Rocky King on Track for 2015 Ramornie Handicap

A Ramornie Handicap 2015 run at Grafton next month is firmly on the agenda for Rocky King who won well at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland over the weekend.

Rocky King

Rocky King is on track for a 2015 Ramornie Handicap run at Grafton early next month. Photo: Daniel Costello.

The Tom Bourke-trained Easy Rocking gelding was one of two winning rides for top Brisbane-based hoop Damian Browne at Caloundra on Sunday, Rocky King scoring an easy win in the $50,000 Race Zone Racing Supplies Handicap (1000m).

Browne has dominated the action at the Sunshine Coast winning 11 of his past 30 rides at the track to make it 54 victories in total for a 30% winning strike rate.

“I live just over the hill and I love riding here. It is a track which suits my style,” he told AAP.

Backing up from a second behind Whittington in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1050m) at Doomben from May 30 when beaten two lengths, Rocky King enjoyed his first win since November last year when beating home the Pat Duff-trained Steel Zip by two and a quarter lengths on the Queen’s Birthday Holiday meet.

“We knew he was back near his best when he finished second in the Queensland Lightning at his previous start,” Bourke said after the Sunshine Coast win of Rocky King.

Browne’s other win on the Sunshine Coast card was a narrower effort when guiding the Robert Heathcote-trained Written Above All to victory by a neck over Show Harmony in a males’ only BenchMark 75 Handicap over 1400m.

Connections of the local Sunshine Coast-based Rocky King are now looking at a trip to New South Wales during the Grafton Cup Carnival early next month to run the sprinter in the $150,000 Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) on July 8.

The following day is the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) for the stayers, which is a possible target for the Stephen Lee-trained Anton En Avant who ran fourth as the beaten odds-on favourite in the Murwillumbah Cup Preview (1900m) at Ballina over the weekend.

Rocky King raced in last year’s Ramornie Handicap and finished three quarters of a length away second behind Big Money with Tegan Harrison in the saddle before winning at Eagle Farm next-up with Browne aboard to see out that preparation.

Also tracking towards a Ramornie Handicap start is the Paul Perry-trained Wouldn’t It Be Nice after the Choisir four-year-old beat home Avoid Lightning to win the Listed June Stakes (1100m) at Randwick over the weekend.

Enjoying his first win since the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at the same track back in September last year, Wouldn’t It Be Nice had a quarter length to spare over last year’s winner in the June Stakes with a decision pending on whether to pursue a Ramornie run.

“We weren’t sure if it would be wet enough for him,” Perry’s son and stable foreman Shannon told AAP.

“We’ll let the dust settle over next few days.

“If it looks as if it might be a wet Ramornie then that might be something to look at.”

Stay tuned for all the latest updates on the upcoming Grafton features including the Ramornie Handicap.

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