Dana Lodge records a century of wins for 2018

Cowra trainer Rod McDonald with Take The Apache which gave him his 100th winner for the year at Goulburn on Thursday.
Cowra trainer Rod McDonald with Take The Apache which gave him his 100th winner for the year at Goulburn on Thursday.

Teamwork and consistency is the secret to success, according to Cowra trainer Rod McDonald.

On Thursday McDonald and the team from Dana Lodge cracked the century of wins for 2018 when Take The Apache recorded a win in the Young to Goulburn Final at Goulburn.

With so many winners in 11 months McDonald said no particular win stood out as a highlight for the year.

“There hasn’t been a standout,” the Cowra mentor said.

“The highlight’s probably been the consistency of all of the dogs,” he said.

And there have been plenty of dogs along the way to the 100 winners, but with a strike rate of just under 12.5 per cent of winners to runners the Dana Lodge kennel would be the envy of any kennel in the country.

Up until Friday Dana Lodge had sent 803 starters to the boxes at tracks across the state.

Alongside the one hundred winners Dana Lodge had also recorded 120 second placing and 144 thirds up until Friday.

With 32 dogs currently in work and 70 on his property McDonald said the kennel’s success wouldn’t be possible without the help of his team which includes his parents Ace and McDonald, his partner Rebecca Edenborough and former Cowra trainer Steve Turner.

The contribution of the team is essential, he said, when he is travelling upwards of 10 hours in a typical week to up to three or four meetings.

Last week Dana Lodge had dogs racing at Bathurst, Goulburn and Wagga before finally enjoying a day at home with Cowra racing on Saturday evening.

McDonald had four dogs engaged at the Goulburn meeting but needed just Take The Apache to crack the 100.

While Take The Apache was the toast of the kennel on Thursday, McDonald welcomed the return of the dog he considers his best at the moment, Dana Ali which finished third in its first run back after a four month injury enforced break.

His other top dog, Hippo Clan is currently on the injured list.

McDonald has cracked the 100 winner mark twice previously, in 2009 and 2010.

“On those occasions we reached the 100 right at the end of the year,” McDonald said.

“This will be the earliest we’ve reached the mark,” he added.

Beside’s his representation at Goulburn, the Cowra mentor’s Dana Lodge had a further nine dogs racing at Wagga on Friday plus a representation at the Cowra Saturday meeting.

He added another win to his season tally at Cowra on Saturday with Dana Fred winning as well as two further second placings.