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Victoria’s Golden Easter domination ends

*2019 Easter Egg winning trainer Jason MacKay with Ando’s Mac and handler ‘Milo’ after their Warragul Cup win in 2017. Photo: Bluestream Photography.

Victoria’s nine-year domination of the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg came to an end after a memorable last-to-first performance by local Zipping Bailey at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

Three Victorian-trained sprinters qualified for the $250,000 to-the-winner Easter Egg decider, with rails runner Black Opium the most fancied at $3.80, ahead of Miss Splendamiro, beaten favourite in the 2018 Egg Final, at $5 and fastest semi-final winner Blue Striker at $8.50.

After taking out NSW’s most prestigious race last year with Up Hill Jill, Dave Geall was striving to become the first trainer in the Easter Egg’s 30-year history to go back-to-back, with Miss Splendamiro.

Federal Lilly, which had spent the majority of her career in Victoria before relocating to NSW, was the $2.80 favourite.

Federal Lilly flew out from box five to lead comfortably, but Black Forge and Miss Splendamiro were in threatening positions in the back straight before there was trouble and Federal Lilly broke clear approaching the home turn.

But after being last out of the boxes, Zipping Bailey ($10) produced a remarkable effort to storm home and defeat Federal Lilly by one length in 29.92sec, giving champion NSW trainer Jason Mackay his first Easter Egg celebration.

Zipping Bailey is a daughter of Barcia Bale and former star sprinter Zipping Willow, bred and raced by high profile NSW breeder Martin Hallinan.

Black Forge ran third to complete a very rare home state trifecta, with Blue Striker finishing strongly to fill fourth, the best of the Victorian trio.

Champion Victorian stayer Tornado Tears dominated the build-up to the Group 1 NSW GBOTA Association Cup (720m) at the Easter Egg meeting, after he sustained a pad injury during his record-breaking heat victory.

Trainer Robert Britton eventually decided to run Tornado Tears but the speculation and an awkward alley in box six saw him drift to $1.90 at box-rise.

Tornado Tears was never a factor after a poor getaway, as local Veloce Nero ($10), a member of the phenomenal Fernando Bale – Chica Destacada litter, led all-the-way in 41.90sec, with the second Victorian finalist, Correy Grenfell’s Dyna Chancer ($8.50), finishing third.

In addition to producing the winner of the Association Cup, 2014 National Sprint heroine Chica Destacada incredibly provided the first four placegetters in the Group 3 Magic Maiden Final courtesy of her second litter, to Barcia Bale, with Timeless Moment victorious in 30.03sec.

Former South Australian star Fabwik, now prepared in Victoria by Kerrie White and second reserve for the Easter Egg, finished runner-up in the Group 3 The Ambrosoli (520m).


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Gerard Guthrie
About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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