• Tuesday, 17 Jan, 2023,
  • by Peter Quilty

‘Time is fleeting’ for Rocky Horror

‘It’s astounding!’

The $12,585 Anniversary Trophy (450m) at Ballarat on Wednesday night comprises speedsters the ilk of Fernando Mick (Box 4) – winner G1 Hobart Thousand and runner-up in the G1 Melbourne Cup and G1 Maturity Classic, and G1 Adelaide Cup finalist – and G1 Silver Chief third placegetter Landyn Bale (Box 8).

But it’s the quirkily named Rocky Horror (Box 7) – rated a $91 chance by expert form analyst The Watchdog – which has ‘captivated the audience’.

Trained at Merrimu (between Melton and Bacchus Marsh) by Sarah Xerri – who works in accounts payable at the Bureau of Meteorology – Rocky Horror “creates a bit of talk and excitement” every time the ‘curtain opens’.

“When the litter was born, we gave him the kennel name ‘Rocky’,” Sarah said. He was the dominant pup and quite chunky.

“And when we submitted our race name selections, the first two were Rocky Balboa and Rocky Road. But we ended up with Rocky Horror.”

“We’ve been to the Rocky Horror show, and we’re glad we received that name because everyone loves it.”

However, Sarah isn’t disappointed with the racing sobriquet.

“We’ve been to the Rocky Horror show, and we’re glad we received that name because everyone loves it. We get ‘stirred’ every time he races.”

Rocky Horror (Jan ’20 Fernando Bale x Pietra Allen) has ‘entered the stage’ on 63 occasions for nine wins, 16 seconds and 14 thirds, with $34,370 in prizemoney. He was a reserve for last year’s Listed Pink Diamond Short Course (390m) at Ballarat.

However, he hasn’t won since early August last year – ironically at Ballarat over 390m in 22.09sec (Best of Night). He’s also had five starts there over 450m for two wins, one second and two thirds with a 25.30sec (Best Of Night) PB.

And from his past 11 starts, he’s registered six seconds and three thirds.

But he’ll need to ‘do the time warp again’ to claim the $8500 to-the-winner Anniversary Trophy – Race 6, 8.38pm.

Sarah isn’t confident but says, “if he gets behind Fernando Mick or Landyn Bale early, he could finish top four”. “He likes to chase fast dogs,” she adds.

Rocky Horror was entered for the event as he’s Grade 3 at the track and distance and was finding it difficult to obtain a start.

“He’s still a dominant type at times, but he’s also quite placid. He’s a bit quirky, just like his name,” Sarah said.

“But he’s been really good to us, and whatever he does from hereon in is a bonus.”

Rocky Horror was bred and is owned by Sarah’s husband, Andrew – a schedule programmer with the National Broadband Network.

“We bred with his mum (Pietra Allen) because her grandmother (Princess Bale) is the dam of Barcia Bale,” Andrew said.

“I became a close friend of Pietra Allen’s initial owner, Justin Tribe, when he was based in Victoria. He gave me the opportunity to breed from her.

“However, after her first litter, she just wasn’t coming on season. So, I returned her to Justin, and he ended up selling her. Unbelievably, the next day, she came on season.”

Pietra Allen has since whelped another two litters – by Aston Kimetto and Aussie Infrared.

“We’ve bought two male pups from the Aussie Infrared litter,” Andrew said.

Hopefully, the Xerris are ‘into the time slip’ and ‘spaced out on sensation’ on Wednesday night.

Oh, fantasy free me!

WATCH: ROCKY HORROR (B2) nudges out SELF CONTROL (B7) in 22.09sec (Best) over 390m at Ballarat on August 3 last year.

Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

Peter Quilty

Peter Quilty has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.

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