Alpha Zulu with Holly Thompson and Carlton great Anthony Koutoufides 📷 Clint Anderson

  • Friday, 13 Oct, 2023,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Alpha Zulu number one at Bendigo

Jason Thompson’s quest for the Million Dollar Chase might have ended in disappointment on Friday night, but just one hour later the champion trainer was celebrating a sixth victory in the $87,000 Group 2 Sportsbet Bendigo Cup (425m).

Thompson claimed back-to-back Bendigo Cup crowns with budding superstar Alpha Zulu powering away with the $55,000 winner’s purse in brilliant fashion.

Thompson’s previous Bendigo Cup winners were El Galo (2008), Peggy May (2012), Ronan Izmir (2013), Aston Bolero (2016) and Typhoon Sammy (2022).

Alpha Zulu, raced by a syndicate comprising Thompson’s wife Seona, Brisbane Lions great Jonathan Brown and media identity Steve Crawley, was the fastest qualifier for the Cup Final courtesy of a 23.53sec heat win.

“When he was up outside the leader we knew he’d be strong and he was!”

Drawn in box eight, the September ’21 son of 2018 Bendigo Cup finalist Orson Allen and Cyclone Jebel, started $2.60 favourite, ahead of Shima Shadow at $3.60 and kennelmate Unleash Collinda $5.30.

Zella Bale ($15.90), one of Rebecca Gibbons’ four finalists, led from box one, but Alpha Zulu came out running and settled ominously in second.

Thompson’s boom prospect raced to the lead entering the home straight and powered clear, defeating Zella Bale by 3.7 lengths in a Best Of Night 23.49sec, with Nineteen Crimes ($15.20) running third.

“We were rapt with him,” Jason Thompson said.

“We know he’s got the ability, but he’s a dog that is better suited when he’s drawn near the fence.

“We were pretty confident he’d run straight from ‘the pink’ and when he was up outside the leader we knew he’d be strong and he was!”

WATCH: “You’ve seen something special tonight.” A star was born as favourite ALPHA ZULU (B8) was a brilliant winner of the G2 Bendigo Cup (424m), clocking a BON 23.49sec.

It was Alpha Zulu’s 13th win from 18 starts and proved to be case of third time lucky on the Group stage after running second in the G3 Warragul St. Leger last month and sixth in the G2 Flying Amy Classic in Brisbane.

“I think he’s pretty good!” Thompson said.

“But I reckon he’s more effective over 500m. He ran 29.66sec at The Meadows when he was only about 19 months old, breaking five seconds early and running low 17.50s up the back.

“He only turned two last month, so he’s not old. Look at his record, he’s only been unplaced once in 18 starts and won 13 of them!

“He hasn’t been to Sandown yet, but he’ll go there next for the (G2) Cranbourne Cup heats next week (Thursday, October 19).”

It was the second successive Friday night that Thompson added a Cup to his extensive collection, having secured his fifth G1 Adelaide Cup trophy one week earlier via Transponder.

Earlier in the night, Thompson’s ex-Kiwi sensation Postman Pat started $2.40 favourite in the MDC at Wentworth Park, finishing third to Queenslander Jay Is Jay.

“I thought he was brave again,” Thompson offered.

“It was a bit like his Brisbane Cup run. He didn’t miss the start, but he lost a couple of lengths in the run and he was only beaten one and a half.”

Friday night’s $11,500 Cup Night Match Race (425m) at Bendigo saw Kayla Cottrell’s Journey Beyond ($1.20F), which was first reserve for the Cup, edge out Shima Current in 23.61sec, his 13th win from 17 starts.

The $15,250 Spring Cup (660m) went to favourite Your Colour Room ($2.70), trained by Andrew Paraskevas, which led all-the-way in 37.66sec, his 16th win at start 34.

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

Disability groups to converge in Melbourne for a ‘great’ celebration

Around 300 people with an intellectual or physical disability will be on course for Wednesday’s Great Chase Grand Final at The Meadows.

Newsletter Signup