Aussie Rocks takes out the sport’s ‘Holy Grail’ – G1 Melbourne Cup – on December 2 last year 📸 Clint Anderson

  • Thursday, 29 Feb, 2024,
  • by Peter Quilty

Solid ‘Rocks’

Australia’s most underrated sprinter, Aussie Rocks, is heading to the Wimmera.

He’s on a ‘road trip’ to ‘perform’ in a heat of the Group 2 Sportsbet Horsham Cup (485m) on Friday night.

Trained by Geoff Mitchell, Aussie Rocks is resuming from a nine-week injury enforced hiatus. He’s been ‘missing in action’ since tearing a right calf muscle at The Meadows on December 30.

Prior to that, he was defeated by Transponder (29.55sec) in The Phoenix Challenger Match Race at The Meadows on December 16 and was scratched from a Hobart Thousand heat on December 7.

Aussie Rocks (Box 6) is engaged in Heat 4 (Race 8, 9.50pm) on Friday night. He’s $5.50 on Sportsbet fixed odds to win his heat and $19 on ‘All In’ betting.

“He’s got to lead, and they need to catch him, that’s the key to his chances.”

He’s had two starts over 485m at Horsham, resulting in one win (27.26sec) and one second.

“He’s had three trials leading into the Cup heats,” Mitchell advised. “His run-home times in his past two trials (The Meadows) have been excellent.

“He probably needs a couple more runs to be at his best. But if he qualifies for the final, he’ll be better off for the heat run.

“However, box six doesn’t help. He’s got to lead, and they need to catch him, that’s the key to his chances. And she (Tangela Bale) will be very hard to beat.”

Obviously, Mitchell realises what Tangela Bale (Box 2) ‘brings to the table’.

On Tuesday night, Tangela Bale clocked a scintillating 26.71sec victory at Horsham – only 0.05sec (just under one length) outside the 26.66sec track record set by Soda Titan on February 5, 2022.

Owned by the ‘McShane-Brittain’ syndicate and bred by Ray Brittain, Aussie Rocks (Feb ’21 Aussie Infrared x Amlin Jewel) continually flies under the radar of greyhound racing aficionados.

He’s won 16 races, with seven seconds and five thirds, from 39 starts and $772,935 in prizemoney.



Aussie Rocks’ watershed moments are last year’s victory in the G1 Melbourne Cup, saluting at $16.40, and runner-up in the G1 National Sprint Championship, beaten a half-length by WA star Saige Tenniele, after coming into the race as a reserve. He was also a finalist in the G3 Silver Bullet.

Meanwhile, champion trainer Jason Thompson will be hoping his all-conquering juggernaut rolls on.

He’s ultimately striving for a fifth Horsham Cup trophy and has an undeniable chance of achieving the feat considering he has G1 Australian Cup winner Tim Zoo, G1 Temlee winner Explicit and young maestro Verdi engaged in the heats.

His terrific triumvirate occupy the first three lines of ‘All In’ betting – Explicit ($2.20), Tim Zoo ($5) and Verdi ($8.50).

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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