Victoria is poised to capture its first National Distance Championship since 2009 after Xylia Allen won the Victorian final at Sandown Park on Thursday night.
Built as a clash of the titans, Xylia Allen defeated Sweet It Is, with the latter also heading to Perth to represent the Big V as a wildcard as she is Australia’s number one stayer according to the Australian Greyhound Racing Association rankings.
Xylia Allen will be aiming to become the second greyhound to win the National Distance Championship after claiming the National Sprint Championship, which she did in 2013.
Thursday’s $12,000 winner’s cheque took her prize money beyond $700,000 and to within $14,133 of Miata’s Australian record. Xylia Allen will eclipse the mighty Western Australian’s mark if she runs first or second in the Grand Final in Perth on 23 August.
Darren McDonald, trainer of Sweet It Is, is confident his greyhound can turn the tables on Xylia Allen and claim the $75,000 first prize.
“She’s raced at twice at Cannington (for one win) and (she) won the Group 1 (Association Cup) in Sydney, so we know she travels well.
“As long as she pulls up well she’ll have a couple of trials between now and then and she’ll strip a lot fitter by the time we get there,” McDonald said.