Myrniong trainer Anthony Azzopardi admits to being surprised at a sudden increase in public interest in his kennel superstar Zambora Brockie – favourite for Friday night’s Energis Ballarat Greyhound Cup.
“There were quite a few people taking photos of Zambora Brockie with their phones at the Ballarat Cup heats, which I wasn’t expecting,” Azzopardi said.
“I could overhear people saying ‘there’s Zambora Brockie’, and that is something I have never noticed before.
“I felt really privileged.”
Zambora Brockie is $2.10 favourite for the group 2 $110,000 Ballarat Cup, 450m.
Zambora Brockie is the most accomplished performer in the Ballarat Cup final – possibly the best Australia-wide right now,.
He has won two group 1 races, two country cups and earned $436,000 in stakemoney.
With Greyhound Racing Victoria offering a $50,000 bonus to any winner of three country cups in a calendar year, Zambora Brockie will land a $127,000 windfall if he salutes on his home track at Morshead Park.
Anthony Azzopardi will be hoping for a less dramatic run in the final than his heat.
Zambora Brockie led from the jump, but was overtaken mid-race before finishing strongly to score in 25.13 seconds.
Azzopardi said the heat performance was deceiving.
“Lorimer Lad is a greyhound with loads of early speed, and when he went past Zambora Brockie it made him look a bit slow.
“Watching the replay, no other dog in the race was making any real ground on Zambora Brockie until Lorimer Lad went past him and checked him, causing him to lose ground.
Azzopardi said it would be fitting to win the Ballarat Cup and the bonus – Ballarat’s his home track.
“He loves racing there."
Zambora Brockie is unbeaten in three starts at Morshead Park.
Azzopardi targeted the Ballarat Cup after Zambora Brockie won the Horsham Cup in June to add to his Warrnambool Cup win and become eligible for the $50,000 bonus.
The bonus was introduced in 2011, with El Grand Senor (2011) and Ronan Izmir (2013) having claimed it.
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