Phenomenal draws comparisons with former great
Track record breaking sensation Phenomenal (Collision – Tocsin) was at it again last night at Cranbourne, setting a new time standard for the 520m distance, prompting comparisons with his paternal grandsire, former champion, Awesome Assassin (Light of Fire – Tranquil Flame).
Jason Thompson guided ultra versatile Awesome Assassin to an incredible eight provincial track records over a variety of distances (from 424m up to 630m) in the mid nineties, while last night’s run by Phenomenal was the fourth track record that greyhound has broken.
“They are incredibly similar,” Thompson remarked after Phenomenal ran 29.65sec, lowering Surf Mail’s record of 29.67. “Awesome Assassin lacked a yard of pace early against the really good dogs, and Phenomenal is exactly the same.”
“They are really strong dogs and amazingly fast and would be among the most versatile greyhounds I have trained. Their speed after about the first 100 metres is quite unbelievable.”
“Their personalities are virtually identical as well. They are very clean dogs and just so relaxed that they are almost human. The only real difference between them is their colours and the fact that Phenomenal loves inside draws whereas Awesome Assassin preferred an outside draw.”
“If Phenomenal came out of Box 1 against Awesome Assassin from Box 3 they’d probably dead heat” – JASON THOMPSON
Ironically, both greyhounds have a 50 per cent winning strike rate, with Phenomenal on 16 wins from 32 starts, while Awesome Assassin had 33 wins from 66 starts. Asked who would win in a trial two out when both at their peak, Thompson was at a loss to commit.
“If Phenomenal came out of Box 1 against Awesome Assassin from Box 3 they’d probably dead heat. I know that sounds crazy but I’m being totally honest, I truly believe they’d be neck and neck all the way over any distance at all, from 400m to 650m. I couldn’t separate them,” he said.
Those comments speak volumes about Thompson’s opinion of Phenomenal, as Awesome Assassin is his favourite greyhound of all time.
A GRV Hall of Fame inductee, Awesome Assassin set the Thompson family up financially by winning the Group 1 Silver Chief at a time where he and partner Seona were starting a family.
Their property, based in Pearcedale, is named ‘Awesome Lodge’ after Awesome Assassin.
PHENOMENAL’S TRACK RECORD RUNS
Ballarat 450m – 24.88sec (since broken by Black Magic Opal)
Cranbourne 520m – 29.65sec
Horsham 570m – 32.08sec (since broken by Xylia Allen)
Warrnambool 450m – 24.83sec