The Paws of Thunder, originally known as the NSW St. Ledger, is one of the most revered races in in the state, having been run for the first time in 1957 when taken out by Idle Sign.
The event, run over 520m, is held at Wentworth Park, and has been run as a Group 1 feature since 2001, the same year in which it was renamed as the Paws of Thunder.
The Paws of Thunder has a winner’s cheque of $75,000, making it one of the largest payouts at Wentworth Park each year behind the $250,000-to-the-winner Golden Easter Egg.
For many years, the Paws of Thunder was conducted in October, with the date changing after the 2011 running. The race was not run in 2012, but recommenced in January 2013 and has been run in that month since, spearheading some sensational racing in the Harbour City during the summer months.
The race is open to the best 64 greyhounds each year.
The most recent edition of the Paws of Thunder was run on January 21, 2017, and was won by Victorian greyhound Shima Bar, trained by Andrea Dailly, which defeated Clock’s Ticking in 29.92.
Betting on the Paws of Thunder
Being one of the flagship races in NSW, betting activity is normally very high for the Paws of Thunder series. As it is a Group 1, all online bookmakers offer betting on the feature, with most having markets open the week leading up to the final after the box draw has been finalised.
Bookies such as Bet 365 also have all-in markets throughout the series, offering odds on each greyhound to win the final as soon as the draw for the heats is released. This is terrific for punters who think they have spotted the potential winner early, with generous odds usually available for some of the series’ leading contenders.
When betting on greyhound races such as the Paws of Thunder, particularly through the all-in markets, it is often viable to place wagers on several greyhounds due to the fact that great odds are normally there for most chasers in the series.
This is an excellent opportunity for punters to seize the value on offer with the sign-up deals through Australian Racing Greyhound’s recommended bookmakers, all of which will match your initial deposit in bonus bets, effectively doubling your money.
Group 1 Paws of Thunder – the recent years
All the pre-race buzz leading into the 2019 Paws of Thunder was about Poke The Bear, but when the champ missed the jump fast beginner Buck’s Future had the race at his mercy. Buck’s Future speared out from box seven to claim an early lead and was never headed after a fall behind the leader. Cash Point was storming home as they entered the straight but Buck’s Future had enough of a lead to secure the win.
2018 Paws of Thunder results
January 19, 2019. 19/1/2019 Wentworth Park First Prize:$75,000
Winner: Buck’s Future (Buck Fever x Midnight News) Black Dog DOB:16 May 2016
Owner: Robert Jones Trainer: Sydney Swain
Finishing Time: 29.80
Others in Finishing Order: Cash Point, Miss Splendamiro, Poke The Bear, All On Amy, Nangar Jack, Federal Lilly, Caitlyn Keeping.
Raw Ability collected his second group 1 win when saluting in the most recent edition of the Paws of Thunder. Trained in Victoria by Anthony Azzopardi, the black dog matched motors with Up Hill Jill in the early stages before slipping into top gear and racing clear to defeat fast-finishing Queenslander Slick in 29.86.
2018 Paws of Thunder results
January 20, 2018. 20/1/2018 Wentworth Park First Prize:$75,000
Winner: Raw Ability (Barcia Bale X Bugatti Flyer) Black Dog DOB:7 Mar 2015
Owner: Kylee Osborne Trainer: Anthony Azzopardi
Finishing Time: 29.86
Others in Finishing Order: Slick, Up Hill Jill, Ritza Lenny, Dual Keroma, Bogan Doonie, It’s A Party, Trip To Eden.
Shima Bar stamped himself as a pup to follow with a tough win in the 2017 Paws of Thunder final. Trained by Andrea Dailly, the black dog used box one to perfection, charging clear in the home straight to record his ninth career win at start 13.
2017 Paws of Thunder results
January 21, 2017. Wentworth Park NSW GBOTA First Prize $75,000
Winner: Shima Bar (Barcia Bale x Shimaguni) Black Dog. DOB: Feb 2015
Owners: Cummings Gleeson, Trainer: Andrea Dailly.
Finishing Time: 29.92. Margins: 1.75 x 3.25.
Others in finishing order: Clocks Ticking, Falcons Fury, Brad Hill Billy, Striker Light, Blabba Mouth, Lowanna’s Son, Magic Lace.
Most of the hype in the 2016 Paws of Thunder final surrounded boom sprinter Zambora Brockie, but when the lids flew open it was his lesser known kennel mate Asa Flying Spur which stole the show. The handy sprinter began brilliantly, racing straight to the front and leading all the way to salute in a quick 29.83.
2016 Paws of Thunder results
January 16, 2016. Wentworth Park GBOTA First Prize $75,000
Winner: Asa Flying Spur (Kinloch Brae x Cawbourne Shine) Born: Jan 2014 Black Dog
Owner: Asa. Trainer: Anthony Azzopardi.
Time: 29.83. Margins: 1.25 x 1.25.
Others in finishing order: Elfen Bale, Smart Missile, Nangar Flame, Helga Bale, Zambora Brockie, Tap Out Rose, Paloma Lago.
Group 1 Paws of Thunder Honour Roll
It takes an almighty sprinter to capture the Paws of Thunder. Throughout the years the feature has been won by some of the best greyhounds to have ever graced the track such as Black Top, Glider’s Son, Promises Free, Winifred Bale, Pure Octane, Leprechaun Pace, Cindeen Shelby and Lochinvar Marlow.
Below is a list of every winner, dating back to the races’ inception in 1957.
1957 Idle Sign
1958 Ebony Minda
1959 Super Samson
1960 Constant Raider
1961 Elsie Moss
1962 Black Top
1963 Miss Warcroft
1964 Revival King
1965 Daily Tide
1966 Sunset Fire
1967 Another Glitter
1968 Zoom Top
1969 Beau Brin
1970 Size Seven
1971 Romantic Top
1972 Likely Light
1973 Trella Light
1974 Busy’s Chief
1975 Mighty Aussie
1977 Fine Arama
1978 Oberon Lily
1979 Lord Raleigh
1980 Glider’s Son
1981 Promises Free
1982 Winifred Bale
1983 Winston Lass
1984 Beach Rhythm
1985 Another Flash
1986 Memories Gate
1987 See Yah
1988 Grizzly Bear
1989 Jessica Kate
1990 Dixie Lass
1991 Little Denver
1993 Leon Mal
1995 Nine Inch Nails
1996 Tamborine Dancer
1997 Elle’s Commando
1998 Waiwera Marika
1999 Stately Bird
2000 Some Secret
2001 Suellen Bale
2002 Modern Assassin
2003 Winsome Shot
2004 Kobble Rock
2005 Pure Octane
2006 Suave Fella
2007 Leprechaun Pace
2008 One Tree Hill
2009 Cindeen Shelby
2010 Lochinvar Marlow
2011 Fancy Will
2012 (Not Held)
2014 Iona Seven
2015 Dyna Villa
2016 Asa Flying Spur
2017 Shima Bar
2018 Raw Ability
2019 Buck’s Future