SOME outstanding talent will on display this Thursday night in the Group 2 McKenna Memorial at Sandown Park.
Greyhounds qualified in five heats conducted last week over 595m, with Lady Toy recording the fastest time of 34.06 for trainer Brooke Ennis.
The winner will receive $40,000, second place is worth $12,000 and connections will take home $6,000 for third.
Lets check out the form of each runner, with comments from Australian Racing Greyhound‘s tipster Brad Bugeja.
Box One: Spring Leaf
Black Bitch – 27.3kg – July 2012
Spring Gun x Scarlett Catch
Prize money: $126,790
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
T/D Best: 34.38
Career Highlights: Runner-Up 2015 Group 1 National Futurity Final (Wentworth Park), WON Sandown Park 515m – 29.34, WON Wentworth Park 520m – 29.50, WON The Meadows 525m – 29.92, WON Cranbourne 520m – 30.34.
“Spring Leaf is all class and she showed tremendous courage when scoring here last week in a solid 34.38. She was making her debut over this trip last week and I thought she would have to lead to win, however she managed to come from off the speed and she hit the line quite well. From the red draw tonight she should be able to hold a forward spot early and she may even hold the lead, she would have derived a lot of benefit from last week’s hit out and I’m expecting a forward showing.”
Odds to win the McKenna Memorial: $2.90 with William Hill
Box Two: Lektra Concord
White Fawn Dog – 33.1kg – March 2013
Where’s Pedro x Supreme Vision
Prize money: $48,645
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
T/D Best: NBT
Career Highlights: FINALIST 2015 Group 2 Launching Pad (Sandown Park), WON Warrnambool 450m – 25.26, WON Sandown Park 515m – 29.36, WON The Meadows 525m – 30.25.
“Another who made his middle distance debut last week and he actually ran the trip out better than expected. He has a great record over the 500m journey here and I am expecting him to be up near the lead for most of the journey, however I do think he may be a little flat from last week’s effort and he is likely to fall in a hole late. Great effort to qualify but I just dont think this distance range really suits him.”
Odds to win the McKenna Memorial: $14 with William Hill
Box Three: Lady Toy
Black Bitch – 29.5kg – June 2012
Our Toyman x Railway Shiraz
Prize money: $304,272.50
Trainer: Brooke Ennis
T/D Best: 34.06
Career Highlights: Runner-up 2015 Group 1 Sandown Cup Final – 715m, Runner-Up 2015 Group 1 Gold Cup (Albion Park) – 710m, Runner-Up 2015 Group 1 Association Cup (Wentworth Park) – 720m, Runner-Up 2015 Group 1 Galaxy (Cannington) – 715m, Runner-Up 2015 Group 1 Superstayers Final (The Meadows) – 725m, 3rd 2015 Group 3 Lizrene Final (Sandown Park) – 715m, WON Ballarat 545m – 31.32 & 660m – 37.59, WON The Meadows 600m – 34.80, WON Cranbourne 699m – 41.34, WON Sandown Park 715m – 41.80, WON Wentworth Park 720m – 41.85.
“Star stayer and she really caught the eye when scoring a powerful 34.06 heat win last week. I’m expecting her to drop out early again tonight but this race does feature quite a few front runners and that should work to her advantage. If she can avoid bother in the early stages, she should be able to make a strong move mid race and she may just prove too powerful in the run to the line.”
Odds to win the McKenna Memorial: $3.00 with William Hill
Box Four: Ballerino
Black Dog – 36.0kg – November 2012
Premier Fantasy x Come On Luann
Prize money: $57,315
Trainer: Joe Borg
T/D Best: 34.36
Career Highlights: FINALIST Group 2 Warrnambool Classic – 450m, FINALIST 2015 Group 2 Launching Pad (Sandown Park) – 515m, WON Warrnambool 450m – 25.18, WON Sandown Park 515m – 29.31, WON The Meadows 525m – 29.97.
“Last week he showed a tremendous amount of dash soon after box rise and although he got tired in the run home, he was quite impressive. Once again he hasn’t drawn too favourably and there appears to be quite a lot of early speed engaged. He can win if he happens to pounce on the early lead but I can’t see that happening.”
Odds to win the McKenna Memorial: $5.00 with William Hill
Box Five: What’s Chewing
Black Dog – 36.0kg – January 2013
Nitro Burst x Flushed
Prize money: $50,610
Trainer: Kelly Bravo
T/D Best: 34.21
Career Highlights: FINALIST 2015 Group 2 Warrnambool Classic Final – 450m, WON Warrnambool 450m – 25.08, WON Geelong 460m – 26.01, WON Horsham 480m – 27.31 & 570m – 31.92, WON The Meadows 525m – 29.79 & 600m – 34.42.
“Can be very hard to follow at times but is probably one of the most gifted chasers in the final. Last week he actually pinged the lids and he was able to lead for most of the journey, however the strong Lady Toy got the breaks mid race and she proved too strong. If he can follow Ballerino across early and settle in the top two or three, he will be quite strong in the run home and he should make it very interesting as they approach the finish line.”
Odds to win the McKenna Memorial: $5.50 with William Hill
Box Six: Mepunga Tiara
Black Bitch – 27.4kg – December 2011
Premier Fantasy x Mepunga Opal
Prize money: $175,320
Trainer: Jeff Britton
T/D Best: 34.15
Career Highlights: WON 2014 Group 2 Distance Championship (The Meadows) – 725m, 3rd 2014 Group 1 Sandown Cup Final – 715m, FINALIST 2014 Group 1 Brisbane Gold Cup (Albion Park) – 710m, FINALIST 2014 Group 2 Mckenna Memorial Final (Sandown) – 595m, FINALIST Group 3 Lizrene (Sandown) – 715m, WON The Meadows 600m – 34.26, WON Ballarat 660m – 38.37, WON Sandown Park 715m – 41.86.
“She has been racing in great form in recent weeks and with some luck in running she could feature, however she exits and unfavourable wide draw tonight and she is likely to give away too big of a head start.”
Odds to win the McKenna Memorial: $8.50 with William Hill
Box Seven: Zipping Maggie
Dark Brindle Bitch – 27.8kg – May 2012
Turanza Bale x Natalie Rass
Prize money: $110,765
Trainer: Peter Dapiran
T/D Best: NBT
Career Highlights: WON 2014 Group 3 Chairmans Cup (Wentworth Park) – 720m, FINALIST WON The Meadows 525m – 30.22, WON The Meadows 600m – 34.45, WON Bendigo 660m – 37.82, WON Wentworth Park 720m – 41.78, WON Sandown Paek 715m – 41.85.
“Like Mepunga Tiara she has drawn poorly out wide and her lack of mid race dash will make life difficult for her. She is better suited to a longer journey and although she was narrowly beaten in her heat I think that she may just find some of her rivals a bit too slick.”
Odds to win the McKenna Memorial: $23 with William Hill
Box Eight: Know Danger
Blue Dog – 32.6kg – April 2012
Scotexcited x Know Best
Prize money: $66,255
Trainer: James Shaw
T/D Best: 34.29
Career Highlights: WON Christchurch (NZ) 520m – 30.02 & 645M – 38.48, WON Auckland (NZ) 527m – 30.33, WON Otago (NZ) 545M – 32.44.
“He used his rails draw to advantage last week with a powerful 34.29 heat win and if he had drawn the red again, I would have given him some chance. From the pink draw tonight, he is likely to be posted wide for most of the journey and he will get too far out of his ground. Good effort to qualify but he just doesn’t look well placed in the pink.”
Odds to win the McKenna Memorial: $10 with William Hill
Top Four: 1 – 3 – 5 – 4
Win bet on Spring Leaf
Boxed Quinella: 1,3,5 ($3 for 100%)
Exacta: 1,3/1,3,4,5 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1/3,4,5/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1,3/1,3/Field ($12 for 100%)