The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
He’s undoubtedly one of the most impressive horses in the world and he has a record that’s the envy of trainers across the planet.
Rocket Man has run 20 times in his career and notched up 16 victories along the way, plenty by huge margins.
He’s run a couple of heartbreaking seconds as well and a good portion of his events have been raced at International Group 1 level.
He’s run in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai and everywhere he’s been he’s left quality runners in his wake.
The best thing about him though? Trainer Patrick Shaw says he’s only going to improve.
“He’s getting older and more mature and stronger,” Shaw said.
“So he’s definitely getting better.”
He’s a horse that likes to be up near the pace but his major asset is that when they make the turn for home he has a noticeable turn of foot.
“He quickens very well,” he said.
His global conquest will continue in the next few weeks with an assault on England the next chapter in his story.
“I’m going over to England next week and I’ll maybe run him in the July Cup,” he said.
There have been loud calls for Rocket Man to venture down under at the end of the year and it’s something Shaw is considering, however staying in Asia is another option.
“It’s either going to be Australia if we can do something with quarantine or Japan,” he said.
The main reason for a trip south is of course for a massive clash with Black Caviar, most likely in the Patinack Farm Classic.
It’s a race that’s just had a boost to $1.2 million for the sole purpose of attracting international runners however it’s easily trumped by the Japanese equivalent.
A price of $2.25 million has been put up in the land of the rising sun but luckily for Australians, Shaw says he’s not concerned about the money.
“It’s not a case of money with him now,” he said.
“It’s more the prestige with him now.”
Also working in Australia’s favour is the left handed Flemington track.
“The problem with Japan is it is right handed,” he said.
As would be expected due to his constant travel, if Rocket Man does come to Melbourne it would be a one off affair with no excuses and no re-matches.
“It would obviously be just one run,” he said.
Shaw sparked a massive controversy after the Kris Flyer International when he declared that Rocket Man could beta Black Caviar.
He says that both horses are in fact Australian bred and whatever happened if they were to meet it would make for an enthralling contest for everyone.
“It’s not the case of who’s the fastest,” he said.
“I don’t know why it caused so much controversy,” he said.
“They are both Australian.”
Peter Moody has been reluctant to rush Black Caviar off overseas and seems content to pick up the big prizes on offer here at home.
Rather than attack that as a sign of weakness Shaw actually understands the reasoning, however acknowledges it does raise questions.
“She is a mare, I wouldn’t like to take chances travelling her around,” he said.
“The only downside is you never know how good they are.
“They always leave a doubt.”
He’s much more dismissive of Australia’s other sprinter Hay List and he won’t even toy with the idea that he could be a threat.
“Hay List keeps on running second to Black Caviar,” he said.
“He should have come here and taken on Rocket Man for a million.
“I don’t think they are in the same division.”
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