The Group 1 Harrison-Dawson is fast becoming one of the most sought after trophies on the Sandown Park racing calendar.
The series, run over 515m, is open to the best 32 male greyhounds nominated, plus reserves, and offers a winner’s cheque of $100,000.
History of the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson
The Harrison-Dawson is one of the newer races on the greyhound racing calendar, having been run for the first time in 2009 (when run simply as the Dawson) as a group 3 event, with the inaugural edition won by Dyna Forte. In the early years the race was open to both dogs and bitches, with the only female to ever win the race, Flash Of Light, doing so in 2010. Trained by Mark Delbridge, the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Trendy La Maze defeated a classy field including the likes of Nova Surf, Fedex and Cosmic Chief, scoring by three lengths in a slick 29.45.
The race was re-branded the Harrison-Dawson in 2013, with the conditions changed to make it eligible to only male greyhounds, with the race aligned to run on the same night as the Group 1 Sapphire Crown, a bitches only feature.
The 2013 race was won by NZ-owned sprinter Clone Your Own, trained in Victoria by leading conditioner Rob Britton. The modestly bred son of Droopys Marco and Elite Saab defeated a gallant Irmy Bale, with champion chaser and race favourite Glen Gallon filling the trifecta back in third spot.
Former leading trainer Darren McDonald won the event in 2014 with the ultra-consistent Awesome Project, a son of Collision and Honour Phase, which defeated Musquin Bale and Banjo Boy to score an emphatic all the way win in a speedy 29.49.
The race was elevated to group 1 status for the first time in 2015, with the feature being taken out by champion greyhound Fernando Bale. Showing his customary blinding early speed, the white and dark brindle son of Kelsos Fusileer and Chloe Allen made it a one act affair to score by three lengths in a race record time of 29.14.
The race is named after three of Sandown Park’s finest servants – Henry Harrison who served as the Chairman of the club for 23 years, his daughter Loretta (a life member of the club) and Harrison’s son in law current Sandown Chairman Geoff Dawson who has filled the position for nearly three decades.
The 2016 running of the Harrison Dawson was taken out by Dundee Osprey on Thursday May 19, 2016, with the on of Fabregas and Dundee Rose stalking the leaders back in third through the first turn before unleashing a powerful finish down the back, charging to the front to score over One For Me.
The most recent edition of the Harrison Dawson was won by ultra consistent performer Black Mumbo. The Anthony Karabitsakos-trained dog worked his way into the race off box eight and was too strong in the run to the line, breaking through for a deserved feature win at his fourth group race final.
Group 1 Harrison Dawson – honour roll
2009 – Dyna Forte
2010 – Flash Of Light
2011 – Don Chendo
2012 – General Destini
2013 – Clone Your Own
2014 – Awesome Project
2015 – Fernando Bale
2016 – Dundee Osprey
2017 – Black Mumbo