It seems Rock is being set up to tackle the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile second-up and he’s right on target after producing sizzling sectionals on returning at Rosehill on Saturday.
The gelding boasts an unbeaten second-up record after three attempts and Punter's Intelligence sectional data shows he clocked the fastest last 600m of the day running 32.91 into third place in the Group 2 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m).
Although it may not have looked like it to the eye, the Ajax was the slowest run early of the three 1500m events so it’s no surprise they sprinted home significantly faster.
The first 700m of the Ajax was run in 42.04, the Coolmore in 41.69 and the Phar Lap Stakes in 40.81. As far as the overall times are concerned the Ajax made up ground to be only 0.23 slower than the Coolmore.
Rock had only two behind him on the turn and broke 11 seconds from the 600m-400m (10.99) before running a race best 400m-200m of 10.66 and the day’s best last 200m of 11.26.
Runner-up Think It Over proved his first-up win was no fluke and he posted the next best last 600m of 33.32 and last 200m of 11.35 and he’s also on target for the Doncaster.
No knock on the winner I Am Superman who tracked the leaders and hit the front with a 10.97 from the 400m-200m, his best sectional of the race, before holding off the chasers.
Krone was an impressive winner of the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) posting the fastest last 600m of the race (33.48) and last 200m (11.47).
She was aided by barrier one and an excellent ride from Tim Clark and that allowed her the chance to unleash that race best final sectional. There were some hard luck stories in behind her.
A scrimmage early in the race caused Forbidden Love to check and that pushed All Saints’ Eve a pair further back than she was likely to settle.
She again struck traffic early in the straight so her last 600m of 33.49 was outstanding as she ran sixth. Her last 200m of 11.53 was also the race’s second best.
And while Chaillot finished eleventh she clocked a 33.58 final 600m after being last at the 400m but they didn’t go nearly fast enough early for the backmarkers to be in the finish.
The two two-year-old races were contrasts in the way they were run with the Pago Pago winding up a clear two lengths faster overall than the Magic Night.
It was even more distinct in the first half with the boys running 35.42 for the first 600m while the fillies were over four lengths slower in 36.19.
So the run of Jamaea to dead heat for second in the Magic Night was a little better than it looked, she clocked a race best 33.63 for her last 600m and 11.41 for her last 200m after being a clear last on the turn.
In the Pago Pago, third placed Mazu struck plenty of traffic in the first half of the straight (only 8th best 11.22 from the 400m-200m) so to run 11.46, third fastest, for his last 200m had plenty of merit.
The winner Shaquero was tradesmanlike from his inside barrier while Tiger Of Malay covered more ground (+4.9m compared to the winner).
But the eye-catchers on the clock were behind them.
Hilal (7th) posted the race’s best last 600m of 33.60 and the last 200m of 11.41, Ingratiating (5th) was next best with 33.81/11.42, then With Your Blessing (4th) posting 33.88/11.51 and debutant Awe (9th) was the other to break 34 running 33.92/11.60.
Others to note from the meeting:
Wandabaa did a huge job to finish as close as she did in the Maurice McCarten (1100m) after turning second last and copping a check about the 300m. She ran a 33.17 final 600m and her last 200m of 11.28 was the meeting’s second fastest.
Nudge charged into fourth place in the Cellarbrations Handicap (1350m) with a race best 33.44 last 600m and 11.52 last 200m while Newhaven Park Country Championships finalist Charmmebaby was next best running 33.62 and 11.57 in eighth place.
Watch Punter’s Intelligence with Ben Way, Brad Davidson and Brad Gray at 7pm on Tuesday on Sky Thoroughbred Central.