Zipping Lad has won the 2011 Betfair NSW Greyhound Of The Year at a gala event at the Sydney Hilton last night.
The victory gives trainer Jason Mackay his third coveted NSW Greyhound of the Year award having trained previous winners Texas Gold (2005) and Big Sam Banner (2002).
Zipping Lad tipped out the two other nominees He Knows Uno and Oaks Road for the major honour. Mackay was on hand to accept the award along with Zipping Lad’s owners and breeders
Martin and Fiona Hallinan, from Orange.
Based at Mackay’s kennels in Richmond Vale on the NSW Central Coast, Zipping Lad only had his first career start in April 2011. However, he soon earned the nickname ‘Super Stayer’ after he put together six wins in a row over 600 metres, including a fantastic come from behind victory in the NSW Distance Championship at Wentworth Park in August.
Zipping Lad then contested the Group 1 National Distance Championship at Albion Park before returning to Wentworth Park in October where he came second in the Group 3 Sydney Cup.
After taking part in the final of the Group 1 Bold Trease Cup at Sandown, Zipping Lad was finally rewarded for his terrific form with a brilliant win in the Group 3 Summer Cup in December. He then returned to Victoria in the last week of the year where he just missed out on winning the Group 1 Sale Cup, finishing second.
If his success at group level was not enough, Zipping Lad also broke the 618 metre track record at Richmond and the 715 metre record at The Gardens.
He Knows Uno did not leave empty handed, with the flying finisher taking home the Run Of The Year award for his brilliant win in a semi final of the Golden Easter Egg.
In other major awards to be announced on the night, former long serving Casino Greyhound Club secretary Don Waldron was handed the Allen Wheeler Medal for lifetime achievement. Waldron was club secretary between 1964 and 2004 and was also in charge of earbranding and marking up of greyhounds in the Northern Rivers region.
Fancy Dean, co-owned by Australian Soccer player Tim Cahill, was rewarded for a terrific year by winning the Sprinter of the Year award.
Andy Lord won the Virbac Animal Health Trainer of the Year title. The Cawdor mentor enjoyed another successful year right across the state with his talented team.
The full list of award winners are:
• Betfair 2011 NSW Greyhound of the Year – Zipping Lad
• Allen Wheeler Medal – Don Waldron (Casino)
• 2011 Virbac Animal Health Trainer of the Year – Andy Lord (Cawdor)
• 2011 Greyhound Recorder Club of the Year – Richmond Race Club
• 2011 Volunteer of the Year – Fay Kosowski (NSW GBOTA)
• 2011 Young Person of the Year – Tim Caines (Wedderburn)
• 2011 Betfair Media Coverage of the Year – Mudgee Guardian
• 2011 Run of the Year – He Knows Uno (Macro Meats Golden Easter Egg semi final)
• 2011 Sprinter of the Year – Fancy Dean
• 2011 Stayer of the Year – Zipping Lad
• 2011 Sire of the Year – Collision
• 2011 Brood Bitch of the Year – Or Catra