Daytona Grey could cap season for stable

Leon Macdonald has won some of the country’s biggest races in a career which has already earned him a place in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.

And as the 2016/17 season draws to a close the Adelaide trainer is set for another feat, while he will also attempt to win the final Group race of the season with Daytona Grey in Saturday’s Bletchingly Stakes in Melbourne.

Macdonald, who has been training in partnership with Andrew Gluyas in recent years, will win the Adelaide trainers’ premiership having prepared 49 city winners in South Australia this season, 11 more than Phillip Stokes who has won the past three titles.

Macdonald’s big race successes include the 2008 Victoria Derby with Rebel Raider and 2011 Caulfield Cup with Southern Speed.

He and Gluyas will have runners in a couple of races at the final Adelaide city meeting of the season at Morphettville on Saturday and could reach a half-century.

“I’ve got a couple of chances, but whatever happens it’s been a great year,” Macdonald said.

He is hoping Daytona Grey can round it off in the Group Three Bletchingly (1200m).

Daytona Grey resumed from a lengthy lay-off with a fifth placing in a sprint race at Morphettville last month and did enough for Macdonald to send him to Melbourne for the Monash Stakes (1100m) on July 15.

Macdonald anticipated Daytona Grey could run boldly in the Monash and was right, with the rising eight-year-old finishing second to Supido who is the likely favourite again for Saturday’s weight-for-age race.

“I thought he ran his heart out and was just beaten by a better horse on the day,” Macdonald said.

“He’s pulled up well and he’s gone forward since. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

“He would have to improve to beat the horse that beat him, I know, but the chance of maybe a wet track might help us.

“He loves give in the ground.

“It’s probably a tougher race. We’d probably want a good draw and a good run to give him a chance.”

Stable jockey Clare Lindop will again make the trip to ride Daytona Grey.

The Bletchingly is set to feature the return of multiple Group One winner Lankan Rupee who headlines the 18 nominations.

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