Trying to determine the fastest greyhound of all-time is quite some challenge. For one thing, the sport of greyhound racing has been going since 1926, and it is fair to say that some speedy hounds have been lost to the mists of time. And that’s not even taking its predecessor Coursing into account, which dates back over hundreds of years. Even when trying to estimate the speed of contemporary greyhounds, different tracks and conditions make it a difficult task. All that being said, there is one greyhound which is widely acknowledged to having been the fastest around.
One of the factors to take into account when trying to estimate the speed of a greyhound is the track being raced on. Tracks can range in length from 350 yards to over 1,000 yards at some courses, although 525 yards (480m) is generally regarded as the ‘standard’ length of track in the UK and Ireland. A race with more bends will have an impact on speed, naturally enough, as the greyhounds will be fastest on the straight. One of the fastest times at the 525 yard distance was recorded in 2007 when Blonde Dino went around the Monmore Green track in 27.81 seconds. This time has since been beaten, with the current UK record at the distance standing at 27.39, a time set by Eden Star in Sheffield in 2011. For comparison’s sake, the Irish record is 27.85 by Curious Boy at Curraheen.
All of which is a prelude to introduce the world’s fastest greyhound: Shakey Jakey. Running at Wentworth Park in Australia, Shakey Jakey got around the track in a time of 29.07 on his maiden run, beating the next placed hound by 22 lengths. While there are no tracks of the same length in the UK or Ireland, there is a 515m track at Brighton where the current record stands at 29.2 seconds, with the Australian record for 515m being 29.3 seconds. That means Shakey Jakey knocked .13 seconds (about 2 lengths) off the best time – and that includes running for 5 metres more!
This race in 2014 was to be Shakey Jakey’s first and last race. His owner decided that the hound’s value as a stud far exceeded anything that he could win in prize money. Having beaten the odds of winning the lottery by finding such a special greyhound, perhaps owner David Pringle was right. Especially when he was expecting to earn millions in stud fees over the following years. Given that the track at Wentworth was hardly in optimum condition after a heavy downpour when the race was run, it seems likely that Jakey could have run even faster. Of course we will never know, although the first of his offspring are now appearing at race-tracks around Australia, and perhaps one of this new generation will beat Pop’s record one day.