A Winter Carnival campaign lies ahead for Love Rocks if he can complete a hat trick of wins in the Listed $175,000 Sky Racing Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Toowoomba trainer Steve Tregea is confident that Love Rocks will take the step up to the next level after winning his last two starts in Class 6 company over 1200m at Eagle Farm and Doomben and a win would give him the ammunition to aim towards the better class races during the Winter.
“I’d be ecstatic if he can win the race, he might be a winter carnival horse,” Tregea told the Sportsman.
“I’m chucking him in at the deep him.”
“He ran very good time at Eagle Farm when he won and he’s been winning easily enough, the race is there so we thought we would have a go.”
Love Rocks is tackling the 1350m for the first time but Tregea doesn’t see that as a problem for the four year old as he continued to thrive with racing.
“I galloped him on Wednesday morning and he had a good hit out because he put on weight since his last run,” Tregea said.
“He looks lean and mean but he is just putting on a few kilos after each run and is doing equally as well each time. I can’t see why he won’t run well.”
Tregea’s patience has been rewarded with Love Rocks realising his potential after showing plenty of ability before being forced onto the sideline through injury.
The Stratum gelding was given plenty of time to develop as a young because he had off set knees as a foal then after winning his maiden in December 2012, had to have three months off to recover from surgery to remove bone chips from his knee.
“When he came back into work we found some little chips in his knee, which needed surgery and three months to recover,” Tregea told The Courier-Mail.
“It seemed like we were forever being told to just be patient with this horse.
“He was offset in the knees as a foal and the vets said he needed time. Then he needed time after the operation.”
Top apprentice Anthony Allen will again be aboard Love Rocks after the pair shared the wins at Eagle Farm and Doomben.
Last start Group 3 George Moore Stakes winner Lucky Hussler is the favourite for the Lough Neagh Stakes at $4 just head of Love Rocks at $4.50 with the consistent Morning Captain the next in the betting at $6.50.
Others in the betting are the Kelso Wood trained Benny’s Buttons at $8 just ahead of Startsmeup and Scone visitor Mahisara at $9.50.