BLACKROSE REBEL bounced out to make all in the 460m Xmas Cracker final at Henlow in the year’s last major race and worth £2,500, even though the pup started the race two years younger than main rival Coolavanny Bert.
Owned and trained by Eric Cantillon, Blackrose Rebel showed pace and excellent cornering, hugging the bend throughout hugged the bend throughout the race to come home over two lengths ahead of Coolavanny Bert in a fastest of the night 27.75sec, perhaps causing something of a surprise to some Betfair.com customers who might have written off the young pup.
Ilewin Allot and Murlens Crash were both badly affected by bunching, colliding on the second turn – with Murlens Crash clipped from behind after making an encouraging start to the race. Skips Special (eventually third) and Mr Marmite were both slow away, Mr Marmite being totally left in the blocks, although both clawed their way back into things at the midway point. Katie O’Flaherty’s Foxwood Ace had caught the eye early in the race, shooting clear in a 550 maiden clocked at 33.65sec in a surprise to the Betfair odds.
Racing Manager Paul Mellor said: “Blackrose Rebel produced a sectional when it mattered – 3.70sec. [also fastest of night]. Anything less would have allowed Coolavanny Bert in – he went up in 3.72sec.”
Cantillon was pleased with how his young pup had handled the race, well aware than anything less than a top performance would have made it hard to compete with an in-form Coolawanny Bert, the trainer and owner also revealed he would be keeping the youngster in regular action during 2014: “He’s a nice pup and the drier going tonight helped him, he tired the last two times here. We do like him, and we’ve got quite a few new ones coming in for 2014 – so we’ll keep busy!”