The Lesley Ann Leonard Memorial final is one of the most meaningful and prestigious run at Dawson Park so it was fitting one of the track’s biggest supporters took out Sunday night’s 30th edition of the race.
Little Trojan took out the $5000-to-the-winner final, ensuring another Dubbo feature event went home with the Braddon family.
The Cowra-based husband-and-wife team have taken out the multiple times in the past, once previously with Little Trojan’s mother, but Pamela Braddon said it was always a special feeling to stand alongside the Leonard family at the presentation.
“It’s an honour and we’ve won this a few times now,” she said.
Members of the Leonard family were on hand for the race, which honours the memory of Lesley Ann who worked at the track before she tragically passed away as a teenager in 1987.
The track also held the Les Leonard Memorial on Sunday night and the Braddons won that as well, with $4.50 hope Metallic Flash winning by a convincing four-and-a-quarter lengths.
But as has been the case it many feature events at Dawson Park in the past, the Lesley Ann Leonard Memorial final came down to a battle between the Braddons and Charmaine Roberts.
Both had two dogs each in the final and it was Roberts’ Sam Keeping ($3.10) who was among the best out of the boxes but early contact saw him slip back.
Courtney Cargo ($32.40) led into the back straight but Little Trojan ($4) found the rails and followed We’ll Soon Know ($9.10) forward.
Courtney Cargo, We’ll Soon Know and Sam Keeping all jostled for position while going around the bend for home while the Pamela Braddon-trained Little Trojan found nothing but clear air in front of her.
She shot out to a strong lead and went on to win by three-and-three-quarter lengths from the fast finishing Jingles Keeping ($18.20), Roberts’ other hope, while Paul Braddon’s Trojan’s Music ($6.10) held off Sam Keeping for third.
“We had two chances in it and they both missed the start. They came out last and second last but she found the rails and that was it, so it was a good run,” Pamela Braddon said.
“His (Trojan’s Music’s) effort was good too, he’s come home for well so it’s really pleasing.
“My daughter Kylie bred the litter and I got two pups off her. Kylie is excited because this is her pup’s first litter.”
The ability to find the rails has been a hallmark of Little Trojan’s first few career races.
And while that is a fine trait to have as a greyhound, the way she gets there hasn’t always made Braddon comfortable.
“She does like to find the rails but she likes to duck out (from the boxes) so she goes out and then cut in and that could have been a problem from the two (box) tonight,” she said after Sunday’s win.
“But because she was last at the turn and they fanned off she used her sense and got there.”
Braddon said she was confident Little Trojan would go on to race over 500m but she wasn’t certain of Trojan’s Magic would be able to do the same.
As has often been the case for previous Lesley Ann Leonard Memorial winners, the Soliders Saddle series at Bathurst could be next for Little Trojan.