Hunter Valley mentor Jason Mackay looks to have unearthed another potential star in the exciting youngster Zipping Willow. The black bitch made the long trip from Richmond Vale to the nation's capital on Sunday, where she triumphed in the Group 3 Canberra Cup over the 530 metre sprint.
The pint sized speedster started second elect ($3.30) in the $25,000 to the winner event from an unfavourable draw in box six. However, when the lids flew open, the daughter of Goodesy and Sirocco Lass speared straight to the front of the field and never looked in danger, stretching out beautifully to score by two and one quarter lengths in a fast 30.12s.
“We have had a few goes over the years and had no success. This year things happened to go our way”, Mackay enthused.
“She (Zipping Willow) has had a bit of injury drama over the last three or four weeks, but this week was a really good week and she came out running”.
From just 17 starts on the track, Zipping Willow has already amassed the stunning record of 12 wins and five minor placings. Included in those runs were second placings in both the NSW Sprint Championship at Wentworth Park and the Group 2 Blacktop at Unibet Gardens. Zipping Willow has also recorded some blazing times around her local tracks including a hot 29.59s at Wentworth Park, a scintillating 22.49s over the 400 metre scamper at Unibet Gardens and a near record 29.33s over the 515 at the same venue.
“She is only two years old and she has had 17 starts for 12 wins and 5 placings so you couldn't ask her to do much more than she has”, Mackay said.
While the Group 3 event carried a winner's purse of $25,000, Zipping Willow was able to pocket a $50,000 bonus for owner/ breeders Martin and Fiona Hallinan. The bonus was for being the first progeny of influential young sire Goodesy to land a Group victory.
Mackay spoke highly of the renowned breeders who have shared some memorable moments with him on the racetrack, courtesy of some top flight performers. One such greyhound was the ill-fated 2011 NSW Greyhound of the Year, Zipping Lad.
“Martin has 300 dogs on the property so anything helps. He does a great job rearing his dogs and he doesn't take any shortcuts. Full credit goes to Martin and Fiona”.
With group glory now attached to her record, Zipping Willow will be targeted at further feature races in upcoming months. The next assignment for Zipping Willow is likely to be Group 2 Bob Payne series at Wentworth Park which kicks off this Saturday.
“She has pulled up an absolute treat, the best she has ever pulled up. I'm just going to play it by ear and as long as she keeps pulling up nice, happy and healthy we will keep going”.
“When they are young they tend to miss the high accolades but she is building a credible record now and is ticking all the right boxes”.
“We will just take it one day at a time with her. I don't want to get too far ahead because then things seem to go wrong”.
Mackay looks set for a successful few months on the track with an abundance of quality pups coming through. One such chaser is Tricky Rose who saluted at Maitland on Thursday in a nippy 22.42s. The daughter of Malfoy has now won three races from four starts and looks destined for big things.
Mackay also looks to have a potential staying prospect in Zipping Joe. The son of Bombastic Shiraz is out of prolific producer Or Catra, making him a half-brother to the aforementioned champion Zipping Lad. Zipping Joe saluted at The Gardens on Friday night, clocking a fast 34.76s, at his first start over the 600 metre trip. The talented type will return to the Birmingham Gardens circuit this Friday for the final over the same distance and certainly looks the one to beat.