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SEN Track Warragul Cup Final: Armchair Guide

Teenage training prodigy Kayla Cottrell started 2021 in a blaze of glory with an historic Group 1 victory and she’s poised to come out of the boxes running again in the New Year in Friday night’s Group 2 SEN Track Warragul Cup final.

Cottrell, who will turn 20 in April, has a key Cup player in New South Wales import Robbie Rotten, which has undergone a remarkable transition from “problem child” to Group contender, as Kayla, who won the Group 1 Rookie Rebel with Fernando Cazz last February, explained.

Click HERE  for TAB’s latest SEN Track Warragul Cup Final market

“He’s an older dog – he’s over three – but as a pup he wouldn’t go at all and his owner Deon (Hanson) got him as a ‘giveaway’,” she said.

“He’s from a very good litter, which also includes More Sauce (runner-up Group 2 Black Top final and Group 2 Maitland Cup final), but he was the problem child. Not anymore!

“In his last three wins he’s come out super, so hopefully Robbie Rotten can make it four (in a row).”


20220107 Robbie Rotten

“I didn’t know Deon at all. One night I got a message on Facebook, saying he’d been following my career so far and thought ‘Robbie’ might benefit from a change of scenery and that he’d love to have a dog racing in Victoria.

“You just have to look at his runs in New South Wales to know the ability is there and he came down in great shape from Michelle Lill.

“He’s a grouse kennel dog, we didn’t rush him, just let him settle in and gave him a look around the tracks and he’s going super.”

After a narrow first-up Victorian defeat at Ballarat, Robbie Rotten has won his past three, at Shepparton (24.88sec), Sandown Park (29.50sec) and his Warragul Cup heat (25.59sec) for a career record of 13 from 28, including seven of his past nine.

Drawn in Box 5 for Friday night’s $47,000 to-the-winner final, Robbie Rotten is prominent in TAB betting at $6, with Cottrell hoping the son of 2014 Group 1 Perth and Brisbane Cup winner Keybow can maintain his explosive box manners.


7:08pm First race
8:08pm Cup Night Match Race (Race 4)  Brother Bearing v Xavien Bale 📷
8:27pm First Quaddie leg (Race 5)
9:27pm G2 SEN Track Warragul Cup Final (Race 8)
10:47pm Last race (Race 12)

20220107 Kinson Bale

“In his last three wins he’s come out super, so hopefully he can make it four,” Kayla said.

“I don’t really think boxes matter too much with him and Friday night’s race is full of speed, so I think it’ll be whoever leads.”

Robbie Rotten’s arrival at Pearcedale was timely for Cottrell, following the recent retirement of kennel stars Fernando Bluey and Fernando Cazz.

“One door closes and another opens,” she said philosophically.

– Live broadcast from the track with Troy Harley, Brooke Ennis and Corey Smith on GRV’s Facebook page and The Watchdog app.
– Watch every race live and free on Sky Racing and at
– Behind the scenes Twitter coverage with ‘@WatchDogRacing’.
– Live coverage on SEN Track (1593 AM) from 7-11pm with Jason Bonnington, Mitch Ebeyer and The Watchdog.
– Regular updates with Trent Langskaill on RSN Racing and Sport (927 AM).

With Cottrell, Victoria’s youngest ever Group 1-winning trainer, at the forefront, female trainers have a very strong hand in the first country cup for 2022.

Former Gippsland local Ashlee Terry prepares $2.70 favourite Hennessey (Box 2), Samantha Grenfell has Group 1 Melbourne Cup placegetter Kinson Bale (Box 4), the joint $5 second elect, while the ever-present Andrea Dailly has two finalists in Gypsy Bun (Box 3) and Indy Fido (Box 7) at $5 and $17 respectively.

The other finalist at single figures is recent Group 1 Silver Chief placegetter Titan Blazer (Box 8), trained by Daniel Gibbons, which trimmed up almost immediately to $7.50 after opening at $9.

Here’s a rundown of the contenders:

Warragul, Friday 9:27pm
First prize $47,000

Trainer: Richard Hill, Frankston VIC
Breeding: June 2019 Out Of Range x Ringading Sister
Record: Won 13 from 22
Warragul PB: 25.85 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $9

Comment: Super consistent and runner-up in Group 3 Great Chase final at only previous Group appearance. Enhanced impressive Warragul record with heat victory when able to cross from Box 8 and hold on, with boom TAB Phoenix winner Wow She’s Fast among those in his wake. His record says he’s a winner and could prove hard to get past from the perfect draw.

Trainer: Ashlee Terry, Lara VIC
Breeding: April 2019 Barcia Bale x Tigress Ally
Record: Won 18 from 34
Warragul PB: 25.53 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $2.70

Comment: Fastest heat winner and has been airborne in recent months, winning nine of last 10 starts, highlighted by Group 3 Provincial Plate final at Sandown Park. Loves Warragul, winning six from eight over the Cup course, and qualified for the Group 3 St Leger final last August. Utilized Box 2 in all-the-way heat win and is the one to beat with a repeat performance from the same draw.

Trainer: Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC
Breeding: August 2018 Fernando Bale x Dyna Gypsy
Record: Won 20 from 85
Warragul PB: 25.73 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $5

Comment: The first of Andrea Dailly’s contenders. Most experienced finalist and contesting second Group final more than a year after running third in Group 2 Laurels final in December 2020. Took full advantage of Box 1 in heat victory, her third win from last five starts, and has each-way claims.

Trainer: Samantha Grenfell, Anakie VIC
Breeding: August 2019 Barcia Bale x Hae Allen
Record: Won 13 from 49
Warragul PB: No wins
TAB fixed odds: $5

Comment: Talented youngster that’s been unplaced in only one of his last 19 starts, highlighted by thirds in Group 1 Melbourne Cup final and Group 3 Silver Bullet. Made Warragul debut when runner-up to fastest qualifier Hennessey, clocking 25.66sec in defeat. Bursting to win a feature race and this could be it with clear running early. Key contender.

Trainer: Kayla Cottrell, Pearcedale VIC
Breeding: October 2018 Keybow x Ness Quick
Record: Won 13 from 28
Warragul PB: 25.59 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $6

Comment: Recent New South Wales import that has barely put a paw out of place since arriving in Victoria, winning three from four. Came out running from Box 4 at Warragul debut in heat when kept finding to score narrowly in smart time. Has shown great early speed in winning his past three and likely to be prominent for a long way.

Trainer: Joe Borg, Maryborough VIC
Breeding: April 2019 Aston Dee Bee x Lady Avenger
Record: Won 15 from 46
Warragul PB: 25.62 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $21

Comment: Had Box 1 in heat victory when kicked clear turning for home, his second win from three appearances over Warragul’s 460m course and he did go significantly quicker in previous win. Tough draw this time for first Group assignment and looks tested.

Trainer: Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC
Breeding: June 2019 Droopys Jet x Aeroplane Indy
Record: Won 5 from 28
Warragul PB: No wins
TAB fixed odds: $17

Comment: Second finalist for ‘Team Dailly’. Was big odds ($31) in heat, coming off indifferent recent form, but was prominent throughout when edged out by Robbie Rotten in slick time. This is tougher again and minor claims look best.

Trainer: Daniel Gibbons, Avalon VIC
Breeding: November 2019 Mepunga Blazer x Miss Tron
Record: Won 11 from 23
Warragul PB: 25.58 seconds
TAB fixed odds: $6.50

Comment: Outstanding youngster that’s won five of past six, the defeat coming when third in Group 1 Silver Chief final. Won three-of-four from Box 8 and unbeaten in two starts at Warragul, so ticks all the ‘boxes’. Swept around the field from this draw in dominant heat win and definitely capable of repeating the dose.

Trainer: Lisa Cockerell, Buckley VIC
Breeding: October 2018 Walk Hard x Arabella Figg
Record: Won 11 from 42
Warragul PB: No wins
TAB fixed odds: $13

Comment: Was first-up at Warragul in heat when slowly away and copped a check at a crucial stage when an unlucky second. If secured a start from an inside draw would have each-way prospects.

Trainer: Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC
Breeding: June 2019 Droopys Jet x Aeroplane Indy
Record: Won 6 from 18
Warragul PB: No wins
TAB fixed odds: $51

Comment: Litter and kennelmate to Indy Fido (Box 7). Also went around at long odds in heat placing and hard to see her beating some of these.

Friday January 7
(fastest to slowest):

25.53sec Hennessey 📷
25.58sec Titan Blazer
25.59sec Robbie Rotten
25.73sec Gypsy Bun
25.87sec Ultimate Avenger
25.97sec Hamillson

Hennessey with handler Nathan Rooney.


2012 Stagger (Garry Selkrig, Devon Meadows VIC)
2013 Nitro Cee (Wayne Vassallo, Pearcedale VIC)
2014 Walk Hard (Nicole McRae, Clyde VIC)
2015 Ronray Spirit (Terrence Reid, Yuroke VIC)
2016 To The Galo’s (Garry Selkrig, Devon Meadows VIC)
2017 Ando’s Mac (Jason Mackay, Richmond Vale NSW)
2018 Aston Dee Bee (Seona Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
2019 Dyna Hunter (Steven Collins, Pearcedale VIC)
2020 La Grand Quality (Darryl Thomas, Sawyers Gully NSW)
2021 Aeroplane Eric (Glenn Rounds, Devon Meadows VIC) 📷

20210116 Aeroplane Eric

The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here

About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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