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Red Rocks

Red Rocks ran a nice race in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot on Sunday on his first start since he was well beaten in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba last March. He was very well placed on the inside going around the home turn just behind the leaders, and he did start to pick up well when the pace increased and Macarthur started to drop back. However, he just kept on up the home straight instead of quickening, he certainly couldn’t match Mawatheeq for a turn of foot, he just couldn’t get past Campanologist, and he also succumbed to Kingdom Of Fife’s late surge, but this was still a hugely respectable effort in a race that was a fair bit higher standard than your typical Group 3 contest.

Red Rocks won the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2006 when he was with Brian Meehan. He was well beaten in the race in 2007, but that was the year when it was run in a monsoon at Monmouth Park, and that wouldn’t have suited him at all, and he went back to the States to win the Grade 1 Man O’ War Stakes for Meehan in July last year. Since then, he has been in training with Mark Hennig in the States, but he didn’t manage to win in three attempts, and he is now back with Meehan. Sunday’s run was his first since rejoining the Manton handler, and he can glean a lot of encouragement from it. No doubt the Breeders’ Cup Turf is the plan again, and he has to have a big chance in it, even at the age of six. He could be under-rated by the locals at Santa Anita after his disappointing spell in the States.

27th September 2009