Lining up amongst a relatively notable field of just nine for Race 2 at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse this weekend, trainer Joseph Pride is confident of first-up success for exciting three-year-old prospect Rock Sturdy.
Claiming one win and three minor places from just five competitive starts through the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival, in what was also his debut racing preparation, Rock Sturdy returned to the spelling paddock after finishing third amongst classy competition in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) on April 12th.
Pleased with the way the Fastnet Rock colt has taken to work since returning to his Warwick Farm stables, Pride told TVN that while Peter and Paul Snowden-trained sprinter Cluster deserves favouritism, he is confident his colt is more than a chance of success.
“He’s come back really well. There are two nice colts in this race. Everyone will be talking about Cluster but my colt is pretty good too,” Pride said.
“He didn’t need too long off. He needs a bit of a head start if he’s going to make the grade — he needs to lift his benchmark rating,” Pride said.
“A mile will be his best distance but 1200m fresh is not a bad starting point.
“It will be good to see where we’re at with him on Saturday because I think he’s pretty smart.”
Unlucky to finish second in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1200m) when blocked for a run early in the final straight on debut, Rock Sturdy ran on from the rear to the field to finish fourth in the Big Sports Breakfast C&G (1250m) on March 5th before breaking through for a maiden race victory in theraces.com.au 3.y.o (1550m) just one week later.
Overcoming an early check to finish second to Singing Flame in the TAB Quaddie 3.y.o (1800m) on March 26th, the colt out of Tzu Hsi displayed a keen ability to overcome a wide draw when third in the Carbine Club Stakes most recently.
Allocated the ideal barrier 1 for this weekend’s Forum Group BM80 over 1200 metres, Rock Sturdy is currently available at generous odds of $8.50 for success with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au; sharing the third line of betting with clear market mover Zin Zan Eddie.
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