One of the most anticipated races on the National calendar took place on Friday night at Angle Park when the TAB Group 1 Adelaide Cup was run seeing the clash of 8 outstanding sprinters including the best rated greyhound in Australia, Sennachie and potentially the fastest greyhound in Australia, Hooked On Scotch.
It was Group 1 racing at its finest with no other race on the night comparing to the excitement and exhilaration the Cup provided when Hooked On Scotch for Jason Thompson produced the run of the year to claim the Adelaide Cup giving the Thompson team their fifth success in the prestigious event.
In front of close to 1,300 people in beautiful weather conditions SA owned and bred Sennachie (box 3) for Victorian trainer Steve White was backed into favouritism on the back of huge local support displacing Hooked On Scotch (box 1) with the TAB prior to the start. Whiskey Riot (box 2) for Anthony Azzopardi was well in the market with many believing he would be able to lead and give the two stars something to catch.
A huge roar erupted from the crowd when the green light was turned on and the stars of the track were set for Group 1 glory. When the lids flew open Whiskey Riot began very fast and charged towards the lead with Sennachie missing the kick slightly, Hooked On Scotch beginning soundly and the surprise packet from out wide, He’s For Me (box 8) for Jeff Britton charging forward to challenge for the lead.
Out of the front straight and Whiskey Riot led with He’s For Me on his outside, Sennachie recovered quickly to be just in behind and then quickly moved to the inside on the back of Whiskey Riot while Hooked On Scotch moved to fourth and a little wide heading to the back straight. Unfortunately there was crowding on the first turn with the remainder of the field put out of business with Spring Bridge for Jason Thompson recovering best to come out after the leaders. Down the back straight, the leaders were motoring with Whiskey Riot setting a blistering pace, Sennachie moved to second and came to the outside to the excitement of the local crowd while He’s For Me was being challenged on the outside by Hooked On Scotch who looked to be taking time to wind up. Off the back straight in a sizzling 16.73 and it looked like Whiskey Riot and Sennachie were going to fight it out with Sennachie moving up ominously just prior to turning for home. Hooked On Scotch moved past He’s For Me into third and began to run home stylishly.
Midway down the home straight Sennachie got on level terms with Whiskey Riot which kicked strongly as the level of excitement reached fever pitch as they neared the finish line. However, Hooked On Scotch produced an amazing finishing burst to run over the top of the two leaders in a blanket finish.
Race Caller Tim Edwards produced a race call that matched the outstanding race, claiming unbelievably that Hooked On Scotch might have got there. Number 1 then showed in first place on the semaphore board leaving Tim and the crowd stunned and amazed as to what they had just seen Hooked On Scotch produce. Hooked On Scotch had won by a head from Whiskey Riot with a neck back to Sennachie in one of the closest three way finishes seen in a Group 1 final.
The three greyhounds ran out of their skin with Whiskey Riot 29.45 and Sennachie 29.46 running times that would have won on most occasions however, Hooked On Scotch’s 29.44 with a sizzling run home of 12.48 was good enough for victory on Friday night. He’s For Me ran a bold race in fourth with Spring Bridge close up in fifth.
Hooked On Scotch’s performance after the race and in the subsequent days continues to be spoken about. How a greyhound can run past stars of the track, running blistering time and only really get motoring in the final straight still has industry stalwarts shaking their heads! The son of Barcia Bale and Nicki Fields appears to have an endless amount of potential after claiming a Group 1 victory with only 10 starts to his name.
Hooked On Scotch is owned by Darren and Michael Puleio from Victoria and with Friday nights win he took his career earnings to just under $110,000 with a record of 6 wins and 3 placings from just 10 starts. With the joint collaboration from GRVIC and both Sandown GRC and the Meadows GRC Hooked On Scotch has also secured a spot in the Group 1 Topgun at the Meadows on Saturday 9th November and the Group 2 Sandown Shootout on Thursday 14th November should connections accept due to winning the Group 1 TAB Adelaide Cup.