup final will be his attempt at equalling the performances of Miata (2012), True Vintage (1988) and Kate’s A Scandal (1981), so far the only three chasers in Australian history to have ever strung together 15 wins in a row.
As mentioned in previous pieces, the Australian record for the most number of successive wins belongs to Tropical One, with an amazing 24 wins on end, all set at non-TAB meetings in Queensland between 2003 and 2004.
That achievement eclipsed the previous mark of 21 straight, set by another Queensland racer, Sophocles, back in 1987.