Xylia Allen (Box 1 – $1.10F) – trained by Jenny Hunt – continued her dominance of Australian greyhound racing on Thursday night, winning the Group 2 McKenna Memorial (595m) at Sandown Park in front of Kelly Bravo’s Great Spartacus (Box 2 – $33.20) and Angela Langton’s Tarks Nemesis (Box 3 – $23.40).
Xylia Allen started as a $1.10 favourite for the race, after an outstanding heat win that saw her overcome immense trouble to progress to the final. However the trouble she overcame in her heat was almost her downfall in the final.
Kennel representative, Joseph Briffa, revealed after the race that Xylia Allen was not herself when she neared the starting boxes or when being loaded into the boxes for Thursday night’s feature.
“She wasn’t herself at all tonight,” he said “she copped a big scratch on her back right leg in her heat last week and tonight she was a little off before the race, she just wasn’t her usual self.”
The daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale is known for constantly wagging her tail before and after her races, showing an intense love of the contest. Tonight while parading her tail was still wagging, yet there wasn’t that regular swagger.
Briffa said that tonight’s performance further highlighted her quality as one of the best greyhounds ever, even though she wasn’t at her best, she still was able to get the job done.
“She looked a little to her right when I loaded her in the boxes as if she was wary of the greyhounds on her outside because of getting trampled on last week.
“Once she got into her stride and thought only about racing she was amazing tonight, it was another great win.
“I’ve said all along with her that she is one of the best greyhounds of all-time and tonight she proved that again,” Briffa said after the race.
The champion missed the start in the race, with Great Spartacus taking the early lead, while Tarks Nemesis pressured him around the first turn. Xylia Allen ended up finding her way to third on the rail and eventually stalked the leader until dashing to the lead in the home straight to record another famous victory in 34.115secs.
To be able to produce another outstanding performance after having her confidence rattled in last week’s heat, further proved Xylia Allen’s quality. Xylia Allen is unbeaten in four starts over the 595m journey at Sandown Park and has now won seven races in a row.
The $40,000 first-prize in the McKenna Memorial took her prize money to $675,000, just $40,000 away from Miata’s Australian record of $715,000.
Xylia Allen’s career record stands at 35 wins and 21 placings from 71 starts with her $675,000 in stakes, making her the second highest earning greyhound in Australian greyhound racing history.
Watch Xylia Allen’s Courageous win in the Group 2 McKenna Memorial