Tim Zoo KOs Australian Cup Hoodoo

TIM Zoo sent Jason Thompson’s Group 1 Australian Cup hoodoo crashing to the canvas with a scorching coup de grace on Saturday night.

TIM Zoo sent champion trainer Jason Thompson's Group 1 Sportsbet Australian Cup hoodoo crashing to the canvas with a scorching coup de grace at The Meadows on Saturday night.

The Australian Cup (525m) had proven frustratingly elusive for Thompson over the last quarter of a century, but the Pearcedale heavyweight combined with brilliant young sprinter Tim Zoo to correct that anomaly.

Tim Zoo, an October ‘21 son of Aussie Infrared and Double Supreme, gunned down The Phoenix hero Schillaci in the shadows of the post, clocking a Best Of Night 29.71sec.

"This is one of the few races that Dad hasn't won and this dog is just unbelievable," said an emotional Holly Thompson.

"As soon as we got him, I remember after a few trials Dad came home and said we've got a pretty good one here.

"I'm just lost for words. It's the best feeling."

Thompson had two finalists in the $300,000 to-the-winner Cup, with Tim Zoo the $4.20 second elect from box one and Alpha Zulu a $7 chance from the six alley.

Fastest semi-final winner Morton was $2.60 favourite from box five.

Schillaci (box 2 – $10) led Launch Code ($23) and Tim Zoo rounding the first turn and a repeat of his Phoenix heroics was very much on the cards as he cornered for home in front.

But after six runner-up finishes in the race, the Thompson family wouldn't be denied again as Tim Zoo finished too strongly for the gallant Schillaci, scoring by 1.5 lengths.

It was Tim Zoo's 15th win from 28 starts and his second at Group level after winning the G2 Warragul Cup in January, while he was also a G1 Melbourne Cup finalist and runner-up to kennelmate Explicit in the G3 Great Chase.

The other two Group 1 events on Cup night went the way of interstaters.

NSW ‘super stayer' Palawa King completed a massive three days for Forbes trainer Jack Smith and wife Maree with another breathtaking last-to-first performance in the Fanta Bale Super Stayers (730m).

On Thursday night, Palawa King, a son of the Smiths' G1-winning sprinter Feral Franky, was named 2023 NSW Greyhound of the Year.

Drawn in box five for the Super Stayers, Palawa King started $2.90 favourite and after once again walking out of the boxes he overcame several interruptions to storm home along the rails and claim leader Drill Sergeant in 42.71sec.

It was a fourth G1 trophy for Palawa King, all coming ‘on the road', three in Victoria and one in Queensland, with his crowd-pleasing racing pattern earning comparisons with the great Bold Trease.

The Rookie Rebel invitational (600m) was won in dominant all-the-way fashion by Tasmanian Raider's Guide ($7.60), trained by Gary Fahey.

In an interstate trifecta, Raider's Guide defeated NSW's Father Rick by 7.5 lengths in 34.17sec, with fellow Apple Islander Fast Minardi third.

Favourite Cain Bale ($3.70) unfortunately went amiss when a closing second, sustaining a hock injury, while Hector Fawley ($4) had no luck from box five, finishing fourth.

The G3 Country Championship (525m) went to Gunai Bold, trained by John Barbara, in 29.92sec, Correy Grenfell's Ike Bale took out the Australian Cup Consolation (525m) in 29.81sec, and David Burnett's Warm Cockles completed a clean-sweep of the Vic Bred Maiden series, clocking 29.94sec.

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