• Friday, 11 Mar, 2022,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Equalizer’s amazing Meadows return

Not even having Immunity lining up in the semi-finals of the world’s richest middle-distance race, the Country Classic, at Dubbo, would keep champion trainer Jason Thompson away from Saturday night’s Premier Racing meeting at The Meadows.

Thompson says he wouldn’t miss Immunity’s Group 1-winning litter brother Equalizer completing a remarkable return from injury for anything.

“Even if the Country Classic final was on Saturday night, I’d still be at The Meadows with Equalizer,” Thompson said.

Brilliant winner of the G1 Brisbane Cup last July, Equalizer hasn’t raced since August 12, with Achilles tendon and triangle muscle injuries having appeared to bring his 20 wins from 48 starts career to a premature end.

“I wasn’t contemplating racing him again, we registered him as a stud dog and he did some matings.”

“Initially he did an Achilles, which wasn’t a bad one and Des Fegan operated, but when I was bringing him back, he had a slight tear in a triangle,” Thompson explained.

“Then, after that, the first time we put him up the straight at home, after about 50m he tore it out completely.

“It was quite nasty and I thought that was it for him. I wasn’t contemplating racing him again, we registered him as a stud dog and he did some matings.

“He stayed in the race kennels and it was only about six or seven weeks ago, I said to Luke (son) that we’ll give him a go up our straight and see what happens. He just ran and ran – he ran about a kilometre – and we actually had to stop him!”

From that first small step, Equalizer progressed to a satisfactory trial at Bendigo last Wednesday (March 2), required as he hadn’t raced for longer than six months.

WATCH: Brisbane Cup winner EQUALIZER is primed for his return to action at The Meadows on Saturday after a near-record satisfactory trial over 425m at Bendigo where he clocked 23.41sec.

The well-bred son of KC And All and Captivating both delighted and surprised Thompson when winning the four-greyhound trial in a near-record 23.41sec, less than two lengths outside kennelmate Typhoon Sammy’s 425m benchmark.

“I couldn’t believe he ran what he did – I wasn’t expecting him to do that,” Thompson said.

“Even though it was a half-field trial, being against three other dogs is quite different to going around on your own, and no matter how good they are, after six months off it’s going to take a run or two to get back into race mode.

“He’s had three trials out of the boxes and he’s been showing – for him – a lot of early speed, which is very encouraging.”

Thompson contemplated bringing Equalizer back in Monday night’s G2 Shepparton Cup heats, but instead opted for Saturday’s meeting at The Meadows, where the four-time G1 finalist has drawn Box 3 in Race 8 at 9.08pm.

Despite his lengthy absence from the track, Equalizer is TAB’s $2 favourite.

“I thought about Shepparton, but 525m is his go and he loves The Meadows, bearing in mind the Easter Egg is coming up too,” said Thompson.

“We know he’s going good enough to put him in a FFA and I expect him to run well, but I’m honestly not even thinking about whether he’s going to win or not.

“It’s so pleasing that he’s back racing again and I just want him to have a good night out and pull up well.”

IMMUNITY will contest the semi-finals of the lucrative Country Classic in Dubbo on Saturday night.

Less than half an hour after Equalizer makes his unlikely return, his sister, Australian Cup finalist Immunity, will contest the second of four Country Classic semi-finals at Dubbo (Race 8 at 9.33pm).

Immunity, whose career has also been interrupted, by seasonal spells, advanced to the semis after breaking Temora’s 570m track record in a heat last Sunday, where she ran down fellow Victorian Aston UIysses.

Drawn in Box 8, from where’s she unbeaten in six career starts, Immunity is $2.70 second elect behind $1.75 favourite Bandit Ned (Box 1).

“Her run at Temora was enormous,” Thompson said.

“If we’d had our choice of boxes, I’d have taken one, but if one wasn’t there we’d probably go with eight.”

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

Gerard Guthrie

One of Australia’s leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)

Up Next

Traralgon reopening on hold

Key return dates tentatively announced.