Rising star Deliver continued the perfect start to his middle distance career with a dominant all-the-way victory in the Group 1 Rookie Rebel (600m) at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Trained by Seona Thompson, Deliver won the Group 1 Vic Peters Classic in Sydney over 520m last November and the son of Fernando Bale and Veetee Saharrah has made a seamless and ultra-impressive transition to the middle distance ranks in the early weeks of 2019.
After two wins over Sandown’s 595m course, highlighted by the Listed Maidment Memorial, Deliver tuned up for the $75,000 to-the-winner Rookie Rebel with a scorching 34.09sec victory at his 600m debut at The Meadows.
Drawn in box three for the Rookie Rebel, Deliver started even-money favourite, ahead of Sale Cup winner Neo Cleo ($5.10), Benali ($6) and reserve Blue Striker ($6.50).
The market proved to be spot on as Deliver came out running and found the front and he was never seriously threatened in a flawless front-running exhibition, defeating Blackjack Neo ($23.80) by 2.46 lengths in another flying gallop of 34.19sec, with Blue Striker finishing third.
“Deliver is a very honest greyhound and to win one Group 1 race, let alone two and a Group Listed, is a great effort,” said co-trainer Jason Thompson, husband of Seona.
“We thought he would run the 600m eventually but not this quickly. We thought he would be racing the middle distance when he was around two and a half to three years old.
“We threw him in a 600 at Sandown and he broke 34, so we knew the distance wouldn’t be a problem after that.”
Deliver has now won 13 of his 24 starts, with owner/breeder Vince Tullio saying that provided he pulls up well after his second Group 1 success he will drop back to 525m for next Saturday night’s Australian Cup heats.
Deliver provided his all-conquering sire Fernando Bale with his second victory in the three Group 1 invitational features that kick-started the Australian Cup Carnival, following the memorable win of Tornado Tears in the Zoom Top one race earlier.
This article was compiled by Gerard Guthrie and Molly Haines. Photos by Clint Anderson.