True Collinda To Represent TAB in Phoenix

Prodigious talent True Collinda, trained by Jason Thompson, has raced her way into Saturday week’s inaugural The TAB Phoenix at The Meadows. 

Adam Dobbin

7 December 2021

Prodigious talent True Collinda has raced her way into Saturday week’s inaugural The TAB Phoenix (525m) at The Meadows. 

Prepared by champion trainer Jason Thompson, True Collinda will represent the slot of race sponsor TAB in the $1.145m showpiece after defeating Typhoon Sammy in a Phoenix deciding trial on Monday.

True Collinda’s entry into The Phoenix caps off a meteoric rise for the daughter of Zambora Brockie, coming from relative obscurity to secure a start in the $750,000-to-the-winner event.

“I’ve had a big opinion of her for a while and it’s great that she’s really hitting her peak on the eve of The Phoenix,” said trainer Jason Thompson.

“The decision to trial True Collinda and Typhoon Sammy together was made with the TAB and connections and we’ve landed on the right runner.

“Not much separated them early in the trial before Typhoon Sammy put a few lengths on her down the back. In the run home True Collinda finished strong and won by around four lengths in 29.91.

“Given the conditions I couldn’t have asked for a better effort.

“I’m confident she’ll run a real race in The Phoenix and make the TAB proud, they’ve been fantastic to work with right the way through.”

Winner at eight of her 20 starts, True Collinda was last seen on Melbourne Cup night at Sandown Park scoring in a scintillating 29.17s, faster than the 29.40s Koblenz posted taking out the cup.

“The way I’m attacking this race is that if you’re going to win you’re going to have to run down Koblenz,” Thompson said.

“With True Collinda I know I’ve got a really strong greyhound. She’s on the way up and oozes potential but whether she’s good enough to win a Phoenix at this stage remains to be seen.”

Box draws in all races are paramount but Thompson is adamant that Sunday’s unique Phoenix draw will carry even greater significance.

“With connections choosing their boxes when selected makes it very tactical,” Thompson said.

“You can’t win the race on Sunday but things can be made harder or easier. Ideally I’d love to see True Collinda draw one or two but if Aston Rupee and Koblenz draw well then they’ll be nearly impossible to beat.”

True Collinda’s The Phoenix berth is a perfect illustration of the vagaries of racing.

When TAB partnered with Thompson for their assault on The Phoenix, greyhounds the ilk of Equalizer, Aston Fastnet and the late Rebellious were expected to hold top billing.

But varying reasons have opened the door for star on the rise True Collinda to make the most of her opportunity.

Luke Waldren, Tabcorp’s general manager for product and marketing, said TAB was thrilled to have True Collinda carry their hopes in The Phoenix.  

“We were excited to team up with Jason and have enjoyed following his kennel in what has virtually been an audition for our slot in the TAB Phoenix,” Waldren said.

 “True Collinda is racing at the peak of her powers and Jason is confident she has what it takes to be a leading contender, which is a good enough endorsement for us.

 “The TAB Phoenix is a fabulous new initiative to hit the greyhound racing industry and it would be a huge thrill if we were able to win the inaugural edition.”