Master Rowsley trainer Anthony Azzopardi recently ‘unearthed a diamond’ and is quickly ‘digging for gold’ with a polished prospect.

Renegade Cochise (Jul ’21 Fernando Bale x Mystic Riot) grabbed a glittering $25,000 first prize in the Listed Pink Diamond Maiden Short Course final (400m) Warragul on June 16.

And Azzopardi now ventures to Bendigo for the male-only Listed The Prospector series (425m) with Renegade Cochise (2 from 3) whose dam, Mystic Riot, is an older half-sister of his Group 1-winning champs – Whiskey Riot and Fernando’s Riot.

Renegade Cochise (Box 5) – whose name emanates from late 1950s Western TV series Broken Arrow – a Wester lines up in Heat 1 (Race 3, 5.27pm) on Sunday.

The inaugural The Prospector was staged in 2021 and Azzopardi almost ‘panned’ the $15,000 ‘nugget’ with Substantial, who finished third to the Jason Thompson-trained Rebellious.

And once again, Thompson could prove a nemesis in the race to the Bendigo ‘gold mine’.

Thompson rugs Got Attitude (Box 7) – runner-up to kennelmate Navarino in the Listed Pink Diamond Rookie Sprinter final (460m) – in the same heat.

Got Attitude (6 from 11) has won four of his past five starts. He clocked a 23.91sec win at Bendigo last week.

Azzopardi is also represented by Hunter Fred (Box 1) in Heat 2 (Race 4, 5.47pm).

Hunter Fred (2 from 3) finished second to Renegade Cochise in the Pink Diamond Maiden Short Course.

Meanwhile, two heats of the female-only Listed Bendigo Roses (425m) will also be conducted on the program.

Prepared by Lisa Delbridge, Nyali King (Box 8) appears a standout in Heat 1 (Race 7, 6.46pm).

Nyali King (11 from 20) won the Listed Pink Diamond Rookie Short Course final (400m). She’s won four of her past six starts and is two from three at Bendigo with a 24.09sec PB.

Andrea’s Ace (Box 4) and Mythical Queen (Box 7) look the testing material in Heat 2 (Race 8, 7.04pm).

Trained by Donald Jarvis, Andrea’s Ace (4 from 7) has won three races at Healesville and one at Ballarat.

Mythical Queen (4 from 8), prepared by Sean Lithgow, has reigned on three occasions at Ballarat and saluted last start in the ‘Slips To Boxes Challenge’ at Shepparton.


Pawnote: Finals of The Prospector and Bendigo Roses – both carrying a $15,000 first prize – will be conducted on Friday, July 7.

WATCH: RENEGADE COCHISE (B5) was a ‘rebel with a cause’ in the Pink Diamond Maiden Short Course final.

large-Nyali King (Bendigo Roses Heats on 20230702)
WATCH: NYALI KING (B1) proves a ‘queen’ in the Pink Diamond Rookie Short Course final.

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