WHEN New South Wales sprinter Kedo's Millie (Kedo's Image x Make Me Rosy Oct '94) notched a brilliant victory over Victorian speedster Tranquil Fire in the 1996 South Australian Oaks final, the win put her firmly into the top rank of female greyhounds in the country.
The victory would prove to be arguably the high point of what was a lengthy career at the top level.
A fawn bitch, Kedo's Millie was trained throughout her career by Ruth and the late Mat Matic. She commenced racing around 20 months of age by winning her first two starts, both over 508m at Dapto, by five and eight lengths respectively.
She finished last as a 7/4 ($2.75) favourite in her first race start at Wentworth Park on July 6, 1996 but bounced back three weeks later by winning her heat of the Young Star Classic at Wentworth Park, running down Queensland star Roanokee to win by three-quarters of a length.
In the Group 3 Young Star Classic final, Kedo's Millie was always in the lead division but had to be content with third placing, behind the favourite Jazzy Tom, which notched its ninth win in 15 starts, and Tried And True.
In August, Kedo's Millie rattled off three successive victories over 537m at Richmond before travelling to Angle Park for the South Australian Oaks series.
In her heat on September 12, Kedo's Millie was sent out a very short-priced favourite from box four and only saluted by three-quarters of a length over the 512m trip, running 30.18, 6/100ths outside the best of the night.
Kedo's Millie drew box four again for the Oaks final and she was once more heavily supported, starting a 4/5 ($1.80) favourite. This time she made it look easy, going on toe win by two and a half lengths from Tranquil Fire in 30.17, the best time of the meeting.
Her five-race winning sequence came to an end on October 19 when Kedo's Millie could only finish third behind Louisiana Lass in a heat of the Vic Peters Memorial Classic at Wentworth Park.
Given a short break, she returned with a win at Wentworth Park before running seventh at Dapto.
Two placings in graded races at Wentworth Park were part of her lead-up into contesting the Group 2 NSW St Leger (now the Paws of Thunder) series.
She won her way into the final by defeating Tamborine Dancer from box three by just over two lengths on November 30. Kedo's Millie again drew box three for the St Leger final, and led narrowly for most of the way in what was a roughly run race before finishing fourth behind Tamborine Dancer.
Her last two starts for 1996 were both at Wentworth Park and saw Kedo's Millie lead all the way and hold off the smart Star Tribute before again leading but being run down by Kid Keroma.
Kedo's Millie began campaigning in 1997 in Adelaide, winning a top-grade event by almost nine lengths on January 2, but finishing only fifth in a heat of the Adelaide Cup a week later.
Then it was off to Penrith for the 530m Penrith Oaks series. Clashing with 1996 Maitland Gold Collar winner Elegant Tears, Kedo's Millie made the Oaks final by chasing the latter greyhound all the way, going under by two lengths.
In a star-studded final run on a very heavy track, Kedo's Millie finished seventh behind the high-flying odds-on favourite Elegant Tears.
Back to Wentworth Park, Kedo's Millie was sixth behind Cattle Drive and then bounced back to her best, scoring by eight lengths from the classy Let's Be Frank on February 24.
It was the perfect tune-up for her tilt at the Group 1 National Futurity series. In her run-off, held on March 1, Kedo's Millie made the final by finishing second behind Off Grade. In the final, she could only run sixth, well beaten by Rare Missile.
From here it was straight into the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg series where Kedo's Millie won her heat by four and a half lengths from the smart Just Like Jack on March 15 and then breezed into the final with a strong length and a half victory over Off Grade in her semi-final a week later.
Drawn poorly in box six for the Easter Egg final, Kedo's Millie ran one of the best races of her career as she chased the Victorian sprinter Bahama Image, going under by just three-quarters of a length. Kid Keroma was third while the great Tenthill Doll was sixth, at what was her last race start.
Given a month off, Kedo's Millie started at Sandown on April 28, running a head second over the 515m trip before returning to Sydney for the Group 2 Ladies Bracelet.
In her heat on May 3, Kedo's Millie drew box one for what would be the only time in her long career. Sporting the red jacket she didn't waste the advantage, leading all the way to score by three lengths in 30.38, just 1/100th outside the best of the night.
The Ladies Bracelet final proved a very rough affair in the scamper to the first turn. Oriana, well boxed in eight, raced away with an incredible lead and went on to score by 16 lengths from Frosty's Title. Kedo's Millie was seventh.
After winning at Richmond on May 16, Kedo's Millie was invited to Adelaide for the inaugural Interstate Challenge Cup on May 29. From box five she acquitted herself well, running a four-lengths third behind local stars Oak Raider and Tribute To Dad.
After winning at Dapto on her return, Kedo's Millie lost a little form, finishing second at Penrith and then unplaced at her next three starts, twice at Wentworth Park and once up the straight at Appin.
Ruth Matic got her right for the NSW National Sprint Championship series, with Kedo's Millie defeating Henry Hand by three and a half lengths in her heat on August 16 and then taking the final by just half a head from Rare Missile to book her spot in the Group 1 National Sprint Championship final, run at Angle Park on September 6.
Drawn poorly in box eight, Kedo's Millie was no match for the brilliant West Australian Prince Of Tigers (box one), coming home sixth.
Back in NSW, Kedo's Millie reeled off four wins, one second, one third and a fourth in seven starts at Dapto and Wentworth Park before she ventured to Sandown Park as the NSW representative in the Group 2 Topgun on October 30. Although drawn well in box two, Kedo's Millie found the local stars Chicago Blue and Awesome Assassin too good on the night. Roanokee was third while Kedo's Millie did well to run fourth.
On November 7, Kedo's Millie contested what would be her last major race, leading all the way to win the Frank Kennedy Memorial at Richmond and holding off Frosty's Title by a head.
Now in the twilight of her career, Kedo's Millie was unplaced at three of her next four starts, all at Wentworth Park before ending her career on January 17, 1998 with a stylish victory at Penrith.
Kedo's Millie raced 57 times for 26 wins, nine seconds and five thirds, winning on five of the seven tracks at which she competed. She was undefeated in five starts at Richmond and won five of six races at Dapto.
Kedo's Millie contested 12 major races, winning three, running second in one and third in two.