By David Brasch
Group 2 Black Top (515m)
Best 64 nominated. The Gardens.
Heats August 21. Final August 28.
$40,000 to the winner.
KERRY Drynan had to get into her mum Doreen\’s ear way back in the early 2000s to start a dynasty.
\”I had been overseas working on cruise ships and in Europe,\” said Kerry. \”When I came home, mum had bred a litter from a bitch we raced called Sarah Isle, but unfortunately she missed.\”
At the time, Doreen was training a very smart sprinter who suddenly left her kennel. Kerry insisted her mum breed a litter of their own.
That\’s when Sarah Isle went to Hotshow Sam and produced a litter that would change more than the Drynan family\’s fortunes.
From the litter came Buddy Rich who, in 2005, would win the inaugural running of the Group 2 Black Top at The Gardens the race named in honour of one of greyhound racing\’s immortals.
The Black Top still holds pride of place at The Gardens and has since been won by some very, very good race dogs. It comes around in August again.
Doreen Drynan and daughter Kerry remember it so very well.
\”Huge thrill,\” says Kerry.
Buddy Rich won the Black Top, set a track record at the Gardens, was second in the G2 Richmond Derby, Peter Mosman, third in the G1 Topgun and G2 National Sprint and a finalist in the G1 Paws of Thunder and Gosford Gold Cup.
He was something else.
The litter was also something else with some very handy race dogs.
But, among them was a bitch Doreen called Buena Sarah who could gallop, but suffered an early injury.
\”Mum had bought a bitch called Parade Miss and this is where that line started,\” said Kerry. \”Carolyn Hughes sold her the pup, mum sold Carolyn\’s brother John a bitch called Dark Orchid, a daughter of Parade Miss, we got her daughter Paradox from the family and she bred Sarah Isle.\”
Sarah Isle had been a city winner for the Drynan kennel.
Buena Sarah in turn has produced Eluthra the Potential Stakes winner and dam of G1 National Sprint winner Chica Destacarda who has since produced that superstar litter including Blue Moon Rising, Veloce Nero, Poco Dorado and Two Times Twice.
Eluthra\’s sister Midnight Lace has also become a breeding goldmine. Group 1 star Raw Ability is from the line and so is smart stayer Pearl Of Tahiti whose fifth dam is Sarah Isle.
But it was Buddy Rich who was the Drynan\’s favourite way back when The Black Top was inaugurated.
\”Beautiful dog,\” said Kerry. \”But he would not work hard at home. He was super keen at the racetrack.
\”We tried him at stud, but his lines were not fashionable at the time and he only got a few bitches.\”
Interestingly, among those was his son Buddy Broke who went to New Zealand to finish second in a G2 Cobain Memorial. He would get his chance at stud and in 2019 sired a couple of Group performers in Grunty Mama and Race Me Home.
They trace directly to former star Albion Park race bitch Hypo Havoc the dam of champion Bogie Leigh.
Grunty Mama was third in the G1 Wanganui Distance Championship in 2019.
The Black Top comes around in August, but club officials have tried to shift the race to avoid a clash with the early qualifying rounds of the $1M Chase series.