Day At The Track

'Pud' puts it down to divine intervention

05:28 AM 21 May 2019 NZST
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“Pud” Macdonal,Harness racing
Trainer “Pud” Macdonald landed a special quinella at Mildura

Popular Mildura harness racing trainer Allan "Pud" Macdonald is a firm believer there was influence from above in his stable's long shot home-track win on Friday.

And no-one is begrudging the breakthrough by She Said Yes (Well Said USA-Our Pocket Princes NZ (In The Pocket), with Macdonald having just seven days earlier lost his mother (and biggest supporter), 87-year-old Pat.

"You really have to think someone was looking down on us because you just don't get 100/1 winners very often. But it was a nice little pick-me-up, just what we needed," Macdonald said.

"Mum always gave me $5 to put on my horses - what a pity she missed this one."

Pat Macdonald was a much-loved figure in Sunraysia sporting circles, including harness racing, netball, basketball and football, as well as a respected teacher.

She Said Yes defeated her stablemate Pretty Pud ($13.80 chance) to make it a memorable quinella for the Macdonald stable, with Frank Cavallaro-trained We Will Sound ($4) back in third spot.

And while She Said Yes was at long odds, the all-the-way win in the C0 Tenderprint Pace didn't completely surprise Macdonald and his part-owner Gavin Peters.

"We decided we had to try something different and added more galloping to her routine. It didn't take long to see her fitness levels go up and she was as keen as ever. We thought she was a place chance," Macdonald said.

Race replay

To View the race replay click here!

Macdonald said his mum was not only a big supporter of his stable but had also been an owner-breeder over the years.

"She'd always make sure the harness was clean and the gear was packed and she'd be the first to get into the car when we were racing at Nyah and Charlton, and more recently Swan Hill," he said.

"Then if we were away we could always rely on her to check waters and feeds, and anything else that needed doing."

The late Pat Macdonald

Macdonald said he could remember many years ago when his mum would lend a hand and jog some of the horses.

"Another trainer who was at our place, Sandra O'Connor, would lift mum in and out of the jog cart because mum had plastic knees and she was a bit restricted," he said.

"So one day mum had just finished training and walked past another horse that kicked out and broke her leg.

"Mum told Sandra to go and get a wheelbarrow and take her up to the house so she could call someone to take her to hospital. Sandra grabbed a green towel to put in the wheelbarrow before she loaded mum in - but mum told her to put that one back because it was for racedays only, and to grab the blue one!"

Macdonald, who has enjoyed a fair share of success over the years, said he got into the sport after talking about it with his brother Murray and close friend Craig Hartley.

"I guess it was probably in my blood looking back on it as my grandfather (mum's dad) was a farrier and mucked around with a few horses," he said.

"So we started buying a few between us and then later my other brother Brendan conducted a small stud for a while."

Macdonald said he had thoroughly enjoyed his time in the sport, having made a lot of friends along the way.

And for any more coming longshot winners? Macdonald chose to keep his cards close to his chest but did say She Said Yes had trained on well after her recent victory.


Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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