Since breaking his Group 1 jinx in last year’s Melbourne Cup, Whiskey Riot has rocketed to another stratosphere.
And now this superstar of the sport is on the verge of immortality!
Trained by Anthony Azzopardi, Whiskey Riot was the headline act of tonight’s Group 1 Australian Cup heats (525m) – and he brought the house down.
A dual G1 winner, Whiskey Riot ($1.40F) won his heat in a flying 29.47sec – only one-tenth of a second outside the 29.37sec track record of Allen Deed, set in January 2015.
Whiskey Riot registered his 20th win from 41 starts, and lifted his stakes to $750,810.
It was also his fourth win from seven starts over The Meadows sprint trip – including victory in last week’s G1 Temlee.
Incredibly, if he can claim next week’s $300,000 Australian Cup first prize, Whiskey Riot will become only the sixth greyhound in history to break the magical $1 million stakes mark.
It was another big night for ‘man of the moment’ Azzopardi, who also took out a heat with Fernando’s Riot – a litter brother of Whiskey Riot. (He also qualified Just Terms for the G1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers final.)
A finalist in last year’s G1 Adelaide Cup, Fernando’s Riot ($4.50) secured his heat in 29.89sec.
Pawnote: The TAB Australian Cup Box Draw Luncheon will be held at Zinc @ Federation Square on Monday, February 24, from 11.30am.
Meanwhile, sprint sensation Hard Style Rico ($3.30) returned to the winner’s circle with a 30.09sec heat victory.
Late last year, Hard Style Rico was dubbed the ‘next big thing’. And that rating looked completely justified after he went on to produce the fastest heat winning times in the G1 Silver Chief and G1 National Derby.
Trained by Luckie Karabitsakos, Hard Style Rico notched his eighth win from 15 starts, and his fifth win from seven starts over The Meadows 525m trip.
Meanwhile, the highly under-rated Aston Cade ($4.30) took full advantage of flying machine Simon Told Helen’s shock scratching from the heats. (Simon Told Helen’s litter brother, Who Told Stevie, was also a scratching.)
But fair to say, the Andrea Dailly-trained Aston Cade was outstanding in a thrilling tussle with Shima Breeze ($2.20F), clocking a slick 29.77sec.
Aston Cade notched his 10th win from 26 starts, and his seventh win from 15 starts over The Meadows sprint trip. It was also his fourth win from his past six starts.
He finished second to dual G1 finalist Tiggerlong Tonk in the Group Listed Western Districts Derby (450m) at Ballarat leading into the Australian Cup series.
Other heat winners were: Hardaway Winnie (29.78sec), Mister Harlewood (29.86), Last Hurrah (29.90) and Scatterbox (30.12).
Hosted by Jason Lincoln and Jason Bonnington, it will feature special guest speaker Billy Brownless.