In a big night of greyhound racing, Amity Bale confirmed her status as the rising star of Australia’s staying ranks, winning her heat of the $36,000 Group 2 McKenna Memorial.
The scratchings of Group 1 Albion Park Gold Cup winner Queen Lauryn and 2008 Group 1 Sandown Cup winner Chinatown Lad ensured Graeme Bate’s charge started a $1.40 favourite.
Beginning only fairly from box 7, Amity Bale found the rail behind early leader Which Wabbit before weaving through the field and racing away to a comprehensive 5.25 length win.
Amity Bale is undefeated in three runs over the ‘half mile’ and has now won 17 of her 53 starts. Her chances of a maiden Group race victory improved when she drew well in box 3 for the final.
Reigning Radio Sport 927 Sandown Cup winner Mantra Lad was sent out a $1.50 favourite in the second heat but had no answer for Kulu Warrior ($12.10) who won his fourth consecutive race.
Jumping straight to the lead, Kulu Warrior held off the late charge from Headley Bale ($13.10) to win by 3 lengths in 42.28, registering a new personal best at Sandown Park.
$36,000 Group 2 McKenna Memorial Final Box Draw
- 1 Headley Bale Andrea Dailly $9
- 2 Kulu Warrior Robert Britton $11
- 3 Amity Bale Graeme Bate $1.80
- 4 Hughes Bale Andrea Dailly $51
- 5 Mantra Lad Graeme Jose $3
- 6 Oodles Rocks Neville Vincent $13
- 7 Bee’s Wax Robert Britton $51
- 8 Octane Al Peter Giles $17
- 9 Wot Price Pink Gary Allen 1st Res
- 10 Which Wabbitt Robert Britton 2nd Res
The final of both the 2009 Group 1 Hawkins Media Laurels and Group 2 McKenna Memorial will be run at Sandown Park on Thursday 25th June 2009.