The torrential rain and electrical storm did not deter racegoers who flocked into Wentworth Park on Saturday for the inaugural running of the GRNSW + Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase Grand Final, but the night was about so much more than just one feature race.
The opening feature event, the Young Star Final, went to Federal Lilly, who had previously been prepared in Victorian, but was sent back to NSW to Morgan Fenwick-Benjes for the series, and will now head back south with a perfect two out of two record at Wentworth Park from heat and final, and the Young Star trophy.
Queensland-trained Mottza flew the lids and looked like crossing from box eight, but Federal Lilly kicked up inside Mottza heading out of the straight, established a break and held off the Queenslander comfortably by 2 ½ lengths in 29.83s.
Third went to Ray Smith’s Irinka Lizzy a further length away.
Fenwick-Benjes, who also owns the bitch, said he will be sending the bitch back to Melbourne now where she will contest the heats of the Melbourne Cup.
“She’s been an exceptional dog,” he said. “She tries her heart out and put everything in.”
In the consolation of the Million Dollar Chase, True Talent, a reserve who only got a start after the scratching of Victorian Benali, jumped in front and refused to be run down.
Only a week earlier, he again led in the semi-finals of the Chase, but that time was run down by both Big Butters and Hecton Bale, but on Saturday night, True Talent wasn’t going to be run down by anyone.
True Talent clocked 29.73s, and held off Bogan Doonie with Victorian Not Available third.