Trainer Pat Duff believes his patience in not pushing Our Rock O’Reilly into the Magic Millions Classic will be repaid during the Brisbane winter carnival.
Our Rock O’Reilly resumes in the two-year-old race over 1000-metres on Saturday’s Eagle Farm program.
Duff expects him to race well but believes he will be even better later in his campaign when he is stepped up in distance.
Our Rock O’Reilly will be having his first start since his dead-heat win with Pinch River at Eagle Farm on November 2.
Duff admits he has been surprised that Our Rock O’Reilly has been competitive as a two-year-old over sprint trips.
Our Rock O’Reilly is by under-rated stallion Murtajill out of O’Reilly mare Our Mavourneen whose second dam is a half sister to the Auckland Cup winner Sea Swift.
“Her third dam is by the Melbourne Cup winner Even Stevens so I would not be shocked if Our Rock O’Reilly gets a middle distance later in his career,” Duff said.
“I bought him as a potential miler as a three-year-old but he has really surprised us. He dead-heated with Pinch River at his only start and Pinch River won his next start by six lengths.
“I could have pushed on with Our Rock O’Reilly to the Magic Millions but he was a bit shin sore and I wanted to have a horse for later on.”
Our Rock O’Reilly won two Deagon trials last month in the lead-up to Saturday’s race.
“He is a pretty smart horse but whether they might be a bit quick for him on Saturday we will see. I do expect him to race very well,” Duff said.
Duff hopes Our Rock O’Reilly will measure up to the Group Two BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes and Group One J J Atkins during the winter.
“I know it can be a case of a rooster one day and a feather duster the next, but you have got to have a plan,” he said.
Saturday’s race will also feature the return of Sarisara who won her two starts before a spell.
The Rex Lipp-trained filly is also being aimed at the feature two-year-old races during the Brisbane winter.
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