Fast ‘N’ Rocking recorded his third win from five starts since being gelded with an impressive victory over Generalife in the 2014 Kevin Heffernan Stakes at Sandown this afternoon.
Jockey Dwayne Dunn gave Fast ‘N’ Rocking a patient ride and the son of Fastnet Rock responded well when asked for an extra effort; with Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Generalife and Flamberge pulling clear of the rest of the field.
Generalife came back at Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the final stages of the race, but the four-year-old was able to hang on to record his first win at Group level since he took out the 2013 edition of the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m).
The Kevin Heffernan Stakes win secured Dunn the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival jockeys premiership and the veteran hoop was delighted to finish his spring campaign with another win at Stakes level.
“I had a beautiful run in transit and I was just a little bit wary of getting to the front too soon,” Dunn said.
“The second horse had me done and dusted, but he kicked beautifully.
“It is great for our industry to show what we put back into the community, which is great.”
The Lindsay Park team have been one of the consistent stables during the 2014/2015 racing season to date and have been completely rejuvenated since Tom Dabernig entered into an official training partnership with his uncle David Hayes.
A modest Dabernig downplayed the impact he has had on the fortunes of the stable and was quick to pay credit to the rode of Dunn and the impressive performance of Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes.
“It was a great effort from Dwayne, I thought that he rode the horse beautifully and he has been riding well all spring,” Dabernig said.
“It is a big thrill for Fast ‘N’ Rocking, since being gelded he has had a really good spring.
“He is in excellent form and I think that the 1300 is ideal for him, but he is always a very good sprinter.
“Now that his rating is up we can back off him and we can have a lot of fun with him.”
Fast ‘N’ Rocking finished a close third behind Éclair Big Bang and Boristar in the Emirates Airline Handicap (1400m) at Flemington last Saturday and Dabernig admitted there was plenty of though put into whether the four-year-old would be given the chance to contest the Kevin Heffernan Stakes.
“When you back a horse up you have got to consider how they do during the week and he did really well so it was a good decision,” Dabernig said.
Fast ‘N’ Rocking will be sent to the spelling paddock and will be prepared for a 2015 Melbourne Festival Of Racing campaign.