LEADING conditioner Anthony Azzopardi will target the Group 1 Hobart Thousand (461m) with his champion greyhound Zambora Brockie after a stunning win in the Group 2 Ballarat Cup (450m) on Friday night.
Jumping brilliantly from box two, the son of Nitro Burst and Flying Liddy went straight to the early lead before being challenged and headed by Judicial Man (box one) around the turn.
Upon straightening Zambora Brockie put the paw to the floor, powering to the line to score by two-and-a-half lengths in 25.02.
Azzopardi, who celebrated his birthday on Friday, commented that Zambora Brockie was the perfect dog.
“He did everything right on Friday night and he showed a lot of heart to get the win, that’s for sure,” he said.
“He is an awesome dog – these types of greyhounds are very hard to get – he has won six group races now and only good dogs can do that.
“One of his best attributes is his chasing ability, but he also has pace and his run home times are brilliant – he is just the whole package.”
Having educated him from an early age, Azzopardi said he always knew there was something exciting about the black powerhouse.
“We knew from day one that he was going to be special – the times he was running at Richmond at 14 months old – it was just unbelievable.
“His second go out of the (330m) boxes he ran 18.40 – a lot of dogs struggle to break 19 seconds.
“When he came along I had never had anything like him.”
Azzopardi said Zambora Brockie, now a winner of 30 races from 48 starts and more than $563,000 in prize money, has pulled up well following the triumph and will now head to the Apple Isle for a crack at Australia’s oldest classic event.
“He has pulled up really well so he will just have a rest for a week while we organise to go to Tasmania for the Hobart Thousand.
“He will be going there without a look so we will see what happens, but he always seems to go good first look so I am not too worried.
“He has never let me down racing first look – plus his record on one turn tracks is outstanding.
“He will handle Hobart, no worries.”
At three years and three months of age, Azzopardi commented retirement plans are starting to be discussed, but says there is no set timeframe on when Zambora Brockie will finish his career.
“Charlie (owner) and I had a bit of a talk and we are going to keep him going for a bit longer.
“The dog will tell us when he has had enough – when he starts getting tired of it all we will pull the pin.”
When that day comes Azzopardi will still have a quality kennel to fall back on, with one of his future stars looking to be Raw Ability.
A son of Barcia Bale and Bugatti Flyer, Raw Ability is trained by Azzopardi’s partner Kylee and has won all four of his starts to date, all of which have been in best of day times including a 24.97 win at Ballarat last month.
“We just put him back in work and there a couple of races I want to target at Sale and The Meadows,” Azzopardi said.
“I wanted to give him a bit of a break after his last win – he is only young so we are just taking it easy with him.
“He can certainly run the times, but he still has a long way to go so we will just keep playing around with him and see how far he gets.”
Raw Ability – wins without a loss
6 or more $1.60 with Sportsbet
7 or more $2.10
8 or more $2.70
9 or more $3.70
10 or more $5.50
11 or more $8