Hobart 1000 History 1939 & 1940 Audio

This find from Brennan Ryan down in Tasmania an audio replay of the 1939 & 1940 Hobart 1000’s. Together with pics from the night.

History of the Hobart 1000

The Hobart Thousand was the brainchild of M.A. (Arthur) Morgan, widely regarded both in Tasmania and on the mainland as one of the founding fathers of greyhound racing in Tasmania, and one of the greatest administrators the sport has seen. It remains the longest running Classic event on the Australian greyhound-racing calendar.

Greyhound racing commenced in Hobart at the T.C.A. ground on January 30th 1935, Morgan and his original committee established the Hobart Cup as the Classic race of the year and it was run on February 2nd that year. The winner Elwick Boy collected 20 pounds for his owner S. Burton.

Morgan in his great desire to establish Hobart as the leading greyhound track in Australia, saw the Hobart Cup as the way to achieve this. The race was advertised as the Hobart Thousand in 1939 with a first prize of an Australian record 500 pounds.

This started the mass influx of the top mainland chasers, searching for “Thousand Glory”, an influx that continues to this day.

The race reverted back to the Hobart Cup for 1942/43, because of financial constraints, and the fact that the mainlanders struggled to get here during the war. Further war restrictions saw the race in recess during 1944 and 1945.

When the race resumed in 1946, it was again the Hobart Thousand and was run for a first prize of what Morgan had always wanted it to be, 1000 pounds. It was won by popular Hobartian Dick Baker with his top chaser Ebon’s Own, trained by Claude Best.

The late 40s and 50s were indeed the halcyon days of the H.G.R.C. When Morgan started up the Maiden Thousand in 1949, (which was the richest Maiden series in Australia until the 1980s) it created a greyhound racing carnival of sorts with leading mainland trainers migrating to Tasmania with greyhounds to compete in the Maiden Thousand, Hobart Thousand double and sometimes Launceston Cup as well. Legendary NSW trainer Charlie “Chika” Morris would often bring up to 20 chasers and stay for 3 months. He did this for decades.

For 9 years straight ending in 1953, the Hobart Club distributed more stakemoney than any other club in Australia and the Hobart Thousand was always the lure for top quality racing and large public patronage. Until 1965 the race was run as a handicap, with Morgan having sole discretion, as was the case with most matters. Since 1965 all runners have been from the same mark.

Ill health forced Arthur Morgan from the helm of Hobart in 1967, but his dream race, known by all simply as “the Thousand”, has continued through all the thick and thin that Hobart has encountered, right to the present day, where it is now a National Group 1 race with a first prize of $50,000.

The most notable effort in the history of the Hobart Thousand must be the training feat of Hilda Williamson of Beaconsfield. She won back-to-back Thousands in 1961/62 with her grand bitch Ophir Doll, and just for good measure made it a hat trick with Ophir Gold in 1963. Another notable feat was that of Beaut Dina. She won the event run in 1976 and was the dam of Scene Control, which won the last ever Hobart Thousand run at the T.C.A. in 1980. Both were owned and trained by Ted and Laurie Rigby of Evandale.

Arguments will always rage over the greatest dogs to win the Thousand. The best interstate chasers to gain victory would have to be Rookie Rebel (1958), Benjamin John (1969), (which ran down the immortal Zoom Top), Black Aztec (1981), and the freak Brother Fox (1985). Amongst the very best of the locals to salute would have to be Ophir Doll (1961/62), along with Royal Griffin (1978), True Vintage (1988), Bomber‟s a Flyer (1996), Top Shiraz (2000) (who held off the peedster Brett Lee) and Black Caleb (2002) who defeated Melbourne Cup winner Classic Capri. Race record over the 457m trip – 2005 winner Ralph The Mouth 25.60.

The Hobart 1000 is the oldest feature race final in Australia it was first run as the Hobart Cup at the old TCA circuit in 1935. The race first became known as the Hobart 1000 in 1939, it reverted back to the Hobart Cup for two years in 1942 then was not held during the war years of 1944-45 and when the race recommended in 1946 it was again known as the Hobart 1000.

Victorian Champion Trainer Graeme Bate hold the record for most number of winners he has won the race on no less than four occasions. Victorian trained greyhounds have won three of the last four Hobart 1000’s decided since the race moved to Tattersall’s Park at the Elwick Racecourse. Superman, Train A Journey and last year’s winner Prankster were split by local speedster Little Spaniard in 2008.