Rebel Raider walking on water
The Australian Cup will come too soon for Rebel Raider but trainer Leon Macdonald is still keen to race him this autumn.
The one-time Melbourne Cup favourite was injured before his spring campaign began but he has recovered well from surgery to remove a bone chip.
His recovery has been aided by the installation of a water walker at Adelaide’s Morphettville track and Macdonald and his training partner Andrew Gluyas are pleased with his progress.
The four-year-old was nominated for the Australian Cup (2000m) on March 6 but Macdonald has ruled that out.
“He won’t be ready for the Australian Cup but we are keen to give him a run or two this autumn,” Macdonald said.
“The main aim is the spring and the Melbourne Cup but he’s well and he needs to race to keep him ticking over before we begin his Melbourne Cup preparation.
“The Blamey Stakes and the Easter Cup are possibilities.”
The Group Two Blamey Stakes (1600m) is at Flemington on March 13 with the Group Three Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on April 3.
Macdonald ruled out ever returning to Sydney with Rebel Raider after the 2008 Victoria Derby winner’s disastrous autumn.
After three sub par runs, AJC Australian Derby plans were scrapped with Macdonald saying the horse would never run on right handed tracks again.
Back home in South Australia, Rebel Raider cast off his Sydney nightmare to win his home town Derby and soar into Melbourne Cup contention.
Macdonald said having the water walker was a great boon for the local trainers.
“It works on the same principle as taking the horses to the beach but that’s not always possible these days,” he said.
“It gives them a bit of workout and is so good for horses who have had problems.”
Rebel Raider has been in work for about six weeks and his leg injury has completely healed.
The four-year-old is a $61 chance with Sportingbet Australia for the 2010 Melbourne Cup with South Australian Alcopop heading the early market at $21 ahead of Changingoftheguard and Cox Plate winner So You Think at $23.
Changingoftheguard was a controversial late scratching from the 2009 Cup by Victorian veterinary stewards who deemed the imported stayer to be lame.
By Caryl Williamson