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Hidden agenda for Thomson ahead of NQ Cup

17 November 2023

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Townsville | Townsville Greyhound Racing Club | 9:08 PM


By Jordan Gerrans

Stalwart Townsville conditioner Graham Thomson thinks the best is yet to come for his ‘Hidden’ litter mates ahead of their tilt at the Listed North Queensland Cup of 2023.

The annual NQ Cup is a key event on the northern greyhound calendar.

It starts with four heats on Tuesday from Townsville’s Showgrounds track before the Final seven days later.

The $24,000 Final is restricted to dogs based further north than Gympie.

The rich Group 2 Townsville Cup – held in late August - always has a stacked field of greyhounds travelling north from South East Queensland with aims of taking the prize home.

Despite that, the last two Townsville Cups have been won by dogs based north of Rockhampton.

So, for the northern kennels at Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Townsville, the NQ Cup is a key race for the locals.

Thomson has been in the code for 46 years and says the NQ Cup provides northern trainers an opportunity to test their dogs against the classy opposition from throughout regional Queensland.

“This is an important race for us, being for the locals,” he said.

“I was on the committee of the club at the time some 15 years ago when it was brought in.”

The free for all race on Tuesday of this week from Townsville over 498 metres may prove a solid form guide into the NQ Cup heats.

Young Rob
Hidden Torpedo
Hidden Fury
Hidden Radar

Local star chaser Young Rob – who finished second in the Townsville Cup earlier this year – won the prize on Tuesday as the short-priced favourite.

Despite starting as outsiders in the market, Thomson’s Hidden Torpedo and Hidden Fury ran massive races to finish within a length of Young Rob.

The litter mates will press on to the NQ Cup heats and the Jensen-based Thomson is hopeful they will continue to impress.

“I still do not think we have seen the best of Fury and Torpedo,” he said.

“I think there is better times in them, they just need a clearer run.”

Hidden Torpedo and Hidden Fury were both closing in on Young Rob in the concluding stages on Tuesday, with Young Rob eventually getting the prize in 29.14 seconds.

“I expected them to run well on Tuesday night,” Thomson said.

“I drove home happy after the races, running third and fourth – they were brilliant runs.

“Torpedo should have won the race, he had a couple of mishaps. Fury, when he gets a clear run, he can put on a show as well. On those runs, I have my eyes on the NQ Cup, which is fast coming up.”

Hidden Torpedo after a recent win. Pictures: Louise Partland.

Thomson works with five dogs in his kennel and has raced the Nolen and East Of Blue chasers for much of their careers after they started out in Victoria.

“These guys I have had for over a year and you really get to know your dogs and their quirks,” he said.

He has another from the litter – Hidden Radar – who the trainer believes could be the best of the lot.

Radar, Fury and Torpedo all have a similar career-best times around the Townsville track over 498 metres, around the 28.80 second mark.

Radar will have his first start back since the middle of July on Saturday morning at Townsville.

Thomson would like to have him ready for the rich NQ Cup series as well but thinks it might just be too much of a rush.

“I think he will be a bit underdone at this stage,” he said.

“He was the best of the litter and leading the three before he went out. He has been trialling really well but I think he is two weeks behind the eight-ball for him to be at his best yet.

“Hopefully Radar comes back as good as what he was before and he seems to be that way.”

Veteran trainer Thomson has won heats of the Townsville and NQ Cup earlier in his career and qualified for the Finals of the prestigious events but is yet to win either of the crowns.

The Listed North Queensland Cup was won by Ken Boody’s Zip Stream last year.

Stalwart Townsville conditioner Graham Thomson and Hidden Fury after a win. Pictures: Louise Partland.