Five quality heats of the McKenna Memorial helped to set up a memorable night of racing at Sandown Park tonight with middle distance specialist Flash Of Light recording best of night figures on her way to registering an impressive 34.43 in the last heat of the night.
The Group 2 McKenna Memorial, previously run over 715m, was converted to a 595m series as part of a raft of recent changes to the racing calendar at both a local and national level, and the inaugural running of the event over the new distance proved an overwhelming success.
The series attracted intense interest from interstate with greyhounds of the ilk of Smooth Fancy, Dashing Corsair, Pulp, Outa Credit, Kay Size and Belair Prince all throwing their hat in the ring to take on Victoria’s best.
Zambola Bale ($4.60) kicked off proceedings with an all-the-way win in the first heat which she completely dominated, extending her margin to six lengths at the finish to the good of the fast-finishing Bloss’ Burra. Race favourite Dashing Corsair ($1.80) put paid to his heat chances after failing to produce his customary early pace.
Pulp, the winner of the recent Group 2 Big Dog Cup at Albion Park, continued on his winning ways, taking advantage of a suitable wide draw to take out the second heat in 34.53 after being sent out at flip-of-the-coin odds. NSW compatriot Smooth Fancy ($3.20f) overcame a tardy start in heat three, powering through the field on his way to victory in a quick 34.44 for trainer Anthony Azzopardi.
The remaining heat went to the locally trained Where’s Womby ($6.60) for trainer Kel Greenough, who withstood a barnstorming finish from race favourite Outa Credit ($2.50), the latter cruelly missing out on a berth in the final by less than one hundredth of a second.
The final of the $36,000 Group 2 McKenna Memorial will be run at Sandown Park on Thursday 15 July.
$36,000 McKenna Memorial Final Box Draw (595m)
- Box 1 – Philby Robert Britton
- Box 2 – Flash Of Light Mark Delbridge
- Box 3 – Where’s Womby Kel Greenough
- Box 4 – Pulp Craig Chappelow
- Box 5 – Last Stress Kevin Ward
- Box 6 – Vociferous Tina Womann
- Box 7 – Zambola Bale Graeme Bate
- Box 8 – Smooth Fancy Anthony Azzopardi
- 1st Res – Jarvis Bale Graeme Bate
- 2nd Res – Outa Credit Reg Kay