Consistent stayer Lady Toy finally broke through for her maiden group victory at Sandown Park on Thursday night, stepping out in what was, astonishingly, her 8th Group final.
Coming tantalisingly close on several occasions prior to last night, trainer Brooke Ennis had to settle for second best in four Group 1 finals. The daughter of Our Toyman and Railway Shiraz’ narrowest defeat occurred this year in the final of the Group 1 Association Cup at Wentworth Park. Afer leading for a majority of the race, champion stayer Space Star grabbed Lady Toy on the line by three-quarters-of-a-length.
Last night’s Group Two McKenna Memorial final would be a different story, with plenty of punters supporting last week’s fastest qualifier which started at $3.40. Andrea Dailly’s talented chaser Spring Leaf was most favoured at $3.10, particularly after coming up with the inside alley.
At box rise, Lady Toy dwelt and found herself towards the back of the field, with favourite runner Spring Leaf pinging from the inside, taking the early lead.
At the top of the home turn, Kelly Bravo’s chaser What’s Chewing got into mix, railing underneath Spring Leaf and found the front, before lady Toy showed a great burst of speed to loom up on the outside.
Entering the home straight, the 29kg bitch showed great stamina to find the front, scoring by half a length on the line in 34.05. What’s Chewing ran a brilliant race to finish second, while Spring Leaf couldn’t match her rivals in the latter stages and drifted back to third position.
Former New Zealand chaser Know Danger took a heavy fall, fortunately no injury was found by the on-course veterinarian.
Trainer Brooke Ennis and owner Norma Ghost will be celebrating Lady Toy’s 20th career win from start 67, with the addition of $40,000 in prizemoney taking her total to $344,773.
Group 2 Mckenna Memorial Final Results – Sandown Park 595m – 9th July, 2015
1st – Lady Toy – Brooke Ennis ($40,000)
2nd – What’s Chewing – Kelly Bravo ($12,000)
3rd – Spring Leaf – Andrea Dailly ($6,000)
4th – Lektra Concord – Andrea Dailly
5th – Mepunga Tiara – Jeff Britton
6th – Zipping Maggie – Peter Dapiran
7th – Ballerino – Joe Borg
8th – Know Danger – James Shaw
S1: 9.08 (1)
S2: 23.25 (1)
Margins: 0.50L x 4.00L
Scratchings: Morningside, Waymore’s Blues