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.
Recent years of the McKenna Memorial
The 2018 edition of the McKenna Memorial was all about Tornado Tears but after a tardy beginning and getting jammed up at the first turn it was evident the champ wouldn’t be in the mix. On the other side of the coin Out Of Range jumped out smartly and took the front early. The dog was getting swamped heading into the final turn but he held on stoutly to win at odds.
2018 McKenna Memorial results
June 14, 2018. June 14, 2018 Sandown Park. First Prize $40,000
Winner: Tornado Tears (Fernando Bale x Nicki Fields) December 2015 White Brindle Dog
Owner: Darren And Michael Puleio (SYN) Trainer: Seona Thompson
Time: 34.23 Margins 0.96 x 0.07
Others in finishing order: Neo Cleo, Rockstar Patriot, Big Bang Tears, Tornado Tears, Van Ann, Azkaban, Hecton Bale.
It was the swansong for Shima Song, the 2017 McKenna Memorial was taken out by the Andrea Dailly-trained dog. Pinging the lids from box one the race was a one act affair for Shima Song, which held out the champ Fanta Bale.
Click here for the full race report.
2017 McKenna Memorial results
June 13, 2017. June 13, 2017 Sandown Park. First Prize $40,000
Winner: Shima Song (Dyna Tron x Shimaguni) May 2014 Black Bitch
Owner: Davrob Synd R Cummings, D Gleeson Trainer: Andrea Dailly
Time: 34.33 Margins 0.66 x 0.48
Others in finishing order: Fanta Bale, Bella Shima, Dundee Osprey, Zipping Hawk, Midnight Elsa, Cheese Ya Later, She’s Got Grace.
Early speed was the factor for Bruce Tycoon in 2016, who held on from the the start and was never headed. Holding out Mepunga Fame coming out of the boxes Bruce Tycoon found the rail and kicked away before the final turn to record a strong win.
2016 McKenna Memorial results
June 9, 2016. Sandown Park. First Prize $400,000
Winner: Bruce Tycoon (Cosmic Rumble x New Year’s Punch) Born: June 2013 Fawn Dog
Owner: Odds And Evens (SYN), Trainer: Robert Britton.
Time: 34.10. Margins: 2.84 x 0.35.
Others in finishing order: Dundee Osprey, Lady Toy, Mepunga Fame, Mepunga Rosie, Sausage Sizzle, American Monster, Polijuice Potion.
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.
2015 McKenna Memorial results
June 9, 2015. Sandown Park. $40,000
Winner: Dzeko (Radley Bale x Rematch) Born Oct 2012 Black Bitch
Owner: S Dart and M Jordan, Trainer: Samuel Dart.
Time: 42.44. Margins: 0.75 x 2.25.
Others in finishing order: What’s Chewing, Spring Leaf, Lektra Concord, Mepunga Tiara, Zipping Maggie, Ballerino, Know Danger.
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.
2014 McKenna Memorial results
June 12, 2014. Albion Park BGRC First Prize $75,000
Winner: Xylia Allen (Turanza Bale x Tayah Bale) April 2011 Black Bitch
Owner: Janice Wheeler: Trainer: Jenny Hunt.
Time: 31.11 Margins: 1.25 x 4.0
Others in finishing order: Great Spartacus, Tarks Nemesis, Mepunga Tiara, Musquin Bale, Dream It, Heidi Go Seek, Searle Bale.
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
2016 Bruce Tycoon
2017 Shima Song
2018 Out Of Range