Avalanche Sets Stunning Richmond Derby Pace

JASON Mackay has produced a training masterclass to guide Avalanche to a first-up Group 2 Richmond Derby heat victory on Friday night.

Adam Dobbin

26 February 2021

JASON Mackay has produced a training masterclass to guide Avalanche to a first-up Group 2 Richmond Derby heat victory on Friday night.

Returning to the track for the first time since November and having his first start for Mackay, Avalanche upstaged dual group 1 winner Wow to stop the clock in a remarkable 30.07.

Yes, that’s right 30.07.

“To be honest when he began and I saw him moving up the back like he was the 30.07 didn’t surprise me,” Mackay said.

“I knew two weeks ago I had a Wow of my own but the lack of race fitness tonight was the worry.

“Before Punch One Out ran 29.27 in a semi-final of the Easter Egg she went 24.24 post-to-post at The Gardens.

“The best Zipping Garth went post-to-post there was 24.16 and two weeks ago this dog ran 24.22. I knew then I had him right, but it’s been a slog.

“His feet were causing him problems since I got him before Christmas so it’s taken plenty of time to get on top of. But he’s right now and I really do think the best is ahead for him.” 

Prior to Friday night’s remarkable Richmond Derby heat victory, Avalanche had raced 36 times for 13 victories, exclusively in Victoria.

The son of Kinloch Brae was the subject of strong support in the lead up to Friday night’s race firming from $7 into $4.20 from his box one draw.

And after carving out sections of 5.24 and an astonishing 15.17 the money proved spot on, running away from piping hot favourite Wow at the finish, the Paws Of Thunder and Temlee hero proving no match for the winner.

“Without sounding smart he has to take plenty of improvement out of tonight,” Mackay said.

“It was his first 500 since November and even though he’s had plenty of work at home there’s nothing like race fitness. His two trials at Richmond he’s gone 22.41 over the 400 and 24.90 post-to-post.

“He’s got plenty on them in the final on the clock but box draws will play a big part. Can I just say as well how proud I am of the job my daughter April is doing for the team. She’s not yet 16 but is working like she’s been at it for 20 years. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Avalanche will line-up in next Friday’s Derby finale looking to hand Mackay a third victory in the Group 2 feature following previous successes with Bogie Brave (2010) and Path To Vegas (2012).

The Derby heat demolition also saw him become the fastest male greyhound Mackay has trained around the Richmond circuit, the 30.07 romp bettering the 30.09 Zipping Garth recorded when just a 19-month old pup.

Mackay also trained Richmond record holder Punch One Out at a staggering 29.90.

The opening Derby heat on Friday night went the way of It’s A Rush for Queensland trainer Gerard Bowe in 30.63.

In the care of Michael Hodges for his NSW campaign, It’s A Rush proved too classy in a roughhouse Derby qualifier, defeating 100/1 outsider Rampant Jimmy by four lengths.

The third and final Derby heat went the way of Incapacitated which gunned down Royal Emgrand in the drive to the line in 30.56.

Qualifying for another group race final for trainer Justin King, Incapacitated unleashed his trademark powerhouse finish to claim career win number 18.


1. It’s A Rush
2. Wow
3. Incapacitated
4. Royal Emgrand
5. Utah Express
6. Ritza Coen
7. Avalanche
8. Rampant Jimmy
9. Tachycardic
10. Rhyme Nor Reason


1.Zest To Excel
2. Silent Shadow
3. Crazy Cool
4. Diamantina Rose
5. Super Estrella
6. Ice Cream Story
7. How Not Too
8. Kurios Motion
9. Sniffy
10. Always Juan