The lure of greater prize money has paid instant dividends for accomplished NSW Trainer Anthony Azzopardi, who guided No Donuts to victory in the $108,000 Group 1 Zoom Top (725m) at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Azzopardi, 36, made the move to Victoria in recent weeks, taking over training duties from owner Brad Canty, who trained No Donuts (Fabregas x Chevy Princess) when he snared the Group 1 Sale Cup (650m) on Boxing Day.
Now with two Group 1 wins to his name and a race record of 21 wins from 39 starts, No Donuts has earned $289,000 in prize money and looms as a major player in the Group 1 Australian Superstayers (725m) series at The Meadows, heats of which will be run on Saturday night and the final a week later on Australian Cup night (March 5).
“I’ve only had him for four starts, of which he has won the Group 2 Summer Cup in Sydney and now the Group 1 Zoom Top as well.”
“I’m very grateful that his owner (Brad Canty) has given me the opportunity to train him. It takes a lot of trust for the owners of top class greyhounds to choose a trainer, and it has been great so far,” said Azzopardi, who is currently based at Myrniong, located near Bacchus Marsh in Victoria’s west.
As he did after No Donuts won the Sale Cup, Canty announced after the race that he’d placed $2,000 on the bar for the large crowd to enjoy.
Despite No Donuts being a short-priced favourite at $1.70 in the field of seven, Azzopardi wasn’t overly confident heading into the race.
“I felt he was a bit of a risk at those odds, but he found the lead soon after the start and managed to hang on,” Azzopardi said.
No Donuts, bred in NSW by Michael Mauel, led by six lengths before Come On Fantasy got within a length of him at the finish line, while Seeking Justice ran third in the time of 42.71sec.
TEMLEE WRAP: ‘MY BURNING AMBITION’
ROOKIE REBEL WRAP: DYNA DOUBLE ONE CLOCKS $900K