Rock N all the way to Cup Day
By Adam Hamilton
He is big, he is raw and he is bound for Addington.
Emerging Victorian star Rock N Roll Doo effectively booked a trip to the New Zealand Cup with his dominant Group 2 Kilmore Cup victory last night.
Trainer-driver Michael Stanley was moved to declare the four-year-old the best pacer he has trained “for a proper chunk of time.”
That reference is to the brief stint he had training former injury-plagued Grand Circuit star Soho Tribeca.
“He’s the best I’ve trained if you’re talking about a horse from scratch. Soho Tribeca was awesome, but I only had him for a little while,” Stanley said.
“This guy has always had X-factor, but he’s needed time. We deliberately skipped the Queensland Winter with a view to taking our time with him and letting him mature.
“He’s come back really well. That’s two feature wins in a row now and he’s still on the up.”
Next stop is Victoria’s second-biggest race, the Group 1 Victoria Cup on October 8.
And then the focus moves to NZ.
It’s something Stanley had been planning for a while and included qualifying from a standing-start in a trial last week.
“The stand doesn’t fuss me or him,” he said. “I know there were only two in the trial, but he’s such a relaxed fella, I can’t see the stand or the big crowd at Addington bothering him.”
Talks with Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety, who Stanley and his stable star will stay with, really convinced Stanley to make the trip.
“We were worried about having to float him down from Auckland to Christchurch, but Cran assured me it’s not a problem and we had to give it a shot,” Stanley said.
“Now he’s won again (at Kilmore), we’ll start to pull all the plans together.
“There’s a chance he’ll go over early enough to run at Ashburton, if not, definitely in time for the Cup Trial.
“It would be good to get across and have some standing-start practice NZ conditions.”
Rock N Roll Doo, who boasts 11 wins from just 28 starts, first showed his enormous potential when he did plenty of work and won a Chariots Of Fire qualifier in stunning style in a 1min51.2sec mile at Menangle on February 12.
He then galloped at the start of the Chariots Of Fire.
Rock N Roll Doo has only raced six times since for four wins and two seconds.