McDonald’s winning streak continues

Young Pearcedale trainer Ned McDonald continued his winning form.

By Mick Floyd

Young Pearcedale trainer Ned McDonald’s Sandown Park winning streak improved to six following his first city double last Thursday night.

Fractured kicked the night off in the best possible fashion when the well supported favourite railed strongly to win race 2 in 29.253 – the fastest time of the night – while Zipping Sullivan completed the double by taking out the Free For All in 29.365.

“It’s a thrill. I’m just happy the dogs are going well at the moment,” said McDonald.

“We had a good run a little while back then ran into some niggling injuries, but they’ve all come back really well so hopefully we can keep the run it going for as long as we can.”

McDonald has a team of just six greyhounds in work making his recent run of success all the more remarkable. Zipping Sultan’s victory was his 10th career victory at the track, all coming from his last 16 starters at the venue. As impressive as that strike rate is, the manner of the victories has been equally so – their average winning time of 29.423 is faster than the average Free For All winning time in 2020 – 29.429.

“It’s a small team but it keeps me busy and I can put 100% into all of them. It’ll keep me busy for the next few years I reckon.”

Zipping Sultan has now won 10 of his 18 career starts including his last three, and McDonald will now set him for the club’s first feature race of 2021, the Australian Sprint on 21 January. Fractured also won his third race in a row and is now likely to step up in distance.

“He hasn’t got the pace that some of the other dogs show. He’s a grade 4 at Sandown now so he’s going to come up against dogs that can run low 5’s (to the first split) and he can’t match that – he can go 5.15 at best – so I will probably go to 600m with him.”

In other news around Sandown, three of greyhound racing’s biggest stars have been named as finalists for the 2020 Sandown Greyhound Of The Year.

Hard Style Rico, Simon Told Helen and Tiggerlong Tonk dominated group racing across Victoria in 2020 and it was at Sandown Park where their abundant ability was on full display.

The triumvirate won 18 races between them at Sandown Park in 2020, four of which were at group level with seven were in sub-29.20 seconds. They combined to win over $800,000 in prize money at Sandown Park alone.

The Sandown Greyhound Of The Year is voted on by the Club’s Directorate, the CEO, Racing Manager and Racing Coordinator and will be announced at the club’s Annual General Meeting at on Tuesday 19 January and presented at the Australian Sprint/Maidment Memorial meeting on Thursday 21 January.

Listed below (in alphabetical order) are the three finalists and their records at Sandown Park in 2020:

Hard Style Rico

Sandown record in 2020

9 starts 4-1-0

Prize money: $459,750

Winning times: 28.91 (TRACK RECORD), 29.17, 29.31, 30.12

WON Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup

4th Group 2 Shootout

4th Group 3 Easter Gift

Simon Told Helen

Sandown record in 2020

8 starts 5-3-0

Prize money: $220,950

Winning times: 29.11, 29.21, 29.23, 29.26, 29.36

WON Group 1 Harrison-Dawson

WON Gr8 Eight

2nd Group 1 Melbourne Cup

2nd Victorian National Sprint final

Tiggerlong Tonk

Sandown record in 2020

19 starts 9-5-2

Prize money: $120,750

Winning times: 29.03 (Shootout race record), 29.12, 29.14, 29.16, 29.26, 29.32, 29.36 29.38, 29.99

WON Group 3 Shootout

WON Group 3 Easter Gift

2nd Listed Australian Sprint

2nd Gr8 Eight

3rd Group 1 Harrison-Dawson

4th Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup

Also won five Free For Alls

Paw note: Finalist’s head to head records at Sandown in 2020:

Simon Told Helen vs Tiggerlong Tonk 3-0

Simon Told Helen vs Hard Style Rico 2-1

Hard Style Rico vs Tiggerlong Tonk 2-3

Sandown Greyhound of the Year

Honour Roll

Year Greyhound

2002 Boomeroo

2003 Arvo’s Junior

2004 Whisky Assassin

2005 Closing Argument

2006 Betty’s Angel

2007 Shanlyn Prince

2008 Fallen Zorro

2009 Amity Bale

2010 El Grand Senor

2011 Bobby Boucheau

2012 Irma Bale

2013 Xylia Allen

2014 Sweet It Is

2015 Fernando Bale

2016 Dundee Osprey

2017 Aston Dee Bee

2018 My Redeemer and Tornado Tears

2019 Neo Cleo


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