2015 Melbourne Cup Bid for Rock Diva

July 28, 2015

2015 Melbourne Cup Bid for Rock Diva

Kiwi horseman Tony Pike is hoping to win a Melbourne Cup 2015 ballot-exemption race with his classy mare Rock Diva this spring giving her the chance to run in the world’s richest handicap on the first Tuesday of November.

A rising five-year-old daughter of Lucky Unicorn, Rock Diva has had three previous runs down under when as a three-year-old she ran fourth in both the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) and Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) behind Tinto and Sonntag respectively in Brisbane.

Last campaign she raced exclusively back home in New Zealand and rounded out a top preparation with a three-quarter length victory over King Kamada in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie in March.

Now her Cambridge-based trainer Pike is hoping to get her into another famous two mile showdown, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse on November 3, on the radar.

A winner of three of her 15 starts to date, Rock Diva may be a Group 1 winner over 3200m back home, but Pike knows the challenge of making the capacity 24-starter Melbourne Cup field is still real.

Hoping to get her into the mix, he plans to run in one of the races offering a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption to the winner.

One such race that was only recently announced as a Melbourne Cup exemption is the $300,000 Group 1 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 4.

“It will be difficult to place her into the Melbourne Cup with her rating so we’ll have to try and win one of the exemption races on the way through,” Pike told the NZ Racing Desk.

That race could make up part of an all-Australian spring campaign for Rock Diva, whose campaign will be determined by where the firm ground can be found.

“We’re working through the various options as she’s very weather dependent, she doesn’t like bad ground,” Pike said.

“There’s every possibility she will go straight over there (to Melbourne).”

Aside from The Bart Cummings, other possible Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival targets for Rock Diva include the $200,000 Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on October 10, the lucrative $300,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m), $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day or the $240,000 Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) four days later.

For now though Pike is just hoping to see the classy mare bring her A-game again after such a strong autumn.

“She’s been back in work for a couple of months,” he said.

“She’s done the base work and she’ll have a bit more pressure put on her in the next month.

“The only question mark on her is how she comes up in the spring, her best form has been in the autumn.”

Another New Zealand-trained mare on track for a Melbourne Cup bid is Pondarosa Miss.

Peter Hollinshead’s daughter of High Chaparral is set to race at home before her possible trip down under where she’ll target both the Melbourne Cup as well as the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.

To check out the early Melbourne Cup betting odds and options before nominations close early next month, visit Ladbrokes.com.au where first time depositing players were rewarded with up to $500 in bonus bets!

Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2018 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.

Spring Racing

Rogerson Dreams of 2018 Melbou...

The Everest 2018 Field to Feat...

The Everest 2018 Field to Feature Redzel

Inaugural champion Redzel has officially secured his position in the 2018 The...

2018 The Everest Field Takes S...

2018 The Everest Field Takes Shape: In Her Time Confirmed

She missed out on a shot at the world’s richest race on turf last spring but...

Trapeze Artist Secures 2018 Th...

Trapeze Artist Secures 2018 The Everest Slot for Aquis

The first official slot in The Everest 2018 field has been confirmed with...

El Dorado Dreaming of 2018 VRC...

El Dorado Dreaming of 2018 VRC Oaks Bid

Ben Smith’s ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winning filly El Dorado Dreaming is in...

Horse Racing Today

BRC Sires’ Produce Stake...

Waller contemplating blinkers ...

Waller contemplating blinkers for 2018 Queensland Oaks favourite Youngstar

Trainer Chris Waller will decide before final acceptance time on Wednesday...

Waller to have multiple runner...

Waller to have multiple runners in 2018 Queensland Oaks

Recently inducted Hall Of Fame trainer Chris Waller is likely to have multiple...

McDonald to team up with Care ...

McDonald to team up with Care To Think in the 2018 Kingsford-Smith Cup

James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return to the Group 1 winner’s stall...

2018 Doomben Cup winner Comin&...

2018 Doomben Cup winner Comin’ Through beats stablemate Egg Tart

The Chris Waller trained Comin’ Through claimed his first Group 1 victory when...

Race Results

Viewed Victorious in Caulfield Cup

Race 1 Result – $101 500 AGL Renewable Energy Stakes – She’s Got Gears Wins

Race 2 – $101,500 Schiavello Plate – Avienus Wins

Race 3 – $101 500 Lavazza A Modo Mio – Linton Street Wins

Race 4 Results – $151,500 Listed Herald Sun Stakes – Strawberry Field Wins

Race Previews

2009 Caulfield Cup Barrier Draw Announced

Who Are the Top Contenders for Tomorrow’s Caulfield Cup?

Victoria Derby in sight for Onemorenomore

2009 Melbourne Cup Field

Eclipse Stakes Final Field & Preview

Fields & Form

Can Kelinni Win Sydney Cup 2013 for the Punters?

Moroney Gets into Queensland Derby 2013 Rhythm

Buffering Draws 7 – 2013 BTC Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw

SA Fillies Classic 2013 Field Released

13 two-year-olds in 2013 Champagne Classic Field