Champion trainers Jason and Seona Thompson have experienced many memorable nights in greyhound racing and last Friday was certainly right up there.
The Thompsons celebrated their fourth victory in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup courtesy of all-the-way winner Real Simple, while in Sydney the powerful Pearcedale mentors incredibly won three semi-finals of the inaugural Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase with Poke The Bear, Azkaban and Midnight Starlet.
Real Simple, which had 41 starts in NSW before joining the Thompson kennel mid-year, was the only Victorian in the $75,000 to-the-winner Adelaide Cup and the son of champion sire Collision started at $4.80 from box three after a 29.79sec heat success.
Chasing his fourth straight victory, Real Simple led throughout, defeating local outsider Bogie Bullet by one length in 29.69sec, his 22nd win from 51 starts and a fourth Cup triumph for the Thompsons after Whippy’s Image (2008), El Galo (2009) and Aqua Cheetah (2016).
“That was Real Simple’s tenth start for us and he definitely hasn’t surprised me with what he’s done in his last four runs,” Jason Thompson said.
“We always knew the dog had a lot of ability and he’d shown his early speed in his trials but he had a few little hiccups along the way. Just little things, like losing a nail, that prevented him from showing his true ability earlier than he did.
“With the Adelaide Cup clashing with the Million Dollar Chase all the A graders were up in Sydney naturally. No disrespect at all to the other dogs in the final but he was up against the locals and not the 15 or so Victorians that would normally be in Adelaide.”
Meanwhile an unforgettable night unfolded in Sydney, as the Thompsons won three semi-finals of the Million Dollar Chase with Poke The Bear clocking a best of night 29.66sec, while Azkaban ran 29.75sec and Midnight Starlet posted 29.90sec.
Midnight Starlet has drawn box one, from where she’s unbeaten in three career appearances, for next Saturday’s final, which offers the greyhound racing world’s first million dollar winner’s purse, with Azkaban and Poke The Bear drawing four and five respectively.
“Poke The Bear is the pick of the three. I don’t know if any dog in Australia is going better than him at that level at the moment,” Thompson said.
“He’s a real professional and with the alterations they’ve made to Wentworth Park he seems to be flying there.
“But I wouldn’t underestimate Azkaban and Midnight Starlet is the big improver of the three, off the red. She’s the most desperate railer you’d ever get – she broke the record at Dubbo off the red. She only went 29.90sec on Friday but I know she’s can go much faster.”
MILLION DOLLAR CHASE
Saturday 20 October, Wentworth Park
1 MIDNIGHT STARLET (Seona Thompson VIC)
2 SKY WAVE (Victor Sultana NSW)
3 DYNA HARPA (Andrea Dailly VIC
4 AZKABAN (Seona Thompson VIC)
5 POKE THE BEAR (Seona Thompson VIC)
6 BIG BUTTERS (Andrew Crouch NSW)
7 MYSTIC RIOT (Jodie Lagogiane NSW
8 JAMELLA JET (Andrew Crouch NSW)
9 HECTON BALE (Andrea Dailly VIC)
10 BENALI (Robert Britton VIC)
VIC WINS ADELAIDE CUP