Thursday, June 28, 2018
Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield, in looking to assess his chances of winning a second Anniversary Cup next month at the Lake Terrace East venue, should get some idea of where he’s at when his top sprinter Solitary Lad lines up against a classy field in Sunday’s Gordon Refrigeration Open Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
Clayfield’s previous cup win was in 2011 when Glenville Maggie defeated the Tom Cryer trained Cryer’s Tiger – winner of the 2010 Anniversary Cup – in a then race-record time of 30.18 seconds for the 512 metre journey.
Solitary Lad, a winner of five races this year at Horsham and Tara Raceway, will clash on Sunday with proven sprinters Blitz And Bolt, having his first 512 metre run since last October after some recent impressive 400 metre efforts, and Bomber Creek who found winning form again at the local track last Sunday.
Raced by Ann Sinnott, Solitary Lad will be chasing his third feature success at the local track after wins in last year’s John Reid Memorial and the Winter Classic.
And adding even more interest will be the inclusion in the field of Cryer’s Plugger and Rockoon, both better known over the longer journey but both more than capable over 512 metres.
In fact, the last time the Cryer-trained Cryer’s Plugger drew box one over 512 metres at Tara Raceway was back in October when he clocked a sizzling near-record 29.64 seconds while Rockoon has outstanding times of 29.52 seconds over 515 metres at Sandown Park and 29.84 seconds for the 525 metre journey at The Meadows.
Rockoon, a Group 1 winner at The Meadows late last year, created a real buzz when he made his debut at Tara Raceway a fortnight ago.
Actually, there was an air of expectancy at the track that Sunday afternoon as trainer Tracie Price led Rockoon to the 600 metre boxes, the big white and black dog certainly not letting down his on-course supporters when winning by 11 lengths in close to record time.
One gets the impression that Price is still pinching himself that he has Rockoon in his Compton kennels.
“He’s settled in extra well,” he said. “And when we’re out walking in the scrub with him he takes in everything without going overboard. Really, he’s just a pleasure to have around the place.”