Jason Thompson rates unproven youngster Aussie Secret, a $17 chance in TAB’s all-in market, as his best chance of celebrating a record-breaking fourth TAB Melbourne Cup victory.
Thompson’s three Melbourne Cup wins have come courtesy of Light Of Fire (1994), Got A Moment (2012) and Black Magic Opal (2013), while wife Seona continued a proud family tradition with Aston Dee Bee in 2017.
It’s no surprise that sprinting luminaries Simon Told Helen, the reigning Australian Greyhound of the Year, and Topgun hero Shima Shine, head Melbourne Cup betting at $7.50 apiece.
While at $17, lightly-raced duo Aussie Secret and Immunity are rated Thompson’s best chances of winning the great race for an unprecedented fourth time.
Immunity, a half-sister to Black Opium, which ran second in the 2018 Melbourne Cup Final at just her eighth start, was one of the standout performers in the final round of Cup preludes staged on Thursday night, clocking 29.27s.
Not yet two years of age, Immunity has now won nine of her 11 starts and she’s won two from three at Sandown Park, including a breathtaking 29.13s performance on debut at the track.
Aussie Secret, the winner of 12 from 18, was also well-fancied in a prelude, but was unable to overcome box six, running fourth after meeting trouble on the first turn.
“I’m looking at having five or six runners in the Cup heats,” Thompson said.
“I think the obvious stand outs are Simon Told Helen, Shima Shine and Hard Style Rico. They’re super dogs and they’re in great form and I think any other dogs beyond those three are going to need a bit of luck.
“Aussie Secret is a young dog but he would be the best chance we’ve got because he can run five seconds to the winning post and very fast time up the back.
WATCH: Immunity win her TAB Melbourne Cup Prelude from box one at Sandown on Thursday night.
“Immunity ran 29.13s at a Sunday meeting but all that tells you is that she’s got ability. She needs to step up to open class.
“I’ll compare her to Black Opium when she’s done what Black Opium has done. Black Opium has come on season and no decision has been made about her future yet.”
Thompson claimed a prelude treble on Thursday, with recent NSW import Zipping Bram dropping back from middle distances to record a barnstorming 29.35s victory, while Aston Silk was successful in 29.46s.
“Zipping Bram would be the fastest dog I’ll have in the heats,” Thompson offered.
“He trialled at Sandown last Sunday and ran 28.92s but that was on his own and it’s a totally different story against a full field of very good dogs.
“The other dogs I’ll have in the heats are going to need luck but if they get the right draw you never know what can happen.”
The Melbourne Cup heats will be held next Friday night (November 20), with the $435,000 to-the-winner Cup Final to be run and won one week later, Friday, November 27.