Between1957and 1958, a white and fawn dog by Dream’s Image out of Lady Janellen completed a magical treble when he won the Melbourne Cup, the Hobart Thousand and the Australian Cup and became the highest Australian stakes earner at the time. His name was Rookie Rebel.
The relatively small dog weighed in at just 29kg, but went on to race 67 times for 36 wins, 17 seconds and 6 thirds. He was regarded one of the best dogs that anyone had seen at the time and he was an out-and out champion over both the sprints and middle distances.
This Saturday night at The Meadows, a Group One race worth $75,000 to-the-winner over 600 metres is named in honour of the AGRA hall-of-famer.
Since its inception in 2003 race has been won by dogs such as Paua To Burn, Malfoy, Symmetry, Bo Frazier and Train A Journey. In 2013 it was taken out by Proven Impala.
Comments: Well drawn banana-bender who comes into this after a third behind Benarkin in the Group Three Big Dog at Albion Park. Has been very consistent in Queensland middle-distance events but faces a sharp rise in class here.
Comments: Norm Rinaldi (Trainer) –“He just keeps going and could be right up there in this one. He has had 78 starts and just loves racing. This will be his last preparation, he is going to stud. He will be right in there trying.”
Comments: Talented dog who has a big motor and has gone within half-a-length of the track record at The Meadows in the past. He looks a little below his best on recent form an will need to replicate his fastest runs to win this.
Comments: Ultra consistent middle-distance chaser who always puts himself in the picture at this level. May lack the star quality of some competitors but he is always thereabouts and could be a place chance.
Comments: Superstar sprinter and newly crowned Victorian Greyhound of the Year who has recently graduated to middle distances. Has won both attempts over the longer trips at Sandown in slick time and has her first go at The Meadows 600 metres. Has the ability to fly early and could well lead from pillar-to-post.
Comments: Middle distance star who has won five of his seven attempts at the track and is the reigning track record holder over this journey. His last start win was in the listed Maidment Memorial at Sandown and he is a proven performer at this level. Looks a major player here.
Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) – For all of Tom Dailly’s expert comments, check out his podcast on the ARG website in which he discusses his chances and more. “Hawk Alone is some chance if he could possibly cross and there was trouble behind. But he will find it tough.”
Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) – For all of Tom Dailly’s expert comments, check out his podcast on the ARG website in which he discusses his chances and more. “This will be very tough. Xylia Allen and Bookkeeper will be hard to beat.”
The obvious chances in the race look to be Xylia Allen (5) and Bookkeeper (6). The run to the first turn will be telling as both of these dogs look to find a safe position somewhere near the lead. Hawk Alone (8) is a bit of an unknown quantity at the trip and could well be flashing home should he find a clean passage in transit.
If dogs the ilk of General Destini (2), Alpe D’Huez (3) and Daintree Emperor (4) can find their best form they would be considered rough hopes.