Camino Rocoso strikes gold at Kumara

Camino Rocoso
Camino Rocoso bolts clear of his rivals to take out the Vernon & Vazey Truck Parts Kumara Gold Nuggets (1810m) at Kumara. Photo Credit: Race Images South

Enigmatic performer Camino Rocoso shrugged off a narrow defeat in the Greymouth Cup (2000m) on Monday to turn the tables on his conqueror that day in Bully Boy, as he took out the Vernon & Vazey Truck Parts Kumara Gold Nuggets (1810m) on Saturday.

The John & Karen Parsons-trained son of Shocking, who started his career in the stable of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, had been painfully out of form during his spring and early summer campaign but looked to have turned a corner when he charged home at Greymouth to be beaten by just half a head.

Given an economical run in midfield this time by rider Jason Laking, Camino Rocoso hugged the rail throughout before angling into the clear approaching the home turn.

Laking set out after Bully Boy, who had taken the lead at that point, before Camino Rocoso surged to the front at the 150m, racing clear for a three and a half-length victory over Bully Boy with Mama Sans battling on gamely for third.

Karen Parsons, who has been battling a bout of ill health lately, watched on with her husband John from their Balcairn living room, with the pair cheering enthusiastically throughout the contest.

“That is just such a thrill for us both,” she said.

“We were up early to get all the horses worked and get the team ready to travel today.

“Our foreman Jason Barber and his partner Jess, along with our float driver Gary Mitchell, have been taking the horses back and forward and they were away early to make a pretty long trip.

“John and I thought he could go well today as he had been very unlucky last time.

“I started yelling and John told me to pipe down and then he couldn’t help himself, so he started yelling as well, so there was plenty of noise coming from the lounge.

“To get that win is just amazing and a great tonic for both of us.

“The phone has run red hot with congratulations since the race finished which is very special for us both.”

Parsons was quick to pay tribute to the ride of Jason Laking who had been aboard the horse for the first time at Greymouth.

“Jason Laking rode him outstandingly well,” she said.

“He has two rides now and he has been superb both times.

“The horse has his quirks, but when he is on his game, he is very hard to beat.

“He seems to go his best races at this time of the year and two years ago he won the Trentham Stakes (Group 3, 2100m) in January.

“That’s where we are aiming him again, as long as we can get the transport sorted out.”

The victory made it thirteen wins from 65 starts for Camino Rocoso and took his career prizemoney past the NZD$350,000 mark.

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