Kayla’s Fernando ‘Life-Changers’ Retired

TEENAGE trainer Kayla Cottrell’s dream ride with Fernando Bluey and Fernando Cazz has come to an end with the star littermates both retired.

Gerard Guthrie

22 December 2021

TEENAGE trainer Kayla Cottrell’s dream ride with Fernando Bluey and Fernando Cazz has come to an end with the star littermates both retired.

Cottrell, 19, created history during the Australian Cup Carnival in February, becoming the youngest Victorian trainer to win a G1 event when Fernando Cazz was victorious in the Rookie Rebel invitational (600m), while a fortnight later the young Pearcedale mentor came within a half-head of winning the G1 Australian Cup, when Fernando Bluey was edged out by WA superstar Tommy Shelby.

Fernando Bluey also qualified for the G1 Harrison-Dawson final in May, but sustained a hock injury and was restricted to only more nine more starts, his final appearance coming in the G1 Melbourne Cup heats, where he ran third to Aston Rupee, beaten less than a length.

“After the Melbourne Cup heats, Kayla and I talked about what was next and he’s three and a half now, he’s done a great job and he’s from a great family, so we decided to retire him to stud,” said Kayla’s father, G1-winning trainer Dave Knocker.

“He hurt his hock in the Harrison-Dawson and at his first run back he ran second to Ferdinand Boy in track record time at Shepparton and then won his next four in a row. 

“Then after winning at Sandown (29.39sec) he had another couple of months off before coming back in a Melbourne Cup prelude. He ran second but pulled up lame and Kayla wasn’t able to work him going into the Cup heats, where he just got done by Aston Rupee.”

Fernando Bluey won 23 of his 44 starts, with earnings of $192,405, and he’s now available to breeders at an $1100 service fee.

“He was as fast early as any son of Fernando Bale,” said Knocker.

“He ran 5.00sec at Sandown, 4.97sec at The Meadows and 5.33sec at Wentworth Park and he was a very strong ‘500’ dog, running 29.14sec at Sandown, 29.77sec at The Meadows and 29.47sec at Wentworth Park.

“If he’d been a one-off in his litter, I wouldn’t have contemplated standing him at stud but the whole litter could run and they won from 300m to 700m. Fernando Cazz, Big Jo and Fernando Frank were all Group finalists.”

Knocker also revealed Rookie Rebel heroine Fernando Cazz has run her final race after finishing unplaced at her last three starts, with the valuable brood matron heading to the breeding barn after winning 12 from 43, with prizemoney of $146,605.

“She’s done a great job too. She won a G1 and got beaten a nose in another (Association Cup) and when she comes on season she’ll be mated, although I’m not sure what sire Alan (Hunter, owner/breeder) will go with.”

Knocker added that Alan Hunter has also bred two repeat Fernando Bale x Naughty Cazza litters, whelped in July 2020 and February this year.

He and Kayla are also excited about recent NSW ‘import’ Robbie Rotten, which will be in action at Sandown Park on Thursday night (Race 10) after a flying 24.88sec last start Shepparton win at his second appearance in Victoria.