Talented sprinter Rock Sturdy will return to Queensland to run in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 23.
The one time 2014 Epsom Handicap favourite’s future on the racetrack was in jeopardy when he suffered a suspensory ligament injury at trackwork in the week leading up to the Group 1 1600m feature of the Sydney Spring Carnival.
Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride has nursed Rock Sturdy back to health and the Fastnet Rock four year old was having his second run back when runner up to Charlie Boy in the Group 3 $125,000 Darley BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Pride was pleased to see Rock Sturdy show so much improvement on Saturday after a mediocre first up run when eighth to Our Boy Malachi in the Group 3 $150,000 Ticketek Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 18.
“Really pleased with him. Second up after a long injury enforced spell,” Pride told Racing Ahead.
“He didn’t get much benefit out of his first up run. I thought it was a terrific performance (at Doomben), no luck there, trapped three deep, on the speed and had to move forward from a fare way out.”
“It was a terrific performance and he will go up for the Doomben 10000 at this stage.”
Rock Sturdy worked his way up through the classes heading into the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival and raced into contention for the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick with a win in the Group 2 $175,000 It’s Betting Season At TAB Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill the week prior before he went amiss.
Rock Sturdy and BRC Sprint winner Charlie Boy look set to clash again in the Doomben 10000 and both has been marked at double figure odds with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Charlie Boy is listed as a $14 chance while Rock Sturdy is marked at $16.
BTC Cup disappointment Srikandi still heads the market order at $7.50 ahead of Lucky Hussler at $8 and beaten BTC Cup favourite Our Boy Malachi at $8.50.
The John O’Shea trained pair of Generalife at $9.50 and Knoydart at $10 are next in the betting ahead of Bring Me The Maid and Sacred Star at $12 and Trust In A Gust at $13.