Thriving Out To Deliver McKenna Memorial

VINCE Tullio is confident that another brilliant start can secure Thriving victory in Thursday’s Group 2 McKenna Memorial (595m) at Sandown Park.

Adam Dobbin

7 July 2020

VINCE Tullio is confident that another brilliant beginning can secure his talented bitch Thriving a well earned victory in Thursday’s Group 2 McKenna Memorial (595m) at Sandown Park.

“She’s absolutely flying – she’s gone to another level her past three of four runs,” Tullio said.

“But it’s a very good race on Thursday and she can’t afford to put a foot wrong. It looks to me like whichever dog leads will be very hard to beat. It’s hard to see anything running anything else down. It’s that kind of race.”

Winner at six of her 11 career starts, Thriving, a fashionably bred daughter of Moreira and Veetee Sarah, roared into Thursday night’s finale with a slashing 34.08 heat success.

And from box five in the $25,000 to-the-winner feature, Tullio expects his charge’s chances to be decided within the first few strides.

“If you watch her past three wins she’s been a length or two in front after a stride,” Tullio said.

“When the lids have opened she’s been gone.

“I don’t mind box five because she moves to the middle of the track.  A lot of the dogs in the final can run 9.10 early but the key will be who gets around that first bend in front. That’s where the race will be won.”

Early betting markets for Thursday night’s feature sees favouritism narrowly held by multiple group 1 winner True Detective at $3.40 from his box two draw for trainer Jeff Britton.

Last Hurrah is $3.50 from his box one draw while fastest qualifier, Christo Bale, an explosive 33.90 heat winner, is $4.20 from box three.

“All the speed is down near the fence so to be a chance we need to get across early,” Tullio said.

“And she’s giving away plenty of experience to the rest but I’ve always been a believer that they don’t know what they are racing. If they’re good enough they’re good enough.”


And while Tullio is over the moon about the upward ascension of Thriving, he admits that her racing career is only a precursor to what matters most.

“Anything she does on the track is a bonus,” Tullio said.

“If she comes on season later in the year I’ll breed with her straight away. The good bitches I breed are for breeding fast pups more than anything else.”

Regally bred, Thriving is a half-sister to Tullio’s dual group 1 winner Deliver, inheriting much of the competitive nature of her star relation.

“She loves opposition; if you watched her trial by herself you wouldn’t take her home,” Tullio said.

“To give you an idea, between her two Sandown wins I gave her a 500 trial at The Meadows and she went 5.38, 18.43 – 30.64. Terrible. People were saying to me there must be something wrong but that’s just her. You have to know your dog.”

With a galaxy of well-bred young pups on the way through, Tullio is looking forward to a crackerjack 2021.

“I’ve got nine pups by Black Magic Opal out of Veetee Sarah that look great,” Tullio said.

“There’s 40-50 pups in total so there’s plenty to look forward to.”

The McKenna Memorial is race five on the program this Thursday night at Sandown Park. The race is due to go at 7.37pm AEST.