Jack McKenna

A race held every year in July at Sandown is the McKenna Memorial it remembers the contribution of National and Victorian Hall of Fame Administrator Jack McKenna made to our sport. The presentation is made each year by Jack’s Grandson an old footy club mate of mine Mark O’Brien. He brings his whole family including Jack’s great great Grandkids to honour Jack and Jack’s wife Ann’s name and their affiliation to Sandown and the City of Springvale. The race has been won by some of the best stayers of all time. The distance changed to 595 in 2010 and was won this year by Matt Clark’s Sunnyside Zeus. Kel Greenough has won it three times with Often Imitated, Miss Grub and National Honour. Christo Bale won it back to back in 20/21. Xylia Allen 2014, Irma Bale 2012. Mantra Lad 09, Malfoy 05, Arvo’s Junior 03, Boomeroo 02, Osti’s Joker 2000, Pace Galore 92, High Intensity 1987, Sheila’s Teresa 84, Quick Pulse 83, Supplier 82, Leader’s Jester 81, Irish Temptress (dam of Bold Trease) 78, Bolta’s Gift 76, Lizrene 73 and the first winner Saki Dasher 71. Only a special person has a story written about them in the Herald -Sun as Graham Burke wrote about Jack in 1977. Thursday night saw the running of the McKenna Memorial. The time-honoured event marks the memory of the doyen of Greyhound Racing administrator’s Jack McKenna. First runs as a distance race until changing to the middle distance of 595 in 2010. The race been won by some outstanding stayers and middle-distance performers over the years. First run in 1971 the race was won by Saki Dasher trained by VFL Superstar Bob Pratt other prominent winners over the years followed with the likes of Lizrene, Bolta’s Gift, Irish Temptress (the dam of Bold Trease) Leaders Jester, Supplier, Quick Pulse, Sheila’s Teresa, High Intensity, Pearl Larricki, Place Galore, Totally Ablaze, Osti’s Joker, Boomeroo, Arvo’s Junior, Malfoy, Flash Of Light, Irma Bale, Xylia Allen, Lady Toy, Out Of Range and Christo Bale in consecutive years 2020 and 2021. Nine of the mentioned winners were Victorian Greyhound of the Year.