Mark Delbridge celebrated an overdue and thoroughly deserved Group 1 breakthrough at Saturday night’s star-studded opening to the Australian Cup Carnival when Dyna Dean was a dominant all-the-way winner of the Rookie Rebel (600m).
“This is my first Group 1 winner in 25 years in the sport. It’s very special,” a delighted Mark Delbridge said.
“We’ve come close before. We had Tomac Bale, who led and got run down in the Adelaide Cup.”
Dyna Dean had put the writing on the wall that a middle distance feature trophy was well within his grasp when running a close third to Hecton Bale in the Listed Maidment Memorial over 595m at Sandown in January, beaten only half a length, with champion Fanta Bale splitting the pair.
After winning his next two starts over 595m at Sandown, Dyna Dean was a $12 chance from box four in the $75,000 to-the-winner Rookie Rebel, with Melbourne Cup runner-up Chasin’ Crackers the $2.40 favourite from the rails.
Dyna Dean came out running to open up a handy early lead over Chasin’ Crackers and the son of Kiowa Mon Manny and Prue Bale produced a flawless front-running exhibition as he condemned Chasin’ Crackers to another feature race minor placing, scoring by 3.87 lengths in 34.31sec.
“I almost missed the race because I was busy watching Reece Mastin sing,” Mark Delbridge’s Lisa laughed.
“We also had Allen Makoto, who was run down by Renegade Chief in a Group 1 (Silver Chief). We also had Flash Of Light, who won a lot of Group races.
“Mark never thought he would win a Group 1. To win one is such a great pay off for all the hard work.
“We start at 7.00am each day and finish at 4.30pm on a good day and it’s pretty much non-stop either working with the dogs or maintaining the property. If we are racing we sometimes won’t get home until 2am and then we’re up at 7am again the next day. Sean Coulson helps us with taking dogs to race at the provincial tracks.”
Dyna Dean has now won five of his last seven starts and 17 from 42 overall and he will drop back to 525m for next Saturday’s Australian Cup heats.
Dyna Dean gave the Wheeler family a Group 1 race-to-race double, following Fanta Bale’s victory in the Zoom Top over 725m.
*This article was compiled by Gerard Guthrie and Andrew Copley. Images by Clint Anderson.