Horses To Follow » Neptune Rock

Neptune Rock

The Cairn Rouge Stakes at Killarney on Wednesday was all about Mehnah. It was a fine performance by Kevin Prendergast’s filly, to keep on as well as she did to win the race from stall 16, on her first run since last April, and her Group 1 aspirations are legitimate. She could be a filly for the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Irish Champions’ Weekend. But because Mehnah commanded the headlines, the performance that Neptune Rock put up in finishing fourth behind her may have gone under the radar. Well away from stall one and quickly into a nice position on the inside and just behind the leaders, she lost her position as they raced out of the back straight, Queen’s Speech dropped back into her lap a little along the inside and that appeared to force Neptune Rock back in the field. No better than ninth or 10th as they left the back straight, she travelled well into the home straight, but she had to make her ground among traffic, and she never really got a clear shot at it. She wasn’t impeded or anything, but she still had to chart a path through. She didn’t really get out into the clear until they raced inside the final furlong, after Mehnah had swooped past, but, once she did have clear sailing, she finished off her race well to take fourth place, beaten a total of just over two lengths and closest at the finish.

Winner of her maiden at Leopardstown last month on her debut this season, Joseph O’Brien’s filly did well to finish second behind Let’s at Limerick on her previous run. Again, she made good ground from the rear that day, despite not having a lot of room along the inside rail. She got to within a neck of Ken Condon’s filly at the winning line, and she was in front at the pull-up. Out of a half-sister to Yellow Rosebud, who won the Guineas Trial over a mile, and to Seeharn, who was at her best over seven furlongs, Neptune Rock races as if she could step up in trip beyond a mile, but a fast-run mile at a galloping track should suit her well too, and it is interesting that her trainer thinks highly enough of her to have given her an entry in the Matron Stakes but, in the shorter term, she will be of interest in a fillies’ listed race or Group 3 race over a mile or nine or 10 furlongs. The Hurry Harriet Stakes over nine and a half furlongs at Gowran Park next month could be a good target for her.
Killarney, 14th July 2021