Trainer David Hayes believes that Fast ‘N’ Rocking now has the ability to record a win at Group 1 level after he finished his spring preparation with a tough win in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on Saturday.
Fast ‘N’ Rocking showed plenty of natural ability as a two-year-old, finishing second in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and fifth in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) in 2013), but he was unable to replicate that form as a three-year-old and recorded just one race win in his first 17 starts.
Connections made the decision to geld Fast ‘N’ Rocking at the end of his autumn preparation and the decision paid immediate dividends when the son of Fastnet Rock took out the Alannah Hill Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on September 20, the Triforce Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and the Kevin Heffernan Stakes on Saturday.
Hayes told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he has been thrilled with the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival form of Fast ‘N’ Rocking and he is confident that the four-year-old can measure up at Group 1 level in the autumn.
“He has been performing brilliantly and with an ounce of luck he could have won five straight,” Hayes said.
“What gave me a lot of heart was on the day of the Manikato, the big sprint that Lankan Rupee won, his sectional times were better than the Group 1.
“I do think now that he is a genuine gelding he might be able to step-up to the Group 1 level.
“He ran second in a Blue Diamond and was fifth in the Golden Slipper, so he has always had great talent.”
While the gelding operation could not have worked out better for Fast ‘N’ Rocking, Hayes has decided that talented three-year-old Petrology will not be forced to undergo the ‘ultimate gear change’ following his impressive win in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) on Saturday.
Hayes said in the lead-up to the race that the performance of Petrology would decide whether he was gelded before his autumn preparation, but the leading trainer believes that the Fastnet Rock colt can now be considered as a stallion prospect after his outstanding victory.
“He was very amorous on Oaks Day, but he was much better behaved at Sandown on Oaks Day and won accordingly,” Hayes said.
“He was quiet brilliant and he won like a future Group 1 horse.
“He has a fantastic pedigree and he won’t be gelded now because he is worth too much as an entire.
“That was a very competitive Sandown Guineas, there were a lot of Flemington winners coming out of there and he treated them with contempt.
“We are very excited with him and I think that he is a great racing prospect and will make a great stallion for someone one day.”
The Hayes and Dabernig stable have had an outstanding start to the 2014/2015 racing season and currently sit on top of the Melbourne Metropolitan Trainers Premiership with 25 wins.