Trainer Jason Thompson has given a ‘progress report’ on two of his superstars – Hooked On Scotch and Black Opium – who have been missing in action.
Dubbed “the fastest chaser on the planet”, Hooked On Scotch hasn’t raced since sustaining a stopper-related injury in the catching pen after winning a heat of the Group 2 Warragul Cup (460m) in a near-record 25.34sec.
And Black Opium has been off the scene since pulling up “scratchy” when fifth to Get It Gizmo in the G1 Topgun on November 9 last year.
A six-time G1 finalist – including three times a runner-up – Black Opium has raced on 38 occasions for 19 wins and seven seconds, with stakes totalling $423,353.
A five-time group race winner, Hooked On Scotch has become an adoring champion winning the G1 Hobart Thousand, G1 Adelaide Cup, G2 Geelong Gold Cup, G3 Shootout and G3 Speed Star. He was also third in the G1 Melbourne Cup.
He has notched 12 wins from 19 starts, with $351,365 in prizemoney, and set a new Sandown 515-metre track record (28.94sec) in a heat of last year’s G1 Melbourne Cup.
HOOKED ON SCOTCH
“It’s a time thing. In a perfect world, he’s around 4-6 weeks off having a serious gallop. We’ll wait until the injury ‘tells us’ he’s ready to go.”
WATCH: Hooked On Scotch (8) break Sandown’s 515m track record in a heat of last year’s G1 Melbourne Cup.
“I thought she may have been a chance for the Australian Cup series… She’s not that far off, but I doubt she’ll be ready for it. Anyway, I thought it’d be a good thing to give her a decent break. She’d been racing ‘non-stop’ for 12 months, but the indicators are she’s come back as good as ever.”
WATCH: Black Opium (6) record a blistering 29.21sec PB at Sandown in a heat of the 2018 G1 Melbourne Cup.