In-form Rocky chasers out to repel Brett charge

Caption: The Ken Boody-trained Love You Peaches looms as one of the best local hopes in this month’s Rockhampton Cup (Photo: Box 1 Photography)

Group 3 Rockhampton Cup (510m)

$40,000 to the winner

Heats April 22, Final April 29

Listed Rockhampton Wildcard (510m)

$15,600 to the winner

Heats April 6, Final April 13

By MIKE HILL

CLUB president Dallas Beckett believes a locally-trained greyhound can this month break the stranglehold visiting dogs have had on the Rockhampton Cup (510m) in recent years.

The Cup, carrying record prizemoney of $60,000, has been dominated by leading Brisbane kennels for almost a decade.

Master trainer Tony Brett has won three of the past five finals with Split Image (2017), Regal Recall  (2019) and Orchestrate (last year) and plans another strong assault on this month’s Group 3 feature.

But despite this, Beckett is strong in his belief that a ‘local’ can win.

“We have some classy dogs racing up here, but it’s the Ken Boody kennel  that is firing at the moment,” he said.

“And he has two stand-out sprinters that will be hard to toss – Zip Stream and Love You Peaches.

“They will be very hard to beat.”

Both are racing in career best form – Zip Stream has won 10 of her past 11 starts, while Love You Peaches has eight from 10.

“One thing in Love You Peaches’ favour is that she is fast early and can hang on at the end of her races,” he said.

Beckett said the club was gearing up for its best ever Cup Carnival.

This year it has been expanded from three weeks to four with more than $200,000 in prizemoney up for grabs.

Other feature events include the $25,000 Listed Rockhampton Cup Wildcard (510m), the $4700 Life Members Maiden (407m), the $4700 Dinky Di Web Design 4th/5th Grade (407m), the $9800 Cup Consolation (510m) and the $4700 Rocky Carnival Sprint (407m).

The club boss said the introduction of the Cup Wildcard Series was a great concept for local trainers.

“It gives them a chance to race for good prizemoney on a smaller scale, with the winner  leap-frogging into the Cup final,” he said.

Racing Queensland has initiated the Wildcard concept for this year’s three country cups – at Bundaberg (last month), Rockhampton and Townsville.

The Rocky Wildcard, for ‘locally-trained dogs’, hits the track early in the month with heats on  April 6 and the $15,600-to-the-winner final on April 13.

“Then it’s on to the $60,000 Rockhampton Cup (510m) with heats on Friday, April 22, and the $40,000-to-the-winner final on Friday, April 29,” said Beckett.

He said he was expecting a strong contingent of greyhounds from the Brisbane region and added that some friends in Melbourne were contemplating send dogs up for the rich series.

“One of their dogs qualified for the Australian Cup,” the club boss said.

“They’re currently looking at options to get their sprinters here.”

He also said leading Rocky regional trainers Bill and Peta Boon and  Darren Taylor had runners capable of qualifying  for the Cup.

Beckett himself, a leading owner-trainer for many years, is not without a chance with his strong team.

Meanwhile, the powerful Tony Brett kennel will be relying on a promising youngster and a seasoned performer after news filtered through that last year’s Cup winner Orchestrate had been injured in a training gallop.

Owner Tom Kinnear confirmed Orchestrate had suffered the injury in a straight track gallop while preparing for the Golden Easter Egg heats at Wentworth Park.

“He could be off the scene for five to six weeks or a bit more,” he said.

Brett was hoping the talented sprinter could go on and qualify for the Million Dollar Chase after that but if he didn’t he was going to take him north for another assault on the Rockhampton Cup.

The kennel hopes will now rest on youngster Milligan and  What A Debacle.

Brett said the trip to Rocky last year had helped to turn Orchestrate into a great professional race dog.

“It’s a trip that really helps to mature young dogs,” he said.

“It was the making of him.”

The multi-Group 1 winning trainer said he was hoping it could also work for Milligan.

“He’s a fast, young dog,” said Brett, who has a high opinion of the Keybow-Velocity Charm black chaser.

“He’s a dog with plenty of potential and has a record of eight wins from just 10 starts.

“He  can run time and he should develop into a real good race dog.

“He’s already broken 30s at Albion Park.

“He’s my best up-and-comer, he’s the one with the most potential.”

And with three recent Cup successes at Rocky, Brett certainly knows what it takes to win the rich Central Queensland feature.

Recent Rockhampton Cup winners: 2009: Grampian (Greg Brennan), 2010: Mr Prizz (Jason Woods), 2011: Terrific Style (Tom Noble), 2012: Petie Pie (Bill Boon); 2013: Custom Idea (Lorraine Isles), 2014: Miner’s Moss (Mathew Reid), 2015: Bill’s Fantasy (Bill Elson), 2016: Cyndie’s Magic (Bill Elson), 2017: Split Image (Tony Brett), 2018: Fire To Rain (Chris Riordon), 2019: Regal Recall  (Tony Brett), 2020: Shakey Diesel  (Peter O’Reilly), 2021: Orchestrate (Tony Brett).

 

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