The McKenna Memorial is a group 2 event run and won at Sandown Park in Victoria. The race is conducted over the testing 595m trip, giving some of the sport’s most brilliant middle distance campaigners the chance to land a feature win, with the 2016 edition worth $40,000-to-the-winner.
Betting on the Group 2 McKenna Memorial
The McKenna Memorial always attracts a stack of quality chasers, with the 595m trip giving greyhounds which possess brilliant ability over the middle distance the chance to snag a group title and a lucrative winner’s purse.
With some of the nation’s best contesting the event, there is always plenty of betting interest on the series. Subsequently, all of our recommended online bookmakers listed in the above table offer fixed odds betting on the final, which is great for punters as it gives you plenty of time to shop around between the bookies and find the best odds about your chosen runner.
Many of our bookies also offer fixed odds betting on the heats, with some, such as Bet365 and Sportsbet, usually offering all-in markets on the winner of the final prior to the running of the heats – terrific if you can spot some value early on.
There are currently no markets for the 2016 McKenna Memorial, but be sure to check this page closer to the final for the best odds and sign-up offers available.
History of the McKenna Memorial
The McKenna Memorial was first run in 1971 when won by Saki Dasher, with the race named in honour and acknowledgement of the contribution to the Sandown Club by legendary administrator Jack McKenna.
McKenna became a part of the Sandown team in the 1940s, making the move to the city from Tatura in central Victoria, taking up the position of Club Secretary. Prior to taking up the job at Sandown, McKenna had held the position of secretary at the Tatura Plimpton Coursing Club.
McKenna’s impact on the track was huge. He was instrumental in the club’s advancement in numerous ways, but importantly with its move from across the railway line and the purchase of the land and establishment of the track on the current site.
The race was formerly run over the 715m distance trip, with some o the sport’s best stayers taking it out including National Distance champion Saki Dancer (1971), Lizrene (1973) Quick Pulse (1983), Kobble Creek (1999), Pearl Larricki (2001), Miss Grub (2007), Fallen Zorro (2008) and Mantra Lad (2009).
In 2011 the race was run over the 595m trip for the first time, making it one of the most highly sought after middle distance events on the greyhound racing calendar.
McKenna Memorial – the recent years
2015: Perennial bridesmaid Lady Toy finally broke through for her maiden feature race success in the most recent running of the McKenna Memorial. Despite being back in sixth past the post on the first occasion, the Brooke Ennis-trained bitch was able to work her way through the field, taking out the race by a length in a slick 34.05.
2014: Champion greyhound Xylia Allen justified her short $1.10 starting price when scoring in a commanding 34.12. Starting from box one, the daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale defeated outsiders Great Spartacus and Tarks Nemesis to take her career record to 35 wins from 71 starts, with her prize money reaching a massive $675,000.
2013: Proven Impala stamped herself as one of Australia’s finest middle distance chasers with a convincing victory in the 2013 McKenna Memorial. Starting from box five, the black bitch stalked defending champion Irma Bale throughout the majority of the race before unleashing a powerful finishing burst to clinch the win by a nose in 34.36.
Group 2 McKenna Memorial – honour roll
1971 Saki Dasher
1975 La Sierra
1976 Bolta’s Gift
1977 Miss O’Dare
1978 Irish Temptress
1979 Precious Charm
1980 Tarmoor Eagle
1981 Leader’s Jester
1983 Quick Pulse
1984 Sheila’s Teresa
1985 Doris Lee
1987 High Intensity
1988 Lady Paragon
1990 National Honour
1992 Pace Galore
1995 Keon Star
1997 Sam’s Idol
1998 Totally Ablaze
1999 Kobble Creek
2000 Osti’s Joker
2001 Pearl Larricki
2003 Arvo’s Junior
2004 Arvo’s Athena
2006 Token Arrow
2007 Miss Grub
2008 Fallen Zorro
2009 Mantra Lad
2010 Flash Of Light
2011 Strong Intention
2012 Irma Bale
2013 Proven Impala
2014 Xylia Allen
2015 Lady Toy