By Mick Floyd
Some greyhounds naturally attract attention. Be it their racing pattern, or their distinctive markings or even a clever name and there are some greyhounds punters just love to see on the track.
Then there are the ‘bread and butter dogs’, greyhounds that pay their way while rarely drawing a second glance from those outside the kennel. The dogs that sneak under the punter’s guard and score at silly odds.
Whiskey Riot is a bit better than a ‘bread and butter’ dog – after all he has won 16 of his 34 career starts and over $184,000 in prize money. But he is a dog whose price consistently belies both his form and ability.
“He does (start over the odds) all the time, which is good for punters,” said his trainer Anthony Azzopardi.
“He’s been a good dog to have on the punt.”
Whiskey Riot is blessed with early box speed which has helped him run a place in each of the four group finals for which he’s qualified. Twice he’s led before being nabbed in the final stride by the odds-on favourite for the TAB Melbourne Cup, Hooked On Scotch.
In the lead up to the TAB Melbourne Cup series, punters queued up to get on Hooked On Scotch in the Cup while Whiskey Riot remained steadfast at $31.
They’ll meet for the third time on Friday night, and again the disparity in their respective price belies the fact that less than a length has separated them in their two previous encounters.
While Hooked On Scotch is set to start one of the shortest Cup favourites in recent years ($1.90), Whiskey Riot opened up at $6 after drawing favourably in box three.
“I think you better take a bit of that,” Azzopardi said to me.
Way ahead of you, Anthony. Let’s hope the Overs God smiles on those that took the $31.
WATCH: Whiskey Riot (2) proves too powerful for Simon Told Helen in a heat of the TAB Melbourne Cup.