Singapore’s champ returns from injury

Singapore’s champion sprinter Rocket Man makes his long awaited return to the races in the $125,000 Kranji Stakes over 1200m on Sunday.  A winner at his first seven starts, Rocket Man hasn’t raced since finishing second to Sacred Kingdom in the Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint on May 17.

Rocket Man (4g Viscount – Macrosa by McGinty) was sidelined with a fractured off-side cannon bone which was subsequently operated on with screws inserted.

Trainer Patrick Shaw had been in two minds about starting the four-year-old on Sunday as he was worried about his fitness following the second of two barrier trials back on January 26.

The gelding returned from that hit-out blowing quite heavily and Shaw reasoned that the gelding was still above his optimum racing weight.  “We had him x-rayed following the work and he’s been given the all-clear to race.  He’s a bit like a boxer.  You can do all the work in the ring, but it is not like getting into the fight.  He needs some racing now to bring him to his top.”

Rocket Man has been back in work since November and his immediate goal is the US$2 million Group 1 Golden Shaheen in Dubai on March 27.  He will then return home to contest the $1 million Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint on May 16.

Shaw said he would wait and see how Rocket Man pulls-up from Sunday’s race before considering his options with the four-year-old.  “Naturally the Dubai race is our focus but we’ll wait and see how he comes through Sunday’s race first.”

Rocket Man, who was bred by Dean Fleming, has won seven of his eight starts to date and a win on Sunday will take him one step closer to crossing the $1 million barrier.