Apex Within will be shooting for the biggest triumph of his career in next Thursday’s McKenna Memorial final after his superb heat win last night.
Shortly after box rise he settled not far behind race favourite Deliver who pounced on the lead. Deliver tired in the closing stages as Apex Within swooped and took off, going on to win by four lengths in a time of 33.98 – the fastest heat win.
“He’s a very fast greyhound on his night, with the right run and the right draw he can certainly run those sort of times,” said his delighted trainer Rod Clark post-race.
Clark has been around greyhounds for most of his life and has trained with a full-time commitment for the last 17 years. He says Apex Within, or ‘Spud’ as he’s known at home, is a special part of his team.
“He is the best I’ve had, absolutely he is.”
While Apex Within’s effort was the fastest of the four heats the box draw hasn’t done him any favours. He will jump from the widest alley while Neo Cleo has drawn to perfection in the red.
Neo Cleo, considered one of Australia’s classiest and most consistent chasers, overcame some minor early hiccups to win her heat from Midnight Dare.
Iron stayer Dyna Chancer charged home to win the penultimate heat from Often Imitated while Sweet As Emm held off a gallant Go Seek Heidi to take out the final qualifier.
The Group 2 McKenna Memorial final carries a winners cheque of $40,000.
It will be the 49th running of the McKenna Memorial. It was first run in 1971 making this one of our longest running features. It was run over the staying trip until 2010 and has been over 595m since. It’s named after the club’s first secretary, Jack McKenna.