Trent Busuttin’s Group 1 performing stallion El Roca has trialed nicely at home in New Zealand before their trip back across the Tasman to target the 2014 Caulfield Cup this spring.
The Fastnet Rock four-year-old was last seen running ninth to Sacred Falls when failing to really let down in the wet for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) back in April.
An eye-catching hit-out at Te Teko on Tuesday however has Busuttin excited about their spring prospects when they return to Oz for their third campaign in Australia.
Their jump-out was over 1040m and they finished third beaten just under three lengths by Bomber Jet in 1.4.51 seconds impressing their Cambridge-based trainer.
“Very happy with him, he was just there for a day out,” Busuttin told TVN after the trials.
“I said to (jockey) Opie (Bosson) don’t knock him around, just let him do his thing.
“That will tuck him up a lot. He still had a bit of condition on him and he had a good blow afterwards but as I said that will bring him on.”
As a three-year-old they first came over for a Caulfield Guineas campaign last year running fifth to Long John when blocked for a run in the mile feature.
Then they were back for the autumn this time in Sydney where their two best runs produced a narrow second to Dissident in the Randwick Guineas and third behind Gordon Lord Byron after hitting the front early in the George Ryder Stakes in open company.
This time in El Roca could go all the way to the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 where they are at double figures through Ladbrokes.com.au to win.
They fly to Australia this Saturday to kick off their latest prep first-up in the $120,000 Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 16.
They’ll return to the track then on the 30th for their first elite level of the season, the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
“He gets on a plane on Saturday and will race the next Saturday,” Busuttin confirmed.
“A couple of good gallops between now and then and he’ll be spot on first-up.
“The Memsie gives him a good opportunity for that Group I win albeit it’s at weight-for-age against the topline horses.
“If he can run well in that without winning there’s a nice race a month later, the Group I Rupert Clarke.
“It’s a Group I but it’s probably a step down from the Memsie Stakes.”
The $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) runs on September 28, another Caulfield race.
Caulfield Cup 2014 nominations were taken by Racing Victoria today with 221 early entries for the classic including a host of internationals.
To back El Roca at the best prices this spring make sure you’ve got an account open online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $250 bonus match bet for new depositing players!