A red-hot, $1.70 favourite, Dana Beatrice flew out of box one, leading all the way to beat Wagga’s rising star Brady’s Wish ($3.50) by 2½ lengths in near record time and in front of a commanding crowd.
Dana Beatrice’s sizzling performance yesterday edged the super speedster tantalisingly close to the magic $200,000 prizemoney mark when she banked another $6000.
McDonald later confirmed he would be back next year to defend the Wagga Gold Cup title, which he won for the first time with ill-fated Dana Gretel in 2008.
“I like coming to Wagga and I’ll definitely be here next year,” McDonald said.
“Being a country bloke I like winning races in the country.
“That’s where I started and that’s the reason I like to come to places like Wagga.”
With Dana Beatrice coming off a luckless loss in a Wagga Gold Cup heat a week ago, McDonald said he got special satisfaction out of the triumph.
“She (Dana Beatrice) had a point to prove,” McDonald said.
“She was flattened in the heat and I knew she would come back and win the final with a clear run.
“She just loves the rails. I purposely didn’t work her this week so she would be really fresh and go exactly like she did.”
McDonald, who scratched Billy Said from the final to allow Dana Beatrice to start from box one, said the Cowra champ would now head to Sydney for the $25,000 Country Challenge final (520m) at Wentworth Park next month.
“That’s the next goal,” he said.
In defeat, Brady’s Wish was absolutely gallant and showed he has a fabulous future.
The lightly raced young sprinter was held off the track by He’s A Sunlit at the first turn, losing precious ground, but never shirked his task.
In fact, Brady’s Wish gave Dana Beatrice about four lengths start from the 300m mark and cut the margin to 2½ lengths at the finish.
He’s A Sunlit ($11) held on gamely for third, a further three lengths away.
Wagga Greyhound Racing Club officials were thrilled by the response to yesterday’s cup meeting.
Despite the biting cold and showers, the cup climax attracted several hundred people, the largest crowd in years.
Courtesy : Les Muir, Wagga Daily Advertiser