Stable third stringer Rock ‘N’ Gold will chase more race wins in February after scoring a upset win in the Listed $120,000 Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Rock ‘N’ Gold was the longest price at $17 of the three Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained runners in the Kensington Stakes but produced his best effort to date to record a head win over Husson Eagle down the Flemington straight.
The Ellerton and Zahra trained multiple Group 1 winner Flamberge finished in fourth spot at $9 while former Hong Kong sprinter Amber Sky, at $8.50, finished at the tail of the eight horse field after suffering a bleeding attack.
“He always runs well fresh and his jump-out on Monday indicated he could run a cheeky race but we just thought the class of the other two might just get there,” Zahra said.
“It’s his first crack at the big time and he’s prevailed nicely.”
“We’ll just try to keep him nice and fresh and find a race in three to four weeks.”
Jockey Chris Symons was very pleased to be able to produce a winning ride for long-time friends Ellerton and Zahra and after settling Rock ‘N’ Gold midfield, attacked the leaders at the 250m mark and was able to hold off all the challengers in the run to the line.
“My relationship with Matty Ellerton and Simon Zahra has gone back over 10 years which is pretty unheard of in racing for a jockey and trainer combination,” Symons said.
“I’m still getting those opportunities to ride in town and to get winners is a bonus.”
The Kensington Stakes win was Rock ‘N’ Gold’s first victory down the Flemington straight and his seventh overall from forty starts while he has been placed on seventeen other occasions.