Ian Fortune

When Great Dale skipped home in front after affine display at Shelbourne Park on Friday evening, it escaped me that she was doing so for the sixth time in a row.

Plenty of greyhounds in the past have gone on longer winning sequences but few can boast going unbeaten for seven months.

The daughter of Ballymac Best and Darraghs Pet is not overly big, tipping the scales on Friday at 55lbs, while she began her sequence at 53lbs. That first victory came at Drumbo Park in late April, emerging two lengths clear in 29.02.

Little did her owners Stephan Radcliffe and Karen McGee know she would go onto win a further five times. What is noticeable in the sequence is the fact that she has yet to win at the same track twice in a row. In fact, her second win of the six came at Derry in 27.96 for the 500yd trip.

She then had a four-month layoff, most likely after coming in season. She returned at Drumbo Park on September 10th and won a sprint in 18.02 before winning her fourth race in a row on a slow track at Shelbourne Park in late October. After recording 29.20 on a track rated .20 slow, she was then switched back to Drumbo Park.

Her next win would make it five on the spin as she stopped the clock in a rapid 28.50. An so to Shelbourne Park on Friday, some 216 days or seven months and two days after her first win in the sequence, the slight performer made it six on the bounce with a 28.74 return.

Her career record now reads six wins from eight starts and, given her style of racing, she may not be finished winning. Blessed with early speed and a true wide racing line, she receives a clear passage more often than not. We don’t yet know where she will be bidding for her seventh win on the spin but, wherever it is, she is clearly one to be taken seriously.