Kicking off a horse’s campaign on a testing track is rarely ideal, but David Pfieffer figures it might be the lesser of two evils for Rocketing By.
The four-time winner is set to resume in Saturday’s Bill Picken OAM Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill and while Pfieffer contemplated waiting a week in the hope of striking a drier surface, it would have meant tackling some tough rivals in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m).
“If I scratched Saturday and went the following week to the Missile, I could be dealing with the same stuff (heavy tracks) next week and you’re also taking on a harder field,” Pfieffer said.
“I think Forbidden Love is heading there so you are taking on a three-time Group 1 winner.
“Being a So You Think, he generally likes wet tracks and he’s got good form on wet tracks. It is more a case of how much it is ging to take out of him first-up and if he can perform at his best first-up.”
Boasting a win over subsequent Group 1 winner and now stallion Ole Kirk as a three-year-old, Rocketing By struggled to recapture his best form in two spring runs.
Connections opted to geld him and while he was out, he also underwent arthroscopic surgery to both knees.
Pfieffer has been happy with the result, as has jockey Hugh Bowman who sticks with him after partnering the horse in three recent trials.
“He’s got a bit of youth about him at the moment and is moving quite freely,” Pfieffer said.
“He is keen and eager to get out there and get back to the track.
“We have always had issues with his feet and his knees, and touch wood, I’ve had no issues at all this time.”
Rocketing By meets a handy field including the consistent Easy Single and stakes winner Enchanted Heart, but provided he runs well, he will press on to the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) three weeks later.
Pfieffer has scratched Laure Me In from the Winter Challenge (1500m) due to the heavy track and the gelding will instead head to Moonee Valley on Saturday in search of firmer ground.