20 February, 2024

Hard luck stories headline red hot rookie rebel

The Australian Cup’s loss is very much the Group 1 Rookie Rebel’s gain with a stellar field set for the middle distance feature on Saturday.

While Hector Fawley and Cain Bale were luckless in last Saturday night’s fourth Australian Cup semi-final, a mouth-watering return clash headlines Saturday night’s Rookie Rebel invitational (600m). Hector Fawley, the number one middle distance greyhound in the land, was the quickest Australian Cup heat winner, but was brought undone by box five in the final Cup semi. Lisa Cockerell’s home-bred powerhouse’s winning hopes evaporated when shuffled back to second last, but he found the line strongly, finishing fifth to My Magic Man, beaten 3.5L. Hector Fawley will now start favourite to claim his second G1 600m trophy at The Meadows after winning the Hume Cup last November.

The main danger in the Rookie Rebel could be Cain Bale, which motored home to finish a close third in the same Australian Cup semi after being last at the winning post the first time. Mark Delbridge’s blueblood is a son of Fanta Bale, which won both the Australian Cup and Rookie Rebel in 2017.

Cain Bale and Hector Fawley were separated last Saturday by another Rookie Rebel contender in Fabs Vegetable, trained by Tom Dailly, which was also a hard-luck story.

Young trainer Kayla Cottrell is striving to win the Rookie Rebel for the second time in three years, having created history when guiding Fernando Cazz to G1 glory in 2021 at just 18 years of age. Cottrell is following a family tradition with Succeed, a younger full-brother to Fernando Cazz, which won last Saturday night’s Rookie Rebel Prelude in 34.66sec.

There’s a potent in-form interstate flavour to the Rookie Rebel in the shape of NSW’s Father Rick and Tasmanian Fast Minardi. Father Rick, trained by Ray Webster, has won six of his last seven starts, including the G3 Sir John Dillon Memorial (595m) at Sandown Park on Melbourne Cup night. Fast Minardi, prepared by Paul Hili, has won his last four in the Apple Isle and also made his mark in elite company on the mainland. He ran second in the G1 National Distance Championship (730m) at The Meadows, and won a Melbourne Cup prelude at Sandown in a blistering 29.10sec.

The box draws for Saturday night’s three G1 events, the Australian Cup, Fanta Bale Super Stayers and Rookie Rebel, will be conducted early Tuesday afternoon and streamed on The Meadows Facebook page and GRV Extra on YouTube.

The Rookie Rebel will run this Saturday night (February 24) at The Meadows. Entry to the track on the night is FREE. It promises to be an UNMISSABLE night of Group 1 Racing and Entertainment.

Article courtesy of Greyhound Recorder – Gerard Guthrie