Lunn Rewards Rebel's Rise Shot At Metro Success
BY RAY HICKSON VIA RNSW
The rise of Dubbo sprinter Classy Rebel is quite remarkable and it’s reached a point where trainer Dar Lunn says he’s earned the chance to prove himself in the city.
Not too many horses work their way from carrying a 43 rating into a race at Binnaway back in May to the metro standard Benchmark 78 of the Elite Sand & Soil Handicap (1200m) at Kembla Grange on Saturday in one campaign.
Classy Rebel wins at Coonamble in October (Pic: Janian McMillan)
But that’s the Classy Rebel story.
The seven-year-old has won nine races from his 15 starts this preparation, over $110,000 in prizemoney, and more than doubled his country rating to 90 and Lunn said the transformation basically comes down to patience and letting the horse be a horse.
“He came to me from Eric Musgrove and came up in the middle of winter, he didn’t look the best but I thought I’d give him a run to see what he does,’’ Lunn said.
What he did was run sixth at Nyngan in a picnic race but after a few more runs he managed a Mudgee win in October last year, his only win for the preparation, but the trainer saw glimpses of something.
“I threw him in the deep and started him in a couple of BM66 races at Dubbo and he sort of showed me something because he wasn’t beaten far,’’ he said.
“The owners said they might sell him. I said ‘if you do sell him I’ll buy him off you but if he was mine I’d put him in the paddock’.
“So they took my advice and we left him in the paddock. That’s all it was, we brought him back and he was a different horse all together.
“One of the blokes who own him comes from Binnaway, that's why he ran there, he was first-up and we thought if he doesn’t win we can use it as a barrier trial.”
The rest, they say, is history and he’d record wins at Wellington, the Gulgong Cup, Warren, Dubbo, Gilgandra, Orange and Coonamble with his latest success coming in the feature sprint at Warren on November 7.
Lunn is under no illusions about the task Classy Rebel faces now he’s won his way to city standard but the market says it’s far from a throw at the stumps, he was a $9.50 chance with TAB on Thursday.
He drops 10kg on his win at Warren with apprentice Tyler Schiller riding at 52kg, a luxury weight Lunn hopes he can make use of.
“I thought that will help us a bit. The other day at Warren he carried 62kg and 1kg for the vest so he’s dropping plenty in weight,’’ he said.
“Now he’s a 90 rater out here he’s very hard to place, he’s going to get 63kg or 64kg in the country.
“This is the toughest race he’s ever met so he’ll have to perform well. He puts in, he tries every time.
“He wouldn’t let you down it’s just a matter of the harder opposition being better. He is going to run to the best of his ability.”
Any rain around Kembla Grange would certainly aid Classy Rebel’s chances, given seven of his 12 career wins have come on soft or heavy ground.
Classy Rebel wins at Warren on November 7
As for the opposition, while Lunn knows it’s tougher than he’s met before he’s happy enough to roll the dice and give the owners a thrill with a horse nobody really had high expectations for.
“He’s drawn the two gate and we’re not going to give that up,’’ he said.
“He’s going to go forward and see what happens. If he does lead he has to rate him but he doesn’t need to lead to win.
“I don’t take much notice of what’s in the race. If they are running good races, are happy and eating well and doing everything right I’ll take them down. If you run into something that’s too good for you that’s bad luck.
“It’s been a great ride for the blokes who own him. They’ve had horses with me for a couple of years and before that they’d never had much luck.”