David Hayes & Tom Dabernig will saddle two runners in Saturday’s Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m), but rate consistent gelding Fast ‘N’ Rocking as their best chance of success in the Group 3 feature at Caulfield.
Placed at the highest level of racing several times through a strong career, Fast ‘N’ Rocking has claimed five wins and a further eight minors through thirty-nine starts, and has returned to racing in smart form this time.
Clearly requiring a run when tenth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) first-up in late February, the Fastnet Rock gelding progressed to fourth in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) before finishing eighth amongst particularly sharp company in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
Running third in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m), Fast ‘N’ Rocking has not raced since running on for fourth in the talent-rich Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 31st.
Dabernig told Racing Ahead that the team is thrilled with Fast ‘N’ Rocking’s condition, and believe the Sir John Monash Stakes is tailored for the horse this weekend.
“I think he’s in excellent form, he’s been working the place down,” Dabernig said.
“He loves Caulfield, he’s drawn nicely to get a good run and Dwayne Dunn’s got a good record on him. I think he’s probably our best chance of the day there.”
Hayes and Dabernig will also saddle Kayjay’s Joy in the Sir John Monash Stakes, but concede the mare will need plenty to go right from her wide draw if she is to win the race.
“A little concern from barrier 16, but she’s also got a good record at Caulfield,” Dabernig said.
“It just depend on how the track’s racing. She’s normally back of the speed, can sit a bit deep and win.
“She’s a mare that we’re chasing the black type with, her coat looks fantastic and she’s been working well, so if she can land in a reasonable spot she’s definitely an each-way chance.
Kayjay’s Joy has found competitive form through two starts this time; winning the No Fuss Event Hire Handicap (1100m) before running fifth in the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) most recently.
Ladbrokes Australia currently rate Fast ‘N’ Rocking an outright $4.40 favourite in 2016 Sir John Monash Stakes betting markets, while Kayjay’s Joy can be taken at a $15 quote.