Busuttin Confident of Maiden Group 1 for El Roca in Guineas

New Zealand-based trainer Trent Busuttin is confident of walking away from Royal Randwick race course on Saturday one Group 1 victory richer, despite leading chance El Roca drawing the awkward barrier 14 for this weekend’s feature race; the Randwick Guineas (1600m).

El Roca is favourite in betting markets for the Group 1 Randwick Guineas

El Roca is favourite in betting markets for the Group 1 Randwick Guineas. Photo: Steve Hart

Having only contested six race starts to date, El Roca has experienced something of a meteoric rise to prominence since debuting on course in August, and has particularly impressed Busuttin in his two events so-far this preparation.

“I’m rapt with him” Busuttin told nzracing.co.nz.

“I’m very confident going into the race.

“It’s a top bunch of three-year-olds and you can’t get too carried away, but I wouldn’t be swapping him for any other horse.”

Having also entered the talented Fastnet Rock colt in nominations for proceeding Group 1 events including the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, TJ Smith Stakes, Doncaster Mile and Australian Derby, Busuttin revealed the Randwick Guineas has always been the major goal this campaign, and following decisions will be made after success on Saturday.

“This is the main aim” he added.

“It’s up against his own age and this is the race he’s been set for.

“If he can win this we’ll go down the George Ryder and Doncaster path, but we’ll just see what he can do in this one first.”

El Roca has finished outside the places on only one occasion in his short but glittering race career so far; interestingly his only other tilt at Group 1 level when fifth in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 12th.

The classy three-year-old has returned to the track in peak condition in 2014, following up a resounding two-length victory in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) first-up with an unlucky second to Terravista in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) last time out.

El Roca is currently featuring as outright favourite for this weekend’s major Group 1 Randwick Guineas at a generous quote of $4.20 ahead of Atlante ($6), Dissident, Eurozone and Bull Point, all of whom currently feature at odds of $8.

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