It was going to take a special performance to win the world’s greatest greyhound race, and Hard Style Rico delivered.
In a star studded TAB Melbourne Cup field, Hard Style Rico delivered the performance of his career on sport’s biggest stage, jumping straight to the front and lead all of the way to claim the $435,000 winners cheque in track record time.
It was an emotional win for trainer Luckie Karabitsakos. Not only was it a life changing achievement sets up his young family financially, but confirms his mate ‘Bruiser’, a greyhound he bred, reared and trains, among the sport’s greatest champions.
While Hard Style Rico’s Cup victory was the undoubted highlight of the card, there were many more memorable moments across the outstanding night of chasing that included seven feature races and over $1,000,000 in prize money.
Here’s a look at all seven feature races on greyhound racing’s night of nights.
Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup (515m)
Hard Style Rico for Luckie Karabitsakos
28.909 (4.99, 18.41) – TRACK RECORD
What more needs to be said that hasn’t been said already? Flawless at box rise, brilliant acceleration, strong at the end, track record. It was a truly superlative performance from the brindle flyer.
Group 1 Bold Trease (715m)
Manilla Knight for Mario Briganti
The stewards noted that Briganti reported that Manila Knight pulled up flat after running second in his heat the previous Friday, his first attempt over the ‘half-mile’. Not only did Briganti win the race against time to have his Shepparton track holder right to take his place in the final, Manila Knight held off some of the sport’s best stayers to claim the group 1 final.
Group 3 Sir John Dillon (595m)
Weblec Ace for Jeff Britton
The Sir John Dillon was a group 3 in title only – this was as hot a 595m field as you’ll see. Little separated Weblec Ace and Christo Bale in betting and that’s how the race panned out, Weblec Ace holding off Christo Bale by half a length in race record time.
Group 3 Cup Night Sprint (515m)
Music Event for Michael Carter
Backed from $101 into $18 for the TAB Melbourne Cup, Music Event bounced back from a disappointing heat run to claim the Cup Night Sprint. A tardy get away saw him fifth with a lap to go but railed strongly under the favourite Short Pork when turning for home and win the $25,000 support feature.
Provincial Plate (515m)
Shamrock Boy for Greg Schofield
It’s fair to say he was a little fortunate to take his place in the field, but once in he took full advantage of the early room that presented and skilfully work through the field to claim an impressive victory.
SUPER VICGREYS (515m)
Hadouken for Jessica Sharp
29.330 (5.03, 18.50)
Hadouken’s win was set up by his elite sectional times – his middle section of 13.47 was just 0.05 outside of Hard Style Rico’s jaw dropping gallop. He did get a little tired towards the end, but when you’re going that quick early it’s always going to be tough to catch.
GRV Vic Bred Series Maiden (515m)
She’s So Kind for Marcus Lloyd
29.599 (5.04, 18.91)
She’s So Kind led from go to whoa in the night’s opening feature. There’ll be a few very, very good greyhound to follow out of this race.