Australian Cup runner-up Awesome Rock has been given a solid hit-out in a raceday gallop at Sandown to keep him ticking over for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Connections opted to scratch the four-year-old from Saturday’s Group Three Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield because of his wide barrier.
He instead had a solo gallop before the first race on Monday with Stephen Baster aboard.
Awesome Rock will head to the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney on Saturday week.
After trotting a lap, Awesome Rock worked over a mile (1600m) and co-trainer Troy Corstens clocked the gallop.
“He went a bit slow early and Stephen (Baster) said he got a bit lost coming down the hill, but I had him running the 1000 metres in about 1:06 and he came home his last 600 metres in 34.6 seconds,” Corstens said.
“And if my clocking is correct I had him breaking 11 seconds the last furlong (200m). He ran 10.73.
“It was really good, sharp work. Just what he needed.”
Corstens said there was no upside to running Awesome Rock in the Easter Cup from a wide gate on Saturday.
“He’s the kind of horse that once he’s fit, he carries his level of fitness well,” he said.
Awesome Rock, who was first past to post in the Australian Cup only to lose the race to subsequent BMW winner Preferment on protest, is scheduled to head to Sydney on Sunday night.
“We’ve basically got nothing to lose so we’ll have a crack at the Queen Elizabeth, under no illusions because we know Winx is a superstar,” Corstens, who trains in partnership with his father Leon, said.
“But she’s got to run in the Doncaster and then back up, so who knows.”