Jason Thompson records an amazing fourth Shepparton Cup

ON September 24, leading trainer Jason Thompson went into the final of the Group 2 Shepparton Cup with three runners and emerged victorious when Aston Bolero (box six) scored a brilliant victory over American Monster and Shima Song. Thompson’s other finalists, Sleek Master and Invictus Rapid, shared seventh and eighth positions respectively.

For Thompson, the victory was his fourth in this long-established country cup, thereby eclipsing the performance of former leading mentor Graeme Bate who won the race on three occasions, with Pure Talent (1989), Kantarn Bale (2000) and Salong Bale (2001).

For the first time since its inception in 1973, the Shepparton Cup was run twice this year. At that first running, in February, Aston Bolero made the final and was sent out as the popular elect, but could only finish at the tail of the field (a rare unplaced effort), behind winner Gotta Get Back.

On this second occasion, Aston Bolero showed great speed and track sense from the six alley and earned $47,000 as he notched win number 35.

That’s almost twice as many career victories as were achieved by Thompson’s first Shepparton Cup winner, the brilliant Head Honcho.

Contesting the 1993 Shepparton Cup, Head Honcho exited box seven and scored by a length and a half over kennel mate Tranquil Flame, running 24.74 for what was then the 440 metres trip.

Head Honcho had already taken out the South Australian Champion Puppy Classic (aka Colin Viney Memorial) and South Australian St Leger but his career was cut short and the speedster raced just 20 times for 18 victories before going on to a glittering stud career.

Thompson had to wait 11 years for his next success in the Shepparton Cup, scoring with the smart Whisky Assassin in 2004 at what was the last time the event was run over the 440 metres distance.

One of the really amazing coincidences surrounding the 2004 Shepparton Cup win, is that it completed a mirror treble of winners with the Ballarat Cup. The 2002 Shepparton Cup had been won by Knockabout Wok, as was the 2002 Ballarat Cup; Puzzle Prize annexed the 2003 Shepparton Cup and then took out the Ballarat Cup. After snaring the Shepparton Cup, Whisky Assassin went on to take the Ballarat Cup.

As far as I’m aware, two major races have not been won in the same three-year period by the same three-greyhound sequence.

In 2008, Jason Thompson picked up the Shepparton Cup for a third time when Hanify’s Impact bolted away to score by three and a half lengths over Parracryl and Vee Man Vane, collecting $26,500 for connections.

Past Discussion

  1. There is no doubt that Jason is an outstanding trainer but lets be honest he only takes the very best of dogs to train. I also admire some of the trainers who take on dogs for owners that are difficult in some way and get them to win for them prepared to take a lot of time and trouble for very little reward or press just to give a dog a chance and make an owner happy.

  2. Deborah555 Deborah,  with all due respect to Jason the measure of a top trainer in my opinion is one who races his dogs week to week free of injury.  I feel  for the dogs that have 20 or 30 starts never to be heard of again (retired due to injury).

    Greyhounds can race till 4 or 5 years of age with more than 100 starts and free of serious injury if properly trained.

  3. Deborah555 Effort and patience for sure Deborah. For me it has been about placement, the bigger the dog the bigger the track. For example i would place a 38 kg dog on the outer track at Geelong with a 65 mtr radius bend or Maitland 62 mtr radius bend or even go to Devonport in Tassie a 72 mtr radius bend or better still for a dog that size Healesville. I am reluctant to run a dog over 30 kgs on any of the 50mtr radius bend tracks like WP or Dapto, The Gardens, etc the stresses are huge.

    But that’s just me.

  4. lone widow Deborah555  Yes lone widow that is one of the many things I love about greyhound racing everyone can pursue it with their own idea of success. Best dogs big names, those that like a challenge with more difficult dogs. I used to do it in a big way with race dogs, rearing pups, stud dogs the lot. Old age has caught up with me and I get as much satisfaction with one race dog (who is unlikely to win me anything and taking care of the old ones- they are my reason for being and I believe are lot of other peoples as well. Yes Baird did just not get it did he. I agree with your ideas about where to place dogs.

    My current race dog has lots of speed but she is too excitable- plays up in the kennel house and is full on all the time. Any suggestions?

  5. Deborah555 lone widow It’s a bit late to start socializing a dog of racing age Deborah but in my experience it usually means that they are just lonely.

    Firstly i would try putting one of your older bitches in the same kennel with her for company but make sure you use kennel muzzles on them at first.

    There are lots of things you can try.

  6. lone widow Deborah555  I think you may have hit the nail on the head lone widow.  I bought her as a little puppy (at the time I could only afford one) so I left her with the people who bred her so she could grow up with her brothers and sisters at the rearing place rather than be the one puppy with us old girls. Even though she has an old greyhound next to her for company she is used to a couple of hundred dogs being around her. I might take more time at the track when I trial her letting her meet other dogs. That’s where she really gets  excited in the kennel house at the track. Forced to race lol she nearly rips my arm off trying to get to the car every afternoon when we go for a walk hoping we are off to the track. Thanks for that advice it has given me a couple of ideas.

  7. Deborah555 lone widow I just realized you were talking about the kennels at the track and not at home.

    After a race or trial mine are quite flat for a few days till they recover. I have had a couple of excitable dogs but not enough to concern me, they still won races.

    What i would try in your case is kennel her up for as long as possible after the trial or race.  My dogs would just be asleep after all that. If that works for you, you may have to continue that for the rest of her racing career to reinforce the habit.

    Good luck.

  8. lone widow Deborah555  It didn’t matter lone widow because what you said was right anyway. She now has a couple of dog friends at the track and I put her in the kennel house with them and she was much better.  I  spent a lot more time with her calming her down when were waiting to trial. That helped as well.  I didn’t realise that she was not just over keen but she nervous as well.

    I will leave her in the kennel house longer after trialling as well. Thanks.

  9. Deborah555 lone widow  PS she got severe acidosis after her first race start so after some expensive vet intervention and a long rest I have been gradually building up the distances she can run. I have had excitable dogs before but this girl is beyond excitable. She has ability and I have patience and would love her to win at least one race before she becomes another pet at home here. That’s what she was bred for race dog first lounge lizard second. Thanks for all your advice.