With GRV’s inaugural Pink Diamond series reaching fever pitch, big race specialist Jason Thompson is upping the ante in Thursday afternoon’s Warragul heats, producing kennel stars Rebellious, Aston Fastnet and Equalizer.
Rebellious (Race 5) is contesting the Rookie Short Course heats (400m), Aston Fastnet (Race 7) will line up in the Rookie Sprinter run-offs (460m) and Equalizer (Race 8) is in the Champion Sprinter heats (460m).
Top-two finishes in their respective events will see the trio advance to next Friday’s (June 18) lucrative finals night at Bendigo.
The superbly related Rebellious has created a huge impression in winning five of his six starts, clocking near-record times at Warragul (22.29sec), Sale (24.57sec), Shepparton (24.93sec) and most recently Bendigo (23.61sec).
He’s bred in the purple, being a son of champion sire Barcia Bale, with his mother On The Runway (Fernando Bale x Nicki Fields), a litter sister to Thompson’s 2018 G1 Topgun hero Poke The Bear and two-time G1 winner Out Of Range.
Rebellious is also closely related to another dual G1 winner in the freakishly talented Hooked On Scotch.
“He’s a really nice young dog going forward,” Thompson said.
“On type, he has identical looks to Hooked On Scotch, which is his three-quarter brother. Hooked On Scotch was also by Barcia Bale out of Nicki Fields, which is On The Runway’s mother.
“In his racing habits, he’s similar to Poke The Bear. He has a very relaxed demeanour at home but really switches on when he gets to the track.
“Right from his first race he’s shown plenty of ability and he’s continued on and improved with each run.
“He’s won five from six, all his wins have been the Best Of Night, his total winning margin is about 30 lengths and he’s already won at four different tracks. It’s a big effort from a young dog.”
Rebellious, which doesn’t turn two until August, is striving to make it three from three at Warragul; having won his first two career starts over 400m by big margins.
“He’s probably not ideally suited to 400m,” Thompson said.
“The final is over 425m at Bendigo and I had this race in mind when I took him to Bendigo last Friday, so if he does qualify I know that he’s seen the track.”
Aston Fastnet heads to Warragul after contesting the G3 Speed Star match race series at Sandown Park, where he found his boom litter brother Aston Rupee too tough to handle.
“He’s obviously a very quick dog and he’s got his confidence up with good wins at Sandown (29.18sec) and Cranbourne (29.69sec) prior to the Speed Star,” Thompson said.
“Even though more of his racing has been over ‘500’ he’s broken 25 seconds in his two wins at Ballarat, which tells you he handles half-circle racing really well too.”
Equalizer, runner-up in the G2 Warragul Cup in January and second to Aston Rupee in last week’s Speed Star, will attempt to turn the tables on Aston Rupee, which is unbeaten in two starts at Warragul, with Thompson admitting the 460m is short of the powerhouse chaser’s best.
“I don’t expect him to beat Aston Rupee over 460m,” he conceded.
“Realistically, ‘the red’ (Aston Rupee) should be winning but it’s not about winning this week, it’s about qualifying for the final, which will be over 500m.
“Equalizer has a very good record at Warragul. He’s had eight starts there for four wins, three seconds and a third.
“He’s drawn well in box two, Aston Rupee will probably lead but Dr. Tucker has a fair amount of pace and if those two are going hammer and tongs, Equalizer will hopefully be sitting in third and he’s going to finish hard.”
WATCH: One of the ‘big tickets’ in the Pink Diamond series, Equalizer (8) produces a paralysing finishing burst when a narrow second to Aeroplane Eric (1) in the G2 Warragul Cup.
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