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Nationals Preview: Eight’s Not Great for Ennis Duo

Margins (pictured) and Lady Toy will both have to overcome box eight – not to mention champion duo Fernando Bale and Sweet It Is – if Jamie and Brooke Ennis are to celebrate an historic National Championship double at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

The in-form husband and wife training team have Margins engaged in the National Sprint Grand Final, while Lady Toy will contest the Distance Championship.

Both have drawn the pink, which isn’t ideal around Wentworth Park, however Jamie Ennis remains bullish about their prospects.

“They’ve both drawn a touch sticky but they’re the cards we’ve been dealt and I still expect them both to run well,” he said.

“I don’t think the draw is too bad for Lady Toy. When Deadly Boy (box 7) raced in Melbourne he looked hard for the fence. John Carmody is a good trainer so I’m sure Deadly Boy hasn’t changed his habits.

“I expect Deadly Boy to be heading to the fence pretty solidly which will enhance Lady Toy’s prospects of sweeping around them. I wouldn’t want them to be boxed the other way around with Lady Toy in seven and Deadly Boy in eight, that’s for sure.

“The perfect draw for Margins would’ve been one to three but I would’ve taken eight next. He isn’t a small dog and needs two strides to get rolling so with nothing on his outside he won’t be crowded early and should be able to get into his rhythm quicker.”

Ennis’ optimism is backed up by the fact Margins has won three of his six career assignments from box eight, including the Group 2 Horsham Cup and a heat of the Group 1 Maturity.

“Wentworth Park is the perfect track for Lady Toy but obviously Sweet It Is is a champion and if they both run up to their best Sweet It Is will win.” – JAMIE ENNIS

While Margins hasn’t saluted in four previous visits to Wentworth Park he heads to Sydney in career best form, having upstaged Fernando Bale in the Victorian Sprint Final at Sandown.

Lady Toy qualified as the wild card after running second to defending champ Sweet It Is in the State Distance Final at The Meadows.

In contrast to Margins, Lady Toy has won two from three at Wenty Park, with her only defeat a three-quarter length second to champion Space Star in the Group 1 Association Cup.

“I’m really looking forward to getting Lady Toy back to Wentworth Park,” Ennis said.

“It’s the perfect track for her and I think she races up to her best there. I can’t fault her but obviously Sweet It Is is a champion and if they both run up to their best Sweet It Is will win.

“Fernando Bale’s record at Wentworth Park is phenomenal and we’ve certainly got no expectations of beating him again but I think Margins will run really well.

“I think you should just forget about Margins’ form at Wentworth Park earlier in the year. He wasn’t right at the time but he’s in a rich vein of form at the moment and his trial at Sandown last Sunday was as good as you’d want to see heading into a Group 1 race.”
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Saturday 22 August – Wentworth Park – 9:12pm
Saturday 22 August – Wentworth Park – 9:55pm

About Gerard Guthrie - Chief Journalist The Greyhound Recorder Chief Journalist with The Greyhound Recorder newspaper since 2001, member Topgun selection panel, Dapto Megastar selection panel and Australian and NSW Greyhound of the Year judging panels, compere Dapto Puppy Auction, previously contributed to Sky Racing's The Catching Pen, Sky Sports Radio's Going Greyhounds and website. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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