AUSTRALIA’S middle distance stars will get their chance to shine on Saturday night with the running of the Group 1 Rookie Rebel (600m) at The Meadows.
Champion greyhound Dyna Double One is the dominant $1.30 favourite with Bet365 after coming up with the coveted rails draw. Trained by Andrea Dailly, the son of Barcia Bale and Crystin Bale is unbeaten since stepping up over the middle distance trip, having set track records at both The Meadows (33.91) and Sandown Park (33.63) in two of his past three starts.
Saturday’s race will be the 12th group final ‘DDO’ and has contested throughout his decorated career, having previously claimed the Group 1 Melbourne Cup and the Group 1 Brisbane Cup, while he also took out last year’s Group 3 Perth Cup Consolation. The skinny odds don’t offer much value, but it is very hard to tip against the best greyhound in the country.
Jason Thompson’s Moreira has also received some support, with bookies installing the son of Kinloch Brae and Donna Rica as the $8 second elect. The brindle dog comes into the race as the winner of four of his past five starts and he looks poised to race up near the lead and capitalise if the favourite finds any trouble.
Thompson also prepares the grand old campaigner Xtreme Knocka, $15 with Sportsbet, which is racing in his usual honest form and will get every chance to run a cheeky race from box two.
Grand Intention, which finished three-and-one-quarter lengths behind Dyna Double One two starts back, has drawn awkwardly but is shown respect at $13, while Group 3 Dillion Memorial winner Lithgow Panther is sitting on the $11 mark.
Despite being a long shot at $23, Polijuice Potion is expected to improve for the final, with trainer Lisa Cockerell telling Australian Racing Greyhound she has freshened the bitch up for the $75,000-to-the-winner feature.
“She has been racing up over the longer trip for a while now and we even considered whether or not to scratch her at her last start – and in hindsight we probably should have as she wasn’t at her best,” Cockerell said.
“Since then we have freshened her up and we have got her blood right – she was a bit off – and now she is back to being her normal bouncy self which is a big relief.
“Hopefully by taking our time with her she will get some of her early toe back because she hasn’t been beginning as well as she can lately.”
Cockerell says box four isn’t ideal for Polijuice Potion, especially with Dyna Double One being drawn ideally in box one.
“The box isn’t great as she likes to be close to the fence, but in saying that it is better than five, six, seven or eight.
“In races like this boxes are a big advantage so Dyna Double One is definitely the dog to beat as the track record holder at The Meadows and Sandown.
“The main thing is she (Polijuice Potion) gets out and comes home in one piece.”
Cockerell, who breeds and races a small team with her husband Ian, said it would be an amazing thrill to take out a big race such as the Rookie Rebel.
“Polijuice Potion has won a group listed race, but to win a group 1 would be so special.
“She is very special to my daughter Morgan, she named her Butterfly, so it would be very exciting for us all if she could take it out on Saturday night.”
The Group 1 Rookie Rebel is race six on the card this Saturday and is set to jump at 8:58pm AEDT.
Box One – Dyna Double One
Black Dog – 35.1kg – March 2013
Barcia Bale x Crystin Bale
Prize money: $825,316
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
Career: 51: 28-9-6
Box: 3: 3-0-0
T/D: 2: 2-0-0
T/D Best: 33.91TR
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 1 Melbourne Cup, 2015 Group 1 Brisbane Cup, Albion Park 29.51TR, Sandown Park 33.63TR, The Meadows 33.91TR, 2015 Group 3 Perth Cup Consolation, 2ND 2015 Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic, 2015 Group 1 Winter Cup, 3RD 2015 Group 1 Silver Chief, 2015 Group 1 Popgun, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, 2015 Group 1 Maturity Classic, 2015 Group 1 Adelaide Cup, 2015 Group 1 Hobart 1000
Box Two – Xtreme Knocka
White and Blue Brindle Dog – 34.0kg – September 2012
Knocka Norris x Misty Fields
Prize money: $214,890
Trainer: Jason Thompson
Career: 90: 32-22-10
Box: 9: 2-4-0
T/D: 9: 3-4-1
T/D Best: 34.42
Career Highlights: 2ND 2015 Group 1 Hume Cup, FINALIST 2014 Group 1 Vic Peters Classic, 2015 Group 1 Perth Cup, 2016 Listed Maidment Memorial
Odds to win the Rookie Rebel: $15 with Sportsbet
Box Three – Moreira
Brindle Dog – 31.3kg – September 2013
Kinloch Brae x Donna Ricca
Prize money: $75,425
Trainer: Jason Thompson
Career: 29: 12-6-3
Box: 3: 1-1-0
T/D: 2: 2-0-0
T/D Best: 34.27
Career Highlights: WON 2016 Listed Maidment Memorial, FINALIST 2016 Group 1 Silver Chief
Odds to win the Rookie Rebel: $8 with Sportsbet
Box Four – Polijuice Potion
Black Bitch – 29.4kg – December 2013
Kinloch Brae x Finlandia
Prize money: $74,745
Trainer: Lisa Cockerell
Career: 37: 10-8-4
Box: 4: 0-1-0
T/D: 7: 2-1-2
T/D Best: 34.22
Career Highlights: WON 2016 Listed Australian Sprint, FINALIST 2015 Group 2 Laurels Classic
Odds to win the Rookie Rebel: $23 with Bet365
Box Five – Sisco Rage
Black Dog – 30.0kg – February 2012
High Earner x Sisco Power
Prize money: $235,723
Trainer: John Galea
Career: 130: 27-24-29
Box: 19: 5-0-3
T/D: 12: 3-0-4
T/D Best: 34.29
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 3 The Racecallers, 3RD 2015 Group 1 Rookie Rebel, FINALIST 2014 Group 1 Maturity Classic, 2015 Group 1 Australian Cup, 2015 Group 1 Harrison-Dawson, 2015 Group 2 Warragul Cup, 2015 Group 2 Shepparton Cup, 2016 Listed Australian Sprint
Odds to win the Rookie Rebel: $51 with Crownbet
Box Six – Grand Intention
Black Dog – 36.0kg – January 2013
Bedim Bale x Maddison’s Girl
Prize money: $58,065
Trainer: Gary Ennis
Career: 43: 16-5-0
Box: 4: 1-1-0
T/D: 7: 3-1-0
T/D Best: 34.22
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.48, Warrnambool 25.10, Shepparton 25.07, Bendigo 27.98, The Meadows 34.22
Box Seven – Norm The Storm
Box Eight – Lithgow Panther
Black Dog – 33.0kg – November 2012
Milldean Panther x Mrs Trickett
Prize money: $176,076
Trainer: Rob Britton
Career: 62: 23-14-9
Box: 5: 1-2-1
T/D: 3: 2-0-0
T/D Best: 34.37
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 3 Dillion Memorial, 2ND 2015 Group 3 Top Cat Video Cup, 2ND 2015 Group 3 Sydney Cup, 2ND 2015 Group 1 Sale Cup, 3RD 2015 Group 2 Popgun Stayers, 3RD 2016 Listed Maidment Memorial, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Bold Trease
Odds to win the Rookie Rebel: $11 with Sportsbet
1st Reserve – Cosmic Owl
Black Dog – 26.4kg – March 2013
Cosmic Rumble x Coulta Sky
Prize money: $81,085
Trainer: Jeff Britton
Career: 58: 13-10-5
T/D: 6: 2-2-1
T/D Best: 34.26
Career Highlights: FINALIST 2016 Group 2 Cranbourne Cup, 2015 Group 3 SA Oaks, 2016 Listed Maidment Memorial
Odds to win the Rookie Rebel: $31 with Crownbet
2nd Reserve – Emrys
Black Dog – 32.3kg – January 2013
Magic Sprite x Prancing Uno
Prize money: $98,695
Trainer: Mario Briganti
Career: 55: 15-11-5
T/D: 4: 2-0-1
T/D Best: 34.46
Career Highlights: 3RD 2015 Group 2 Traralgon Cup, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Silver Chief, 2015 Group 1 Australian Cup, 2015 Group 1 Maturity Classic
Odds to win the Rookie Rebel: $101 with Sportsbet