TAB And Thompson Join Forces For The Phoenix

Wagering giant Tabcorp has joined forces with champion Victorian trainer Jason Thompson for the inaugural running of The TAB Phoenix.

Adam Dobbin

26 October 2021

Wagering giant Tabcorp has joined forces with champion Victorian trainer Jason Thompson for the inaugural running of The TAB Phoenix.

The recently inked partnership will see a Jason Thompson-trained greyhound represent TAB’s slot in the $1.145m The Phoenix (525m) at The Meadows on Saturday, December 18.

“We’re excited to be a part of the first ever running of The TAB Phoenix and being the naming rights holder, we would dearly love to win it,” TAB Executive General Manager Customer, Product & Marketing, Luke Waldren, said.

“We figure the best way to go about achieving that is to team with the best trainer and with Jason’s strike-rate up there among the best in the country and a number of greyhounds at his disposal who would be worthy contestants, he was an obvious choice.”

Last month the eight successful slot holders for the inaugural staging of The Phoenix were unveiled with each parting with the $75,000 entry fee for a crack at the $750,000-to-the-winner showpiece.

In recent weeks, slot holders have announced different approaches to determine their representative, with TAB electing to team up with Thompson and secure exclusivity to Australia’s most successful kennel.

The decision as to which Thompson greyhound contests The Phoenix will be left to the Hall of Fame trainer in waiting, an announcement expected not long before the December 10 deadline.

“The Phoenix is a fantastic concept and we are looking forward to teaming up with TAB for the inaugural running,” Thompson said.

“It’s a race that has the opportunity to capture the imagination of the wider racing public and as a family we are looking forward to playing our part in promoting the event.

“As industry participants would know only too well the form of greyhounds can fluctuate pretty quickly so this agreement goes as close as you can to assuring that a fit and firing greyhound will represent TAB in The Phoenix.”

Boasting an embarrassment of riches at his Pearcedale kennels, Thompson said the next few weeks will be crucial in determining The Phoenix runner.

“The race is still seven weeks away but if you asked me now, I’d say Typhoon Sammy and Rebellious would be at the top of the list,” Thompson said.

“On Thursday, Aston Fastnet returns to racing and is another definitely in the mix as is Brisbane Cup winner Equalizer and his sister Immunity.

“The Melbourne Cup at Sandown is three-and-a-half-weeks away and that series will play a role in the decision making as well.”

Race sponsor TAB currently have Aston Rupee and Bandit Ned $5 equal favourites in the pre-field betting market.

Aston Rupee is all but assured a spot courtesy of his owner-breeder Ray Borda boasting a slot in the race.

For Bandit Ned to gain a start, it’s expected he’ll need to acquire the place held by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW).

The Thompson-trained Typhoon Sammy is on the next line of betting at $8 as is unbeaten youngster Wow She’s Fast which has been sounded out for a potential place in The Phoenix also.