Roch ‘N’ Horse will return to the scene of her biggest win on Saturday – Flemington.
The daughter of Per Incanto carried the silks of her breeder/owners Little Avondale Stud to victory in the Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in March.
She resumed last month when fourth in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at The Valley and trainer Michael Moroney has been pleased with her progress since.
She will now head to Flemington this weekend to contest the Gr.2 Bobby Lewis Quality (1200m) where Moroney believes she is a big chance of continuing her perfect strike rate at the Melbourne track.
“We aimed to get here after having that one run at Moonee Valley where I thought she went terrific,” Moroney told Racing.com.
“She has worked well and looks terrific, so fingers crossed.”
Prior to her Newmarket win, Roch ‘N’ Horse was trained out of Moroney’s Matamata stable, where her New Zealand career was overseen by co-trianer Pam Gerard.
Roch ‘N’ Horse won three races in her homeland, including the Listed Power Turf Sprint (1200m), and was runner-up in the Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m) in her last New Zealand outing.
Moroney said he was warned by Gerard about the mare’s quirks, but Moroney said she quickly settled into her new surroundings at Flemington.
“Having trained her from New Zealand, with Pam doing most of the work there with her, we are learning a bit more about her as we go along,” Moroney said.
“She is not 100 percent straightforward. She can get on the bridle and want to overdo it at times. We have just had to watch how we work her.
“She came with that sort of warning. She seems to be really enjoying it here and I find a lot of the fillies and mares do when they get here. They seem to be the ones that settle in the quickest.
“She is lovely and bright and I am sure she has got through enough work.
“I can’t fault her. She looks great in her coat and is in really good condition.”
Moroney will also line-up former Kiwi Milford over 1700m at Flemington.
The son of Savabeel will be first-up after winning his last two starts in autumn, including the Gr.3 Easter Cup (2000m).
“Milford is a really nice horse,” Moroney said. “He has been gelded and he went terrific in his last couple of runs, and he has come back even better.
“I am expecting a bit from him this season.”
Milford was purchased out of Waikato Stud’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $360,000 by bloodstock agent Bruce Perry on behalf of his client Lib Petagna.
He was initially trained in New Zealand by Stephen Marsh where he won the Gingernuts Salver (2100m) and was runner-up in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) behind Rocket Spade.