Excitement is building after yesterday’s official launch of Tasmania’s richest greyhound Classic, the 2017 Group 1 Luxbet Hobart Thousand.
The eyes of the nation will be on Luxbet Park on Thursday night as Tasmania’s best chasers attempt to stave off a mainland invasion in seven quality heats.
The Matthew Lanigan-trained reigning champion Zipping Bruiser, is back to defend his crown aiming to emulate the incredible feat of 1961-62 winner Ophir Doll and become only the second greyhound in the rich history of Australia’s longest running Classic to win back-to-back titles.
The Seona Thompson juggernaut has hit Tasmania headed by Bewildering, acknowledged in many quarters as the fastest greyhound in Australia, early markets have the winner of the Gr2 Speed Star, Gr3 Silver Bullet and the fourth placegetter in the Gr1 Melbourne Cup favourite for the $75,000 winner’s cheque.
Aqua Cheetah, the winner of prizemoney in excess of $300,000 is highly fancied as are kennel mates Big Flood and Invictus Rapid.
The powerful Robert Britton kennel unleashed Blue Gum Hill on the series last week, capping off its preparation with a solo trial between races on Thursday night, stopping the clock in an awesome time of 25.75 seconds, the powerhouse runner will be joined by Landmark and Rock Up Top.
The Shane Whitney prepared Two Bills has gone to another level this season, capturing the Tasmanian Derby, the Luxbet Gold Cup and last week’s Hobart Thousand Prelude, leaving Aqua Cheetah and Invictus Rapid in his wake.
Wynburn Cutie has burst onto the Tasmanian chasing scene this year for trainer Ben Englund, winning 14 of 17 races including the Big Moose Laurels and HGRC Young Star Classic on the Hobart track.
Chief Jetpilot, trained by Ted Medhurst, was runner-up in the Final in 2016 beaten .75 of a length after having no luck.
‘The Chief’ has notched up 24 wins in his career including a 25.90 second run on the track to clinch the Silver Trophy.
Seven heats of the Thousand will be conducted on Thursday at Luxbet Park with the Group 1 Final to be staged on Thursday, December 21.
Watch Two Bills claim the Barry Heawood Hobart Thousand Prelude, proving too strong for Group 1 winning Victorian star Aqua Cheetah: