Just before he was sold to West Australian interests, a gifted greyhound named Blue Echo landed a nationwide betting plunge at Sandown Park in Melbourne, running within a length of the track record.
Coupled with the sale price, the winnings from this venture no doubt meant the Victorian owners of the dog did very well indeed. What they couldn’t have known, of course, was that the greyhound they’d just let go would become one of the great WA champions of the 1980s, both on the track and later as a leading sire.
A littermate to the brilliant I’m Blessed, who won thirty-two of forty-eight starts, it was no surprise that Blue Echo could run, but in Western Australia in the one shining year of 1984, he would never be unplaced in twenty-six starts, winning twenty-two of them, including the WA Sprint Championship.
Trained by fellow Hall-Of-Fame inductee, David Hamer, Blue Echo was speedy early and liked to track wide in his races, but also had strength, a good temperament and a strong will-to-win; all valuable qualities in a greyhound.
At Cannington Central, Blue Echo would complete an astonishing eighteen successive wins, before going down by half-a-head in the All Stars Final, when his mid-track running style cost him victory. He then won another four in a row, taking his record to twenty-two wins and one close second from his initial twenty-three outings in the west. He ran a second and two thirds at his next three appearances, fighting a toe injury all through that period which unfortunately forced his retirement.
Along the way in his amazing streak of success, Blue Echo won the 1984 Trusty Gift, Lew Dorsa Memorial, Winter Cup, WA Sprint Championship, Spring Gift, Canning Show Cup and Christmas Gift.
In his Canning Show Cup victory, Blue Echo went within 0.04 seconds of the 530 metre world record of General Jeff (30.54).
He was always very fast though, in fact twenty-one of his twenty-two wins in WA were in the fastest time of the night. He ran sub-thirty-one seconds in thirteen of those.
Blue Echo represented WA in the 1984 National Sprint Championship (457 metres) at Harold Park in Sydney and finished third from the unsuitable inside box.
Not surprisingly, the near-invincible champion was the unanimous choice for 1984 WA Greyhound of the Year.
In stakes, Blue Echo won just over $30,000 on the track in WA, which, when you consider his record, shows just how far prize money has advanced since that time.
As a sire he was more than successful, producing a litany of top greyhounds and a couple of true stars.
Headlining this list is Fremantle Echo, named 1987 Greyhound of the Year after winning the 1987 National Sprint Championship in Hobart.
Fremantle Echo’s littermate Black Review won the 1987 WA Derby, 1987 Lew Dorsa Memorial, 1988 “The Shorts” and 1989 Birthday Cup.
Other high class winners included Mossdale Rocket (1990 Anniversary Cup), Grand Lady (1991 Paradise Street Trophy), Crown Echo (1991 Chase, 1991 “The Shorts”) and Rideau Canal (1992 Dash).
Blue Echo was leading sire in Western Australia in 1989.
1984 Trusty Gift
1984 Lew Dorsa Memorial
1984 Winter Cup
1984 WA Sprint Championship
1984 Spring Gift
1984 Canning Show Cup
1984 Christmas Gift