5.15 Newcastle: Class 5 Handicap, 1m
Rocket Rod caught the eye twice lately. he clearly is still on the up and capable to win off his current mark, especially in this easier grade than last time out.
Ten das ago over the same course and distance he was typcially slowly away, settled in rear but travelled powerfully. Tony Hamilton appeared overly patient (he outlined post-race to have followed a specific horse that tired in front of him at a crucial stage), avoided to switch to the outside for some daylight, and instead got stuck behind horses.
Still hard on the bridle approaching the final furlong Rocket Rod finished easily with the fastest final furlong split, without ever being asked to fully extend.
it was a somewhat similar story weeks earlier over the same CD, although that day he was eased as it became obvious the race was gone.
Rocket Rod has been reaching new heights on the All-Weather this season. A winner of three races between May and August, he was unlucky not to land a four-timer last month.
The Harker yard has been quite successful on the All-Weather this year, and over the last two weeks, with limited runners, turned out two winners from four runs.
Franny Norton on board rides the straight track at Newcastle pretty well, so I’m hopeful he can guide the gelding through the field to victory.
10pts win – Rocket Rod @ 4/1