McNicholl In Line For SA Derby/Oaks Double

WILLIAMSTOWN owner-trainer Jane McNicholl has twice won the South Australian Oaks but never the Derby, something she hopes to change this Thursday.

David Brasch

15 September 2020

WILLIAMSTOWN owner-trainer Jane McNicholl has twice won the South Australian Oaks but never the Derby.

Her Oaks winners have been True Shadow way back in 1984 and her daughter the classy True To Do seven years later in 1991. 

South Australian GOTY True To Do was placed in both the Australian Cup and Melbourne Cup for McNicholl.

This Thursday night, McNicholl heads to Angle Park chasing a third Oaks title with Funambulist while she is also represented by Fly For Trix in the Derby.

The star pairing are by Fernando Bale and Weblec Rose, the litter responsible for five finalists this Thursday night, three in the Oaks and two in the Derby.

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And, what is hugely pertinent to their chances is the fact they trace directly back to McNicholl’s first Oaks winner True Shadow which is their seventh dam.

McNicholl believes Fly For Trix is her first very strong Derby hopeful.

He goes into the group 3 final off the seven box and with a scorching 29.53 best time at the track to his credit.

But McNicholl is remaining realistic.

“Yes, the litter is very well represented,” said McNicholl.

“But there are some pretty smart dogs in both finals.

“I am certain that whatever leads around the first turn in both races can win.”

McNicholl, who has been in greyhound racing since 1974, admires the high standard of greyhound currently racing in South Australia.

“The advent of frozen semen has allowed South Australian breeders to access the very best stud dogs,” she said.

“But in the meantime, they have also learned much about animal welfare, especially rearing puppies.”

She rates Fly For Trix hard to beat in the Derby.

“He is very young and can run a strong 500 metres, much stronger than his sister Funambulist,” she said.

Fly For Trix has raced 13 times for eight wins and three placings.

He chased home fastest heat winner Major Major from the Troy Murray kennel in 29.71.

Funambulist was second in her heat to Dakota Roxy (Fernando Bale-Sharp Missile) in 29.84.

Victorian visitor My Girl Kizzy (Mepunga Blazer-Mepunga Rosie) went the quickest of the heats with a 29.72 run for South Australian trainer Nathan Wilson.