Trainer Tony McEvoy is confident that Pocket Rockets is ready to perform well when he returns to racing in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Pocket Rockets has not been seen at the races since he finished tenth in the Listed W.H. Wylie Handicap (1100m) at Morphettville on September 21 last year, but McEvoy told Racing Ahead this morning that he has been impressed with the condition of the Invincible Spirit gelding since he returned from the spelling paddock.
“He is ready to go and this is the race that I wanted to kick him off in,” McEvoy said.
“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.”
Pockets Rockets has recorded two wins from as many starts down the famous Flemington straight and McEvoy believes that straight racing suits the versatile gelding.
There looks to be plenty of speed in the Kensington Stakes, but McEvoy said that he would like to see Pockets Rockets sitting just off the pace in the early stages of the race.
“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.”
Pocket Rockets failed to fire when given an opportunity at Group level during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing 12th behind Samaready in the Group 3 Theshark.com.au Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield, but McEvoy believes that the six-year-old has the talent to compete at the highest level of racing during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
“He will need to come up another notch for what I have planned for him,” McEvoy said.
“A race like the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield; he is a horse that is very effective off a high speed and so those sort of races would be suitable.
“I do understand that he does have to improve a level or two to get to that level.”
Pocket Rockets ($5.50) is currently on the second line of 2014 Kensington Stakes betting markets behind the progressive Kaiser Sun ($3.30).