Pocket Rockets has been set for the 2014 Hawkesbury Rush by trainer Tony McEvoyand he believes that the talented gelding is well placed in the $125,000 race at Hawkesbury this weekend.
Pocket Rockets started his autumn preparation with an unlucky second place finish behind General Truce in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on January 18 and had no luck again when seventh in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8.
After a brief freshen up he returned to the races in the Braybrook Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on April 5 and finished a narrow fourth behind Shamal Wind, despite over racing in the early stages of the race.
McEvoy told Sky Racing HQ that he was satisfied with the effort of Pocket Rockets in the Braybrook Handicap and is confident that the Invincible Spirit gelding is a genuine winning chance in the Hawkesbury Rush this weekend.
“I set him for this race,” McEvoy said.
“He ran very well at Flemington, his straight form is superb, he just overraced a touch at Flemington and he just knocked up.
“I didn’t have him quiet as right as I thought I did on the day and he still ran very competitively for fourth, but the target was always this race.
“With the 54 and a half he is well in the race and he has settled in Hawkesbury very well.”
McEvoy has set a number of his gallopers for races during the standalone Hawkesbury meeting; with Harmonic set to contest the benchmark 80 event, while Longshoreman will take his place in the benchmark 85 handicap.
Harmonic is taking winning form into the race after scoring a narrow victor over Malice, who finished third in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 26, in The Races.com.au Handicap (1400m) at Warwick Farm on April 2, while Longshoreman is chasing his first race win since joining the McEvoy stable at the end of last year.
“Haromonic is coming off the back of a win at Warwick Farm last start and he will run in a benchmark 80 1500,” McEvoy said.
“He has trained on very nicely and he is a nice big horse that still has more to offer I believe.
“Longshoreman has trialed well and he is running first-up in a 1300 event on Saturday.”
McEvoy has also nominated Mouro for the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) and both The Messina Nymph and Kayjay’s Joy for the Group 3 Darley Crown (1300m) and Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m).