An impressive debut win has set up the Mark Kavanagh-trained colt Gonna Be A Rokstar for his first city assignment at Flemington.
A $300,000 yearling, the son of Fastnet Rock has continued to impress the stable since he was heavily backed and led all the way to narrowly beat Ballroom Dance at Seymour on March 31.
Kavanagh’s assistant trainer Merv Harvey said Gonna Be A Rokstar was built like a sprinter with a compact, nuggetty physique and should be hard to beat again in Saturday’s Lort Smith Animal Hospital Hcp (1000m).
“He’s improved plenty,” Harvey said.
“He’s a little roly-poly colt, about 15.1 or 15.2 hands with a real sprinter’s build.
“He’s strong with good hindquarters and has shown he goes all right.
“The other day he jumped straight on the bridle from barrier one and led all the way, and he should run well again.”
Gonna Be A Rokstar was ridden by Michael Rodd at Seymour but because of his Sydney commitments Stephen Baster replaces him on Saturday.
Gonna Be A Rokstar is one of only four runners with race experience in the 11-horse field at Flemington and is the only race winner.
The Peter Snowden-trained Whitlam had a interrupted passage when a close second to Cash Bound when resuming at Moonee Valley while Sammartini and Hpnotiq Dream are first-up after unplaced debut runs.
Apprentice Jake Noonan will ride the Peter Moody-trained Hpnotiq Dream and Noel Callow will ride his stablemate, Fastnet Rock colt Highly Recommended who makes his debut after winning a Cranbourne barrier trial.
Robert Smerdon also has two runners, both first starters, Fille De Choix (by Choisir) and Ooma Zooma (by Viking Ruler).