Co-trainer Natalie Young has confirmed that El Roca will press on to 2015 Doomben 10,000 after he pulled up from his first-up run in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday without an issue.
Trainer Trent Busuttin thought that El Roca had broken day during the BTC Cup when he tired badly in the final stages of the race, but Racing Queensland vets could not find any issues with the horse and Young told The New Zealand Racing Desk that El Roca had come through the run without an issue and would continue to work towards the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 23 and the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at the same venue on June 6 – although she indicated that the Fastnet Rock could be given another weeks break and contest the Group 2 QTC Cup (1350m) at Doomben on May 30.
“He looked like he had broken down, but he got a bump when he was going backwards and that made it look worse,” Young said.
“Thankfully the horse is fine and the vet went over him with a fine tooth comb and he’s 100 percent sound.
“His suspensory and his joints are all good and he cantered a couple of laps on Monday morning.
“We’ll see how he does in the meantime.
“He hadn’t raced for 13 months and he sat three deep and blew out.
“He was a bit quieter than usual before the race so maybe he had a bit of an off day.
“We always thought he was just that bit behind fitness-wise and he’s eaten everything since so that’s a good sign.”
El Roca was having his first race start since he finished ninth in the 2014 edition of Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick in April last year after he missed out on the entire 2014 Spring Racing Carnival due to a tendon injury that he suffered in the lead-up to the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 13.
El Roca’s performance in the BTC Cup has seen him drift substantially in betting markets for both the Doomben 10,000 and the Stradbroke Handicap with Ladbrokes.
The talented entire is now out to $18 to claim his maiden Group 1 in the BTC Cup, while he is available at the juicy quote of $31 to return to winning form in the Stradbroke Handicap.