The Group 1 Hobart Thousand is Australia’s oldest feature race final and was first run in 1935, when it was called the Hobart Cup.
The 461 metre sprint has been won by some of the legends of the sport, including the champions Rookie Rebel and Brother Fox, and in recent years Paw Licking and Dyna Tron.
Some great Tasmanian chasers have also won the apple isle’s most prestigious race, including Ophir Doll in 1961 and ’62 and Top Shiraz, who outsprinted Brett Lee in the 2000 Hobart Thousand.
This Thursday night’s 2014 renewal of the race, worth $75,000 to the winner, will again see the cream of the local sprinters take on the raiders from the mainland.
The Hobart Thousand Final is set to jump at 9:44pm (AEDT). Tune in to Sky Racing for all the action!
Victorian greyhound Big Ticket, a son of Fabregas (which won the National Sprint final in Hobart in 2012) qualified fastest for the final with a time of 25.90 from box 3 and draws the red for the final. Trained by Steven Clarke, Big Ticket has only been racing for 5 months and took out the Vic Breeders Maiden Final at Shepparton at only his 3rd start. He has plenty of early speed and is a $3.60 second favourite with TAB.com.au Fixed Odds.
Drawn next door in box 2 is Melbourne Cup champ Dyna Villa, who is the $2.40 favourite with TAB.com.au Fixed Odds. The Jenny Hunt trained speedster showed his class in the heats, defeating local chaser Pipstar by 6 and a half lengths in 25.94 from box 4, the second-fastest heat time. If the son of Collision lands on the arm again, he should prove too strong.
Kiwi-owned Above All ($5) from the astute Robert Britton kennel produced the eye-catching run in the heats, storming home from last after stumbling at the start, to win in the blue rug in 26.16. The son of Magic Sprite and Kara Janx finished 4th in the Melbourne Cup and draws box 5 in the final. His heat win makes him the big danger to Dyna Villa.
Another Victorian conditioner, Kelly Bravo, has two runners in the Hobart Thousand final with Blurred Lines ($12) and Ride The Rails ($6.50) clocking 26.23 and 26.05 respectively in their heats. Ride The Rails was forced to do it the hard way after a moderate beginning and scored by just under five lengths at only his second start since fracturing a hock. If Blurred Lines can win from box 4 it will be a sentimental victory. The son of Bartrim Bale and Witch Fantasy is owned by Nadine Brown, daughter-in-law of respected conditioner Peter Brown, who passed away recently.
Check the full TAB.com.au market for the Group 1 Hobart Thousand Final here.
Tasmania has three representatives in the final, including Señor Slamma for Gary Johnson ($18) which crossed to the rails from box 8 in his heat before scoring in 26.23. He’s now won 11 of his past 12 starts and draws the pink again on Thursday night.
Hellyeah Bolt for Anthony Bullock ($18) ran down local champion Buckle Up Wes by three quarters of a length in 25.96 in his heat and has drawn box 6 for the final, while Breaker’s Tip for Gary Fahey ($51) won the final heat in a moderate 26.37.
My selections are Dyna Villa (2) to beat Above All (5), Blurred Lines (4) and Ride The Rails (7).
Sky Racing’s Mark Duclos and Peter Staples will be live trackside all night on SKY Racing 1. Good luck and good punting!
G2 - Prix Maurice De Folleville
G2 - Prix Philippe Du Rozier
G2 - Breeders' Cup
G3 - Colonial Chief Stakes
G1 - Japan Autumn Internationa - Lchampions Cup