El Grand Senor
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: EL GRAND SENOR
CATEGORY: RACING GREYHOUND
Breeder/owner/trainer: Carolyn Jones (Rosedale VIC)
Breeding: Where’s Pedro – Elgrando Gold (April 2008)
- 43 starts, 35 wins, two 2nds, one 3rd
- $533,147 in prize money
- Won three Group 1s – Melbourne Cup, Topgun, Maturity Classic
- Won $50,000 triple country cups bonus for winning three country cups in a calendar year (Warragul, Traralgon and Shepparton Cups)
- Won nine straight races on two occasions
- Track records at Horsham 410m (22.80sec); Sale 440m (24.45sec) & Warragul 460m (25.51sec)
- Sire of Ando’s Mac (Melbourne Cup), Swimming Goat (won 22 straight in NZ) and several other group class greyhounds including El Magnifico, Marbro’s Man and Weekend Binge.
Few greyhounds have captured the attention of Victorians like El Grand Senor in 2010/11.
His dominance was such that he was considered virtually unbeatable.
And it all started from the moment his breeder, owner & trainer Carolyn Jones first took him to a racetrack.
“The first time Carolyn put him in a box she rang me up and said ‘I think they’ve clocked the lure…she said he couldn’t go that quick,” recalled Carolyn’s mentor, Peter Giles.
El Grand Senor made his debut at 22 months of age in a 410 metres maiden race at Horsham – and by then the word was out about the talented 38 kilogram greyhound from Gippsland – as he started a red-hot $1.40 favourite when scoring by 10 lengths.
His early and mid-race speed continually blew his opposition away, and his popularity was such that he started favourite in all but one of his 43 races, from which he netted 35 wins, three at Group 1 level, and over half a million dollars in prize money.
“His best achievement was his Melbourne Cup win,” Giles said. “It was one of the few times he missed the kick, but he was still able to run a brilliant time and win by four or five lengths (6.25 lengths). He also won the Maturity and the Topgun at The Meadows. He won three country cups, held three track records at different times and he won nine consecutive races twice and won 18 of his last 20 starts before being retired.”
“He was just a natural race dog. I think he had the edge on his rivals because of his brilliant early pace and his box manners. He started off over the shorter trips and there were people who suspected he may not run 500 metres, but Carolyn never had a doubt.”
As electrifying as he was on the racetrack, like most greyhounds, El Grand Senor had a softer side.
One of two pups from a litter by Where’s Pedro out of Elgrando Gold, El Grand Senor was picked out from birth by Carolyn’s niece Kiah, who was just four at the time.
Kiah named him Ari, and the two became best friends.
“Kiah would spend a lot of time playing with him,” said Carolyn’s mother and Kiah’s grandmother, Pat Jones. “She was always with him and always said it was her puppy. She used to help feed and look after him. She used to get out in the paddock and just play with him.”
“There were offers to buy him. People tried several times to coax Carolyn into selling him but he would never leave here. He was our pet.”
El Grand Senor was retired to stud after winning the 2011 Shepparton Cup, and he continues to reside at Jones’ property in the Gippsland town of Rosedale.