Maryborough trainer Joe Borg realises it will take a ‘superhero’ performance from litter brothers Masked Avenger and Ultimate Avenger to beat ‘next big thing’ Rebellious in The Prospector final (425m) at Bendigo on Friday night.
Rebellious, trained by Jason Thompson, has won seven races from only nine starts and recently finished an unlucky third in the Pink Diamond Rookie Short Course final at Bendigo.
And he set The Prospector heats time standard posting a scintillating 23.47sec – only two lengths off the 23.35sec track record set by superstar Shima Shine on June 28 last year.
In fact, Ultimate Avenger was five lengths in arrears in third place. Meanwhile, Masked Avenger took out his heat in 23.70sec – around four lengths slower than Rebellious.
But Borg is ‘sticking fat’ with the ‘Avenger Bros’.
“Right from the word go, they showed ability,” Borg said. “Masked Avenger and Ultimate Avenger were the quickest at breaking-in stage.
“Their mother (Lady Avenger) was also very good, but she tore an Achilles tendon, and we didn’t get to see her best.”
Masked Avenger won six of his first seven starts prompting Borg to say at the time, “he has the potential to rival three of the best I’ve trained – Proven Impala, Myrniong Corner and Ralphy Cinel”.
Now a winner of 11 races (with four seconds and one third) from 22 starts, including three of his past four, Masked Avenger was runner-up in the Pink Diamond Rookie Short Course final, finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of Rebellious.
A Listed Western Districts Derby finalist, he’s also six from seven this track/distance with a 23.68sec PB.
Ultimate Avenger also has a form line to match his sibling.
He’s won nine races (with eight seconds and three thirds) from 26 starts, including three of his past six, and took out the Autumn Classic at Sale. He also contested the Ballarat Cup Consolation and was a Shepparton Classic finalist.
However, his four runs at Bendigo have only netted a second and two thirds.
Borg also paid tribute to Rod Oppenhuis, the owner of Masked Avenger and Ultimate Avenger.
“Malcolm Hirtzel introduced me to Rod, and we’ve now been close friends for eight years… He’d been buying pups for seven years and never got a winner.”
Borg added that to his credit, Oppenhuis kept persevering.
“He deserves so much success for everything he’s put into the sport… He’s been determined to succeed and that’s what it’s all about in this game.”
The Prospector final is Race 8 at 9.28pm.
WATCH: Masked Avenger (7) clocks a slick 23.70sec winning a heat of The Prospector at Bendigo last week.
WATCH: Troy Harley and Ian Garland preview Friday night’s big night of racing at Bendigo.
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