NO Donuts will be aimed at the heats of Saturday night’s Group 1 Australian Stayers (725m) at The Meadows after his tough all-the-way victory in the Group 1 Zoom Top (725m) on the weekend.
Trained by Anthony Azzopardi, the son of Fabregas and Chevy Princess was sent to the boxes as the $1.70 favourite and he didn’t disappoint, spearing the lids from box one and running out a strong ‘half-mile’ to score by one-and-three-quarter lengths over Come On Fantasy in 42.71.
“We were quietly confident going into the race,” Azzopardi told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“We didn’t race him in the few weeks before the Zoom Top, I just wanted to put all my efforts into getting him ready for that race.”
A former top class sprinter, No Donuts has continued to dispel doubts he was up to the task of running the testing staying trip, with Saturday’s win adding to his victories in the Group 1 Sale Cup (650m) and the Group 2 Summer Distance Plate (720m).
“He is definitely getting stronger so now we can go after a few 700s in a row, he has proven he is up to the task,” Azzopardi said.
“I think he would have to be one of the best stayers going around at the moment – he has won two group 1s and a group 2 in his last five starts.”
The win was a massive boost for Azzopardi, who recently moved to Victoria with his family after many years of being one of the top conditioners in NSW.
“We had been going so well at Wentworth Park, there were definitely a few times where we wondered if it was the right decision or not, but it is something I have always wanted to do,” he said.
“It was a big risk moving down here, but it has paid off.
“We have started off really good since we have been down here, winning a group 1 is just a bonus really – its a big thrill.”
The move hasn’t worried No Donuts, now a winner of 21 of his 39 starts and over $289,000 in prize money. The black chaser will jump from box seven in the second of four Australian Stayers Cup heats at The Meadows on Saturday where he looks a force to be reckoned with.
“The dog hasn’t pulled up flat, he has recovered great so he should really excel this week,” Azzopardi said.
“With him boxes don’t really matter so it doesn’t really worry me where he is drawn.
“He has settled in really well down here (in Victoria). He is the type of dog which takes everything in his stride, he is a very easy dog to train.”
Azzopardi also has Zambora Brockie, Tobias Rumble and Asa Flying Spur engaged in the heats of the Group 1 Australian Cup (525m) on Saturday night.
Zambora Brockie, winner of the 2015 Group 1 Vic Peters Classic (520m), ran sixth in the Group 1 Temlee (525m) behind Jason Thompson’s Dalgetty on the weekend and will be out for redemption in the $250,000-to-the-winner series.
“He has pulled up good,” he said.
“He got into a bit of trouble, but when they jumped he didn’t show much pace which was a little bit disappointing, but what can you do? They did run 29.42.
“He is only a young dog and it took him a bit to settle in down here.
“He should be able to bounce back to his best.”