• Tuesday, 01 Mar, 2022,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Pell celebrates ‘City’ breakthrough

Daniel Pell will never forget Australian Cup night, 2022.

Pell, 44, and mother Bev, celebrated a popular Group breakthrough when homebred pocket rocket Love The City flew home to record a thrilling victory in the G3 Country Championship final (525m), the race that launched Aston Rupee to superstardom last year.

In unforgettable circumstances for the Toolleen-based Pells, just one race earlier, Red Reactor, a Fernando Bale x Subconscious litter brother to Love The City, ran second in the G3 GRV Vic Bred Maiden final (525m).

“It was a ripper of a night,” said Pell.

“The big thing I took from the night was the congratulations and how happy other trainers were for Mum and me.”

“We’ve had the odd Group finalist here and there – Desiree Devere made the (G2) Laurels final, Cabin Fever was in a (G3) Speed Star and a (G3) Top Cat Video Cup – but they’re not easy to make, let alone win.

“They were in good fields against good dogs and were poorly drawn, but I thought they were both good each-way chances, and they went super. I was rapt with them both.

“When Red Reactor ran second, it took any pressure off. Whatever happened from that point, the night wasn’t going to be a bust.”

Just 19 minutes after Red Reactor ran second to Plaintiff in the Vic Bred Maiden, beaten only 1.2L, Love The City went one better, charging to a last stride victory in the Country Championship, defeating Aston Merit by a half-head in 30.08sec, her fourth win from 11 starts.

WATCH: Diminutive LOVE THE CITY (3) stormed home to grab ASTON MERIT (4) and PADDY’S MARVEL (1) in a thrilling finish to the G3 Country Championship (525m) last Saturday night.

“She’s only 24 kilos but she’s all heart,” said Pell.

“You get caught up in the moment, but the big thing I took from it was the congratulations and how happy other trainers were for Mum and me.

“I had 50-odd messages by the time the presentation had finished.

Tom and George Dailly, Jeff Britton and Angela Langton, Robbie Britton, Glenn Rounds, Anthony Azzopardi, Kelly Bravo, Paul Abela and Jason Thompson – they’re all there with their own superstars and winning a Group 3 for some of them would be just a another race, but they were over the moon for us.”

There’s always great emotion and satisfaction attached to a home-bred success story and that’s very much the case with Love The City, an inspired name chosen by Bev Pell after promising early trials at both Melbourne tracks.

“It’s a long road whenever you breed a litter, but we go back to the great-grandmother Bubbles Devere,” Pell explained.

“This is Subconscious’ first litter and there was 15 in it. All credit to Mum, because for the first three weeks, she was giving them bottles and topping them up every three hours.

“As far as performance goes, Love The City is the standout – she’s the Group winner!

WATCH: RED REACTOR (4) kick-started a memorable night for Daniel Pell with a game second to PLAINTIFF (1) in the G3 GRV Vic Bred Maiden final (525m).

“But the fastest dog in the litter broke his hock in a trial at Sandown. He was beating Love The City and Red Reactor by four or five lengths in trials.

“Des Fegan (veterinary surgeon) operated on him and said the injury was very similar to McCooly’s Lad. He’s back free galloping and hopefully he’ll race again.”

Love The City returns to The Meadows on Wednesday afternoon for heats of a 1-4 wins series (Race 11 at 2.52pm), while she and Red Reactor will chase further feature spoils in the G3 Launching Pad at Sandown Park in late March.

“I bought two Launching Pad tickets four or five weeks ago,” Pell said.

“They only turned two today (Tuesday), so fingers crossed it’s onwards and upwards!”

Love The City (3) finishes best to win the G3 Country Championship final.

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

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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