Skip to Content

‘My own race? It’s a little bit funny…’

Heading towards the inaugural Leon Macdonald Stakes, the eponymous honouree is experiencing some unfamiliar feelings.

“It’s probably a bit funny, really,” Leon says.

“It’s something I never, ever expected and I got a shock (when it was announced), but it’s good.

“It’s a great honour, but I suppose I’ve been in the industry for a long time.”

During his glittering career the Morphettville trainer has experienced Group 1 successes, premierships and being inducted to the SA Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame. Having the former Penny Edition Stakes – a 1400 Listed event to be run at Morphettville Parks this Saturday – renamed in his honour occupies a similarly lofty position among Leon’s career highlights.

“It’s very high up there,” he says. “That’s for certain.”

Leon, who has a training partnership with son-in-law Andrew Gluyas, leaves no doubt about his intention to win the first-ever running of the Leon Macdonald Stakes, with the stable’s best horse, Dalasan.

“I’m definitely keen to win it,” he says.

“The thing is if I didn’t have Dalasan going around I wouldn’t be winning it, because I don’t think there’s anything else here that could win it.”

Saturday’s race is one of six recently renamed to honour some of the biggest contributors to SA racing over the years.

The other five races are the Clare Lindop Stakes (formerly the Laelia Stakes), the John Letts Cup (Tokyo City Cup), the David Coles AM Stakes (National Stakes), the Tobin Bronze Stakes (Euclase Stakes) and the Without Fear Stakes (Queen Adelaide Cup).

While quick to deflect praise from himself, Leon nonetheless endorses the idea of honouring some of South Australian racing’s greatest icons.

“I think it’s very good if they recognise people who have been good to the industry here,” he says.

“It just highlights the achievements of some people here.”

Post categories

Racing SA - Racing Racing SA - Stories Racing SA - Latest News