The Fastest Australian Greyhound
The greyhound is the fastest canine on the planet, regularly able to outsprint a racehorse in a drag race. Who are some of the most iconic Australian greyhounds of all time, and what is it about their unique bodies that afford them such blistering speed?
Here we’ll learn about some Australian greyhound racing legends and then delve into some of the biological characteristics that allow these famous animals to run so fast? The speeds have made it an Australian pastime to bet on greyhounds.
A greyhound in a full sprint is an unbelievable sight to behold. They move so quickly and build up such acceleration that it’s hard to keep up with them as they fly along. Hundreds of years of specialist breeding have honed their bodies to be some of nature's most agile sprinters; they have perfect aerodynamic makeup, long, powerful legs, enormous paws for grip, and fascinating internal anatomy.
Australia’s All-Time Champion Greyhounds
Australia has a rich tradition of greyhound racing, which has been popular throughout the country for decades. With such an interest in this kind of racing, there are some noteworthy dogs to discuss. A greyhound's success is often measured in total prize money earned, with the most successful dogs earning over $1.3 million. Some of the more noteworthy beasts to make this list include:
● Fanta Bale - Widely accepted as the most successful Australian greyhound of all time, Fanta Bale won 42 of her 63 competitive races, giving her iconic status in the sport and netting a total of $1,365,175 in total prize money. Her owner, Paul wheeler and her trainer, Robert Britton, retired her in 2018, but she still leads the way in Australian greyhound performances. Fanta Bale has set the bar so high for competitive greyhound racing that other owners and trainers look to her as the benchmark of achievement in the sport in Australia.
● She's A Pearl - another speedy pooch considered one of the best of all time. She's A Pearl has generated $1,355,210 in total winnings and the fact that she is still active means she has a chance of overtaking the trendsetter mentioned above before the end of her career in the sport. Her frequency of race wins is impressive, with 23 wins from her 33 races. If this success rate continues in the future, She's A Pearl could overtake Fanta Bale as Australia's most successful greyhound.
● Wow, She's Fast - with a name like that, this fluffy pocket rocket could not be left out of the list of fastest Australian greyhounds. Netting over 1.1 million dollars in prize money, she has rightly earned her place in the list of fastest Australian greyhounds. She is still racing, and with many races ahead of her, we could see Wow, She's Fast on the top spot of this list before she retires.
How Does a Greyhound’s Physiology Make Them Run So Fast?
So, is Fanta Bale similar to Wow, She's Fast, and is there anything unique about their physiology that makes these particular greyhounds the fastest in Australia?
The short answer is yes, generations of selective breeding. It is a nod to the genius of nature in how selective breeding can produce such unique traits. A greyhound's physiology has been carefully managed over the generations to create some interesting biological characteristics that set them apart from all other breeds of dogs.
One factor that contributes to a greyhound's incredible speed is its heart. Interesting new advances in ultrasound technology have given veterinarians and greyhound breeders the ability to see inside the animal more clearly than ever, allowing scientists to study a greyhound's heart in more detail. Champion greyhounds such as Fanta Bale have bigger hearts than any other dog in comparison to their size. Over the centuries, due to the strenuous physical demands placed upon the breed, top greyhound's hearts have evolved to be 15% larger than breeds of a similar size. They really are super puppies!
A competitive greyhound, such as the fastest in Australia, has a heart of up to 1.73% of its overall body size. Other, less athletic breeds of canine have an average heart weight of around 0.77% of their total weight. In comparison, humans have a heart-weight-to-body ratio of only about 0.5%. A thoroughbred horse in top condition also has a heart of about 1.0-1.4% of its total body weight.
In addition to having enormous hearts for their size, greyhounds have a higher red blood cell count than any other dog breed. This benefits an athletic breed because their super hearts carry more oxygenated blood around their bodies. These incredible dogs are a breed of their own, regularly demonstrating their unique characteristics as the fastest dogs on the planet.