Trainer John Sargent has revealed that talented mare Neena Rock is likely to return to racing in the 2015 Breeders Classic at Rosehill Gardens on February 7.
Neena Rock was sent to the spelling paddock after she failed to fire in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, but has now been back in work for over a month and has surprised Sargent with the way that she has come on since returning to his Royal Randwick-based stable.
Sargent confirmed that Neena Rock would take part in a barrier trial over 740 metres at Royal Randwick this morning and he told Sky Racing HQ that he is hoping to begin her campaign, which will include a tilt at the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m), in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.
“She is coming up quicker than I thought and she is that well that I thought I would give her this trial and maybe one more,” Sargent said.
“She might kick-off in the Group 2 fillies and mare in early February at Rosehill.
“I will give her a runaround on Thursday and that will tell us how she is, but she is obviously being aimed towards The Championships for the fillies and mares race.
“She had a nice break after Melbourne and she is really flying at the moment.
“I will keep the work up to her, but she is happy and that is the main thing.”
Neena Rock made her racing debut under the care of Warren Bolton at the end of 2012 and she was to Australia to join the Sargent stable after taking out the Group 3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) in March of last year.
The Fastnet Rock mare made her Australian racing debut with a third place finish behind Catkins and My Sabeel in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13 and was third in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) at the same venue on September 27 before she recorded her maiden race win in Australia in the Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 11.
Sargent was happy with the way that Neena Rock performed in her maiden campaign in Australia, but he is confident that the six-year-old can go to another level during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“She should be at her peak,” Sargent said.
“She arrived last year and had that learning period during the spring, but I think now you will see a better horse and she definitely looks stronger too.”