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Group 1 Gold Cup Preview: Lady Toy’s Golden Opportunity

Perennial Group 1 runner-up Lady Toy might never get a better chance to shed a frustrating bridesmaid tag than in Thursday night’s $121,000 Gold Cup (710m) at Brisbane’s Albion Park at 8:45pm.

Frustratingly for trainer Brooke Ennis and owners Norma Gost and Jim Psaila, who initially trained the daughter of their 2010 Horsham Cup hero Our Toyman, Lady Toy (pictured) has had to settle for second prize in four Group 1 events in 2015.

In a different era Lady Toy could have been lauded as the country’s best stayer, but instead she’s had to play second fiddle to superstars Space Star and Sweet It Is.

However the door has been left wide open for Lady Toy in Thursday’s Gold Cup, with arch-rivals Space Star and Sweet It Is both notable absentees; Space Star due to injury while Sweet It Is won the Group 1 Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar in Auckland last Sunday.

“Lady Toy’s been a bit stiff to run into dogs like Space Star and Sweet It Is otherwise we could have had a really good year,” Jim Psaila said.

“But she’s still done a good job. It’s no disgrace running second to dogs like that.

“In a sense it hasn’t been that frustrating because she’s been beaten by very good dogs. It would be different if they weren’t good dogs but Space Star and Sweet It Is are two of the best stayers we’ve seen for a long time.

“Robbie Britton (Space Star’s trainer) lives around the corner from us and he said to me our turn will come. I hope he’s right!” JIM PSAILA

Lady Toy scraped into the Gold Cup Final when finishing fourth in her heat to fastest qualifier Tuavasa Shek (Replay) and her chances received a further boost when rails runner Tuavasa Shek was scratched from the final on Wednesday.

“I thought she was a little bit disappointing last week but then when the time went up they’d gone about six lengths quicker than the other heat,” Psaila said.

“A few people have said to me she’ll be suited out in box eight but I’m not sure. Maybe if she misses the start and drops onto the fence. But she’s so honest and puts in all the time so we’ll have our fingers crossed.”

If Lady Toy – the $3.40 second elect behind $2.60 favourite Dzeko in the TAB’s Fixed Odds market – can secure what would be a deserved Group 1 breakthrough it would eclipse her sire Our Toyman’s Horsham Cup victory as her owners’ greatest success.

“A friend of ours was looking for a Hallucinate dog to breed with and I said I’d give him a service to Our Toyman if he gave us a pup,” Psaila recalled.

“We were supposed to get a dog but we got a bitch and that was Lady Toy.

“I gave her to Jamie and Brooke (Ennis) to train because I can’t travel interstate and Norma has been a bit crook. Jamie offered to take her over to Perth for the Galaxy and she went well so I thought she might as well stay with them and they’ve done a great job with her.”

Cosmic Vee Bee (Robert Britton) and Zipping Maggie (Peter Dapiran) are the other Victorian-trained greyhounds contesting Thursday night’s final, with the winner to take home a $84,700 first prize.
Albion Park Formguide: Click Here

Watch: Heat 1 of the Gold Cup, won by Dzeko in 42.00sec. Click for Results (Race 3)
Watch: Heat 2 of the Gold Cup, won by Tuavasa Shek in 41.73sec (Lady Toy ran fourth). Click for Results (Race 4)


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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. 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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