Queenslander's $2 million Phoenix mission

Queensland star Jay Is Jay will become only the second greyhound to break the $2 million prizemoney barrier with victory in Saturday night’s $1.65 million The Phoenix.

The Phoenix

Dream Chasers

15 Dec

Queensland star Jay Is Jay will become only the second greyhound to break the $2 million prizemoney barrier with victory in Saturday night’s $1.65 million The Phoenix.

Incredibly, trainers Michael and Selena Zammit are within touching distance of their second $1 million winner’s cheque in two months, after Jay Is Jay reigned supreme in the Million Dollar Chase in Sydney in October.

The Zammits sampled a taste of The Phoenix in 2022 after winning a trip to attend the event, and 12 months later they find themselves as central characters in the drama that is the world’s richest race.

“It’s just beyond belief!” said Michael Zammit.

“It’s all been a bit of a blur. It’s hard to comprehend.

“Jay Is Jay ran second in the Queensland qualifier last year, but Selena and I won a trip for two to come down to The Phoenix and it was fantastic to be part of the crowd. The noise and the atmosphere was incredible.

“We’re very honoured to be in the race this time.

“A couple of weeks after last year’s Phoenix, Jay Is Jay won the (G2) Queensland Derby, which was worth $50,000, and we were over the moon because of his connection with Selena’s mother and father.

“At the time, we dead-set had a conversation about what it would be like to be in a race worth $1 million and a year later we’ve been in two!”

Jay Is Jay, which is raced by Selena Zammit’s mother, Lillian Jones, and named in honour of her late father Jeff Jones, has accumulated $1,419,250 in prizemoney in winning 19 of his 37 starts.

The son of three-time G1 winner Sennachie sits third on the all-time Australian prizemoney list, behind only dual The Phoenix heroine Wow She’s Fast ($2,391,995) and last year’s Phoenix placegetter She’s A Pearl ($1,722,900).

Runner-up to Tyanna Belle in last year’s Queensland Flame, which determines who’ll take Racing Queensland’s slot in The Phoenix, Jay Is Jay, the Albion Park 520m record holder (29.35sec), went one better this time around, clocking a scorching 29.52sec.

Jay Is Jay is $13 with Sportsbet after Michael Zammit selected box eight with the sixth selection at Sunday’s box draw, after the inside five boxes had been taken in order.

Jay Is Jay exited ‘the pink’ when runner-up to Transponder in the G1 Topgun on the opening night of the Dream Chasers Festival, on debut at The Meadows.

He also drew eight when winning the Queensland Derby, with Zammit harbouring mixed emotions about the outside alley.

“We would’ve preferred to draw inside, but if we couldn’t have one, two or three, we’re happy with eight,” Zammit said.

“At least he will stay out there.

“He ran a very creditable race in the Topgun and handled himself well, but he’d want to come out bit better this time if he’s going to win it.

“I’m half-hopeful he can be a bit closer, and if he is, he’s at least a really good place chance.”


The Sportsbet Dream Chasers Festival is back!

With over $4.1 million in prize money up for grabs, The Meadows and Sandown Park again play host to these blockbuster events, including the $1million Group 1 Sportsbet Melbourne Cup and the most exciting race in greyhound racing, The Phoenix.



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