Trainer David Hayes has declared that he would like to win the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) with talented three-year-old Fast ‘N’ Rocking, who will return to the races in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Fast ‘N’ Rocking was set for a Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) campaign during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but Hayes opted to step the Fastnet Rock colt back in distance after he failed to fire in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) and the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
He did not beat home a single runner in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, but Hayes has decided to keep the three-year-old in sprinting races and target events like the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on February 22.
“It is a very, very tough race, but he does go well at Caulfield and he does sprint well fresh,” Hayes told Sky Racing HQ.
“I think that I will keep him as a fresh sprinter.
“He went up to Sydney for the Golden Rose and we were training him for the Guineas, but we changed our mind and it backfired.
“We will keep him as a specialist sprinter now and he might do the job for us.”
Fast ‘N’ Rocking will face a stiff challenge in the Manfred Stakes at Caulfield this weekend; with a number of talented three-year-olds included in the final field for the Group 3 event.
There should be a fairly strong early tempo in the Manfred Stakes, with Monkstone, Hard Stride and Worth A Ransom all likely to go forward, and Hayes said that he will instruct jockey Craig Williams to ride Fast ‘N’ Rocking for luck from the inside barrier.
“I think that we will ride him patiently and provided it is not a sit and sprint he will be hard to beat,” Hayes said.
Fast ‘N’ Rocking has raced at Group level in all but two of his twelve career starts, but his win in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) remains his only victory.
Fast ‘N’ Rocking is currently on the third line of 2014 Manfred Stakes betting markets at odds of $4.80; with Tony Vasil-trained Prince Harada ($2.90) a narrow favourite from Golden Rose placegetter Bull Point ($4.20), last start winner The Quarterback ($5.50) and Peter Moody-trained Monkstone ($7).