Trainer Tony McEvoy is convinced that under rated Pocket Rockets is set to launch an Oakleigh Plate campaign when he tackles the Listed $120,000 Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
McEvoy knows that Pocket Rockets is better than his form reads and expects the six year old to race well first up down the Flemington straight and is hoping to head towards the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 22.
“If everything goes well tomorrow we’ll have a look at the Oakleigh Plate with him,” McEvoy told Racing Network.
“He trialled up nicely at Morphettville on January 6 and he’s in good order.
“I really think he’s come on.”
Pocket Rockets hasn’t raced since finishing tenth to Karacatis in the Listed $80,000 Sportingbet W H Wylie Handicap (1100m) at Morphettville on September 21 last year but was able to win for the second time over the 1000m at Flemington last preparation.
McEvoy said that Pocket Rockets has travelled well over from Adelaide and is primed for a good first up showing.
“He travelled over (to Flemington) last night, was very comfortable, arrived about 4.30 and he has settled in really well. He’s very bright,” McEvoy said.
“He is ready to go and this is the race that I wanted to kick him off in.”
“He is not fully wound up but he is certainly ready for a 1000 metre race.
“I think that he has come back super and in that trial he just towed Benny Claridge around.
“I wanted him to have an easy trial and that is what he did.
“His work at home is telling me that he certainly has not gone backwards.”
In the past Pocket Rockets has raced on the pace and back in the field and McEvoy will leave the riding tactics up to Damien Oliver who is having his first ride on the gelding.
“He won’t be too far back and I reckon that he will, given that he is fresh, sit in the first half a dozen,” McEvoy said.
“We will leave the rest to Damien and he will give him a beautiful ride.”
The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained Kaiser Sun has been posted as the $3.10 favourite for the Kensington Stakes after winning over the course and distance at his last two starts.
Pocket Rockets has been marked at $5 with First Command, also a two time winner down the Flemington straight, and the Stephen Theodore trained Don’t Get Excited sharing the next line of betting at $6.