Azzopardi eyes Lismore after Jack jumps Casino Cup
ANTHONY Azzopardi enjoyed a successful road trip to the Northern Rivers thanks to Jack Kade - and he is already targeting another of the region's major titles.
The greyhound continued his western Sydney mentor's excellent run of recent form by taking out the $25,000 Group 3 Charcoal Inn Casino Cup (484m).
Jack Kade produced a dominant run in last Friday night's final to claim a first group victory in his 66th race.
Azzopardi said he would prepare Jack Kade, recent two-time Group winner Uno Suzie and some of his other greyhounds for the forthcoming heats of the $40,000-to-the-winner Group 2 Lismore Workers Club Cup (520m).
"I always wanted to win the Lismore Cup," Azzopardi said. "Who knows, maybe this year Jack Kade can do it.
At the end of the day you just want your greyhounds happy and healthy, but certainly a win like this takes the weight off your shoulders.
"I planned this race for him about eight weeks ago. Casino is a track where you need early pace and I just thought it would suit him. I have to give him all the credit. He's covered a lot of miles with me and now's he's got a big win."
Jumping from box eight as the $2.60 favourite, Jack Kade powered home by just under a length from the fast-finishing Pikelet ($13.10).
Waikarie Magic ($19.60) produced a super run for Wardell's Brian Baker to secure third place.
Mincin' Machine, trained by Tregeagle's Pat Lavis, was well-fancied but missed the start from box five and eventually finished seventh.
Lavis's greyhound should be a contender for the Lismore Cup, which starts with heats on Friday, October 16.
Azzopardi, who has scored a swag of recent victories as well as Jack Kade and Uno Suzie's triumphs, said he was delighted the long trip north had been productive.
"Training greyhounds is a seven day a week job," he said. "Everyone is working hard, so when you get a win like this it makes it all worthwhile."
"At the end of the day you just want your greyhounds happy and healthy, but certainly a win like this takes the weight off your shoulders.
"Casino is a great country track and the people there do a fantastic job.
"I love coming up here and catching up with friends here. It's something special to have a road trip and get the win."
Meanwhile, racing continues at Lismore on Tuesday.
Top picks for the night include Vincent (race four), Laverne in race seven and Kingsbrae Bess in race eight.
For Lismore Tuesday fields, form and expert picks, visit www.thedogs.com.au.
LISMORE TUESDAY PICKS
RACE ONE: GOOD YEAR (Box 3)
RACE TWO: MAGIC OF BONUS (Box 3)
RACE THREE: CHARLIE SPRITE (Box 4)
RACE FOUR: VINCENT (Box 3)
RACE FIVE: FARMHOUSE (Box 5)
RACE SIX: LACHIE LYNDAN (Box 6)
RACE SEVEN: LAVERNE (Box 2)
RACE EIGHT: KINGSBRAE BESS (Box 4)
RACE NINE: JAHIMIA (Box 1)
RACE TEN: HOW'S IT CRUDE (Box 1)