Highly decorated trainer Jason Thompson is feeling buoyed about his chances of winning a fifth Group 2 Warrnambool Cup (450m) next Wednesday night.
Thompson will make a 600km-plus round trip with two finalists – Zambora Smokey and Razor Sharp.
One of the most promising young greyhounds in the state, Zambora Smokey won his heat last Thursday in sensational style.
Now a winner of 11 races from 15 starts, Zambora Smokey clocked a sizzling 25.08sec, which was the fastest time of six heats.
WATCH: Zambora Smokey (B4) win his Warrnambool Cup heat.
It was also his seventh win in a row. He is also undefeated in three starts over 450m at Warrnambool – including a stunning 24.86sec PB.
But how he won was even more impressive! Zambora Smokey staged a battle royal early with superstar and dual Group 1 winner Simon Told Helen before surging away to win comfortably by two and a half lengths.
“His run was good… His form leading up to the heat was more than we could ask out of him,” Thompson said. “He’s only a lightly raced dog… He’d won six in a row, so he was in good form.”
Thompson added: “I was probably a bit surprised he was able to come from behind Simon Told Helen and run him down… He’s got box two in the final; the way the field is drawn I don’t think it’s too much of a disadvantage.”
Meanwhile, Thompson’s provincial star Razor Sharp earned a berth in the final courtesy of an all-the-way 25.24sec victory. He landed his 14th win from 23 starts, which is a great strike rate of 61 per cent.
Razor Sharp ($11.10) caused an upset as he was pitted against Australia’s No. 1 sprinter and raging hot favourite Tiggerlong Tonk ($1.20), who could only manage fourth position after a tardy start.
WATCH: Razor Sharp win his heat from box one.
“He was very lucky probably to get through (to the final) because Tiggerlong Tonk blundered the start… We came out good and missed all the trouble,” Thompson said.
Thompson added: “When you’re in these races you can always win them… But for him to win the final (from box four), he would need the luck he had in his heat, but I can’t see that happening.”
Pawnote: Thompson’s previous four Warrnambool Cup winners are El Galo (2008), Hanify’s Impact (2009), Ronan Izmir (2013) and Black Magic Opal (2014).
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Photos by: Clint Anderson.
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