McCooly's Lad Much Improved For Golden Sands

MCCOOLY'S Lad surprised his connections with his box-to-box Albion Park trial in preparation for Thursday night's heat of the Group 2 Golden Sands (600m).

David Brasch

28 December 2021

BOOM Victorian galloper McCooly’s Lad surprised his connections with his box-to-box Albion Park trial in preparation for Thursday night’s heat of the Group 2 Golden Sands (600m).

The son of Fernando Bale-Tatty Fields will contest only his second middle distance race when he lines up from box two in the Golden Sands heat.

His debut was a scorching 33.82 over 595m at Sandown on December 9 for trainer Anthony Azzopardi.


Azzopardi sent McCooly’s Lad to Northern Rivers trainer Robert Cooke to prepare for the series, but he flew into Brisbane to finalise his preparation on Tuesday.

Breeder and part-owner Darren Puleio said McCooly’s Lad had run better than expected in the box-to-box trial at Albion Park.

“He is not a trial dog, much better in a race,” said Darren.

“He went 9.91, 11.92 and 21.83 in the box-to-box. We were delighted.”

Darren says the dog is “almost” perfectly boxed for the heat in the two.

“Inside is great, but I do prefer him to come out of an odd box,” said Darren. “He seems to appreciate being in there that little bit longer and settles best. He always begins better from an odds box draw.”

The dog’s connections are expecting are expecting him to greatly improve this week and be hard to beat.

“If he can lead, he will be hard to run down,” said Darren. “It looks a track that will ideally suit him.”

McCooly’s Lad is lucky to be racing after smashing a hock as a young dog but he has been nursed back to the track and has now won 10 of 18 starts and earned $46,000.

“He needs to be strapped on the hock every time he races,” said Darren.

PREMIER trainer Darren Russell will head back to Albion Park with sprint sensation Deck Fifty Two after he contests a 4th-5th Grade 431m final at Ipswich next Tuesday.

The son of Barcia Bale-Mitchie Madam ran a near track record 24.60 when winning a heat by 15 lengths on Tuesday as the $1.60 favourite.

“He’ll go into the final and then I will step him back up to 520 metres at Albion Park,” said Russell.

“When he first went to Albion Park early in his career, he was struggling to run out a strong 520 metres. His best was 30.27.

“But he is more mature and stronger now.

“There are some good races coming up for him which we will look at after he has had a couple of fifth grades there.”

Deck Fifty Two’s 24.60 was just outside the track record of 24.54 held by Regal Recall and set in 2019.

“He is in the top five winning times there,” said Darren of the recent winner of the National Straight Track final at Capalaba.

His career record is now 41 starts for 19 wins and 10 placings for $77,000 in stakes.