Despite incredulous claims by The Dogs writer Gerard Guthrie, who tried to assert Lilley Criminal’s connections would refuse any chance to start in the Superstayers Inviational at Albion Park next week; Anthony Azzopardi has tonight confirmed Lilley Criminal will start in the $15,000 to the winner race.
Guthrie had claimed that Lilley Criminal’s trainer Anthony Azzopardi was “filthy” with the Superstayers Invitational selection panel, having only selected Lilley Criminal as first reserve behind Lady Moscato, Mantra Lad, Forty Twenty and Amity Bale.
The assertion being that no matter what transpired, Azzopardi had “was so disappointed that he rang the club and told them he was pulling her out as the reserve.”
What a difference a few hours makes!
Not less than 12 hours after Guthrie’s sensationalist claims that Azzopardi had told the Brisbane Club to shove their reserve selection; Azzopardi has tonight been quoted as accepting the invitation to start in elite staying event, getting a run a reserve when original Superstayers Invitational starter Lady Moscato had to be withdrawn after splitting her webbing running a very dissapointing race over the staying trip in a weak field at Albion Park tonight.
Lilley Criminal will now join newly crowned Group 2 McKenna Memorial winner Mantra Lad who was absolutely devastating tonight at Sandown Park, leading easily from box five and going right on with the job to run the seventh fastest time ever recorded over the staying trip at Sandown in winning by 2.50 lengths in 41.91.
Fellow Superstayers Invitational runner Amity Bale lost no admirers in the same race after being more than eight lengths from leader Mantra Lad in the same race and finishing hard after being held up in the run to secure the Group 2 McKenna Memorial second place just 2.5 lengths from National Distance Champion and Group 1 Sandwon Cup winner Mantra Lad.
The only one of the four Superstayers Invitational runners not to face the starter tonight was Forty Twenty who was taking it easy back at his North Entrance kennels after a slashing Dapto 729m ttrack record run last Thursday.