Star Prospect Faces Stern St. Leger Test

STAR prospect Rebellious will face the sternest test of his career when he takes on a hot field in heat three of the Warragul St. Leger on Friday.

Adam Dobbin

28 July 2021

STAR prospect Rebellious will face the sternest test of his blossoming career when he takes on a red hot field in heat three of the Group 3 Warragul St. Leger (460m) on Friday night.

The brilliant son of Barcia Bale and On The Runway has drawn the coveted rails alley for his blockbuster clash with prodigious talent Paua Of Buddy and dual Group 1 winner Qwara Bale.

Rebellious rounded out his Warragul St. Leger preparation at Geelong last Friday night with a remarkable 25.24 run over the 460 metres, extending his overall record to 10 wins and two placings from 12 appearances.

The slashing Geelong performance stands as the quickest winning posted at the circuit outside of the Group 2 Geelong Cup series.

Back in 2013, Black Magic Opal ran a track record 25.10 to annex the Geelong Cup while in 2018, Dyna Hunter posted a flying 25.21 to win a heat of the flagship event.

Rebellious roars into Friday night’s St. Leger heats unbeaten in four Warragul starts with trainer Jason Thompson predicting it will take another mesmerising run just to qualify for next week’s $25,000-to-the-winner final.

“It’s a hot field but he’s in the kind of form where he deserves a shot at a race like this,” Thompson said.

“But he’s much better drawn middle to wide so the one box isn’t much of a help for him at this stage. Friday night will be a good challenge for him – he just keeps surprising me every time he goes to the races.

“Hopefully that can continue on Friday.”

Standing between Rebellious and victory is the Steve White-trained Paua Of Buddy, winner at five of his seven starts, and Qwara Bale, taking her place fresh off her Group 1 Maturity Classic victory at The Meadows last Saturday night.

Both Rebellious and Paua Of Buddy boast personal best times at Warragul of a sizzling 25.49 while Qwara Bale will be making her debut at the track.

FIELDS AND FORM WARRAGUL FRIDAY NIGHT

Tab.com.au have installed Rebellious as an odds-on favourite at $1.55 ahead of Qwara Bale at $4 and Paua Of Buddy at $4.40.

On a fantastic card of racing, heat one of the St. Leger will see Koblenz start a short priced favourite while the second qualifier sees another absorbing three-way clash between Shima Classic, Handsome Rhino and Aston Fastnet.

Aston Fastnet, another Jason Thompson-trained runner, is $2.50 with Tab.com.au just behind Shima Classic at $2.30.

“I really like him (Aston Fastnet) on Friday night,” Thompson said.

“You can put a line straight through his run in the Maturity on Saturday. I can see him just sitting off a fast speed on Friday night and if he finds the fence reasonably quickly I think he’ll be hard to hold out.

“He goes really well at Warragul.”

A prize money boost and status elevation for the Warragul St. Leger has seen the event take on extra significance in recent years.

Back in 2016, champion chaser Fanta Bale used the series as a springboard to an illustrious career which saw her retire with a swag of Group 1 victories and the mantle as the sport’s greatest stakes winner with earnings of $1.36 million.

Two years later, the Jason Thompson-trained Aston Kimetto downed a stellar field which included My Redeemer and Pindari Express, while in 2020, Catch The Thief roared away for victory for then trainer Matt Clark.

Given the depth of quality in Friday night’s heats, this year’s final promises to be no different.