Alvaro On Verge Of Dream Easter Egg Triumph

GEORGE Alvaro has vivid memories of being trackside on Easter Saturday 1990 to watch Ultra Sense win the inaugural Group 1 Golden Easter Egg.

GEORGE Alvaro has vivid memories of being trackside at Wentworth Park on Easter Saturday 1990 to watch Ultra Sense race to victory in the inaugural Group 1 Golden Easter Egg.

In the 34-years since its inception, in which time the showpiece event has become the most prized in greyhound racing, Alvaro has barely missed a running, with his burning ambition to one day hold the Golden Easter Egg trophy aloft growing by the year.

And at Wentworth Park on Saturday night, Alvaro, proprietor of successful fruit and vegetable business Alvaro Bros, gets that very chance when his high priced purchase Mackenna steps out as an odds-on favourite in the $350,000-to-the-winner decider.


Winner of her opening two rounds of the series in a spectacular 29.20 and 29.28, the former the fastest ever time recorded by a female at the famed Glebe circuit, victory on Saturday night will cement Mackenna as greyhound racing's newest superstar.

But with success comes expectation, a fact not lost on Alvaro ahead of Saturday's seismic Group 1 contest.

Michelle Sultana seals Mackenna's Egg berth with a kiss

"I've been okay for most of the week but I reckon when I get to the track on Saturday night it will all sink in and the nerves will hit," Alvaro said.

"The Golden Easter Egg and National Derby have always been the two races I'd love to win most. I was at the first Egg as a teenager and have only missed one or two since I'd say all these years on.

"You dream of one day winning one but when you look at the dogs that have won it you see so many champions of the past and just what it takes to win.

"To have a dog like Mackenna is hard to explain. I said to someone the other day that she's my Winx!

"It's hard to put into words."

The story behind Mackenna's meteoric rise to Golden Easter Egg favouritism is a long and winding one.

Victorious at 11 of her 16 starts, the daughter of Melbourne Cup winner Whiskey Riot had her first 13 appearances for Victorian duo Lee Moore and Michelle Carruthers before being sold to Alvaro in October last year.

The move to first try and buy the gifted youngster was led by her primary trainer Paul Abela who told Alvaro she could prove to be his once in a lifetime chaser. 

Since her acquisition the purchase price has been the subject of much conjecture, but out of respect, Alvaro refuses to weigh in on the debate, more than happy to just let Mackenna do the talking.

"I've heard so many different numbers and things thrown around and in the end I just don't think it really matters," Alvaro said.

Mackenna in full flight en route to the Golden Easter Egg Final

"We struck a deal that everyone was happy with and after she wins the first message I get is from Lee and Michelle which really is important to me.

"I've been lucky enough to have some really good dogs over the years and win some top races but this girl is just at a whole new level.

"You try not to look too far ahead but she's only had 16 starts and is still on the up. Some of the times she runs in trials are scary.

"It's still all ahead of her."

While Saturday night's star-studded finale appears at the mercy of Mackenna, Alvaro has been involved in the sport long enough to understand you take nothing for granted.

"Win, lose or draw as long as she comes out of the run in good order we'll head home smiling," Alvaro said.

"Box two looks okay and if she repeats what she's done the last few weeks hopefully we witness something pretty special.

"We've got around 50 family and friends attending and hopefully what she's done so far in the series brings a few extra people through the turnstiles to watch her."

George Alvaro and Daryl Thomas with Mackenna

Mackenna is trained by Michelle Sultana for her Golden Easter Egg campaign but if successful Alvaro said equal plaudits will be with Abela, despite his name not being in the record books.

"What Paul has done is very selfless," Alvaro said.

"We had a chat about it and he just said his first responsibility was to myself and the dog.

"He wanted to give her the best chance and to do that he sent her up to Michelle and Daryl (Thomas) who have been great.

"If she wins it will be a team effort. It really is all up to her now."

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