Rocanto’s rousing return fuels Group One hopes
Stephen Marsh believes Rocanto can be a serious Group One player this preparation.
The Cambridge trainer has high expectations of the five-year-old and a satisfying first-up victory in Tuesday’s Ideal Electrical Legrand 1200m at Ellerslie further boosted his confidence.
|Rocanto Photo: Trish Dunell Photography|
“It’s good to see him back and he should be a contender for all the major sprints,” Marsh said. “The Railway is going to be a nice race for him.”
The Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) on New Year’s Day will mark Rocanto’s return to the big time having twice placed at the elite level as a two-year-old in the Gr.1 Diamond Stakes (1200m) and in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
It hasn’t all been plain sailing since, but Marsh is optimistic that it will be from here on in.
“The writing was on the wall when he trialled,” he said referring to a 1000m heat win at Ruakaka last month. “Time has helped him and he seems the complete horse now. I really think he's in for a very good season.”
Rocanto jumped cleanly from a potentially tricky gate on Tuesday in his first race day appearance for seven months to make the running under jockey Danielle Johnson.
The Per Incanto five-year-old was cruising on straightening and the topweight forged clear 250m from home and held out the late run of Yearn to win by a half-head with The Justice League a close third.
“I was a bit worried about the draw and the 59kg, but he’s earned it and he’s got the quality,” Marsh said. “On his trial and his work since I knew he’d go close with reasonable luck on his side.” – NZ Racing Desk.