In July 2020, Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) and the South Australian Jockey Club (SAJC) unveiled the new race names of six black-type South Australian races following a joint decision to honour some of South Australian racings greatest icons. The change of race name requests were voted on by the pattern committee and presented to Racing Australia for approval. Trainer Leon Macdonald, former jockeys Clara Lindop and John Letts, industry figure the late David Coles, galloper Tobin Bronze and stallion Without Fear now all have races named in their honour.
Leon Macdonald has won numerous trainers’ premierships since going full-time in 1975, and has prepared some outstanding Group 1 winners. In the 2009/10 season he took on a training partnership with son-in-law Andrew Gluyas, and they won this race in 2012 with mare Southern Speed who also won the 2011 Caulfield Cup. Leon is also a member of the Thoroughbred Racing South Australia Hall of Fame.
Generally, the form from the Group 3 Spring Stakes, run two weeks earlier is often a good guide for this race. Although the Leon Macdonald is only a Listed race it has been won by Group 1 horses like Mackinnon Stakes winners Gailo Chop and Alcopop, Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed and dual Cox Plate winner Fields of Omagh.
Leon Macdonald Stakes Facts
Last mare to win: Rocket Commander (2016)
Multiple winners: Penny Edition (1980 & 1981)
Fastest time (1400m): Magical Pearl (2009) 1:22:25
Leading trainers: Two trainers have 3 wins each – Ken Sweeney (Riziz 2015; Future Ethics 1999; Purple Curse 1992), Colin Hayes (Wolveraction 1988; Alshinfarah 1997; Fimnal Child 1985). His son David Hayes won with Pacific in 1991.
Interesting trivia: 2007 winner Sassbee was sire by Blevic who was the broodmare sire of 2011 winner Alcopop.
Past winners of the Leon Macdonald Stakes
Winners of past Leon Macdonald Stakes include Gailo Chop (2017), Southern Speed (2012), Alcopop (2011) and Fields Of Omagh (2004).