Consistent galloper set for Group 1 glory

Rock On Wood
Consistent galloper Rock On Wood (outside). Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)

There would be few horses in the country more consistent than Rock On Wood and trainer Leanne Elliot is hoping the reliable gelding can turn that form into Group 1 glory next month.

The Horowhenua galloper is earmarked to head north to Ellerslie on March 7 where he will compete in the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m). The son of Redwood takes some strong form into the race having won six of his 13 career starts and placing on three other occasions.

He recorded his first win at stakes level last year in the Listed Anzac Mile (1600m) at Awapuni and he has placed twice at Group level, including a last start third in the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa. “He is very consistent and he likes what he is doing at the moment,” Elliot said. “It was a good run in the Herbie Dyke, I was very pleased. He’s been good since that run and he has been working well.”

It will be Rock On Wood’s first time racing at Ellerslie and Elliot said it will be interesting to see how he handles the trip. “It will be a bit further away from home and it is a different way of going around,” she said. “He has raced that way around before but it will be interesting to see how he goes.”

In a bid to lessen the impact of the long trip north to Auckland from her Levin base, Elliot said she would likely split the trip and stay with her son’s, jockey Ryan Elliot, mentor Graeme Rogerson in Hamilton. “Graeme Rogerson has been very helpful and we usually stay up there when we are travelling north. He is very accommodating,” she said.