Lady In Waiting: Thompson Eyes Third Sandown Cup

JASON Thompson is hopeful that a long range plan with Collinda Lady will land him a third Sandown Cup title at Sandown Park on Thursday.

Mick Floyd

18 May 2022

JASON Thompson is hopeful that a long-term plan with star staying prospect Collinda Lady will land him a third Sandown Cup title at Sandown Park on Thursday night.

Collinda Lady arrived at Awesome Lodge from owner Stephanie Tyler in August 2021 with just one win to her name, however Thompson quickly identified her as a staying prospect and set about an ambitious plan to contest the group 1 Bold Trease in November.

FIELDS AND FORM SANDOWN PARK THURSDAY NIGHT

“We were preparing her nicely heading towards the Bold Trease – she’d only won one race when we put her on that path – and unfortunately at what would have been the second start we gave her she came on season and that was the end of that,” said Thompson.

“To get her back after the season, our plan always was from when we put her back into work was the Sandown Cup, and for her to get there is satisfying, and a good achievement by the dog.”

With just 14 career starts to her name, Collinda Lady concedes considerable experience to her rivals in the $262,500 final. However the daughter of Zambora Brockie showed considerable maturity and race craft to navigate a path to victory in last week’s qualifier after being held up on several occasions to still run 41.56.

“I thought she raced like a very experienced dog,” said Thompson.

“She’s always shown ability, but it’s one thing to have ability when things go your way and it’s another to have the race smarts to get yourself out of trouble. So far, she’s been able to do that a few times as we’ve stepped her up.”

Rated a $4.80 chance in the final after drawing box three, Thompson said he expected Collinda Lady to settle in the front half of the field with a lap to run.

“I’m hoping that she can be third or fourth at the winning post the first time,” he added.

“She’s got enough speed (to jump with them), the only thing is that while she never really misses it, you can see her pawing at the boxes. That’s when instead of coming out well, she may come out half a length behind.

“But she has got the ability to begin in a more forward position. We don’t expect her to lead, but can definitely be in the first four at the winning post the first time and if she can do that that’ll give her a chance to put herself in the race.”

Thompson also has Immunity lining up in the group 1 Sapphire Crown and is hopeful, rather than confident, that she can win the race her older half-sister Black Opium won in 2020 after drawing box eight.

In addition to the two group 1 finalists, Thompson has the first reserve for the Sandown Cup and Harrison-Dawson after Collinda Patty and Equalizer ran second in their respective heats.

Previously, first and second in the heats of each would have earned them a place in the final however a change to the conditions for each – away from the ‘best 32’  to open nominations – led to five heats of both series, with several heats being run with less than eight dogs.

It is a situation Thompson believes needs to be fixed in future.

“It was supposed be best 32 in all three series,” he said.

“When you’re allowing six and seven dog fields in group races when there should have been four full heats, I think it’s something that needs to be rectified.”