McCooly's Lad On Track For Melbourne Cup Bid

COMEBACK kid McCooly’s Lad produced a slick win at Sandown Park on Thursday making him a top contender for the world’s greatest race.

Jason Adams

24 September 2021

COMEBACK kid McCooly’s Lad produced a devastating win at Sandown Park yesterday making him one of the top contenders for the world’s greatest greyhound race.

Romance surrounded the win given it was his third start back and first at city level since an injury that kept him away from racing for the bulk of this year.

It’s been a monumental training achievement to not only get him back racing but winning so impressively on the big stage of city class racing.

“Incredible mate, incredible. He’s a champion,” said an emotional Anthony Azzopardi.

The Azzopardi family plus owners and breeders Darren and Michael Puleio have gone to great lengths to get ‘Ralph’ back to full health. The continuation of his racing career has been nothing but a bonus.

“It’s special. A lot of work and time has gone into this dog by our whole team – it’s very emotional.”

Back winning at Sandown Park is one thing but his time of 29.11 is the fifth fastest of the year and half a length better than his previous best set in November last year.

He was a baby coming through the ranks leading into last year’s TAB Melbourne Cup series but now has maturity on his side to tackle the world’s greatest greyhound race.

“The Melbourne Cup is the main aim but I’m still going to take my time. We’ve got a plan for him, we’ll probably come back in a fortnight but he’ll be racing sparingly. When we get to the Melbourne Cup it’s obviously full bore from there.”

The road to the TAB Melbourne Cup hits full throttle on Thursday October 7 with the ‘50 Day Countdown’ special event – the winner will be exempt into Cup heats on Friday November 19.