Champion sprinter Rocket Man made a stunning return to racing at Kranji on Sunday night in advance of his next international mission to Japan. The Australian bred superstar led from start to finish for a five length victory over 1200m.
Trainer Patrick Shaw was delighted with the effort in the lead-up to the G1 Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama on October 2. “I’m being careful not to have him right at his top just yet,” Shaw said. “There is still plenty of time for that.”
Shaw planned to send Rocket Man for last year’s Sprinters Stakes in Japan but the trip was aborted when he wasn’t happy with his champ’s weight a few days prior to his flight. “There’s still some weight on him. He’s had a little less speed work and his trials have been a lot easier.”
Winning rider Barend Vorster said Rocket Man was at about 85% fit. “I only showed him the stick but didn’t hit him,” Vorster said. “He responded so well and I didn’t want to go hurting him too much with the Japan trip coming up.”
Rocket Man has built up a near perfect 21: 17-4-0 record and has earned the equivalent of AUD 4.58 million. His only defeats have come in four off-shore Group 1 events by a combined total of 1.2 lengths!
Rocket Man is a half brother to the South African G1 winner Our Giant and is raced by South African based businessman Fred Crabbia. He was bred by Dean Fleming and sold for $60,000 through the Tyreel Stud draft at the 2007 Magic Millions National yearling sale.