• Wednesday, 06 Apr, 2022,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Ballarat Cup Final: Armchair Guide

Group 2 Warragul Cup winner Robbie Rotten is set to start favourite in Friday night’s $75,025 Group 2 SJC Concreting Ballarat Cup Final after the shock scratching of boom youngster Mr. Audacious on Thursday morning.

Offering a $50,000 winner’s purse, the Ballarat Cup is the second leg of Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Western Festival of Racing, which will see more than $700,000 in prizemoney distributed.

After a near-record 24.79sec heat victory, Mr. Audacious was TAB’s $2.20 Ballarat Cup favourite, but following his sensational withdrawal, Robbie Rotten (Box 3) has been elevated to the top of the market at $3.10.

Click HERE  for TAB’s latest Ballarat Cup Final market

While Mr. Audacious and Robbie Rotten have only met three times, the star speedsters have already forged a fierce rivalry and teenage Pearcedale training prodigy Kayla Cottrell is hoping Robbie Rotten can take advantage of his nemesis’ surprise absence this Friday night.

“I said to Rachael (Busuttil, trainer of Mr. Audacious) that I’m getting sick of looking at Mr. Audacious’ backside,” Cottrell quipped.

Robbie Rotten finished second to Mr. Audacious in track record time in last month’s Shepparton Cup heats, with the ex-New South Wales speedster also breaking the previous record, before finishing runner-up to Substantial in the G2 Shepparton Cup final.

“I don’t mind running second to Mr. Audacious because you know you’re running fast time.”


Robbie Rotten Warragul Cup Kayla Cottrell greyhound racing

Robbie Rotten once again chased home fastest qualifier Mr. Audacious in scintillating time in last Friday night’s Ballarat Cup heats, clocking the second quickest qualifying time in defeat.

“I don’t mind running second to Mr. Audacious because you know you’re running fast time,” Cottrell said.

“When Robbie Rotten ran second in the Shepparton Cup heat, he also broke the track record, which you don’t see very often, and then last Friday if he’d been in any other heat, he would have won it.


7:08pm First race
8:08pm Autumn Classic Final (Race 4)
8:27pm Life Members Trophy Final (Race 5; first leg of Quaddie)
9:27pm G2 Ballarat Cup Final (Race 8)
9:48pm Cup Night Match Race (Race 9)  Barooga Smoke v Typhoon Sammy ?
10:11pm Last race (Race 10)

20220304 Typhoon Sammy

“He’s got to come out on Friday and make his own luck.

“Robbie Rotten has been a super dog since he came down from NSW. He’s really gone to a new level. He’s made three of these country cups and ran first at Warragul and second at Shepparton, so hopefully he doesn’t run third on Friday!”

Reigning Ballarat Cup champion Ferdinand Boy (Box 7) is now the $4.20 second elect as he strives to become the first sprinter to achieve back-to-back victories in the race, while 2020 winner Yozo Bale (Box 2), an $8.50 chance, can also create history by claiming a second Ballarat title.

– Watch every race live and free on Sky Racing.
– Live broadcast from the track with Molly Haines, Troy Harley and James van de Maat on The Watchdog app and at
– Behind the scenes Twitter coverage with ‘@WatchDogRacing’.
– Regular updates with Trent Langskaill on RSN Racing and Sport (927 AM).


– The Ballarat Cup was first run in 1960, won by Rebby Boy.

– Defending champion Ferdinand Boy and 2020 winner Yozo Bale are both striving to win the Ballarat Cup for the second time. It is believed this would be the first time the feat has been achieved.

– Five finalists from last month’s Shepparton Cup Final have qualified for consecutive country cup finals – Shepparton Cup winner Substantial, runner-up Robbie Rotten, Mr. Audacious (fifth), Ferdinand Boy (sixth) and Compliance (eighth).

– Despite winning the Shepparton Cup, Substantial is the outsider in TAB’s market at $14. Substantial’s trainer, Anthony Azzopardi, won the 2016 Ballarat Cup with Zambora Brockie and had minor placings with Melbourne Cup winners Ando’s Mac (2017) and Whiskey Riot (2019).

– Despite the scratching of Mr. Audacious, which is trained by Rachael Busuttil, females prepare three Cup finalists – Ashlee Terry (Hennessey), Kayla Cottrell (Robbie Rotten) and Karen Pitt (Compliance). Female trainers have won four of the last seven Ballarat Cups, with Angela Langton successful in 2015 and 2019, while Seona Thompson went back-to-back in 2017-2018.

Here’s a rundown of the contenders:

Ballarat Race 8, Friday 9:27pm
First prize $50,000

Trainer: Ashlee Terry, Lara VIC
Breeding: April 2019 Barcia Bale x Tigress Ally
Record: Won 22 from 40
Ballarat PB: 25.10 seconds
Group wins: G3 Provincial Plate
TAB fixed odds:

Comment: Unbeaten in four starts at Ballarat and has won five of his six starts from Box 1. Contesting second country cup final after running fourth in Group 2 Warragul Cup in January. Won the Group 3 Provincial Plate Final at Sandown Park and also contested the Group 3 Warragul St Leger Final.

Trainer: Correy Grenfell, Anakie VIC
Breeding: March 2018 Fernando Bale x Purcell Bale
Record: Won 29 from 90
Ballarat PB: 24.86 seconds
Group wins: G2 Bendigo Cup, G2 Ballarat Cup
TAB fixed odds:

Comment: Veteran country cups specialist striving for second Ballarat Cup victory, having won the race in 2020. Also won the Bendigo Cup that year and was runner-up in last year’s Geelong and Warrnambool Cup finals, as well as the Group 1 Temlee.

Trainer: Kayla Cottrell, Pearcedale VIC
Breeding: October 2018 Keybow x Ness Quick
Record: Won 15 from 36
Ballarat PB: No wins
Group wins: G2 Warragul Cup
TAB fixed odds:

Comment: Ex-New South Wales sprinter, trained by teenager Kayla Cottrell. Contesting third country cup final in 2022 after winning Warragul Cup and finishing runner-up at Shepparton. Yet to win in two starts at Ballarat but clocked the second quickest heat time (24.96sec) in second placing to fastest qualifier Mr. Audacious.

Trainer: Rachael Busuttil, Kilmany VIC
Breeding: April 2020 Beast Unleashed x Audacious Bell
Record: Won 5 from 7
Ballarat PB: 24.79 seconds
Group wins: None
TAB fixed odds:

Comment: Boom youngster lining up in second country cup final after sensationally breaking Shepparton 450m track record in Cup heat before running unlucky fifth in the final. Was a near-record 24.79sec heat winner, only .10sec outside the benchmark, at his Ballarat debut.

Trainer: Anthony Azzopardi, Rowsley VIC
Breeding: August 2019 Barcia Bale x On The Runway
Record: Won 12 from 30
Ballarat PB: 25.13 seconds
Group wins: G2 Shepparton Cup
TAB fixed odds:

Comment: Chasing back-to-back country cup titles after upset Shepparton Cup victory. Heat victory was first Ballarat appearance.

Trainer: Karen Pitt, Pearcedale VIC
Breeding: November 2019 Black Magic Opal x Flowing
Record: Won 9 from 16
Ballarat PB: 25.10 seconds
Group wins: None
TAB fixed odds:

Comment: Ran second in Group 1 Silver Chief Final at The Meadows and also qualified for Shepparton Cup Final. Has won two of his three starts at Ballarat, running second to star sprinter Paddy Wants Pats in the Listed Western Districts Derby Final in his only defeat.

Trainer: David Geall, Lara VIC
Breeding: January 2019 Fernando Bale x Nayla Swift
Record: Won 40 from 75
Ballarat PB: 24.84 seconds
Group wins: G2 Shepparton Cup, G2 Ballarat Cup, G2 Healesville Cup
TAB fixed odds:

Comment: Defending Ballarat Cup champion, lining up in seventh country cup final. Along with Yozo Bale, is striving to become the first sprinter to win the race twice. Has won four from six at Ballarat, with his personal best 24.84sec coming in last year’s Cup final. Claimed $50,000 GRV bonus for winning three country cups in a calendar year in 2021.

Trainer: Jeff Britton, Anakie VIC
Breeding: January 2019 Fernando Bale x Alpha Demeter
Record: Won 18 from 60
Ballarat PB: 25.47 seconds
Group wins: G1 Adelaide Cup
TAB fixed odds:

Comment: Six-time Group 1 finalist, winning Adelaide Cup and minor placings in Topgun, Hobart Thousand and Temlee. Making second appearance in a country cup final, finishing sixth in 2021 Warrnambool Cup. Claimed first win in four appearances at Ballarat with 25.47sec heat victory, the slowest of the six run-offs.

Trainer: Jane Reynolds, Pearcedale VIC
Breeding: October 2018 Fernando Bale x Cooler Colour
Record: Won 24 from 68
Ballarat PB: No wins
Group wins: None
TAB fixed odds:

Comment: Would be making second appearance in Group event if he gains a start, after qualifying for 2021 Bendigo Cup Final. Yet to win in 10 starts at Ballarat.

Trainer: Correy Grenfell, Anakie VIC
Breeding: August 2019 Orson Allen x Folio Bale
Record: Won 10 from 41
Ballarat PB: 25.22 seconds
Group wins: None
TAB fixed odds:

Comment: Would be first appearance in a Group event if a starter.

Friday 1 April
(fastest to slowest)

24.79sec Mr. Audacious ?
25.04sec Ferdinand Boy
25.11sec Compliance
25.13sec Substantial
25.23sec Hennessey
25.47sec Do It

Mr. Audacious and trainer Rachael Busittil


2012 Maverick Tiger (Kel Greenough, Pearcedale VIC)
2013 Ronan Izmir (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
2014 Luca Neveelk (Gerald Kleeven, Denison VIC)
2015 Shared Equity (Angela Langton, Anakie VIC)
2016 Zambora Brockie (Anthony Azzopardi, Rowsley VIC)
2017 Aston Dee Bee (Seona Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
2018 Aston Kimetto (Seona Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
2019 Western Envoy (Angela Langton, Anakie VIC)
2020 Yozo Bale (Correy Grenfell VIC)
2021 Ferdinand Boy (David Geall, Lara VIC) ?

Ferdinand Boy with trainer David Geall and the prized Ballarat Cup.
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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