THE Golden Easter Egg final features the winners of this year’s Group 1 National Derby (Fernando Bale) and National Futurity (Zipping Midge), in what is perhaps a fitting tribute to having those two long-standing age classics return to headquarters after six years of being conducted at The Gardens circuit.
This is only the second time in the Egg’s 26 runnings that both NSW age classic winners have gone on to make the same final. The first time was back in 2007 when the Victorian star Slater annexed the National Derby and then went on to take out the Egg final. Bralyn Maisie, which had won the Futurity that year, made the Egg final and finished a gallant fourth to Slater.
Jinderra Flame, the runner-up to Slater in the Egg, had won the 2006 National Futurity, thus making it the only time three winners of those age classics have made the same Egg finale.
When the inaugural Golden Easter Egg took place in 1990, Gozo Nicoloa, the Futurity winner, made the final, running fourth behind Ultra Sense. Blinky’s Pride, who had run third in the Derby, was among the unplaced division.
In 1992, the National Futurity winner November Sunset finished sixth behind Jessica Casey while the 1997 Egg runner-up Kedo’s Millie had finished sixth in the Futurity.
Champion Queensland sprinter Faithful Hawk had been a solid favourite for the 1999 National Derby but was out-muscled by Hahn Bale, finishing a solid second. He then went on to make the Egg final and scored in race record time.
The 2000 Egg final featured National Futurity winner Junoseque and sixth-placed Flash Joan while Stately Bird went from third placing in the Derby to annexing the Egg. Flash Joan ran fourth and Junoseque seventh.
In 2001, Floodfawn, third in the Futurity, finished seventh to Brett Lee in the Egg final, while Creative Whisky, fifth in that Futurity, ran second.
Brilliant Hand, third in the Derby, finished fifth behind Bogie Leigh in the 2004 Egg before there was a gap until the above-mentioned 2007 Egg final.
Lucky Alive, second in the 2008 Derby, and Lorna Moira, sixth in the Futurity, made the Egg final but could only finish seventh and fourth respectively.
Three more years passed before Adam Meway, fourth in the Derby, took third place in the 2011 Egg final, behind rampaging Radley Bale.
In 2013 Punch One Out ran last in the Egg final after a second placing in the National Futurity, while last year Evil Punk finished second in the Derby and fifth in the Egg final, behind Tonk.
So, this will be the fifth time the National Futurity winner has made it to the Egg final, with two fourth placings their best result so far. As for the National Derby winner, Fernando Bale will be just the second greyhound to collect the double if he is able to score this Saturday night.