• Wednesday, 18 May, 2022,
  • by Peter Quilty

Never ending story

History never repeats?

Well, meet the sport’s perennial history maker – Jason Thompson.

The champion Pearcedale trainer keeps turning history on its head – time and time again! It’s a proverbial ‘never-ending story’.

And he’ll seize upon yet another opportunity to re-write the greyhound racing annals at Sandown Park on Thursday night.

Thompson has a chance to go down in the chronicles as the only trainer to complete the G1 Sapphire Crown (515m) and G1 Sandown Cup (715m) double in the same year.

Another feted trainer, Rob Britton, won the 2019 Sapphire Crown (Neo Cleo) and the Sandown Cup with Fanta Bale (2017) and Tornado Tears (2018).

But even he’s been gazumped by Thompson, who is chasing his third victory in both events.

He won the Sapphire Crown with Peggy May (2012) and Black Opium (2020), and the Sandown Cup with Proven Lethal (2004) and Next Top Model (2010).

Amazingly, taking out the rare G1 double on Thursday night would be a $275,000 windfall – Sandown Cup ($175,000) and Sapphire Crown ($100,000).

Thompson has Immunity (Box 8) in the Sapphire Crown and Collinda Lady (Box 3) in the Sandown Cup.

Immunity – a finalist in this year’s G1 Australian Cup and last year’s G2 Laurels – is a $6.00 chance on TAB fixed odds, while Collinda Lady – a new lass on the block in staying ranks – is quoted at $4.40.

Last Friday, Immunity produced a whirlwind finish to claim her Sapphire Crown heat in 29.37sec and register her 24th win from 43 starts.

And one night earlier, Collinda Lady overcame several blocked rails runs to land her Sandown Cup heat in courageous and classy fashion, clocking 41.56sec. It was her seventh win from only 14 starts.

“It was a really good run,” said Thompson of Immunity. “She’s getting older and has been a bit up and down; I think the trip to Dubbo took a bit out of her.

“She needed that run (Sapphire Crown heat) to get her confidence back. She’s probably lost a little bit of dash, but she’s a lot stronger and found the line extremely well.

“Box eight is not a great box at Sandown, but her record from ‘seven’ and ‘eight’ is great. However, there’s a lot of early speed in this final, so she’s going to need luck.”

Meanwhile, Thompson says Collinda Lady has “untapped potential”.

“I was over the moon with her heat performance… She was probably the one heat winner that experienced difficulties; it was a tough run and a good chasing effort.

“She had to work hard to get to the front; it was a very strong run.”

Thompson added Collinda Lady is “just a natural stayer and clean winded”.

“She’s genuine and although she has a beautiful temperament, she’s a tough competitor and gives 100 per cent.

“She’s going up to Newcastle in a couple of weeks for a $500,000 to-the-winner event, so this will be a nice stepping-stone.”


Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

Peter Quilty

Peter Quilty has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.

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