Hawera trainer Anna Clement will be scouring the summer three-year-old programs with renewed interest following the resuming victory of her talented filly Rocababy at Trentham.
Clement has no immediate plans for the daughter of El Roca and will wait and see how her charge comes through Saturday’s winning run in the Te Akau 3YO (1200m) before confirming a path forward.
“That was very nice and not unexpected, we have always thought she was going to be pretty handy little horse,” Clement said.
“I’ll have a good look around and see if I can find another nice three-year-old race somewhere for her.
“We still don’t know whether she would like a hard track, it was a Soft 7 at Trentham and all her other wins have been on heavy ground.
“I think that she probably can go on the better tracks, although they would probably go a bit too quickly for her over shorter distances so we would have to look at 1400m or a mile.”
The Gr.2 Life Direct Wellington Guineas (1400m) on the capital city track next Saturday could be an option, although Clement is cautious as to how the filly would cope with a quick back-up.
“We will just have to wait and see how she does over the week. She is actually not a very good doer. She is just like her mother was, who also was not a great doer apparently,” she said.
“I have to sit down and talk to the owner but I am sure if she came through it well enough he would be keen.”
Raced by her Taranaki breeder Graham Meredith, Rocababy was ridden for the first time by Lisa Allpress, having previously been partnered by Ashvin Mudhoo in her previous five starts.
The filly jumped well to race close to the pace before striding to the front 400m from home and kicked clear to score by 2.5l.
While Rocababy was a clear-cut winner, there was merit in the performance of runner-up Diamond Thief who coped well with a rise in class off the back of his winning debut at Otaki last month.
Third home was the short-priced favourite Best Seller, who looked to have every chance but will no doubt improve with the outing.
Successful in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) on her home track at Hastings in September, Best Seller was making her first appearance since ending her spring campaign with a runner-up finish behind Legarto in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m)
Rocababy has now won three of her six starts, including the Listed O’Leary’s Fillies’ Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui in the spring, and hadn’t been seen since she was unplaced in the Gr.3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) in October.
“We had a little bit of trouble with her after her last start with a two stone bruises and we finally managed to get those right,” Clement said.
“That’s why she had such a big gap between races and she’s showed she’s pretty special.”
That wasn’t the only problem Rocababy encountered during the Soliloquy at Te Rapa.
“The jockey (Ashvin Mudhoo) lost his irons when they jumped out of the gates and she was also a bit green,” Clement said.
“She had never raced among horses, she had always drawn out and sat wider so there were a couple of other factors that went against her and nothing panned out, but that’s the way it can go.”
Rocababy’s Westbury Stud-based sire El Roca will be represented by a quartet of Book 1 youngsters in the upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale and a further 11 during the Book 2 session.