The Rocket’s Back
Gore trainer Syd Breen admits that Santanna Blue Chip gelding Santanna’s Rocket struggled last season.
Going into last season expectations were high after he recorded some good results against a good crop of three year olds. But at the end of his four year old season he’d only won once from fourteen starts.
“After he ran second on the grass at Oamaru we just couldn’t get him right. He’s had bad feet and we’re pretty sure it was a deep seated corn and we just couldn’t get it to come out. In the end we just had to bite the bullet and butcher his feet back and we just waited for them to grow. It’s taken six months for his feet to come right and he’s still got a bit of a hole there. Shoeing wise we’ve just got aluminiums (shoes) all round and just elevated them two degrees behind. Aluminiums give him more surface areas to stand on. Franksie (farrier Brendon Franks) has done a great job,” he said.
This season Santanna’s Rocket started off with a twelfth placing at the Riverton Meeting before he won easily at Forbury Park two weeks ago.
And after his work during the week Breen was confident of a top showing yesterday in the Regent Car Court Mobile Pace.
“I thought he was the best thing I’d ever taken to the races. He’s just gone from a nice enough horse to one that I think will go a long way. Brad said today that he still wasn’t concentrating properly. He said he feels like he could run 36 (2-36 for 2200 metres) if he concentrated. We’ve got the galloping hood on him and it just sharpens him up a bit.”
In yesterday’s race Santanna’s Rocket was taken straight to the top by driver Brad Williamson and ran the field along at a solid clip. He went down to the line winning easily winning by two and three quarters of a length.
Next up will be the Gore Cup on the 27th of this month.
“After he worked the other day I said ‘he’ll win today and then we’ll go to the Gore Cup.’ It’s a 60 front (R60) and he’ll be off the front.”
Yesterday’s win was Breen’s 30th from 298 starters.
“I wanted to win 30 races by the time I had 300 starters so that was done today.”
Santanna’s Rocket is owned by Paul Matheson, Ross Cleland and Barry Harvey.
“They had a good old bet up in Christchurch so they’ll be pretty happy. They did multis with Mucho Macho Man (which won at Forbury Park on Thursday).”
Breen is having a good trot at the moment having won eight races in four weeks. His winners have been Lorretta Franco (2), The Night Hawk (2), Santanna’s Rocket (2) and Mucho Macho Man (2).
“Ross bought me a one armed spreader and it’s just helped him (Mucho Macho Man) and The Night Hawk out no end. You just put it on one side. It’s not tight and it just keeps them off the knee. It works like the old type of guiders used to work. Brett Gray put me onto them. He’s had a bit of success with them. Now he’s probably wishing he hadn’t told me.”
Breen also credits regular drivers Brad Williamson and Mark Hurrell for the run of successes.
“Mark gives them the trip, gives you good feedback and the Williamson boys you just can’t get better.”