Leading greyhound trainer Anthony Azzopardi is delighted his superstar Whiskey Riot has drawn Box 1 in Thursday night’s Group 3 Shootout (515m) at Sandown Park, although he concedes that Hooked On Scotch will take a power of beating.
“Whiskey Riot has a good draw but the challenge is that he is up against the fastest dog in Australia,” Azzopardi said.
The Shootout, to run at 8.04pm on Thursday, is limited to just four contenders, lending itself to interference-free racing, something Azzopardi says will suit the Jason Thompson-trained Hooked On Scotch down to the ground.
“The Shootout is the ideal racing format for Hooked On Scotch. I’d be very surprised if Whiskey Riot doesn’t lead in the early stages but Hooked On Scotch has freakish ability,” Azzopardi added.
Hooked On Scotch is the TAB favourite at $1.45, followed by Whiskey Riot ($5), Million Dollar Chase winner Good Odds Harada ($6.50) and Mepunga Maggie ($9.50).
2019 SHOOTOUT (515M)
Sandown Thursday, 8.04pm
1. WHISKEY RIOT (Anthony Azzopardi, Myrniong VIC)
3. HOOKED ON SCOTCH (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
5. GOOD ODDS HARADA (Frank Hurst, Londonderry NSW)
7. MEPUNGA MAGGIE (Jeff Britton, Anakie VIC)
Points of interest:
- Five of the past seven Shootout winners have led to the first turn.
- The past nine Shootout winners have exited boxes 3 or 5.
- Only one female greyhound (Xylia Allen) has won the Shootout in the race’s 21-year history, which doesn’t bode well for Mepunga Maggie.
WATCH: Whiskey Riot (2) succumbs to the brilliant Hooked On Scotch (1) in last month’s Group 1 Adelaide Cup.