El Roca Rolls Into 2013 Caulfield Guineas Contention

After retaining their undefeated status at home in New Zealand on the weekend, smart young Kiwi galloper El Roca has earned a call-up for the Caulfield Guineas 2013 in Melbourne next month.

Prepared in Cambridge by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young the Australian-bred Fastnet Rock colt debuted as a three-year-old, unraced during their juvenile season, winning over 1000m at Taupo on August 19.

They stepped up in class and distance on Saturday at Ruakaka and were equally as impressive with a two length victory in the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes (1200m), pleasing their connections.

“You wouldn’t find a better looking horse. He is extremely good looking and appears he have the ability to match his looks,” co-trainer Busuttin said, as quoted on Racing and Sports.

“He won pretty smart, he put them away quickly and I would say those are the best three-year-olds in New Zealand at the moment.

“We have always had an opinion of the horse but they have got to do it race day so it was good to see him do it.”

That effort has confirmed to connections that El Roca is deserving of a trip down under this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

“He still got quite a bit to learn but it’s going to be fun to have him in Melbourne,” Busuttin said.

Once here they will be aimed at the lucrative $1 million Group 1 The BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) running at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday October 10.

Their scheduled first run here will be in the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 29 before they go onto the Group 1.

“I have booked him to go to Melbourne on Sunday for a crack at the Caulfield Guineas Prelude,” Busuttin said.

“If he measures up he can carry on to the Caulfield Guineas.

Being so lightly raced and untested in Australia El Roca is only rated an $81 roughie in the latest Caulfield Guineas betting odds.

Markets are led by Zoustar at $4.80 after the Chris Waller-trained Northern Meteor colt beat home a field of fellow three-year-olds, many Caulfield Guineas-bound, in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney last Saturday.

Other top Caulfield Guineas fancies then include the Peter Snowden-trained Henry Bucks winner Long John ($6), Peter Moody’s Golden Rose runner-up from last Saturday Dissident ($6.50), Tony Vasil’s Golden Rose fifth placed Prince Harada ($8.50) and Bull Point ($9) from the stables of Gai Waterhouse who was third in the Rose.

As for El Roca’s chances in the Guineas, it has been a nice race for New Zealand raiders in recent history which bodes well for the nicely-bred galloper.

There is a Plan B however with the New Zealand 2000 Guineas over the Riccarton mile in November during New Zealand Cup Week the back-up.

“If doesn’t measure up he will turn around and come home and carry on a path to the 2000 Guineas,” Busuttin said.

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