After overcoming the ‘hoodoo’ of box two to become only the second greyhound to take out the Ballarat Cup from that alley since 1999, Zambora Brockie became only the eighth greyhound in history to have annexed three or more Victorian country racetrack cup events in the same calendar year.
For his victories in the Warrnambool Cup (in May), Horsham Cup (in June) and Ballarat Cup, Zambora Brockie earned his connections an additional $50,000, which made his Ballarat Cup payday an incredible $127,000 all told.
While Zambora Brockie’s feat is exceptional, the greatest series of country cup performances ever witnessed in Victoria belongs exclusively to the former super sprinter Tempix.
Between March and May 1980, Tempix raced 14 times for 12 wins, one second and one third and in that streak annexed the Geelong Cup (457m), Warragul Cup (424m), Horsham Cup (480m), Warrnambool Cup (450m) and was injured when running third in the Ballarat Cup (450m).
In 1982, Satan’s Shroud won the Ballarat Cup, Geelong Cup and Horsham Cup for trainer Graeme Bate.
Bate did the treble again in 1998, this time with Lansley Bale who snared the Ballarat Cup (March), Bendigo Cup (March) and Horsham Cup (April).
In 2003, Peter Giles trained Puzzle Prize to win the Bendigo Cup, Ballarat Cup, Geelong Cup and Shepparton Cup, while he also ran third in the Warrnambool Cup in a series of performances to rival those of Tempix 23 years earlier.
In 2004, Whisky Assassin won the Geelong Cup, Ballarat Cup and Shepparton Cup for trainer Jason Thompson.
Flashy sprinter Ronan Izmir annexed three country cups in 2013, taking the Bendigo Cup, Warrnambool Cup and Ballarat Cup at a time when he was up against the likes of equally brilliant one-turn specialists in Paw Licking and Black Magic Opal.
Paw Licking managed to win three country cups in his career, but not in the same year. He took out the 2013 Traralgon Cup and Shepparton Cup but victory in the Bendigo Cup only came in 2014.
In 2008, the flying El Galo looked almost certain to snare three country cups, but in the end he won the Bendigo Cup and Warrnambool Cup before finishing third in the Wangaratta Cup and fifth in the Horsham Cup.
There are a few top-flight sprinters who have collected two country cup trophies for their owners’ mantelpieces in the same year, but it clearly takes a special type of sprinter to pick up a treble and Zambora Brockie is now firmly installed in that ‘special’ category.