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Prospective slot holders circling Mackenna

Prospective slot holders for this year’s $1.65 million Phoenix have already begun circling star sprinter Mackenna, more than a month out from slot applications opening.

Trainer : MICHELLE SULTANA with Mackenna
Trainer : MICHELLE SULTANA with Mackenna

From Monday July 22, The Meadows will begin its campaign to find eight slot holders for the world's richest race, which will be held in December, with applications to close on Monday September 2.

But those with an interest in taking up a slot, worth $100,000 each, have already started eyeing off greyhounds who could represent them in The Phoenix.

"People have been talking (to us) but nothing is official," Mackenna's primary trainer Paul Abela told SEN Track this morning.

Since the event's inception there have been few participants who have made the move to buy a slot themselves, which is the most financially lucrative option given slot holders generally keep 50-60 per cent of prizemoney.

Deals between slot holders and the connections of the greyhounds who represent them are individual, allowing for negotiation between parties.

Mackenna's connections are contemplating making a slot application of their own.

"We've spoken about it briefly, as Gareth said, you don't want to get too ahead of yourself, but we have spoken about it," Abela said.

They will assess alternate offers but if 'Bonnie' is still firing later in the year it may prove to be a wise move.

"People might want her and offer a big chunk of the pie, it depends what people offer us but we are looking at buying a slot," he said.

Mackenna defeated Jay Is Jay in an epic edition of the State of Origin Match Race at Albion Park last Thursday night, and has won 13 of her 20 career starts.

"I got a bigger kick out of winning the State of Origin (match race) than I did winning the (Golden) Easter Egg," Abela said. "Everyone said we couldn't beat the champ."

She'll next line up in heats of the Brisbane Cup on Thursday June 27.

"After that she'll come home and have a rest, have a few races then get ready for the Million Dollar Chase," he said.

The Phoenix will be run on Saturday December 21 – more detail will be released by The Meadows soon.