New Zealand 3yo Rock ‘N’ Pop is ready for Guineas

By: Mark Mazzaglia
March 28th, 2012

New Zealand three year old Rock ’N’ Pop will take his place in the Rosehill Guineas on Saturday after a strong gallop at Matamatta on Tuesday.

Trainer Jason Bridgman will load Rock ‘N’ Pop on a plane to Sydney on Wednesday after pleasing him in his final gallop before the Group 1 $500,000 Flinders Lane Rosehill Guineas (2000m).

Jockey Matt Cameron reported to Bridgman after the gallop that the work was first class and that he thought he was spot on to make the trip to Sydney.

“He felt really good, especially with the ground slower than he prefers,” Cameron said.

“He’s in just the right order with the trip and Saturday’s race ahead of him.”

Bridgman was equally impressed with the colts work, clocking 1.16 for the 1200m and 35.9s for the final 600m of his gallop.

“It was good, strong work,” Bridgman said yesterday.

“And providing he trots up well in the morning he’ll fly out tomorrow and get into Sydney about ten o’clock at night.”

Rock ’N’ Pop has drawn barrier ten in a capacity field of eighteen in the Rosehill Guineas and Jim Cassidy will take over the reins from Cameron who is not making the trip to Sydney.

The Fastnet Rock three year old will again be lining up against New Zealand’s top filly Silent Achiever after finishing second to her in the Group 1 NZ$750,000 Telecom New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on March 3.

Birdgman is looking forward to meeting Silent Achiever on a dry track, claiming his horse wasn’t at his best on the rain affected track in the Derby.

“Silent Achiever is top shelf but in the Derby we were a bit inconvenienced by the slow track,” he said.

“Definitely a decent track will help. Nothing worse than a dead to slow.”

New Zealand is also represented in the Guineas with Ocean Park, who ran midfield at his first Australian start when eighth to Mosheen in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnpoint Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 17.

Trainer Gary Hennessy scratched Ocean Park from the Derby because of the wet conditions after finishing second to Silent Achiever in the Group 3 NZ$70,000 H S Dyke Waikato Guineas at Te Rapa on February 4 and the 2000m for Saturday’s race will suit him better.

Roger James didn’t have much to smile about after his filly Silent Achiever drew barrier seventeen, giving Sydney’s top jockey Hugh Bowman plenty to think about.

“We’ve got the visitor’s drew,” James said.

“I guess that’s my I’ve employed Hugh Bowman, to overcome things like this.”

Rosehill has been rated a dead 4 on Wednesday afternoon and with reasonable weather leading up to the weekend, should provide a good racing surface.

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