Veteran Gippsland breeders Ian and Maureen Brown have waited a lifetime for home grown sprint sensation Rejuvenate, favourite for Friday night’s Listed $110,000 Sportsbet Pink Diamond Champion Sprinter final (460m) at Warragul.
Brilliant winner of 18 of his 23 starts, Rejuvenate (box 3) sits atop Sportsbet’s Champion Sprinter market at $2.70.
Patience is a virtue – especially so in racing – and Rejuvenate is the culmination of a dream half a century in the making for the Loch-based Browns.
“It’s a bit late in life but he’s the best dog we’ve ever bred in 50 years!” said Ian.
“We started in greyhound racing in 1972 and he’s easily the best we’ve had.
“We’ve bred a few good ones. Mr. Arkwright was second, beaten a head, in the Association Cup up in Sydney. But Rejuvenate is one out of the box.”
“He’s a dog that really wants to win and it’s that little bit better when you breed them yourself,” added Maureen.
Rejuvenate is owned by the Browns’ son Paul, who also trained the November ’20 son of Hooked On Scotch and Zall Good for his first 22 starts.
Paul enjoyed a dream introduction to the training ranks, highlighted by Rejuvenate breaking Shepparton’s 450m track record (24.59sec), wins in the G3 Northern Districts Cup and Shepparton Classic and qualifying for the G1 Silver Chief Classic, courtesy of a near-record 29.47sec heat victory.
He made his first appearance for new trainers, Jamie and Brooke Ennis, in the Pink Diamond heats at Geelong last Friday night, his first start since April 14.
Rejuvenate ($1.80F) once again showcased his massive motor and enormous will to win when storming home from last to claim a thrilling last-stride victory over River Rough in 25.61sec.
“It was a big win,” said Ian.
“Jamie (Ennis) said he shouldn’t have been able to win from where he was.
“It’s very good prizemoney for Friday’s final. Box three doesn’t really suit but he’s fast enough to overcome it.
“He’s had a few runs at Warragul earlier on in his career. He’s run 25.35sec there but that was nearly 12 months ago.
“Paul can’t travel with his work commitments, so we asked Jamie and Brooke to train him.”
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For the record, Rejuvenate has won two from three over 460m at Warragul and also won his only start over the 400m course.
The Browns will be hoping to go one better than in last year’s Pink Diamond finals at Ballarat when Rejuvenate’s litter brother Hot Scotch was runner-up in the Maiden Sprinter Final, beaten by Jason Thompson’s Collinda Chips.
A remarkable family feud will resume at Warragul with Unleash Collinda (box 4), a littermate to Collinda Chips, also trained by champion mentor Thompson, rated the main danger to Rejuvenate at $3.20 for the hugely anticipated Champion Sprinter showdown (race 8, 9.32pm).
Hot Scotch, winner of 14 of his 33 starts, clocking 29.12sec at Sandown and 29.68sec at The Meadows, has also been transferred to ‘Team Ennis’, but wasn’t ready to contest his second Pink Diamond series.
“I bought Rejuvenate’s mother, Zall Good, off Gus Selkrig when she was four months old,” Ian explained.
“She’s a daughter of Stagger (64 wins from 137 starts), and her mother (Noaki Pace) was also the mother of good dog from Western Australia called Zelemar Fever (2014 G1 Temlee).
“Zall Good was pretty good (11 wins). Her first litter to Cosmic Rumble all won races and Rejuvenate is from her second litter.
“There was another brother called Full On Scotch that was as good as Rejuvenate, but he only had three starts for a win and two seconds and we lost him with a blood problem.
“Zall Good is on the couch now – she’s only had the two litters. But we’ve bred with her daughter, It’s Not Fun.
“It’s Not Fun (16 wins) won a heat of the (G2) Laurels at Sandown in 29.42sec and she ran 29.95sec at The Meadows. She went to Hooked On Scotch too and had seven pups that are three months old.”