Hanrahan has bases covered
By Jonny Turner
Ashburton trainer Laurence Hanrahan has all bases covered ahead of race 7 at Motukarara today.
Hanrahan will line up impressive first up winner, Rocknroll Max, and the consistent Ultimate Rocker in the 2400m standing start event.
Having that talented duo means a Hanrahan runner should be in the finish whether the race tempo suits front-runners or back-markers.
Rocknroll Max is likely to land near the speed, as he did when winning his first start of the season at Timaru, earlier this month.
The 4yr-old showed he had returned bigger and strong from a spell when powering along the passing lane to break his maden.
“He won nicely last time, so hopefully he can take the step and mix it with the next grade,” Hanrahan said.
“He has probably just taken a little bit of time.”
“He just wasn’t mentally ready or mature enough last season, but this year he seems to have bounced back quite nicely.”
Hanrahan is hopeful his A Rocknroll Dance pacer will handle stepping out of maiden grade to race more experienced campaigners in today’s event.
“I hope so - his work has been fine since he raced.”
“He had a quiet run at the Methven workouts on Sunday and he felt quite good there.”
“So, going forward, hopefully we are on the right path.”
Rocknroll Max must beat his stablemate Ultimate Rocker to continue his rise through the grades.
The question of whether he can do it is not one Hanrahan can not answer easily.
The two 4yr-olds have totally different racing styles, meaning race tempo and positioning will dictate their chances.
“I don’t know if I would favour one – they are both different styles of horses in terms of how they need to be driven.”
“But, if either of them get the right run, I would like to think they could be in the finish.”
Getting back and sprinting off a fast tempo is the best scenario for Ultimate Rocker.
“Ultimate Rocker has had a bit more experience in that grade.”
“He has been going well without a lot of luck.”
“If he gets the right run, he can come out and sprint quite fast.”
“As he gets a bit more hardened up from a bit more racing, hopefully he will go forward from that.”
Driver Stephen McNally will combine with Rocknroll Max, with Lawrence McCormick to drive Ultimate Rocker.
Hanrahan also starts Pembrook’s Legacy in race 6.
On form, the 6yr-old looks a strong eachway chance in the 2000m event for junior drivers.
“He has come back nicely.”
“The only question mark I have over him is I don’t know whether he is as effective on the grass as he is on the crusher dust.”
John Morrison will drive Pembrook’s Legacy today.