Explicit, Tim Zoo Headline Horsham Cup Heats

TWO of the headline acts from the just-completed Australian Cup will spearhead Jason Thompson’s quest for a fifth Horsham Cup.

TWO of the headline acts from the just-completed Australian Cup Carnival will spearhead Jason Thompson's quest for a fifth Group 2 Sportsbet Horsham Cup (485m) crown.

Tim Zoo, which broke Thompson's well-documented Australian Cup hoodoo at The Meadows last Saturday night, and Explicit, brilliant winner of the G1 Temlee, are heading to Horsham for Friday night's four Cup heats.

Tim Zoo (heat 1, box 3) and Explicit (heat 2, box 1), will be joined by kennelmate Verdi (heat 3, box 5).

FIELDS AND FORM FOR HORSHAM FRIDAY

"Obviously it's nice to win any of those sorts of races, but I've been training for a while and to finally win an Australian Cup was really good," Thompson said.

"I think we've had 27 make the (Australian Cup) final and had six seconds and a couple of thirds.

Holly Thompson with Australian Cup hero Tim Zoo Pictures: Clint Anderson

"We've won a few Temlees, but haven't had a lot of luck in the Australian Cup.

"Tim Zoo has gone from being a fast dog, to being a very good race dog. 

"To come from third and run down a dog like Schillaci was a bloody good effort. He was bouncing the next morning too."

Tim Zoo, a son of Aussie Infrared and Double Supreme, is the only one of Thompson's Cup trio with race experience at Horsham, winning his lone start there in a Best Of Day 27.15sec in December.

"He does go well on a half-circle. I wouldn't say he's better around a half-circle or over 500m," Thompson said.

"He won the Warragul Cup and ran really quick time (25.29sec).

"He's very adaptable and it's more about where he draws because he's a big dog, he's 37 kilos.

"It's important he draws near the fence and gets clear running, because it's not easy for a dog his size to manoeuvre through a field."

After a devastating victory in the Temlee invitational, Explicit looked like being the sprinter to end Thompson's Australian Cup curse.

Chasing a ninth straight win in the semi-finals, Explicit, a January '22 son of Bernardo and Brueghelino, started $1.70 but appeared to go amiss when finishing at the tail of the field.

Thompson breathed a huge sigh of relief when Explicit, winner of 11 from 14, escaped serious injury and the potential superstar is primed to bounce back immediately at his Horsham debut.

"Watching the race, I thought he'd done something major," Thompson said.

"We had a couple of things to sort out, but it was nothing major.

"He's had a trial since his last run and went really good. He's normally a terrible trial dog too.

"He'd be rated our best dog, so we're not going to take any risks with him. 

"He wouldn't be going to Horsham if he wasn't 100 per cent. He's ready to go."

While the G1-winning duo will be at the helm of Thompson's Horsham assault, the champion Pearcedale trainer warned ‘third-stringer' Verdi isn't going along for the drive.

Verdi, another son of Bernardo, ran fourth in the G3 Country Championship Final at last Saturday's Australian Cup meeting, but has an imposing nine from 13 record on one-turn tracks.

"He's as fast as any of them," Thompson cautioned.

"If he does have a chink, it's that he can be a little bit tardy for his first 20 metres.

"He's a very good half-circle dog and he's run very good time on the half-circle tracks he's been at. 

"He ran 24.88sec at Shepparton when he was only 20 months old, he's run 25.42sec at Warragul and 25.63sec at Geelong a couple of weeks ago on a track that had just been dug up."

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