Group 3 Shootout: Armchair Guide

After a dominant victory in the Group 1 Sportsbet Topgun on the opening night of the Sportsbet Dream Chasers Festival, Transponder returns to the spotlight in Saturday night’s $72,500 Group 3 Shootout (515m).

The Shootout

Dream Chasers

17 Nov

After a dominant victory in the Group 1 Sportsbet Topgun on the opening night of the Sportsbet Dream Chasers Festival, Transponder returns to the spotlight in Saturday night’s $72,500 Group 3 Shootout (515m).

The world’s richest greyhound racing carnival, offering more than $4.1 million in prizemoney, moves to Sandown Park over the next three Saturday nights.

The $50,000 to-the-winner, four-greyhound, Shootout is the headline event on night two of Dream Chasers, to be followed by the Group 1 Sportsbet Melbourne Cup heats (Saturday, November 25) and final (Saturday, December 2) before culminating with the Sportsbet The Phoenix at The Meadows (Saturday, December 16).

The Shootout (Race 9, 9.21pm) always provides great intrigue, courtesy of the half-field format designed to let the ‘fastest guns’ in greyhound racing shine.

After romping away with the Topgun at The Meadows, the ideally-drawn Transponder (box 7) is chasing back-to-back Dream Chasers ‘majors’.

Transponder and kennelmate Alpha Zulu (box 3), which ran third in the Topgun, give champion Pearcedale trainer Jason Thompson an excellent chance of celebrating a fifth family Shootout success.

Thompson’s previous victories have come with Whisky Assassin (2004), Proven Nitro (2012) and Hooked On Scotch (2019), while wife Seona won the race with Aston Dee Bee (2018).

While Alpha Zulu played ‘second fiddle’ to Transponder in the Topgun, the youngster is Sportsbet’s $2.70 favourite, with box three having supplied five of the past six Shootout winners.

Despite his Topgun heroics, Transponder is the outsider of the field at $4.20.

Big Energy (box 1), trained by Jackie Greenough, is the $3.20 second elect.

Big Energy finished fifth in the Topgun, but has the fastest Sandown PB of the Shootout quartet, having broken the fabled 29-second barrier when clocking 28.93sec on April 6.

The Shootout X factor will be supplied by middle distance ‘magician’ Hector Fawley (box 5), brilliant winner of the G1 Hume Cup over 600m last Saturday night.

While better known for his exploits over longer distances, Hector Fawley, which has won seven of his eight 595m starts at Sandown, has clocked a fast 29.25sec over 515m and is being kept safe in the market at $4.

A couple of surprising Shootout statistics are that despite the concept appearing to favour stronger finishers, nine of the last 11 winners have been in front at the winning post the first time, while only boxes three (seven winners) and five (six winners) have provided the winner since 2010.

Saturday night’s Shootout meeting, and the remainder of the Dream Chasers Festival, will be showcased nationally on free-to-air television on, as well as Foxtel’s channel 529.

Key times

  • 5.30pm – Gates open.
  • 6.37pm – First race. 7.59pm – QR code entries close for Chase Your Dream promotion prior to start of Race 5.
  • 7.59pm – Race 5 – First Quaddie leg.
  • 9.21pm – $72,500 Group 3 Shootout (Race 9).
  • 10.23pm – Last race (Race 12).

Follow the action

  • will cover every race, every story, and every moment from 6.15pm with Gareth Hall, George Farrugia, Mitch Ebeyer, James Van de Maat and Kelsey Browne.
  • Watch the racing LIVE and FREE on the Watchdog App.
  • Radio coverage and expert analysis from GRV’s Peter Quilty on RSN Racing & Sport (927 AM).
  • Social media

Points of interest

  • Champion trainer Jason Thompson is chasing a fourth Shootout courtesy of Alpha Zulu (Box 3) and Transponder (Box 7). Thompson has been ‘first to the draw’ with ‘sharpshooters’ Whisky Assassin (2004), Proven Nitro (2012) and Hooked On Scotch (2019). In fact, in 2012, he quinellaed the race as Don’t Knocka Him finished second. Thompson was also runner-up with Andy Palmer in 2006. His wife, Seona, won the first of two Shootouts held in 2018 with Aston Dee Bee.
  • ‘Team Greenough’ (Jackie and Kel) are attempting back-to-back Shootout wins. Their ‘wonder woman’ Wow She’s Fast – the world’s highest earning greyhound ($2,391,995) – came out with ‘all guns blazing’ in 2022. The Greenoughs are represented by Big Energy (Box 1)officially trained by Jackie – this year.
  • Lisa Cockerell is represented by last week’s Group 1 Hume Cup winner – middle-distance ‘wizard’, Hector Fawley (Box 5).
  • Fourteen favourites have won the Shootout since its inception in 1998.
  • Ten Shootout winners have exited from Box 5 – followed by Box 3 (eight), Box 1 (four) and Box 7 (three).
  • The longest-priced winner of the event is Tiggerlong Tonk ($6.50) in 2020. Tiggerlong Tonk also holds the race record (29.034sec).
  • In a ‘Battle of the Sexes’ – the males dominate 23-2. The only females to win a Shootout are Xylia Allen (2013) and Wow She’s Fast (2022). It’s an all-male event in 2023.
  • Victorians have won 20 of the 25 Shootouts conducted thus far.
  • WA star Reggemite (1998) won the inaugural Shootout. Since then, the only other interstate winners are: 2000 Go Wild Teddy (NSW), 2002 Silver Saul (SA), 2005 Bond (NSW) and 2014 Iva Vision (Qld).

Recent Shootout Winners

  • 2013 XYLIA ALLEN (VIC)
    Graeme Bate 29.07sec
  • 2014 IVA VISION (QLD)
    Peter Young 29.27sec
  • 2015 KAYDA SHAE (VIC)
    Kelly Bravo 29.33sec
    Anthony Azzopardi 29.16sec
  • 2018 (Jan) ASTON DEE BEE (VIC)
    Seona Thompson 29.18sec
  • 2018 (Nov) ORSON ALLEN(VIC)
    Correy Grenfell 29.19sec
    Jason Thompson 29.16sec
    Correy Grenfell, 29.03sec
  • 2021 ASTON RUPEE (VIC)
    Glenn Rounds, 29.10sec
  • 2022 WOW SHE’S FAST (VIC)
    Jackie Greenough, 29.28sec


The Sportsbet Dream Chasers Festival is back!

With over $4.1 million in prize money up for grabs, The Meadows and Sandown Park again play host to these blockbuster events, including the $1million Group 1 Sportsbet Melbourne Cup and the most exciting race in greyhound racing, The Phoenix.



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