Jason Thompson’s love affair with the G1 Sky Racing Brisbane Cup (520m) continued at Albion Park on Thursday night when powerhouse sprinter Equalizer careered away with the $250,000 winner’s purse, giving Thompson a remarkable fifth win in the race.
It was a day the Thompson family won’t forget in a hurry, with Jason and wife Seona’s son, star jockey Ben, riding Grafton Cup victor Purrfect Deal earlier in the day.
Thompson and caretaker Queensland trainer Tony Brett, both champions of the sport, combined for back-to-back Brisbane Cup titles, having won the race in 2020 with Equalizer’s superstar half-sister Black Opium.
Thompson’s other victories came with Uno Joel (2007), El Galo (2008) and Got A Moment (2012), while Black Opium also finished runner-up to Sennachie in 2019 in track record time.
“It was exactly one year ago yesterday that Equalizer had his first start and we sent Black Opium home and Jason said I’ve got her brother here and he’s just as good, so thanks Jason and Seona!” said a jubilant Tony Brett.
Black Opium won four of her six starts at Albion Park and while Equalizer has a totally different racing pattern, the son of US sire KC And All and Captivating clearly shares his older sister’s affinity with the Brisbane circuit.
Equalizer remains undefeated after three appearances at Albion Park, winning the Listed Super Sprinters (29.77sec) and his Brisbane Cup heat (29.93sec), both Best of Night performances, heading into the Cup Final.
“It was exactly one year ago yesterday that Equalizer had his first start and we sent Black Opium home and Jason said I’ve got her brother here and he’s just as good” – TONY BRETT
Drawn in box four, Equalizer was the $4 second elect behind fellow Victorian star Shima Shine, the $1.80 favourite from box seven.
Andrea Dailly’s Shima Shine was also previously unbeaten at Albion Park, having won three from three, highlighted by the G1 Gold Bullion in February.
The two fancied Victorians met with mixed fortunes on the first corner, with Equalizer putting the writing on the wall when he railed superbly into second behind outsider Wise Thunder ($34), while Shima Shine was prominent before being checked back to midfield.
Equalizer put paid to Wise Thunder approaching the home turn and careered away to defeat another Victorian in Music Event ($8.50), prepared by Queensland trainer Selena Zammit for his Queensland campaign, by 3.75 lengths in a flying 29.52sec, with Shima Shine finishing fourth.
“When he got into second I thought ‘you’re going to take some beating’ now,” said Brett.
“He’s such a powerful dog and I’m so happy to see him put it altogether. I’m just rapt!”
Equalizer has now won 20 of his 46 starts with earnings of just on $400,000 for proud owner/breeders, cousins Bill and Serge Buccilli.
It was a deserved feature race victory for Equalizer, being his fourth G1 appearance in 2021, while he’s also finished second in the G2 Cranbourne and Warragul Cups and third in the G3 Speed Star.
Equalizer was the second leg of a race-to-race double for Thompson, with Aston Fasnet winning the previous event in 29.62sec.
Earlier in the night, the G1 Queensland Cup (710m) was won in commanding fashion by South Australian Sir Truculent, also currently in the care of Tony Brett, with Victorian Five Star running an unlucky fourth.
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