Horses To Follow » Rock Song

Rock Song

Rock Song put up a really impressive performance to win a decent 10-furlong handicap at Haydock on Saturday. Smartly away from stall 11 towards the outside, Joe Doyle quickly had the Rock Of Gibraltar gelding into a nice even rhythm just behind the pace. He was probably helped by the fact that the favourite Higher Power missed the kick and found himself last of the 15 runners through the early stages of the race, but that may not have made any difference to the result in the end.

Rock Song travelled really well into the home straight towards the inside and, when a nice gap opened up at the three-furlong pole, his rider just allowed him ease his way into it. He actually took a tug on the run to the two-furlong pole but, once he sat down and gave his horse a squeeze, he picked up impressively and went away to win, eased down, by just over two lengths from Higher Power, who finished well. The runner-up had to come widest of all and had to make up a lot of ground to finish second, but it never really looked like he was going to catch the winner and, such was the authority with which Rock Song won, it is debatable whether or not the result would have been any different even if the favourite had had a clean run through the race.

John Mackie’s horse looks like an improved performer this season. Beaten on his seasonal return at Wolverhampton, he stepped up on that run to win a handicap back at Wolverhampton two weeks ago. He was raised 3lb for that, but he made light of that hike on Saturday switched back to turf, and another 8lb hike was justified. He is 3lb higher than he has ever been, but he is in the form of his life and he may remain under-rated.

23rd April 2016