Box Eight For Whiskey Riot In Australian Cup

WHISKEY Riot is well on track to secure the Melbourne and Australian Cups double with a scintillating performance at The Meadows on Saturday night.

Adam Dobbin

22 February 2020

WHISKEY Riot has drawn box eight in his quest to become just the fourth greyhound to secure the Melbourne and Australian Cups double.

1.  Aston Cade
2. Mister Harlewood 
3. Hard Style Rico
4. Last Hurrah
5. Hardaway Winnie
6. Fernando’s Riot
7. Scatterbox
8. Whiskey Riot
9.  Shima Breeze
10. Steinbrenner

Winner of the Group 1 Temlee a fortnight ago in thunderous fashion, the Anthony Azzopardi-trained son of Fernando Bale continued his devastating form in his Australian Cup heat on Saturday, running the hands off the clock to post a near record 29.47.

Going around as the red-hot $1.55 favourite, Whiskey Riot had the race on his own terms throughout, flying out to record 5.00s early before powering up the back in 17.51s.

WATCH: WHISKEY RIOT’S AUSTRALIAN CUP HEAT WIN

If successful in Saturday night’s $300,000 to-the-winner Australian Cup, Whiskey Riot will surpass $1 million in prize money earnings, joining his older half-sister Mystic Riot among greyhound racing’s elite million dollar club.

The most recent greyhound to claim the Melbourne-Australian Cup double was Dyna Double One in 2015/2016, while others to do so include Rookie Rebel (1957-58) and Tangaloa (1978-80).

There’s no denying Whiskey Riot goes into the weekend’s Australian Cup the one to beat.

Yet to miss a place in seven appearances at The Meadows, the royally bred sprinter takes a decided time advantage into the final, not to mention a bucket load of big race experience.

On a terrific card of racing, the opening heat on Saturday night was taken out by Scatterbox for Jeff Galea in 30.12, while the second qualifier went the way of prodigious talent Hard Style Rico in 30.09.

A thrilling finish to heat three saw Aston Cade get the nod over Shima Breeze in 29.77, while the following heat was taken out by Mister Harlewood, a son of Worm Burner, for Jeff Britton in 29.86.

The upward spiral of Paul Bartolo’s Hardaway Winnie continued with her all-the-way 29.78 heat victory before Last Hurrah booked his Australian Cup spot when scoring for 28-year old trainer Brett Nye in 29.90.

The eighth and final heat saw Anthony Azzopardi lock in a second Australian Cup finalist with Fernando’s Riot carving out a strong performance to score in tradesman-like fashion.

A brother to Whiskey Riot, Fernando’s Riot is as honest as the day is long and with a decent draw, isn’t without claims in next week’s rich final.

Meanwhile, next week’s Group 1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers Final (725m) took shape with three heats decided on Saturday night’s card.

The first heat went the way of the Andrea Dailly-trained Rockstar Beav, the son of Collision getting the better of Sandown Cup winner Rajasthan late in proceedings to record 42.46.

Red Rochelle took out heat two for Jessica Sharp over an unlucky and fast finishing Just Terms in 42.75, while the final qualifier saw an all-the-way win to True Detective over Here’s Tears in 42.11 – the quickest of the heats.

True Detective, already a group 1 winner at The Meadows having taken out last November’s Hume Cup, goes into next week’s final with undeniable claims, expected to join Just Terms and Here’s Tears atop of betting for the rich staying event.