Horses To Follow » Three Rocks

Three Rocks

Put up here before as one to follow after he won a seven-furlong handicap at Leopardstown at the end of last month, Three Rocks duly followed up at Tipperary at long odds-on, but came up just short back at Leopardstown on Sunday in a listed race when stepped up to a mile for the first time. Again, he walked out of the stalls, and was about 10 lengths behind before they had gone 100 yards. This time, however, the pace was fast and he had to do a lot of running to get into contention. Still five lengths behind at the top of the home straight, Kevin Manning had to take him wide in order that he could deliver his challenge, and he came with a long withering run down the stands side as Kargali went for home on the far side. At the furlong pole, it looked like Three Rocks would prevail, and he got to within three parts of a length of the Oxx horse about 150 yards out. However, his run petered out from that point on against a rival who had already won over a mile and who sees the trip out well, and he went down by a length and a quarter in the end.

It now looks like seven furlongs is Three Rocks’s optimum, which limits his options a little. However, Jim Bolger is never averse to bringing a horse across the water, and the Victoria Cup, a heritage handicap run over seven furlongs at Ascot in mid-May, would be an ideal next target for him. That race is run on a straight track, and it is a race that is often won from off the pace, so Three Rocks’s tendency to miss the kick may not be as big a disadvantage in that contest as it can be at Leopardstown.

19th April 2009