Outsider Missrock has returned to racing in the best way possible at Royal Randwick this afternoon; completely a perfectly-timed run to win the Group 3 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
Missrock had not been seen at the races since fading late to finish ninth in the Listed Kingdom Stakes (1000m) on November 14th, but drew the ideal barrier 6 and had the notable advantage of leading hoop Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Jumping well and settling within the field of eleven as early leaders Thyme For Roses, Geneteau and Prompt Response set a reasonable tempo away from the barriers and approaching the bend, Missrock received a dream run in transit on the rails.
Rounding onto the final straight with plenty to do, Bowman found a gap between runners and pressed the daughter of Fastnet Rock forward, who responded with a strong turn of foot to the line.
Bowman secured his second win of the day on Missrock in the Percy Sykes Stakes and believes the filly will progress into a serious Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) contender in spring.
“Her first run in a race was at Caulfield and she won at long odds,” Bowman said.
“First-up this time she wasn’t quite at home on this rain-affected ground but obviously Robbie’s got a high opinion of her.
“It’s very rare you get to the barriers with the excitement that I got to the barriers on this filly today.
“I think she’s a beautiful imposing-looking filly and all I can think of is the Thousand Guineas in the spring time.”
Robbie Laing was impressed with Missrock’s performance for success in the Percy Sykes Stakes and echoed Bowman’s sentiments on the 2016 Thousand Guineas.
“At the back end of the Carnival it looked a soft race and a horse with her talented we thought that if we got her somewhere near-right, she’d be very hard to beat,”
“There was a lot of ifs. She had a shocking injury at Sandown when she was beaten odds-on. She went down to the Melbourne University and had broken her pelvis.
“That was in November, so she’s done a remarkable job. She’s been back with me four weeks.
“It just goes to show that when you’ve got a big v8 engine and they try, it’s a big advantage.
“She’s got Thousand Guineas written all over her.”
Missrock has posted two wins and one minor place finish through only four career starts to date.