Cowra greyhound Dana Beatrice, owned and trained by the McDonald brothers Rod and Wes, has pulled off one of the greatest Golden Easter Egg upsets in the the races 19 year history.
On a track that looked to be strongly favouring rails runners, Miss Elly Mint and El Galo were sent out favourites and all thought the two would stage a battle royale to decide the ultimate prize in Australian greyhound racing.
Well that battle royale lasted about 75 metres, as both speedster shot to the lead together, but on the corner Miss Elly Mint moved out away from the rail contacting El Galo hard and throwing both runners off balance.
That interference left a gap a Sydney garbo could’ve driven through and the 2009 Bathurst Gold Cup winner Dana Beatrice seized her moment and shot through under her more fancied rivals.
The Cowra trained daughter of Collision ~ Dana Betty come in to the Group 1 final with a record of 16 wins from 26 starts, winning 12 of her last 16. To further demonstrate just how far the youngster has come, 9 of her last 11 runs had been at Wagga, Temora or Bathurst tracks, but that didn’t stop her leaving the 2009 Golden Easter Egg field in her wake down the back straight
From there Dana Beatrice kept it all together and went to the line in 29.70 unchallenged, bolting in for a $150,000 collect for the McDonald family by 5.5 lengths. Behind her Miss Elly Mint had stayed focused on the race and tried valiantly to make ground on Dana Beatrice but was harrassed by El Galo for the journey. She was rewarded with second place, while El Galo finished .75 length further back in third.
Speaking after the race Rod McDonald had said the race had played out much the way he thought it could, “We thought the race might workout that way as Miss Elly Mint does tend to use a bit of the track and we thought Dana Beatrice would be in the right spot at the right time”.
“When she got to the lead at the 720m boxes, I was pretty confident” McDonald said.
A January 2007 whelping, Dana Beatrice was the youngest greyhound in the race and is still eligible for many of the “puppy classic” races, such as the Group 1 Maturity and WA Oaks, with connections leaning toward a Maturity Classic start at The Meadows.
And Dana Beatrice’s win is another score on the board for outstanding stud prospect Collision who is starting to really get some good greyhounds on the track including Hanify’s Impact but more recently High Earner, from the good Collision ~ New Guess litter.
It also marks the incredible run of pre-potent damline of Ted Doss’ “Osti” line of greyhounds with Dana Beatrice bred by the McDonald family from Dana Betty, a grand daughter of Shadow Osti. The McDonalds also won the 2008 Bob Payne Winter Stake at Wentworth Park with Dana Gretel (Go Wild Teddy ~ Runaway Tiger), a half sister to Dana Beatrice’s dam, Dana Betty.
Dana Beatrice is by Collision from Dana Betty, whelped in Janury 2007, and is owned by Wes McDonald and trained by brother Rod McDonald. Last night’s $150,000 win took her career prizemoney to $187,970, earnt from 27 starts which have produced 17 wins and 7 placings. Her 29.70 winning time last night improved her previous personal best of 30.04 by amost 5 lengths and took her Wenwtworth Park record to 7 starts for 4 wins and 2 placings.
The Golden Easter Egg is arguably Australia’s premier greyhound race on the Group 1 greyhound racing calendar and has been won by a litany of Australia’s best greyhounds throughout it’s 19 years history, including five AGRA Hall of Famers. First conducted in 1990 when won by the Jim Coleman trained Ultra Sense the race quickly took pride of place in the Harbour city. The full Golden Easter Egg Honour Roll follows.
Group 1 Golden Easter Egg Honour Roll
- 1990 Ultra Sense C M Coleman
- 1991 Highly Blessed L Ferremi
- 1992 Jessica Casey J Finn
- 1993 Billy Binjang P Seymour
- 1994 Mancunian Girl P S Wardle
- 1995 Malawi Law G Bate
- 1996 Tenthill Doll H P Sarkis
- 1997 Bahama Image W McNally
- 1998 Rapid Journey J Carruthers
- 1999 Faithful Hawk P Rayner
- 2000 Stately Bird K Paull
- 2001 Brett Lee D McDonald
- 2002 Carlisle Jack R Douglas
- 2003 Cyrus The Virus S Swain
- 2004 Bogie Leigh T Brett
- 2005 Paua To Burn S White
- 2006 Edie Beauchamp M Wright
- 2007 Slater D Murray
- 2008 Blazing Token M Burdekin
- 2009 Dana Beatrice R McDonald
Group Support Races
The three support features on Easter Egg final night consisted of two Group 3 events and the Group 2 The Ambrosoli. Starting with the Multiquip Magic Maiden series.
The final was taken out in fine style by Devine Road (Collision x Cut Fine). A $3.00 chance he proved too good for Jedd Lion and Locatelli winning by five and a half lengths in a fast 29.97 after sections of 5.52 and 13.98. Using box one to full advantage the May 2007 whelp appears to have a big future in front of him.
First included as part of the Carnival in 2003 and the past winners are listed below :
Group 3 Magic Maiden Honour Roll
- 2003 Winsome Revenge 30.31
- 2004 Infinite Beauty 30.47
- 2005 Gilderoy 30.68
- 2006 Modern Supreme 29.93
- 2007 Breeze It In 30.19
- 2008 Albino Rossi 30.43
- 2009 Devine Road 29.97
Next feature was the Group 2 De Bortoli Wines Ambrosoli formerly conducted as the Egg Consolation the race honours newly inducted AGRA Hall of Fame member Paul Ambrosoli.
This year’s event was won by True Kihael (Trewly Special x Tell Tall Tails) he found the front early and held off a determined effort from the reserve Navada Sunrise and third placing Brislane to record an outstanding win recording 29.82 after starting a $2.60 favourite.
Previous Winners of the Easter Egg Consolation are as follows :
Group 2 The Ambrosoli Honour Roll
- 2003 Sally’s Lass 30.57
- 2004 Sparge Banner 30.21
- 2005 Miss Bekkie Lee 30.29
- 2006 Oxley Hero 29.84
- 2007 Catmando 30.35
- 2008 Mandagery Man 29.94
- 2009 True Kihael 29.82
The last of the features was the Group 3 Globe Memorial Easter Chase, in another excellent staying performance Lilley Criminal lead almost all the way to bring up yet another group victory. She has been a model of consistency at the top level for a long period of time and is a credit to her trainer Anthony Azzopardi. The Easter Chase was her third Group win so far this year after she clocked 42.25 for the 720 metres, defeating Gold Slammer and Shadow Boxer.
An unfortunate side line to the feature final was the career ending hock injury suffered by multi group winning stayer Gunnadoo Magic. In a career of 70 starts she won 27 races and over $278,000 in prizemoney, she will certainly be missed from the staying ranks.
The Globe Memorial Easter Chase was first conducted as part of the carnival, as a feature distance event in 2003, listed below are the past winners and their winning time.
Group 3 Easter Chase Honour Roll
- 2003 Tipper’s Comet 42.71
- 2004 Irinka Barbie 42.63
- 2005 Thai Again 42.86
- 2006 Best Quoted 42.27
- 2007 Flashing Floods 43.25
- 2008 Lyn’s Daisy 42.33
- 2009 Lilley Criminal 42.25