Local staying prospect Seve Rose faces his litmus test when the Group 1 Sale Cup (650m) series kicks off with heats on Friday night.
This is Seve Rose’s first foray into Group 1 company where he’ll face the likes of G1 Hume Cup winner True Detective and G2 Launching Pad winner Tauwitchere in Heat 2 – Race 6, 8.48pm.
Seve Rose is raced under the ‘Rosedale Racing’ banner comprising training stalwart Sharon-Lee Chignell, her husband Jeff, and Linda Hamilton.
As the syndicate name suggests, Sharon-Lee, who has been training for 32 years, is based in Rosedale and has a sentimental attachment to the Sale club.
“It’s our home track, so it would be great to make the final… That would be a bonus,” Sharon-Lee said. (The Chignells have prepared previous Sale Cup finalists Gingerbread Man and Lakeview Lady.)
“I’m happy to have drawn the red (Box 1)… He’s a slow box dog who likes to come home hard,’’ she added. “Hopefully they’ll fan out on the first corner and he ‘scrapes the paint’.”
Sharon-Lee says her ‘great white hope’ has the advantage of local knowledge as he was broken-in on the track and “knows it backwards”.
“He’s just starting off in staying ranks, but we always envisaged stepping him up in distance,” she said. “He was giving away too much of a start in sprint races. Anyway, he’s bred to go over a bit more ground… He’s basically a one-pace stayer.”
“Nothing phases him, he’s a very relaxed greyhound… We’re just holding up high hopes, but luck can be a fortune,” she added.
Seve Rose has raced on 52 occasions for five wins, nine seconds and 15 thirds. But, more importantly, he’s recorded three wins from five starts over Sale’s 650-metre trip.
The Chignells’ daughter, Bonnie, was instrumental in the naming of Seve Rose. Bordering on joining professional golfing ranks in her youth, Bonnie admired the brilliance of Spanish great and former world No. 1, Seve Ballesteros – hence the racing moniker.
Having relocated to Germany, Bonnie still plays off scratch and remains a member of the Victoria Golf Club in Cheltenham.
And now the Chignells will be hoping Seve Rose hits a ‘hole-in-one’ during the Group 1 Sale Cup series.