Zipping Willow leaves indelible mark on Wentworth Park

ALTHOUGH she bowed out at the heat stage of the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, it’s worth looking a little more closely at where Zipping Willow, lauded as the ‘Queen of Wentworth Park’, sits in the pantheon of those who have gone before her on the Glebe circuit.

Zipping Willow competed just 28 times on the track, all over the 520 metres trip, and recorded 20 victories, with two seconds and two thirds (Note: it has been reported elsewhere that she won 21 of 28, but this is incorrect).

Zipping Willow currently ‘owns’ the record for the most successive wins at the track, registering an incredible 10 consecutive victories in 2014. That broke the previous best sequence of eight on end, held by Miss Elly Mint and set in 2009.

This 10 on end may well be the record for Wentworth Park throughout its history, which started in October 1939. The previous best sequence, of which I’m aware, is also eight in a row, over the old 530 metres grass journey, set in 1984 by Turbo Top.

The only other greyhound to have won 10 on end at Wentworth Park is the stayer Pearl Larricki, all over the 720 metres trip, in 2001.

Zipping Willow also set the second and third section time records at Wentworth Park, clocking 13.52 and 17.60 on 28 June last year.

In terms of actual numbers of wins, Zipping Willow’s 20 successes places her in equal fourth place when it comes to wins recorded over 520 metres, behind Stately Bird (25 victories), Did I Entertain (24), and Golden Milo (22).

Zipping Willow shares equal fourth spot with Lucy Lawless and Benny’s Alarm.

When it comes to all-time wins over all distances at Wentworth Park since the track re-opened after the Second World War, Zipping Willow occupies equal seventh place, with Turbo Top (25 wins over 530 and 722 metres), Slick Appeal (24 wins over 520 and 720 metres), and Flash Joan (22 wins over 520 and 720 metres) ahead of Zipping Willow, while Sally’s Title (20 wins at 520 and 720 metres) is on the same level.

Zipping Willow and Lucy Lawless share some similarities. Apart from having won 20 races apiece over 520 metres at Wentworth Park, they both won the Ladies Bracelet (in 2014 and 1998 respectively) and both took out the Canberra Cup (in 2013 and 1998 respectively).

Where Zipping Willow really does earn her ‘Queen of Wentworth Park’ sobriquet is in terms of strike rate. Zipping Willow won 71 percent of her starts at headquarters. The next best in the top rank of 520 metres winners is Lucy Lawless, with a 46 percent strike rate (20 wins in 43 outings).

The only greyhounds with 15 or more wins at the post-1987 course with strike rates that are better or comparable to Zipping Willow’s are Gallant Ruler, 18 wins from 25 starts, or 72 percent, and Eiffella, whose 15 wins came from 21 starts, a 70 percent strike rate.

It is likely to be a long time before we see the likes of a Zipping Willow again at Wentworth Park.

Past Discussion

  1. Ahh I see, thats an interesting article. So let me get this straight. Zipping Willow was put in the hands of a trainer who engaged in live baiting. This trainer failed to inform the owner that he had been banned, something anyone else with a brain would do, but not in the greyhound racing world. THEN whats the owner’s solution to hearing the news that his greyhound was caught up in the vile practise of live baiting? Oh he moves the trainers name to that of the wife of the guy who was banned. You do realise what this says about the moral compass of ALL involved here? If you don’t then it goes to show why the greyhound racing industry is completely out of touch with the general public.
    Just one thing, if there is no evidence she wasn’t involved in live baiting, why did the authorities attempt to ban her. The bottom line is they did not want this dog racing in either Victoria or NSW. That is absolute 100% undisputable fact. What is also fact is the owner put his dog in the hands of a trainer who was involved in live baiting. What is also fact is that with his full knowledge he changed the trainers name to that of Darrens wife. The owner made no attempt to even pretend to be outraged at the live baiting scandal. In the real world for people with a brain, they would be so outraged they would immediately remove their dog from anyone who engages in torturing animals like Darren McDonald. So whats Zipping Willow’s owners excuse?
    And then the racing industry have the absolute gall to be indignant about having to put up with the live baiting scandal, when all the public sees, is trainers being banned, and owners constantly attempting to move the goalposts to get around bans put in place.

  2. Ahh I see, thats an interesting article. So let me get this straight. Zipping Willow was put in the hands of a trainer who engaged in live baiting. This trainer failed to inform the owner that he had been banned, something anyone else with a brain would do, but not in the greyhound racing world. THEN whats the owner’s solution to hearing the news that his greyhound was caught up in the vile practise of live baiting? Oh he moves the trainers name to that of the wife of the guy who was banned. You do realise what this says about the moral compass of ALL involved here? If you don’t then it goes to show why the greyhound racing industry is completely out of touch with the general public. Just one thing, if there is no evidence she wasn’t involved in live baiting, why did the authorities attempt to ban her. The bottom line is they did not want this dog racing in either Victoria or NSW. That is absolute 100% undisputable fact. What is also fact is the owner put his dog in the hands of a trainer who was involved in live baiting. What is also fact is that with his full knowledge he changed the trainers name to that of Darrens wife. The owner made no attempt to even pretend to be outraged at the live baiting scandal. In the real world for people with a brain, they would be so outraged they would immediately remove their dog from anyone who engages in torturing animals like Darren McDonald. So whats Zipping Willow’s owners excuse? And then the racing industry have the absolute gall to be indignant about having to put up with the live baiting scandal, when all the public sees, is trainers being banned, and owners constantly attempting to move the goalposts to get around bans put in place.

  3. You should probably get all your facts straight before you start with defamatory statements. In the real world for people with a brain would know that making such statements could leave them open for legal action

  4. You should probably get all your facts straight before you start with defamatory statements. In the real world for people with a brain would know that making such statements could leave them open for legal action

  5. That doesn’t even make sense Donny. You speak English right? How about another go at the statement. In English this time.

  6. That doesn’t even make sense Donny. You speak English right? How about another go at the statement. In English this time.

  7. So because you have no comeback, you resort to name calling. Well done. Very mature. A fine example of a typical person involved in the greyhound racing industry. Not the brightest sparks to be found.

  8. So because you have no comeback, you resort to name calling. Well done. Very mature. A fine example of a typical person involved in the greyhound racing industry. Not the brightest sparks to be found.

  9. Your assumptions that the owners were aware of the nature of the allegations are just that. Animals Australia were aware of the trainers involved yet said nothing until 4 corners 1 sided story. Why if they knew this stuff was going on would they have waited months on end instead of making the allegations (which have proved to be facts) to the appropriate authorities.Zipping willow spent almost every race start she ever had in the hands of a trainer that has not been implicated at all in this scandal and I suspect that the only true part of your statement is that it was quite stupid for Darren to not actually come clean about why he was suspended to the owners. You need to remember that zipping willow was in his care for only a matter of days before this story broke. There is many reasons why a trainer can be banned / suspended from posts on social media to drug use to live baiting and the list goes on. There was no word from racing authorities so to suggest the owners had knowledge of the reasons behind it is hear say. The article you commented on was about how well she did at 1 track (in the hands of a bloke that isn’t implicated). I would hope that you can understand that more often than not you have to get information from many different sources to get to the bottom of things. In no way can anyone excuse what’s gone on. Governing bodies also have alot to answer to mate because in my mind they are lying about their knowledge of what went on or totally incompetent and these people make their living off the sport. Before this broke if you rang grv and said I have coin and wanna buy dogs they would’ve gave you Darrens number. Don’t whip the owners mate. The owners are the biggest losers here

  10. Your assumptions that the owners were aware of the nature of the allegations are just that. Animals Australia were aware of the trainers involved yet said nothing until 4 corners 1 sided story. Why if they knew this stuff was going on would they have waited months on end instead of making the allegations (which have proved to be facts) to the appropriate authorities.Zipping willow spent almost every race start she ever had in the hands of a trainer that has not been implicated at all in this scandal and I suspect that the only true part of your statement is that it was quite stupid for Darren to not actually come clean about why he was suspended to the owners. You need to remember that zipping willow was in his care for only a matter of days before this story broke. There is many reasons why a trainer can be banned / suspended from posts on social media to drug use to live baiting and the list goes on. There was no word from racing authorities so to suggest the owners had knowledge of the reasons behind it is hear say. The article you commented on was about how well she did at 1 track (in the hands of a bloke that isn’t implicated). I would hope that you can understand that more often than not you have to get information from many different sources to get to the bottom of things. In no way can anyone excuse what’s gone on. Governing bodies also have alot to answer to mate because in my mind they are lying about their knowledge of what went on or totally incompetent and these people make their living off the sport. Before this broke if you rang grv and said I have coin and wanna buy dogs they would’ve gave you Darrens number. Don’t whip the owners mate. The owners are the biggest losers here