Racing enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting one of the most exciting events on the greyhound racing calendar – the Melbourne Cup. This prestigious race has a rich 68-year history and showcases the pinnacle of training and breeding excellence, bringing together the fastest greyhounds for an unforgettable showdown. The stakes are higher than ever this year, with an impressive prize money of $1,000,000, the same as last year’s record-setting amount.
Image source: The Greyhound Recorder
At the forefront of this year’s race is the remarkable Big Energy, trained by the seasoned Jackie Greenough. Having stolen the limelight with a scintillating 28.912 in the heats, Big Energy is not just a favorite by odds but by performance, too. Despite the weight of history against favorites in the final, Big Energy’s exceptional heat time, just shy of the track record, makes him a formidable force.
Next in the spotlight is Tim Zoo, trained by the highly acclaimed Jason Thompson. Thompson, on the hunt for an unprecedented fourth Melbourne Cup crown, has his hopes pinned on this young contender. Tim Zoo, having just turned two, showcases the epitome of youth and agility. His career-best 29.07 in the heats, the second-fastest behind Big Energy, demonstrates his potential to make a significant impact on race night.
Rounding out the top three is Idolize, under the guidance of Peter Presutto. Idolize’s journey to the Cup is nothing short of remarkable, having returned to racing after whelping a litter of pups. With her resilient and consistent performances since her return, she’s not just a contender but a symbol of extraordinary canine athleticism.
The Melbourne Cup is never just about the favourites. It’s a race where underdogs can shine and champions can be made overnight. Buddy Monelli, trained by Lyn Smith, brings a mix of consistent form and the advantage of an inside draw, making him a potential surprise package.
Fabs Vegetable, under the stewardship of Tom Dailly, stands out with his incredible strength, having transitioned from a 715m racer to an elite sprint contender. His heat victory from box 8 was a testament to his tenacious spirit.
Mac’s Damage, trained by Harley Whelan, enters as a solid leader known for his resilience and speed. However, the Cup is a significant step up, challenging him to reach new heights.
Aussie Rocks, under the care of Geoff Mitchell, brings a mix of promise and unpredictability. Lightly raced since August, he could spring a surprise if things go his way at the start.
Finally, Make No Promise, trained by Paul Bartolo, enters with a streak of recent victories and consistent performance. His challenge lies in translating that consistency into brilliance on the biggest stage.
Kel Greenough’s journey with Big Energy has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Despite Wow She’s Fast’s unexpected performance in the heats, Big Energy’s extraordinary heat victory has thrust him into the limelight. Greenough, aware of the historical challenges in winning the Cup, remains cautiously optimistic about Big Energy’s chances. His track record at Sandown Park and his near-record heat performance have set the stage for what could be a spectacular final race.
In contrast, Jason Thompson’s experience with Tim Zoo has been a tale of overcoming setbacks. With several favourites failing to qualify, Thompson’s hopes have increasingly leaned on Tim Zoo. Despite a challenging draw, Tim Zoo’s exceptional performance in the heats and his potential to rewrite history make him a dog to watch closely. Thompson, eyeing a record fourth Melbourne Cup victory, sees in Tim Zoo not just a contender, but a greyhound with the potential to leave an indelible mark on the race.
As the countdown to the Melbourne Cup continues, the excitement and anticipation only grow. With a blend of seasoned favourites and promising newcomers, this year’s race is shaping up to be one of the most thrilling yet. Whether it’s Big Energy continuing his stellar run, Tim Zoo making history, or an underdog stealing the spotlight, one thing is certain – the Melbourne Cup is set to be a night of high-speed action and unforgettable moments