Explicit is head honcho in the Shepparton Cup

Thirty-one years ago, a young Jason Thompson, then 24, won his first ‘big race’ in Victoria – the 1993 Shepparton Cup – with Head Honcho, who was later inducted into the GRV Hall of Fame due to his stud exploits.

Luke Thompson with EXPLICIT after winning the G2 Shepparton Cup.
Luke Thompson with EXPLICIT after winning the G2 Shepparton Cup. Picture: GRV

Thompson also quinellaed the race, finishing second with Tranquil Flame – later to become the dam of his superstar, Awesome Assassin.

Roll on three decades and Thompson's celebrated journey in the sport is the 'TheNeverEnding Story'.

He's captured myriad 'black type' races around Australia, including multiple country cups in Victoria.

And the latest was Explicit's sensational victory in the $83,000 Group 2 CKH Painting Shepparton Cup (450m) – carrying a $55,000 winner's purse – on Saturday night. Amazingly, Thompson's fifth piece of Shepparton Cup silverware!

It also continued Thompson's 2024 country cups 'juggernaut' as he's also claimed the G2 Warragul Cup (Tim Zoo) and G2 Traralgon Cup (Unleash Collinda).

And Explicit recently was runner-up to Fernando Phil in the G2 Horsham Cup. Fernando Phil ($8.80 – fourth) – trained by Michelle Mallia – also contested the Shepparton Cup.

However, Explicit (Jan '22 Bernardo x Brueghelino) wasn't settling for 'second best' in the Shepparton Cup.

In a display of unadulterated speed, Explicit ($1.70F) defeated Smooth Plane ($15.90) by 2.6L, with Shima Shadow ($16.30) a further 1.8L away third in a sizzling 24.66sec. Both placegetters are trained by Tom Dailly.

Explicit's winning time was a race record and around one length off Rejuvenate's 24.59sec track record. He's undefeated in five starts from Box 1 and three starts at Shepparton.

Winner of the 2024 G1 Temlee and 2023 G3 Great Chase, Explicit has won 14 races from 18 starts and $276,390 in prizemoney.

Thompson also had Got Attitude ($23.60 – fifth) and Flying Zulu ($3.60 – sixth) in the final.

Meanwhile, Early Boy ($20.90 – 25.12sec) caused a boilover claiming a $10,000 winner's purse in the Tony McGrath Memorial (450m). He's trained by Des Douch, who had Here Comes Artie ($27.50 – eighth) in the Shepparton Cup.

In other highlights, Aston Maddox ($4.40 – 22.04sec) – trained by Kayla Cottrell – took home a $7500 first prize in the GRV VicBred (1-4 Wins) final (390m).

And G1 winner and dual G1 runner-up Drill Sergeant ($2.30 – 37.00sec) – prepared by Shane Drummond – saluted in the $7000 to-the-winner Byers Electrical Stayers Special Event (650m).

Pawnote: Thompson has previously won the Shepparton Cup with Head Honcho (1993), Whisky Assassin (2004), Hanify's Impact (2008) and Aston Bolero (2016).