Mario Briganti is hoping to “rock” Saturday’s heats of the lucrative Jarrod Larkin Concreting Gold Rush Maiden (425m) at Bendigo with four impeccably-bred littermates.
Briganti will unveil Ducati Monster (heat 1), Freda Rocks (heat 2), Gitan (heat 4) and Rockstar Ruby (heat 5), siblings by the great Fernando Bale out of Red Rocks, for the first time in the Gold Rush, which was rescheduled from its traditional Easter date due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
“They’re well-prepped and they’re genuine chances,” said Briganti.
“They broke-in quite well and I’ve been pre-training them for 10-12 weeks. The last month or so I’ve thought gee, these go nice!’
“I took them to Bendigo and three of the four broke 24 seconds first look.
“They do everything right and while they’ve just turned 18 months they’re very mature. They’re not 18-month-old pups that are all over the place; they’re more like two-year-old dogs.
“The only concern I’ve got is that Bendigo is more for speed dogs and they do lack a yard early. They’re not hopeless – they’d be equivalent to 5.15s dogs at Sandown.
“They will definitely run 500m and they’re probably looking for further already but this race was coming up and it’s a good kicking-off point.”
The draws haven’t been particularly kind to Briganti’s debutants with Ducati Monster and Gitan both allocated box seven, while Freda Rocks has drawn six and Rockstar Ruby will exit the rails alley.
“Freda Rocks and Rockstar Ruby are the two quickest but they’ve drawn upside down,” Briganti offered.
“Can they win? Yes they can win but I can’t be confident.
“Ducati Monster has drawn seven but wants the fence, so Gitan has probably drawn the best. She’s where she wants to be.”
The quartet is closely-related to Briganti’s former star Angie Rocks, with their dam Red Rocks, which won seven of 13 starts in her brief career, a half-sister to Angie Rocks, runner-up in the Group 1 Sapphire Crown and Group 3 SA Oaks.
“Red Rocks was fast but she had seasonal issues,” Briganti explained.
“These pups compare pretty well with Angie Rocks. She wasn’t going much quicker at the same stage but they’ve got a lot to live up to because Angie Rocks was one out of the box.
“I’ve got to admit Angie Rocks hasn’t really produced yet, which has been very disappointing, but I’m hoping her third litter, which is to Fernando Bale, will be her best.
“They’re about twelve months old and they’re ripping pups.
“The line has clicked with Fernando Bale too, with Angie Rocks’ litter sister Rhonda Rocks producing Sennachie (three-time Group 1 winner) to Fernando Bale.”