Next Top Model scored a thrilling last-gasp victory in a memorable Radio Sport 927 Sandown Cup at Sandown Park tonight.
Trained by leading Pearcedale mentor Jason Thompson, Next Top Model ($8.10) began well to
lead Darren McDonald’s Reign Over Me ($7.50) into the home straight the first time. Reign Over
Me soon switched to the rails to take the lead as the pair broke away from the chasing pack.
In an epic finish to Australia’s richest race for stayers, Next Top Model and Reign Over Me raced
neck and neck down the home straight, with Next Top Model getting the dive in on the line to
defeat Reign Over Me by a head.
“When she was out in front I thought she’s going to be in it but when Reign Over Me got up on
the inside of her I thought she may run a place,” said emotional handler Seona Hood.
It was just reward for the connections of Next Top Model. The rising three year old was
contesting her 11th Group race final having been placed in six of them leading into tonight’s race.
“She’s gone around in plenty of Group finals and just hasn’t had the luck or the right run in races.
“I thought she was going to run a nice placing again tonight but she put her head down at the
right time and did everything right.”
Next Top Model is the second Sandown Cup winner for the Thompson kennel, having previously
scored with Proven Lethal in 2004.
The win took Next Top Model’s career record to 19 wins from 41 starts and the $100,000
winner’s cheque took her prizemoney beyond $200,000. It also highlighted her liking for the
Lightwood Road circuit, having now won six of her 12 starts at the venue. Included in her
Sandown Park record are second placings in the Group 2 Bold Trease Carnival Cup and Group 2
Maidment Memorial, as well as a fifth placing in the 2009 Sandown Cup final at just her 10th race
“She’s done very well here,” said Hood.
Next Top Model’s winning time of 41.96 set a new time standard for the race, eclipsing Mantra
Lad’s 2009 race record of 42.00.
McDonald also prepared third placegetter Countess Of Cork ($8.90) who flashed home after
finding early trouble, while favourite Jarvis Bale ($3.50) was never in contention.
South Australian Satanic Cash ($4.20) made an uncharacteristic fast start from box 6 but was
soon outpaced and struck interference approaching the straight for the first time.
On a big night for the Thompson kennel, three-time Group 1 winner Fedex added the $14,500
Dave Hodgson special event to his impressive resume, defeating Birthday Boy ($8.70) by 1.5
lengths in a slick 29.46.
After the placings the field finished in the following order 4th Allen Zander ($8.40), 5th Symmetry
($8.50), 6th Jarvis Bale ($3.50fav) 7th Satanic Cash ($4.20) and Best Of Times ($19.20).
Next Top Model is raced by the John McGeary she is a Brindle Bitch whelped July 2007 by Surf
Lorian from By Request (Lindale Blue x Roshana Reason). Next Top Model has won 19 of her 41
starts and has been placed on 13 occasions and with the $100,000 first prize for the Sandown
Cup it took her current stake earnings to $206,390.
Listed below is the honour roll for the Sandown Cup the race has been won by many of the
champion stayers of the past including AGRA Hall Of Famers Lizrene and Bold Trease. Plus the
great stayers of their particular era Fawn Scout, Paul’s Thunder, Corcoran, Raurimu, Boronia
Blossom, Tonight’s Wish, Osti’s Joker, Bentley Babe, Arvo’s Junior, Best Quoted and Sargent
Sandown Cup Honour Roll
- 1982 Status Supreme B. Barrington 3 len x nk 44.32
- 1983 Lead Role D. Holmes 2 len x hd 43.96
- 1984 Raurimu K. Chalker 5 len x 3 len 43.41
- 1985 Tashla N. Renshaw Nk x ¾ len 44.00
- 1986 Bold Trease N. McCullagh 6 len x ns 43.84
- 1987 Bold Trease N. McCullagh 2 len x DH 43.59
- 1988 Bold Trease N. McCullagh 2 len x ½ hd 44.05
- 1989 Bold Trease N. McCullagh 1½ len x 1½ len 43.85
- 1990 Western Creole O. Lockett 8 len x ½ hd 43.84
- 1991 Pixie Eyes D. Stavropoulos ½ nk x ¾ len 44.15
- 1992 Village Stomper P. Newman ¾ len x 1 len 43.84
- 1993 Eliza Dylan W. Allars 3½ len x ½ len 44.01
- 1994 Top Sovereign J. Westerlo ½ hd x 3 len 43.74
- 1995 Keon Star R. Crisafi 1½ len x 1½ len 43.09
- 1996 Boronia Blossom R. Ball ½ hd x nk 42.79
- 1997 Tonight’s Wish A. Britton 2 len x ½ hd 42.49
- 1998 Red Mystique D. Mahoney ½ len x ½ len 42.46
- 1999 Smart Attitude D. Irwin 9½ len x ½ len 42.27
- 2000 Osti’s Joker S. Barker 4 len x ¾ len 42.26
- 2001 Bentley Babe P. Dapiran Hd x nk 42.54
- 2002 Jennev L. Britton ¾ len x 2¼ len 42.46
- 2003 Arvo’s Junior G. Arvanitis 1 len x 4¾ len 42.48
- 2004 Proven Lethal J. Thompson 3¾ len x 4¼ len 42.12
- 2005 Best Quoted J. Mooney 2½ len x 3¾ len 42.33
- 2006 Sargent Major P. Giles 1 len x 2¼ len 42.50
- 2007 NO RACE
- 2008 Chinatown Lad S. Whitney 4¾ len x nk 42.14
- 2009 Mantra Lad G. Jose 9.5 x 1.125 42.00
- 2010 Next Top Model J. Thompson Hd x 2.65 len 41.96