On Saturday Sunshine Coast horseman Tom Bourke will travel down to Brisbane for a shot at Group race glory with his in-form gelding Rocky King in the George Moore Stakes 2014 at Doomben.
The Easy Rocking five-year-old is one of 13 gallopers nominated for this weekend’s edition of the $200,000 Group 3 Channel Seven George Moore Stakes (1200m), the handicap sprint showdown a highlight of the Brisbane Summer Racing Carnival.
One of the headline nominees is Bourke’s 30-start veteran who shoots for win number 14 after a three-quarter length success in record time at home on November 14.
There apprentice hoop Tegan Harrison, retaining the ride this Saturday, guided him to victory over the Desleigh Forster-trained Adebisi in the $50,000 XXXX Handicap (1000m) where he carried 59.5kg to the runner-up’s 61.5kg.
The first two over the line in that race are back for a rematch, this time on Shovhog seven-year-old Adebisi’s home ground back in the big city.
Bourke is confident the form of his hopeful will hold when Rocky King steps back up to Group company for the first time since a disappointing eighth behind Big Money, another George Moore Stakes hope on the weekend, in the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm back in June.
He also races over 1200m for the first time this campaign, a distance he came close to winning over for the first time at Grafton one run over the Healy when a luckless second behind the Rodney Northam-trained Big Money again this time in the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m).
“He has never won at 1200 metres but he has won at 1300,” Bourke told AAP.
“One of his best runs was at 1200 when he was very unlucky in the Ramornie Handicap.”
Forster is also confident heading into the George Moore Stakes with Adebisi who he believes is capable of reversing the quinella with Rocky King at the Sunny Coast last start.
Adebisi was first-up in that race off a 10 week spell, the Group 1 performer after his second George Moore Stakes win having taken it out back in 2011.
“Rocky King ran a course record and beat us just under a length,” Forster said.
“Adebisi carried 61.5 kilograms in that race and he never gave up the length of the straight.
“The horse is flying and I can hardly wait for Saturday’s race.”
Other notable George Moore entries this year include the Robert Heathcote-trained Excellantes and the returning injury-prone Cape Kidnappers who hasn’t raced since finishing second to Big Money in the WJ Healy back on June 21.
The 2014 George Moore Stakes field and barriers are out on Wednesday so stay tuned.
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