Boom sprinter Hooked On Scotch has his eyes firmly set on the Apple Isle and yet another black type assignment in the $75,000-to-the-winner Group 1 Hobart Thousand (461m) series.
In a sobering thought for his rivals, trainer Jason Thompson says “he’s in very good order; in fact, he’s cherry ripe”.
Hooked On Scotch – a winner of four group races and Sandown’s 515-metre track record holder – lines up in Heat 3 (Box 4) – Race 6, 9.25pm. He’s quoted at $1.30F on the TAB Fixed Odds market.
A minor hiccup for the megastar is that he’s having his first look at the Elwick Park circuit. “He hasn’t trialled there, it’s not ideal,” Thompson said.
However, Thompson was quick to add that Hooked On Scotch’s natural brilliance should carry him a long way in the oldest greyhound event in Australia – first run in 1935 as the Hobart Cup.
Thompson says Hooked On Scotch (10 wins from 16 starts) has the potential to hopefully one day be put on a pedestal with his former greats, Awesome Assassin and Whisky Assassin – both of whom were giants of the sport in their heyday.
“It’s difficult to assess how he measures up to them… Ask me in 12 months’ time and I’ll give you a better answer,” Thompson said.
When quizzed about Hooked On Scotch’s third placing in the G1 Melbourne Cup, Thompson said: “I thought it was good run, he was very unlucky… He got buried back in the field but flashed home and would have won in another five metres.”
Hooked On Scotch will also be attempting to make amends for the 2013 Hobart Thousand, when Thompson’s champ Black Magic Opal ($1.40F) finished second to the Kelvyn Greenough-trained Paw Licking ($7.60). He also had Ronan Izmir ($8.50), who finished fourth in the final.
Thompson also has G1 Melbourne Cup finalist Flynn – Heat 1 (Box 8) – Race 4, 8.40pm – engaged in this year’s Hobart Thousand series. He’s quoted at $1.33F on the TAB Fixed Odds market.
Other Victorians crossing Bass Strait are the Jeff Britton-trained He’s For Me (Heat 1, Box 7) and Grey Ghost (Heat 3, Box 6), and the Correy Grenfell-prepared Tiggerlong Tonk (Heat 5, Box 8).
WATCH: Hooked On Scotch (8) break Sandown’s 515m track record in a G1 Melbourne Cup heat.