Champion sprinter Rocket Man returned to the track in a blaze of glory on Sunday when he scored a record breaking five length win in the S$200,000 Woodlands Trophy in Singapore.
Rocket Man (5g Viscount – Macrosa by McGinty) warmed up for his next G1 assignment in the Sprinters Stakes in Japan by sizzling over 1200 metres in 1.09.74s. The time was almost a second quicker than the next fastest ever recorded on Kranji’s Polytrack.
With star international jockey Felix Coetzee in the saddle for the first time, Rocket Man gradually worked his way across from the outside barrier to the head of the field. His rivals attempted to make a race of it approaching the home turn but the Australian bred star zipped clear and quickly established a massive margin.
Winning trainer Patrick Shaw said the gelding never ceased to amaze him. “I’m absolutely speechless,” Shaw said. “There’s nothing more I can say about this horse. He scored first up with 59kg and broke the track record.
Rocket Man is booked to fly out to Japan on September 17 and Coetzee is excited to be on board. He won the 2005 Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama on Silent Witness (El Moxie). “He’s got such a terrific cruising speed,” Coetzee noted. “I wasn’t concerned at all when I was caught wide early. He just killed them at the home turn. He picked up very well and kicked powerfully to score going away.”
South African based owner Fred Crabbia was on hand to cheer home his champion at Kranji. “My only concern before the race was the 9kg difference between him and the others,” Crabbia said. “It was a huge risk, but he did with such ease. Japan here we come!”
Leading South African based bloodstock agent Andy Williams purchased Rocket Man on behalf of Crabbia for $60,000 at the 2007 Magic Millions National yearling sale. He is a half brother to the South African Group 1 winner Our Giant.