Can Rockoon complete the Hume Cup – Bold Trease double?

Rockoon with Keith and Lisa Hellmuth after winning the Hume Cup. PIC: Paul Munt.

GROUP 1 Hume Cup winner Rockoon (Peter Rocket x Raya Riot Jun ’15) is likely to contest the heats of the Group 1 Bold Trease (715m) at Sandown Park next Friday after his brilliant middle distance win on Melbourne Cup eve.

Stepping from box four, the Keith and Lisa Hellmuth-trained greyhound was last around the turn into the home straight the first time, but was able to find the fence and avoid early interference.

Heading through the catching pen, the white and black dog started winding up, charging into fourth spot down the back.

Rockoon then hooked to the outside of his rivals and slipped into top gear, racing clear in the run to the line to record a three and a half length win in 34.33.

NSW chasers Where Art Thou (Where’s Pedro x Amnesia Mar ’14) and Riley Tokaam (Don’t Knocka Him x Skyela Tokaam Mar ’15) rounded out the placings.

“I just keep watching the replay – I still can’t believe it,” Lisa Hellmuth told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“He has always been a strong finisher, but to do it in a group final against some of the best dogs in Australia is unbelievable.”

Rockoon took his record to nine wins and eight placings from 23 starts, having now banked $116,575 for the Hellmuths who bred and also own the 35-kilogram powerhouse.

Lisa explained the win was particularly special, having raced both Rockoon’s parents, his sire, Peter Rocket (Where’s Pedro x Belron Blue Aug ’10) giving them their first win at the highest level when claiming the 2013 Group 1 Dapto Megastar.

“He is home grown. Rockoon is from the first litter we’ve had by Peter Rocket and only his second litter all up, so to see him win a group 1 is huge,” she said.

“I always thought Peter Rocket would throw a nice dog – so we put him to our bitch Raya Riot that had already produced city winners.

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“Not many people have used him, but to be honest we’re not really fussed – the way I look at it he has shown now what he can produce so if they don’t want to use him it’s their loss.

“Even if no one else uses him again he will always have a home here – he was such a good dog to us.”

Rockoon is now likely to head towards the $100,000 to the winner Bold Trease, with heats to be held on November 17. It will be his first attempt at the testing staying distance.

While the 115m rise in trip is some concern, Hellmuth said her star chaser deserves a crack at the series.

“He has had a few 600s now and his run homes are astronomical – he is running home stronger than some dogs do over 500,” she said.

“Based on that you’d think he’ll run out the 700. He only free gallops in between his runs, so he might be a bit underdone, but I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t run it out ok.

“If he doesn’t make the final we won’t be upset, but we’d be silly not to have a go with him based on how he has been running home over the middle distance.”

Rockoon will be taking on some talented types in the Bold Trease series including Fanta Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug ’14) and Bogie Bekim (Bekim Bale x Bogie Skye Apr ’14) and will be aiming to become just the third greyhound to complete the Hume Cup – Bold Trease double behind former track stars Sargent Major (Stately Bird x Triumphant Tears Oct ’03) and Fallen Zorro (Lilli Pilli Lad x Chinatown Babe Dec ’05) who achieved the feat in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

Incidentally, Fanta Bale, which is around $15,000 short of breaking the $1 million earnings barrier, will also be looking for the double, having won the Hume Cup in 2016.

Meanwhile, Hume Cup runner-up Where Art Thou will not press on towards the Bold Trease and will instead be aimed towards the Group 3 Sir John Dillon Memorial on November 24 before having a crack at the Group 1 Sale Cup, the heats of which will be run over 650m on December 17.

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