Grand Intention, trained by Gary Ennis, ran a gallant second to Dyna Double One at the Andrea Dailly-prepared superstar’s middle distance debut at Sandown Park, beaten just 2.73 lengths in a new 595m track record of 33.63sec.
Grand Intention clocked a flying 33.82sec in defeat from box seven (Replay).
Dyna Double One went on to sensationally break The Meadows’ 600m record at his next start from box four (Replay), clocking 33.91, before improving his perfect middle distance record to three from three with a 34.38sec success at the same venue last Saturday.
But while Grand Intention was far from disgraced when chasing Dyna Double One home at Sandown, veteran trainer Gary Ennis says the box draw for Saturday’s invitation-only $108,000 Group 1 Rookie Rebel (600m) will make it very tough to turn the tables on the odds-on favourite.
“It was a big run when Grand Intention finished second to Dyna Double One at Sandown but he had to draw a good box to be a chance of beating him on Saturday night,” Ennis said.
“If you reversed their boxes and I had the red and Dyna Double One had box six I would’ve given Grand Intention a good chance.
“Ability-wise he’s a quick dog – he trials very quick, he’s run a couple of fast times at The Meadows and he’s got a sectional record at Bendigo – but he needs things his own way” – GARY ENNIS
“Ability-wise he’s a quick dog – he trials very quick, he’s run a couple of fast times at The Meadows and he’s got a sectional record at Bendigo – but he needs things his own way and from out there in six I think he’ll get crowded. The pink (Lithgow Panther) comes over pretty hard, which won’t help him.”
Grand Intention, which is raced by breeder Todd O’Neill, was initially trained by Gary’s son Jamie and daughter-in-law Brooke before being hand-balled to Ennis senior.
Jamie also trained Strong Intention for O’Neill, which finished second to Team Dailly’s Lektra Jay in the 2012 Rookie Rebel and won the Group 2 McKenna Memorial at Sandown.
“Jamie and Brooke won three or four races with Grand Intention and then when his form dropped off a bit Jamie asked me if I wanted to have a go with him,” Gary explained.
“He’s a nice ability dog but he just needs a bit of luck in his races. If he can get near the front on Saturday night he’ll run a really good race but it’s so hard to get across from the outside over 600. You’ve got to be extra quick and extra lucky!
“I’ll be very happy if he lobs second or third but you wouldn’t think they can beat the red.
“Dyna Double One wasn’t as impressive on paper last week but he’s such a good dog and I’d expect the Daillys to have him cherry ripe on Saturday night.”
$108,000 ROOKIE REBEL (600M)
SATURDAY 20 FEBRUARY, 8.58PM
1 DYNA DOUBLE ONE (Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC)
2 XTREME KNOCKA (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
3 MOREIRA (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
4 POLIJUICE POTION (Lisa Cockerell, Buckley VIC)
5 SISCO RAGE (John Galea, Lara VIC)
6 GRAND INTENTION (Gary Ennis, Sandhurst VIC)
7 NORM THE STORM (Matthew Reid, Yorklea, NSW)
8 LITHGOW PANTHER (Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
9 COSMIC OWL (Jeff Britton, Anakie VIC)
10 EMRYS (Mario Briganti, Tuerong VIC)
WATCH: James Van de Maat and Simone Fisher discuss Saturday night’s $108,000 Group 1 Rookie Rebel (600m) at The Meadows featuring a genuine drawcard in champion greyhound Dyna Double One.