NSW trainer of the Year, Rod McDonald will be looking to emulate his 2009 and 2010 Bathurst Gold Cup (520m) victories next Monday (April 4) after qualifying three runners yesterday (March 28) for this year’s $15,000 final.
With wins to Dana Mel (29.94), Dana Bel (30.04) and Good Thing (30.13) in yesterday’s four heats, McDonald will be hoping he can win the Roof Seal Bathurst Gold Cup final to secure his third successive title.
The Cowra based trainer has won the event the past two years with 2009 Golden Easter Egg conqueror, Dana Beatrice.
The daughter of Collision x Dana Betty famously toppled El Galo and Miss Elly Mint to become both the Egg’s longest odds (15/1) and fastest final (29.70) winner.
“She was a life changing experience, I would love another one like her,” McDonald said of his Group One kennel star.
With all three of McDonald’s 2011 Roof Seal Bathurst Gold Cup finalists hailing from the same mother as Dana Beatrice (Dana Betty), McDonald becomes the first trainer in the event’s history to have three finalists from the same brood bitch.
“We had three in the final of the Nowra Puppy Classic in March and got the quinella.
“I would love to get the trifecta in this event, but you can’t be too greedy.”
Having drawn boxes one (Dana Bel) six (Good Thing) and eight (Dana Mel) in next week’s final, McDonald is pleased with the cards dealt.
“I am pretty happy, at least we have drawn the red,” he said.
“I would have liked Dana Mel closer to the fence but we have what we have and it’s all up to the dogs now.”
With Egg nominations closing this Friday (April 1) the Cowra trainer is hopeful his runners have done enough to cement a Macro Meats Golden Easter Egg heat start.
“We will have a go at the Egg with these three and Dana Mary, but it will be difficult (to get a run) given three of them haven’t won at Wentworth Park. But we will nominate and see,” McDonald said.
McDoanld’s team face stiff competition including the Lorraine and Jack Roy trained Monster Jack and reigning Orange Cup winner Country Rebel for trainer Neil Staines.
Monster Jack, having already qualified for this year’s Macro Meats Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park, by winning a Prelude back on March 12, will be looking to use the final as a spring board to the Group One series heats on April 9.
“The quality of the final is fantastic, and the box draw has made it a very open affair,” Jack Roy said.
“It will good test for the dog (Monster Jack) leading into the Egg.”
Monday’s final will be supported by the running of the H E Buttsworth Memorial Final (618m) and Beau Repairs Bullet Final (307m).
Heats of the H E Buttsworth Memorial were held in conjunction with the Bathurst Gold Cup heats yesterday with wins to Now Quoted (36.41) and Humdrum (35.98).
Humdrum’s slick performance over Ringo’s Colt and Zoota will see him start short priced favourite in the $3,000 final.
2011 Roof Seal Bathurst Gold Cup Box Draw
- Box 1 - Dana Bel - Rodney McDonald
- Box 2 - Mick The Joker - Michael Blisset
- Box 3 - Monster Jack - Lorraine Roy
- Box 4 - Retro Zarr - Neil Staines
- Box 5 - Country Rebel - Neil Staines
- Box 6 - Good Thing - Rodney McDonald
- Box 7 - Never Early - Kylie McDonald
- Box 8 - Dana Mel - Rodney McDonald
- 1st Res - Good Odds Knocka - Frank Hurst
- 2nd Res - Laura’s Tiger - William Dance