A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
Talented entire Awesome Rock will been given another look at the Moonee Valley track before taking his place in Saturday’s featured 2016 Cox Plate (2040m).
Awesome Rock secured ballot-free entry into the Cox Plate 2016 with dominant performance for success in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at the Valley on September 13th, and has since finished a credible fifth in each of the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m).
Co-trainer Troy Corstens told AAP that the Fastnet Rock entire has come through his run in the Toorak Handicap well and he is confident that the horse will be topped off nicely following a gallop on the Moonee Valley track on Tuesday.
“He came through the Toorak much better than he did the Underwood,” Corstens said.
“He just jarred up quite badly in the Underwood and I think the track was much more conducive in the Toorak.
“He bounced out of it and he’s lovely and fresh. His work has been excellent and he’ll go there (to Moonee Valley) on Tuesday for Breakfast With The Best.
“That will top him off and he’ll take his place in the Cox Plate.”
Corstens concedes that Awesome Rock faces a huge task in the likes of Winx and Hartnell in the Cox Plate on Saturday, but is confident that the horse will lay a great account for himself in the Spring Carnival feature.
“If he races like that (Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes), we’ll be really pleased,” Corstens said.
“He seems to love the track and hopefully he can do that over the 2000 metres on Saturday.
“Clearly everyone is saying it’s a two-horse race but lots of things can go wrong in horse racing, so we’re going to have a crack and see what we can do.”
Awesome Rock has been a strong and consistent performer throughout his entire racing career so far and has posted a commendable record of three wins and seven minors, through a total of twenty-three competitive starts.
Clearly requiring a run when resuming this year for twelfth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m), Awesome Rock ran a pleasing fourth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) before passing the post first in the featured Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 12th, only to lose to Preferment on protest.
Awesome Rock is currently available at 2016 Cox Plate odds of $61 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
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