Sentimental favourite Ringo’s A Rockstar returns after a lengthy break to his favourite track and distance.
Ringo’s A Rockstar will be having his first start since December, 2018 in Saturday’s Coastal BMW Open Handicap (1000m) at the Sunshine Coast.
The gelding was the last open company performer trained by the late Norm “Whopper” Stephens who died one week short of his 88th birthday in March last year.
Stephens, who won a Group One Stradbroke on Ballyvista as a teenage jockey and later trained some top class horses, was one of the most popular figures in Queensland racing.
As a result, Ringo’s A Rockstar earned a huge following among rank-and-file punters.
Ringo’s A Rockstar is now trained by Stephens’ son Wayne, who has a small team at Deagon in Brisbane’s northern bayside suburbs.
“Unfortunately, Ringo’s A Rockstar injured a suspensory ligament at his last start,” Wayne Stephens said.
“It wasn’t serious as those types of injuries go but we gave him plenty of time off. There is no use taking risks with good horses.”
Ringo’s A Rockstar has an overall record of seven wins and nine minor placings but his form at the Sunshine Coast over 1000m is exemplary.
He has had five starts at the track and distance for four wins and a nose second.
“If you look at the video replay you would see he should be five from five at the track and distance,” Stephens said.
“At his only defeat he got stopped in his tracks when going for a run which ended up not being there. He flew when clear to just fail.
“Tarzan beat us that day but we have beaten him twice since at the Sunshine Coast over 1000 metres.
“Ringo has also beaten another of our main rivals on Saturday in Guard of Honour at the track and distance.”
Stephens said Ringo’s A Rockstar would be improved by Saturday’s run but he was hoping for a forward showing.
“He has had a trial and been solid. I just wish he had drawn a better barrier,” Stephens said.
“But if get gets some cover he can figure in the finish.
“There should be a few other races for him and I am keen to get him to Eagle Farm again. The big track suits him.”
Ron Stewart, who has won three races on Ringo’s A Rockstar, will be reunited with the gelding on Saturday.