Majestic Cruiser starts his quest for the NZ Cup

By Adam Hamilton 

The New Zealand Cup build-up extends to Menangle on Saturday night.

The second of the Aussie raiders, Majestic Cruiser, kick-starts his preparation for Addington on November 8 in a 2300m free-for-all at Menangle.

It will be the Jason Grimson-trained star’s first run since winning the Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park in July.

Despite drawing the outside barrier, Majestic Cruiser is a firming $2.25 favourite.

“He’s fit and raring to go. The 2300m should help overcome the wide draw,” Grimson said.

“He’s had a couple of trials and it’s always been my plan to give him this run and then back him up the week after.”

The $100,000 Group 1 Len Smith at Menangle on Saturday week will be Majestic Cruiser’s last lead-up run before boarding a flight to Auckland on October 31.

Of course, facing NZ’s top pacers holds no fears for Grimson or his stable star after they won the Group 1 Messenger at Alexandra Park in April.

Majestic Cruiser gives Australia a twin-pronged attack on the NZ Cup with Rock N Roll Doo already settled in at Chrissie and Cran Dalgety’s stables.

Trainer-driver Mick Stanley said Rock N Roll Doo would improve on whatever he did in Monday’s Group 2 Ashburton Flying Stakes.

“Everything has gone to plan,” he said. “He had a couple of days off in Auckland then another couple of quiet days when he got to Christchurch, so he had four days off.

“He really started to seem bright and like his old self by Wednesday.

“Ashburton has always been as much an experience and some standing start practice for him under race conditions.

“We’d love to win, but he’s not fully wound-up after missing those few days of work. A win would be a bit of a bonus.

“I know how much he’ll take from the race and how he’ll really sharpen-up from it.

“It’ll give us a great guide where we are at and I’ll decide after it what we do between then and the Cup.”

Stanley admits to pinching himself with the interest and respect for Rock N Roll Doo in NZ.

“There’s not a day gone by when I haven’t had a camera crew visit or journos calling about him. It’s quite a buzz,” he said.

“And to hear a legend like Mark Purdon speak so highly of what the horse did in the Victoria Cup and how much he respects him is a bit surreal.”

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