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Rock On camp on tenterhooks

18 September 2017, 2:29 p.m.

Connections of the black type winner Rock On are agonisingly close to a Group One opportunity.

They face a nervous wait to see if their five-year-old can beat the ballot for a spot in Saturday’s Windsor Park Plate (1600m).

Rock On
Photo: Race Images Palmerston North

Rock On is currently 15th in order of entry to the feature event at Hawke’s Bay this weekend with 14 to face the starter.

“He’s in great order and he can run in the 2000m race on the same day, but I don’t want him to get too dour too soon and would much rather see him in the mile,” trainer Gary Vile said.

The Windsor Park Plate is viewed as a better means to an end with the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on October 7 seen by Vile, who produced Ransomed for an upset win in the race in 2013, as Rock On’s best chance of Group One success.

“That will suit him much better, getting up to a trip at his third start,” he said.

Rock On was successful in the Listed New Zealand St Leger (2500m) in the autumn, with that victory at Trentham earning him a trip across the Tasman.

He finished third in the Gr.3 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Randwick in his Australian debut and then again ran third at Flemington over 2500m.

Following a break, Rock On had two trials in August and he resumed on the opening day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival to finish a tidy sixth over 1600m.

“I was pleased with him,” Vile said. “He was doing his best work at the end, although the gloss was taken off his run by the winner Wait A Sec, who was huge.

“My horse pulled up brilliantly and we couldn’t be happier with him.” – NZ Racing Desk.