Simplicity the key to Rebel’s Derby cause

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  • March 01, 2024
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Simplicity the key to Rebel’s Derby cause

By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Matamata trainer Cody Cole will be more than happy to let his Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) contender Renegade Rebel do what he does best on Saturday.

He isn’t overthinking tactics ahead of the Trackside-sponsored feature at Ellerslie and, with regular rider Matthew Cameron, will be taking a simpler is better approach to give his charge his best possible chance of an upset.

“It’s pretty obvious that’s his pattern and he likes to get into his own rhythm off the front,” Cole said.

“He can run good sectionals and if he got cluttered up in behind them on a changing tempo it wouldn’t suit him at all.

“He just has to get out and do his own thing. It might look like he’s just plodding, but he is running along.”

Renegade Rebel’s depths of stamina were first emphasised when he led all the way to win the Listed Gingernuts Salver (2100m) off the back of a maiden victory over a mile at Tauranga.

In his last appearance, the freegoing son of El Roca was unplaced in the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2100m) and Cole has quickly moved on from that.

“You can completely draw a line through that last run around Te Rapa, he has never been as comfortable left-handed,” he said.

“He was definitely a lot worse than we anticipated and got on one rein the whole way.”

Since Te Rapa, it has all been plain sailing with the three-year-old not missing a beat.

“He is a real genuine stayer and we always planned on going four and a-half weeks into the Derby and it’s all gone as well as we hoped it would,” Cole said.

“It’s been a good preparation and he worked up super at Ellerslie on Monday and did a little bit again on Wednesday morning on the course proper at Matamata.

“I can’t fault him and with a couple of days to go, fingers crossed it keeps going that way.”

Cole is understandably under no illusions about the task at hand and the long shadow the top-quality Orchestral casts over the Derby.

“We are all hopeful we can beat the filly and it’s a horse race and we’ve seen $1.30 favourites rolled before,” he said.

“If she is standing him up six lengths, then who knows, she might not get passed him but we have to be on our A-game and she probably has to have some bad luck.

“Anything can happen and I don’t think he’s a $41 shot, which he is at the moment, but I guess a lot of trainers are thinking the same thing, we’re all a bit like that.”

Cole is also bullish about a bold showing from his other Ellerslie representative Anise, who will contest the Barfoot & Thompson Handicap (1400m).

The Tivaci mare was a winner two runs back at Rotorua and three weeks later ran fifth at Trentham.

“It was a bit of trainer error, we freshened her up too much and she was a bit keen in the early running and it took away her finish,” Cole said.

“We took her to Ellerslie for a gallop on Monday and if she produces her best then she’s a good chance to be in the first three for sure.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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