Trainer Shawn Mathrick has been thrilled with the form and class displayed by Ayers Rock through his short racing career so far, and is confident the three-year-old is ready for a big performance in Saturday’s featured 2015 Victoria Derby (2400m) at Flemington.
Ayers Rock has posted two wins and one minor through ten career starts so far, but has stamped himself as a serious black type contender through his three most recent appearances; running second in the Listed Morphettville Guineas (1600m) and winning the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) on October 4th most notably.
Mathrick is thrilled with the condition of the Nicconi colt and is confident he will run a big race in the 2015 Victoria Derby, but revealed his opinion of the three-year-old will not waver should be not win the featured event.
“I’m more about the horse. I mean the money’s great but really I’ve got a lot of admiration for this horse so it would just say to everyone what I’ve been saying – that this is a good horse,” Mathrick told AAP.
“Look, if he doesn’t win the Derby I’ll still think he’s a great horse.
“Even from the first time we rode him he had a fantastic gait and I said if this horse can sprint, he’s the type of horse who could win the Derby.
“It would be fantastic. We want to win but you want to see the horse win it too.”
Ayers Rock debuted to racing for consecutive fifth place finishes in a pair of Flemington minors over 1000m in December and January before immediately returning to the paddock with a view towards 2015 Spring Carnival riches.
Clearly needing the runs when beating only one runner home in each of the Murray Cox 2.y.o Handicap (1400m) and Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) upon resuming this time, Ayers Rock broke through for a maiden race win in the Mildura Melbourne Cup Day Maiden (2000m) on August 23rd; displaying an affinity with distance racing.
Unlucky to be blocked for a run and eighth in a Sandown minor over 1400m on September 2nd in his only other run prior to the Morphettville Guineas, Ayers Rock faded late in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) a fortnight ago and finished seventh.
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