The 3rd of the Group 1 events held at The Meadows on Temlee night, this event was upgraded to Group 1 status in 2013.
It is named to honour the deeds of the first ever Australian Cup winner and member of the Australian Greyhound Hall of Fame, Rookie Rebel. The 2016 running will carry $110,000 in total stakes and will be held over the middle distance trip of 600m.
Like all the Group 1 events on this night of racing, it is an invitational event. Since becoming a G1 it has been won by Proven Impala, Hawk Alone and Cosmic Wise.
Trained by Glenn Rounds, the son of Fabregas will be chasing a maiden Group victory at his 5th appearance at the elite level. Since making his G1 debut when 3rd in the Wentworth Park Peter Mosman Final behind Mister Twister, he has finished 2nd behind Crash Bandicoot in the Vic Peters Final, 2nd to Aston Dee Bee in the Melbourne Cup Final and 3rd to Quick Jagger in the Sale Cup Final all at the top level. This will be the first time in 16 starts that he will jump from box 1, with his overall record when jumping from the inside box showing 4: 2-1-1 and at The Meadows 600m trip he has 2 wins from 3 appearances. A quick beginner that hasn’t been suited from the box draw in recent starts, he will be looking to make every advantage of the red rug.
Trainer Seona Thompson will be looking to secure a unique G1 double with litter brothers Extreme Magic and Bewildering who take on the Rookie Rebel and the Temlee respectively. Extreme Magic will be competing in his 2nd Rookie Rebel after finishing a respectable 3rd in the 2017 edition behind the champion Fanta Bale after gaining a start in the field after initially being declared the first reserve in the invitational feature. Since that maiden G1 appearance his Group appearances have resulted in a fall in the Traralgon Cup won by Jesaulenko, a 2nd to Shadale in the Sir John Dillon Memorial at G3 level. The son of Black Magic Opal has worn the black vest on 7 occasions returning 4 wins and a minor placing while at The Meadows 600m has 2 wins and a 3rd from 3 attempts and is the only chaser in the field to have gone sub 34 for the trip.
Posting a last start victory over Chasin Crackers, the Andrea Dailly trained Hecton Bale that is a son of former champion chaser Fernando Bale, is the least experienced chaser in the field with just 22 starts in his career to date. Taking on the 595m Maidment Memorial at Sandown from box 4, the son of Fernando Bale was strong to the line after finding the front early and held on to defeat the millionaire Fanta Bale. A chaser on the rise, this will be just his 6th appearance at a trip greater than 550m, with his only run over this trip resulting in a victory when jumping from box 1. This will be the first appearance in race conditions in the white vest for Hecton Bale who has been able to win 10 of his career starts to date.