Fast ‘N’ Rocking Opens Campaign in 2015 Abell Stakes

Four-year-old gelding Fast ‘N’ Rocking is one of three horses set to resume in the Listed Abell Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night, in a total field of eight.

Co-trainer David Hayes rates Fast 'N' Rocking a good chance in the Abell Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

Co-trainer David Hayes rates Fast ‘N’ Rocking a good chance in the Abell Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained gelding will shoulder the top weight of 60kg alongside defending champion It Is Written, however an inside jump from barrier two with Dwayne Dunn to ride should work in his favour.

The 2015 Abell Stakes is just the beginning of an autumn campaign for Fast ‘N’ Rocking, which will hopefully contain a couple of Group One victories.

Fast ‘N’ Rocking is nominated for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) but Hayes is hesitant if he’ll go much further than the nomination stage since he hasn’t proven well on the Flemington straight in the past.

“Tomorrow night will set the scene, but there is a chance that we could dodge the Newmarket because of his poor straight history,” Hayes told TVN.

The co-trainer is instead looking to progress the gelding towards the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28, three weeks after the Abell Stakes, before possibly returning to Moonee Valley for the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) on March 27.

Fast ‘N’ Rocking won three of his five starts during the spring, including the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) on November 15. The gelding was one off the fence just behind the leading few before he swept up the middle and took the front 200 metres out. He just kept bobbing and won the photo finish with Generalife. rates Fast ‘N’ Rocking the $4.20 favourite in the Abell Stakes betting, just edging out Tudor at $4.40. It Is Written, Barbed, and Charmed Harmony all share the third line of betting at $4.80.

Hayes expects the gelding to run well in tonight’s race, even with his heaviest weight since May last year, since he carried weight-for-age last time out to win the Kevin Heffernan.

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