The father-and-son training combination of Leon and Troy Corstens have succeeded in part one of a long range plan with talented galloper Awesome Rock.
The pair’s first aim was to start his campaign off in top weight-for-age company after he missed a number of starts during the spring when down in the ballot order.
Awesome Rock scraped into Saturday’s C F Orr Stakes at Caulfield which has a capacity field of 18 runners and has attracted 13 individual Group One winners.
The problem now is barrier 17 which jockey Stephen Baster will have to overcome.
“You can only laugh about it,” Troy Corstens said.
“We’ll have to sit down with Steve and work out a plan.
“We don’t want to be having a gut buster sitting out three and four wide.”
Awesome Rock will be having his first run since winning over 1800m at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.
Corstens said the son of Fastnet Rock had a faultless preparation for his return and goes into the race with two jump-outs under his belt.
Awesome Rock finished third behind Entirely Platinum, an Orr entrant, in an 1100m heat last Friday.
Corstens said Awesome Rock wasn’t crunched in the hit-out and had since worked in good style.
“We are full steam ahead to the C F Orr,” Corstens said.
“He’ll have another hit-out on Thursday morning.
“We couldn’t be happier. Touch wood, it’s been faultless.”
Awesome Rock holds a nomination for the Australian Cup at Flemington and further down the track the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick during The Championships.
The trainers are keen to again tackle 2000m after Awesome Rock ran second over the distance to Stratum Star at Caulfield during the spring.
“The Australian Cup is in the back of our minds but with the Sydney carnival approaching there’s plenty of options,” Corstens said.
“I’d say at some stage he’ll head up there after our carnival.”
Awesome Rock is the outsider at $81 in early Orr markets.
Lucky Hussler, one of three runners for Darren Weir, is the $4.60 favourite after drawing barrier eight.
Weir’s other runners, Stratum Star and Trust In A Gust, drew barriers 14 and 15 and are $15 and $17 respectively.
“It makes it a bit hard for Trust In A Gust and Stratum Star,” Weir said.
“Just going on the barrier draw Lucky Hussler would be the best of my three.
“But all horses are in great shape.”
New Zealand visitor Turn Me Loose has already met with support firming from $6 to $5 after drawing barrier 10.