Trainer Lloyd Kennewell is expecting a bold first up showing from Sunset Rock when she resumes in the Listed $100,000 Lightning Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Sunset Rock has failed to live up to her early two year old performances but Kennewell is confident that leg surgery to remove bone chips since she last raced ten months ago will see her back to her best.
“She’s a horse who is very talented and showed plenty of ability early,” Kennewell told The Advertiser.
The Doomsday filly was able win at her second race start as a two year old when she beat subsequent Group 1 winner Go Indy Go in the Listed $80,000 Cinderella Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville at the beginning of the 2014 Adelaide Autumn Carnival but she has been out of the place at three runs since.
The Morphettville trainer had Sunset Rock thoroughly examined after failing to beat a runner home when tenth to Eloping in the Group 3 $150,000 Blackwoods Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last September and x-rays revealed bone chips in her legs.
“Her last two Melbourne runs were very disappointing and X-rays showed she had problems we had to fix and she looks like she’s back on track,’’ Kennewell said.
A long rest following surgery has seen Sunset Rock return to her Morphettville stables in fine order and Kennewell was happy with her winning effort in a 900m Murray Bridge barrier trial on July 17.
“She did what she had to do in the trial,’’ Kennewell said.
“There was bit of pressure in the trial so it was a solid hitout.’’
“She’ll be around the mark. She’s working well and she’s been set for this for race for a while.’’
The Lightning Stakes has attracted a full field of fourteen sprinters and Kennewell is anticipating that Joe Bowditch will give Sunset Rock the run of the race from barrier four.
Rival Morphettville trainer Richard Jolly will saddle up the number one saddlecloth holder Bay Road who finished third behind I’m A Flying Star and Cashed over 1000m at Morphettville Parks on July 4 and the three three-year-olds are set to clash again in the Lightning Stakes.
Mark Kavanagh has brought Wild Rain over from Melbourne and the Manhattan Rain filly will be very hard to beat if she can repeat her last start second to Miss Promiscuity in the Group 3 $150,000 PFD Food Services Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on July 4.
Counter Pulse has been racing in top form in two year old company with wins at her last start starts at Morphettville and Morphettville Parks and will be taking on the three year olds for the first time on Saturday.
The Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas trained filly has drawn handily at five and has Adelaide’s leading jockey Clare Lindop in the saddle.