Sign up to newsletter
* = required field

The Stir Up – Is Wow She’s Fast the greatest sprinter of all time?

In a ‘special edition’ of The Stir Up, RSN greyhound guru George Farrugia and GRV’s Gerard Guthrie and Peter Quilty offer their words of wisdom on where modern-day ‘wonder woman’ Wow She’s Fast sits compared to a cavalcade of the sport’s all-time great sprinters.


You can always keep track of your favourite greyhounds by saving them in your WatchDog Blackbook!


Who is the greatest? The perennial sports ‘argument’ is a tantalising and provocative question. Eternal debates that surface in bars, offices, clubs, the family loungeroom and the media invariably remain disputed and unresolved.

And greyhound racing is no exception – particularly when it comes to the world’s highest stakes earning greyhound, Wow She’s Fast ($2,361,370) – the first and only greyhound to crack the unimaginable $2 million barrier!

“Sharni” (as she’s affectionately known at the ‘Team Greenough’ kennel) has three Group 1s (Sapphire Crown, Maturity Classic and Temlee) and two successive The Phoenix trophies already on the mantelpiece – all from 19 wins from only 28 starts.

We’ll let readers draw their own conclusions – and it’s certain George, Gerard and Quilts will be put to the sword – but, for what it’s worth, here’s their two bobs’ worth.


Quilts  Guys… Oh my goodness, Wow She’s Fast, what a star! As James Van de Maat called, she was “canine perfection” in the Group 1 Temlee at The Meadows on Saturday night. But who do you think holds the ‘I Am The Greatest’ tag from our pantheon of sprinting megastars?

George  Wow She’s Fast has probably created more intrigue and interest in the sport than any other chaser, and that needs to be applauded, but I’d still have Fernando Bale as the greatest I’ve seen.

Fernando’s almost faultless box manners and early speed – holding both first sectional records at Sandown Park and The Meadows – meant he was pretty much unbeatable. His eight Group 1 wins are testament to that.

Incredibly, one of his best runs was when he was beaten. He totally blew the start of the 2015 Melbourne Cup and still led at the first corner before narrowly going down to fellow million-dollar dog and kennelmate Dyna Double One.

Gerard  George, I’m in your corner with Fernando Bale. And I’d like to preface my comments by saying I’m only rating greyhounds I’ve actually seen in action. Not quite as ‘experienced’ as you, Quilts!

I’m very careful using the word champion but, I believe, Wow She’s Fast has now earned that tag. However, I can’t find a spot for her in my top three. She’s not finished yet, so that could change, but right now, I can’t put her ahead of Brett Lee, Fernando Bale and Rapid Journey. Please, don’t ask me to split them!

Quilts  You’re spot on, Gerard. Wow She’s Fast has to be up there on that top echelon ‘pedestal’. I realise there’s a generational ‘distortion’ with prizemoney but some of her winning times have been out of this world.

Unfortunately, I missed the illustrious race career of Fernando Bale. However, there’s no doubt Rapid Journey always deserved his post-race treat of a Macca’s soft cone ice-cream.

Rapid Journey is a GCA Hall of Fame member and smashed American champion Mo Kick’s world prizemoney record when successful in the 1998 Topgun. His $530,995 stakes mark stood for more than 12 years!

George  He was a tad before my time, but a lot of respected greyhound analysts continue to laud the great Temlee. He absolutely obliterated the Olympic Park track record on his way to Group glory, and his impact on pedigrees in Australia is about as influential as it gets.

Gerard  I totally agree, George. But harking back to Wow She’s Fast and talking about a greyhound winning $2 million is still almost surreal, but I don’t think you can factor prizemoney into ‘GOAT’ discussions.

Back in 1998, Rapid Journey won six Group 1 races, and in today’s prizemoney those wins would have netted $1.4 million.

He won another 27 races on top of that! There’s also his win in the 1998 National Sprint Championship at Cannington, where he came from last. Unbelievable!

Fernando Bale was totally dominant in 2015. As dominant as any greyhound I’ve seen. He was as close to the perfect racing greyhound as you would find. Just a machine! That year, he won eight Group 1s, two country cups and ran second in one of the all-time great Melbourne Cups.

Quilts  I’ll tell you about another ‘machine’, Gerard. It’s Highly Blessed, which I place marginally ahead of Rapid Journey as No. 1 on my list.

Highly Blessed was the sport’s PR machine between 1989 and 1992 – even featuring on ‘A Current Affair’. She won 38 races from 56 starts, and I’ll never forget her 1990 Melbourne Cup win when she shattered a 33-year hoodoo by becoming the first greyhound to win the event from box five since Rookie Rebel in 1957.

She also held Sandown Park’s then 511-metre track record and was selected in the 1991 All World Greyhound Field – voted by the World Greyhound Federation as one of the world’s best eight greyhounds.

George  That’s an amazing achievement, Quilts. But back to Wow She’s Fast, which I think has surpassed Flying Amy in terms of legacy, but the Queenslander was an absolute rock star in the 1990s. Multiple track records and Group 1 wins on her home deck, and then she came to Melbourne and toyed with a super field in the 1995 National Sprint Championship.

Gerard  Flying Amy was brilliant, George. But Brett Lee was an absolute freak. The best performance I’ve seen live was his 2001 Golden Easter Egg victory. The knockers said he couldn’t win off box eight at Wentworth Park; he was three lengths in front at the winning post the first time! And how about his incomprehensible 28.88sec Angle Park track record?

The other thing my top three did was win anywhere and against all comers, whereas, to date, all of Wow She’s Fast’s feature wins have come in Victoria, with two of her three Group 1s coming in age and sex restricted events.

Quilts  Gerard, I had another hiatus from the sport and sadly missed Brett Lee’s stellar race career. But, by all reports, he was a genuine superstar.

However, I’d like to throw another greyhound into the equation – and not only for purposes of nostalgia and posterity. His name is Black Top – a legend from the early 1960s – and although I was only a toddler at the time, I’m now quite aware of his freakish ability.

He was rated as one of the world’s fastest greyhounds and such was his dominance that connections of other top class greyhounds refused to nominate if Black Top was in the field. Consequently, Black Top raced against the clock on a number of occasions in solo attempts to better his own records.

Okay, I’m having my fifty cents worth. But I also believe a group of Wow She’s Fast’s female counterparts, including Flying Amy, merit mention – speedsters the ilk of (in no particular order) Mancunian Girl, Sandi’s Me Mum, Paua To Burn, Betty’s Angel, Jessica Casey, Winifred Bale, Cindeen Shelby (also trained by the Greenoughs), Promises Free, Bogie Leigh, Tenthill Doll and China Trip.

And how about a few of Jason Thompson’s champions – Light Of Fire, Awesome Assassin, Whisky Assassin and El Galo – along with Tangaloa and more recent luminaries such as Simon Told Helen and Aston Rupee.


Gents, thanks for the trip down memory lane. Nominating a GOAT is an endless imponderable. But it’s been fantastic reminiscing on some all-time greats – of which there have been a myriad over the years.

The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here

About Peter Quilty - Peter Quilty has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
View all posts

Related Posts

Best CBD for Dogs with Arthritis