Some of the state’s most exciting horses will contest the Final of the Rebel Raider Series on Saturday in honour of the late Derby winner.
Sad news came through yesterday that the 2008 Victorian Derby and 2009 SA Derby winner Rebel Raider passed away in stud aged 14. His victory in the Victorian Derby is legendary. Sent out as a $101 chance he smashed his rivals in the Group 1 feature by 2.5 lengths. Since his retirement he has sired Stakes winners such as Pretty Punk and Waging War.
The race itself is a tantalising affair with arguably two of our state’s most exciting sprinters set to do battle for the $100k purse.
Gordon Richard’s Garner and Tony & Calvin McEvoy’s Xilong have claimed some exciting races in their last starts respectively and look set to be horses to watch in the future.
After winning a Series heat here at Morphettville in September, Richards sent his talented three-year-old to Caulfield where he stormed home from the tail of the field to claim the Living Legends Plate. From that win he looks like he easily has another 200m in his tank and with the classy Jason Holder aboard he will be right in the finish once again.
Arguably the horse with the best formlines in the race is Xilong from the McEvoy yard. Last start she knocked off Li’l Kontra who has since gone on to run a cracking race for second in the Group 3 Blue Sapphire Stakes at Caulfield. Xilong was an impressive winner that day holding off the talented filly. Her third placing in the Group 3 National Stakes over 1200m shows she can run out the distance and the McEvoy-Vorster combination are on fire at the moment.
The other main chance in the race looks to be Phillip Stokes’ Jacobite Prince. The gelding is undefeated in his two career starts and was very strong winning his last start by two lengths over some handy horses on the Parks track. Apprentice Gary Lo retains the ride on the horse who he has partnered to both of his wins so far.
Other heat winners which will line up in the Final are David Tootell’s Outpost, Jim Smith’s Military Road and Nicole Bruggemann’s Party Hack. Of those runners, Outpost looks great value to run into a place after a strong all the way win over 1200m last start. If he can do something like that again he’s a knockout chance in this race.
1. Xilong 2. Garner 3. Outpost 4. Jacobite Prince