Joe Pride looks to have unearthed another potential stakes-class galloper in Saturday’s impressive Warwick Farm winner Tom’s Rocket.
The former Queenslander, having just his fourth start for Pride, finished powerfully to take out the Carousel 1 Oct On Sale Now Hcp (1400m) by three-quarters of a length over Gai’s Choice.
The victory was strong enough for Pride to roll the dice next start and give him a shot at the Group Three Bill Ritchie Hcp (1400m) in two weeks.
“He’s a big, strong boy and he runs a trip so when he gets up in ground a bit he’ll be at his best,” Pride said.
“We’ll go to the Bill Ritchie if all goes well.”
Tom’s Rocket is also nominated for the Epsom Handicap and Pride hasn’t ruled out a start in the Group One either.
Given the uncertainty over whether Randwick will be safe to stage the Super Saturday program on October 1, and talk that some horses may go to Melbourne earlier than planned as a result, Pride is hoping he will have a couple of aces up his sleeve for the Epsom.
“They can all leave town and just leave ‘Tom’ and Neeson in (the Epsom),” Pride said.
The win by Tom’s Rocket provided some compensation for the defeat of the Pride-trained Sienna Red who went down by a half-head to Thumbtacks in the opening race.
Thumbtacks’ trainer Chris Waller revealed the gelding was set to be sold interstate if he didn’t perform but his victory bought him a reprieve.
Backed from $4.60 to start $4, Thumbtacks led but gave his supporters a few anxious moments when he was headed by $2.40 favourite Sienna Red rounding the turn.
He showed determination to kick strongly for Glyn Schofield and again get the measure of that mare on the line.
“This horse has been touted as a bit of a non-giver but he showed today that’s not the case,” Schofield said.
“I don’t think the second horse really threw it away either, this horse actually dug deep and showed a bit of courage.”