• Wednesday, 14 Dec, 2022,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Phoenix a race to $2 million

It’s the race within a race.

Three sprinters in Saturday night’s $1.65 million The Phoenix at The Meadows are striving to create history by becoming the first greyhound to break the once unthinkable $2 million prizemoney barrier.

Sportsbet’s joint $3.30 favourite She’s A Pearl, Australia’s record stakes winner, defending The Phoenix champion Wow She’s Fast and Victoria’s first Million Dollar Chase winner McInerney are already members of the exclusive 11-member ‘millionaires club’.

She’s A Pearl has banked $1,367,470 in prizemoney, while Wow She’s Fast ($1,258,870) and McInerney ($1,172,770) occupy fifth and sixth position respectively on the all-time national list.

If someone said to me even four years ago that a greyhound could win two million dollars, I would’ve said they had rocks in their head.”

“If someone said to me even four years ago that a greyhound could win two million dollars, I would’ve said they had rocks in their head,” said Andy Lord, co-trainer of She’s A Pearl.

“You wouldn’t have believed it was possible. It’s gone to a whole new level and the sky’s the limit.”

Reigning Australian Greyhound of the Year She’s A Pearl was the clear winner at Sunday’s drama-charged box draw, where the NSW superstar was the first sprinter drawn and connections didn’t hesitate in selecting box 1.


SHE’S A PEARL – $1,376,470
FANTA BALE – $1,365,175
GOOD ODDS HARADA – $1,336,625
FERNANDO BALE – $1,299,370
WOW SHE’S FAST – $1,258,870
MCINERNEY – $1,172,770
DYNA DOUBLE ONE – $1,160,316
MYSTIC RIOT – $1,056,964
HANDSOME PRINCE – $1,036,068
TOMMY SHELBY – $1,020,870
TORNADO TEARS – $1,003,835

“If the race was at Wentworth Park, I wouldn’t have worried what box I had, because the boxes are a lot closer to the rail there, but being at The Meadows, I wanted to draw the fence,” Lord said.

“She’s got every chance to win it now!”

She’s A Pearl was beaten in two appearances at Sandown Park during the Sportsbet Dream Chasers Festival.

She ran second to Wow She’s Fast in the G3 Shootout, after leading the field of four clearly, and fourth to Phoenix scratching Plaintiff in a G1 Melbourne Cup heat.

However, Lord is extremely confident Victorians will see the real She’s A Pearl on Saturday night.

WATCH: NSW champion SHE’S A PEARL (B4) was a brilliant all-the-way winner of the Million Dollar Chase Final at Wentworth Park on May 7, leading all-the-way in a scorching 29.32sec.

“Before the Shootout, she’d never seen Sandown and she’d never travelled before, but there’s no excuses this time,” he said.

“I sent her down to Anthony (Azzopardi) and he gave her two box-to-boxes at The Meadows.

“The first time, it was early in the morning and windy and she went okay but the second time she went 5.03sec and 17.76sec.

“She’s done the travelling now, she knows what it’s all about, and she’s had two looks at The Meadows. She’s got everything in her favour. It’s game on!

“I think she’s a massive chance.”

Click HERE  for Sportsbet’s latest market on The Phoenix

The Phoenix will be the third race held in Australia this year offering a $1 million winner’s purse, with She’s A Pearl and McInerney victorious in the two Million Dollar Chase events staged in NSW.

As such, they’re striving to become the first greyhounds to win two million dollar events in the same year.

“The prizemoney at the moment is out of this world,” said McInerney’s trainer Brendan Pursell.

“The last two months with this dog have been unbelievable. Just being lucky enough to have a dog good enough to go in these races.”

But while She’s A Pearl has the priceless advantage of box 1, McInerney has to contend with the outside alley, from where he’s a $26 outsider.

“He can handle box 8 and he’s going to get a clear run. It’s just whether he’s able to get around them,” Pursell said.

“I know he can’t run the time some of the others can, so if something jumps straight to the front, we’re in trouble. But if they jam up, by going out there, I think I’ve given him his best chance.

“I trialled him last Thursday at The Meadows and he went three lengths quicker than he went before the Topgun (runner-up to Photo Man), so he’s on song, but he’ll need a lot of luck.”

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

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)

Up Next

‘Arising’ for a second Phoenix

Wow… Flying towards immortality!