Zipping Bailey's Barnstorming Egg Triumph

Glen Abbey at Clergate has been the nursery of countless group race winners – possibly the most successful commercial greyhound rearing property in the world.

Adam Dobbin

21 April 2019

Glen Abbey at Clergate has been the nursery of countless group race winners – possibly the most successful commercial greyhound rearing property in the world.

Many Group 1 winners have come the way of Martin and Fiona Hallinan, sons Damien and Cameron, yet on Saturday night at Wentworth Park, Zipping Bailey ($10) rewarded the family with the greyhound racing’s holy grail – the iconic Golden Easter Egg, trained to the minute by Jason Mackay.

Zipping Bailey (Barcia Bale – Zipping Willow) was bred and raised at Clergate and it was her trademark power laden finish that came to the fore.

A clear last early on, Zipping Bailey took a needle eye rails run inside Black Opium at the first turn to improve to be fourth entering the back straight.

“She was always going to need a little luck,” a stunned Martin Hallinan said moments after the race.

“Last week, she was slow to begin from box four and worked her way through the field to win but this was a far tougher test.”

Federal Lilly shanghaied from box five to lead Black Forge through the catching pen.  Miss Splendamiro worked strongly to third and this $250,000 to-the-winner feature appeared to be a match in three … but there was another act or two to play.

With 200m to run, Black Forge raced to Federal Lilly and moments later Miss Splendamiro angled to split the pair.

All three lost momentum, with Miss Splendamiro dropping away. That tangle allowed Zipping Bailey to make up many lengths. After being just on eight lengths in arrears she closed menacingly and was hitting top gear.

At the home turn, she worked to the outside and came clear to score by 1 ¼ lengths in 29.92 seconds from Federal Lilly ($2.80) and Black Forge ($12).

“Cameron is away in the USA at the moment so we stayed at home but we’re just so excited,” Martin added.

“Bailey’s mum [Zipping Willow] is due to whelp a litter by multiple Group 1 winner My Redeemer on Thursday so it’s going to be a big week.

“She’s not having a big litter – five or six I’d say – but that’s Ok. Cameron watched on from his motel in Kansas City with some mates and they screamed the joint down.”

Zipping Willow herself was a top line performer and ‘Bailey’s’ litter sister Zipping Tayla is also a Group 1 winner.

“We sold another bitch in the litter [Zipping Sassy] a few months back – it was an offer I really could not refuse and this is also a great result for her new owners. Good luck to them!”

Rarely do greyhounds come from last to win at Wentworth Park but Zipping Bailey has now achieved that feat in successive outings weeks against the best in the land.

While the dust will be settled at Wentworth Park on Sunday morning, Martin Hallinan will be up early to feed pups.

One day follows the next at Clergate, his constant is hard work and good tucker for his canine mates.

The first ever last-to-first Golden Easter Egg winner is etched in stone – Zipping Bailey.

It was a win for the ages.