With the short turnaround from the spring carnival to the late summer/early autumn feature races in Melbourne, Emirates Stakes winner Awesome Rock is already set to get back to work.
Awesome Rock broke through for a Group One win in the Emirates (2000m) at Flemington on November 5 and will return to the stables of Leon and Troy Corstens on Monday.
Leon Corstens said they saw the horse in the paddock on Friday and were happy with how he had spelled.
“He looked good,” Corstens said.
“He’s done well and is nice and relaxed.”
The Group One C F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in February is pencilled in as Awesome Rock’s return, with the Peter Young Stakes (1800m) expected to be his next start on the way to the Group One Australian Cup.
Awesome Rock was first past the post in this year’s Australian Cup but lost the race on protest to Preferment after drifting out in the straight.
The Emirates was over the same course and distance as the Australian Cup and Corstens is hoping the horse can continue to be a genuine player at the top level.
“Every time he has come back he has got a little bit better, a little bit more mature,” he said.
“He looked nice and relaxed in the paddock and he’s a nice horse to do anything with.
“He’s only got to find another length or so and he’s right there with them.”
While Awesome Rock is ready to get back to work, another stakes performer from the stable, Vezalay, has been retired after her unplaced run at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Vezalay won the Listed Alinghi Stakes last year and was Group Two-placed in the Kewney Stakes.