GROUP 1 Silver Chief hero Zippy Tesla has been parachuted into The Phoenix following the heartbreaking withdrawal of Plaintiff on Monday afternoon.
Boasting a wealth of big race experience, contesting six Group 1 finals during his 51 start career, Zippy Tesla was one of six greyhounds up for consideration by slot holder Neds to replace Plaintiff in Saturday night’s $1 million-to-the-winner showpiece. The decision means the Brad Keel-trained son of Kc And All – which is a seven-time winner at The Meadows – will exit box five, a draw he is unbeaten from in two starts at the track.
Renowned for his powerhouse finishing bursts, Zippy Tesla’s crowning glory came at The Meadows on New Year’s Day this year when storming home for victory in the Group 1 Silver Chief. The Group 1 Adelaide Cup runner-up has also contested a Group 1 Temlee, Group 1 Australian Cup and Group 1 Topgun at The Meadows, while he recently finished sixth when qualifying for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup.
The likely career-ending hock injury suffered by Plaintiff on Monday left connections of the star son of Zambora Brockie shattered. Neds was the first slot holder to pull the trigger on their The Phoenix runner and pin their faith in the Jason Thompson-trained emerging star.
Beaten just half-a-length at his most recent start in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup, Thompson elected to bypass the recent Group 1 Silver Chief series to focus solely on his The Phoenix assault. In the aftermath of Monday’s devastating events, Karl Dekroo, Neds Executive Director of Stakeholder Engagement, said he was looking forward to Zippy Tesla taking his place albeit in difficult circumstances.
“It has been a whirlwind 24 hours, but the most pleasing news was that Plaintiff had come through surgery well and while it is unlikely he will race again, hopefully, he can look forward to life as a stud prospect,” Dekroo said.
“After a fair bit of deliberation, we have agreed to terms for Zippy Tesla to run in the Neds slot.
“We discussed a number of options but in the end it was the opinion of Jason Thompson that resonated with us most. Despite having been through the turmoil of losing Plaintiff, Jason took the time out to call and wish Neds the best with a reserve dog.
“He said in his opinion Zippy Tesla would have been the one he would have feared most had it gained a start in the original field and he thought box five would only enhance his chances.
“It was a real act of class from Jason, and from there it was an easy decision and hopefully Zippy Tesla can run well on Saturday night.”
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ARTICLE BY By Adam Dobbin www.thegreyhoundrecorder.com.au