Dogwatch: Anja closing in on record
IN THE CLEAR: Henry Judge winning at Ipswich last Saturday. Rick O'Donnell
THE record for the most number of consecutive wins by a greyhound in Australia is 24.
That was achieved by the Stan Montague-trained Tropical One, a dog who raced in north Queensland, mainly at Cairns, during 2003-04. All of his wins were at non-TAB meetings.
The record for the number of consecutive wins on TAB tracks is 15. That's held jointly by South Australian-trained Kate's A Scandal (1980-81) and recently retired Victorian star Fernando Bale.
A greyhound trained in northern New South Wales, but does most of her racing in Queensland is closing on those records.
Anja, trained near Casino by Frank Hancock, took her record to 13 consecutive wins at Lismore on Tuesday last week. She has 10 Albion Park wins and three at Lismore.
At start number 11 on November 30 last year, Hancock stepped Anja up in distance to 520m at Albion Park. She led all the way, getting home by three quarters of a length in a moderate 30.44sec.
Hancock freshened Anja with a month's break after which she has won twice over 420m at Lismore.
"The plan is quite simple - I'll keep her in the short races until she gets beaten," Hancock said.
Asked whether Anja might race at Ipswich, Hancock says that's a possibility.
"Now that she has won 13 races in a row, she's up in higher grade and it can be hard to get a start," he said.
"I'll keep nominating for short races and that could include 431m at Ipswich."
Anja attempts 14 consecutive wins when she races at Albion Park this Sunday night, drawn box four in a third and fourth grade race over 395m.
Hancock and his wife Edie bred Anja, by Collision out of their wonderful producer of winners Dulcinea.
Henry Judge wins
Sentimental favourite Henry Judge did the job at his first Ipswich start with a strong winner last Saturday night.
The dog was trained in north Queensland by Robert Olsen, but sent to Barry and Sharon Morris who are at Lowood when Olsen became ill.
Olsen passed away last month and his funeral was held in Townsville last Friday.
Henry Judge gave a keen railing display from box two to win in runaway fashion in the smart time of 30.57sec on Saturday night.
The dog goes to a heat of the Young Guns series at the Showgrounds tomorrow night, where he has drawn box seven.
The son of Magic Sprite and Karching is the fastest 520m winner in his field.
Keith the dog catcher
Catching greyhounds after races is not a chore for Keith Sternberg - it's something he loves doing to help trainers out at Ipswich and Albion Park.
For several years, the Ipswich resident has been keeping a record of the number of greyhounds he catches, and the number of winners and placegetters.
2014 was his best year with 407 winners from 1800 greyhounds caught. He had 287 seconds and 266 thirds.
For 2015, Sternberg wasn't far behind those figures - 384 winners from 1674 greyhounds caught, with 289 seconds and 187 thirds.
As long as he is capable of getting to the track and remains active, the 86 years old will be a familiar face at our tracks, particularly in the catching pen.
CONSIDER THIS: Rearrange the letters in the word Astronomer and you get - Moon Starer