2018 in review

If there was one trend to emerge from a memorable 2018 at Sandown Park, it was the dominance of sire Fernando Bale.

The 2015 Sandown Greyhound of the Year boasted a superlative record at the View Road circuit, and in his first full year at stud, his progeny were simply dominant. Of the 1192 races run at the track in 2018, Fernando Bale sired chasers won a phenomenal 181 – or 15% – of all races from just 892 starters for a wining strike rate of 20%.

And it was at the top end of races that his dominance was truly apparent. Of the 25 black type races run at Sandown Park (including the September Speed Star events awaiting classification), 13 were won by Fernando Bale offspring including five of the seven group 1 finals run. Fernando Bale offspring combined to win over $2.3m of the $8.5m in prize money won at the track for the year.

Three greyhound emerged through the year and established themselves as not only three of the most brilliant but most popular greyhounds of recent times – My Redeemer, Poke The Bear and Tornado Tears. Unsurprisingly, all three were sired by Fernando Bale.

My Redeemer won the most prize money at Sandown Park in 2018 courtesy of the his TAB Melbourne Cup/Harrison-Dawson group 1 double, finishing with $575,665 in prize money won at the track (he has won just $92,000 in prize money at other tracks).

Tornado Tears was second on the prize money list with $341,260 having also completed a group 1 double, annexing the RSN Sandown Cup and Crocmedia National Sprint Championship. He also won two Speed Star events, ran the fastest times over the 595m (33.668) and 715m (41.204) journeys – both the second fastest times ever run – and recorded the most wins at the track with 11.

The fastest greyhound over 515m was Poke The Bear who clocked 29.017 seconds on December 6, the 6th fastest time ever and the fastest since Unlawful Entry set the track record in March 2016. He broke 29.25 in six of his 10 wins for the year and is widely regarded the country’s fastest – and most popular – chasers.

In the training ranks, Robert Britton led the way bringing up his 100th winner with his penultimate runner at the club’s final race meeting of the year, making it three consecutive years in which he has trained 100 winners at the track. Britton trained greyhounds collected $1,090,395 in prize money, the most of any kennel.

There were 15 trainers whose greyhounds collected at least $100,000, and 11 more with at least $50,000.

Of trainers with a minimum of 20 starts for the year, 21 year old Brad Greenough had the highest winning strike rate at 50%. Of trainers with at least 50 starts, Seona Thompson (33%) narrowly edged our Brooke Ennis (31%) and David Geall (29%).

In addition to the expansion of the Speed Star concept, the big change to the racing calendar was in enhancement of the TAB Melbourne Cup carnival. Eight feature events were run on TAB Melbourne Cup night on the biggest night of greyhound racing seen in the state.

And punters showed their support for the night investing a record $7.5m across the 12 event card – including the first ever $1m quaddie pool – breaking the previous record by almost $2m.

The Sandown Greyhound Racing Club thanks all trainers, owners and punters for their support throughout 2018, and wish all the very best for 2019!


2018, by the numbers

Starters Total 8990
Thurs 4649
Sun 4263
Races Total 1192 (ave field 7.54)
Thurs 601 (ave field 7.74)
Sun 579 (ave field 7.36)
Trainers Winners 100 – Robert Britton
Prizemoney $1,090,395 – Robert Britton
Win % 50% – Brad Greenough (min 20 starts)

33% – Seona Thompson (min 50 starts)

Wins 181 – Fernando Bale
Greyhounds Starts 26 – Water Colour and Alonso Mornay

(30 greyhounds had 20+ starts)

Wins 11 – Tornado Tears from 15 starts
Prizemoney $575,665 – My Redeemer
Sires Prizemoney $2,320,130 – Fernando Bale
Fastest times 515m 29.017 – Poke The Bear (6th fastest ever)
595m 33.668 – Tornado Tears (2nd fastest ever)
715m 41.204 – Tornado Tears (2nd fastest ever)


Feature race winners

Status Race Dist Greyhound Trainer
Group 3 Shootout 515m Aston Dee Bee Seona Thompson
Listed Australian Sprint 515m Up Hill Jill David Geall
Listed Maidment Memorial 595m Hecton Bale Andrea Dailly
Group 2 Launching Pad 515m Beast Unleashed Jodie Lagogiane
Group 3 Easter Gift 515m Jimmy Newob Kel Greenough
Group 3 Bill Collins Speed Star 515m Dyna Patty Andrea Dailly
Group 3 Racecallers 595m Tornado Tears Robert Britton
Group 3 Lizrene 715m Rippin’ Sam Robert Britton
Group 1 Sapphire Crown 515m Elevated Harry Manilotis
Group 1 Harrison Dawson 515m My Redeemer David Geall
Group 1 Sandown Cup 715m Tornado Tears Robert Britton
Listed Cup Night Stayers 715m Ebby Ripper Michael Eberand
Group 2 McKenna Memorial 595m Out Of Range Seona Thompson
Group 1 National Distance Champ 715m Tornado Tears Robert Britton
Group 1 National Sprint Champ 515m West On Augie Chris Halse
SE Speed Star 515m Poke The Bear Seona Thompson
SE Speed Star 595 595m Tornado Tears Robert Britton
SE Speed Star Stayers 715m Rippin’ Sam Robert Britton
Group 2 Shootout 515m Orson Allen Correy Grenfell
Group 1 Bold Trease 715m Barcali Robert Britton
Group 1 Melbourne Cup 515m My Redeemer David Geall
Group 3 Sir John Dillon Memorial 595m Juniper Pearl Brett Mackie
Group 3 Cup Night Sprint 715m Barooga Brett Jamie Ennis
Listed Cup Night Stayers 515m Blly’s Bake Brett Bravo
Group 2 Laurels Classic 515m Circle Of Dreams Angela Langton
Mick Floyd
About Mick Floyd - Mick is the Racing and Media Manager at Sandown Park and has 15 years of experience in the sport. He has a finely tuned talent for finding three legs of a quaddie. You can follow his ramblings on Twitter - @mickfloyd
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