By Jonny Turner
Double Rocket will be out to double up at Alexandra Park tonight.
The Arna Donnelly trained 4yr-old will be out to repeat the highly deserved win he produced on Auckland Cup night at Alexandra Park when he takes on a competitive line up.
Though the pacer’s rating has seen him move up in grade following his victory, tonight’s race should not prove too much harder than the premier night event he won last month.
“It is probably not a great step up from last time, they are similar horses,” driver Scott Phelan said.
“He will still need a little bit of luck from the draw, but if he gets it he will be alright.”
“He did deserve that last win, that was for sure.”
“He had had a few things that didn’t go quite right going in to it.”
Double Rocket has high gate speed and could cross to the front from the outside of the front line.
But, that is not likely to be an option Phelan takes to overcome barrier 8.
“It is an option, but it is probably not going to be one we are going to take.”
Each of Double Rocket’s seven rivals in their highly competitive race look to have legitimate winning claims.
Revolver ($4) and Mr Kiwi ($4.50) were rated the toughest to beat by bookmakers when their market opened for tonight’s race.
Double Rocket opened the $3 for the 2200m event.
Phelan admits he needs everything to go in Wainui Creek’s favour ahead of tonight’s feature pace.
The Barry Purdon trained 4yr-old will clash with her star stablemate, Belle Of Montana, in a small field packed full of talent.
Things went horribly wrong for Belle Of Montana on Auckland Cup night when she galloped early, before being wiped out before the home turn.
Wainui Creek was able to capitalise on that when she filled the quinella behind another stablemate, Havtime.
Phelan admitted Wainui Creek may need similar fortune to beat Belle Of Montana again.
“She is an exception mare Belle Of Montana, but things can go wrong as they did last time.”
“Wainui Creek could run second to her if Belle Of Montana does everything right.”
Phelan will get the chance to put Wainui Creek on the speed from barrier 1 tonight.
“She has got good gate speed, so we have a few options.”
“She is a pretty relaxed horse, so you can burn out of the gate pretty hard and she will come back to you pretty quick.”
Belle Of Montana has more than just her stablemates Havtime and Wainui Creek to beat tonight.
She clashes with hardy Interdominion campaigners Solid Gold and Star Galleria.
Bookmakers made Belle Of Montana the $1.90 favourite, ahead of Star Galleria ($3.20) and Solid Gold ($3.60) when opening tonight’s race market.
Phelan also drives Be My Rock for Purdon in tonight’s rating 55-59 mobile.
The 3yr-old steps up in grade after winning more than a month ago at Alexandra Park.
The pacer’s staying prowess will be his biggest asset when taking on stronger horses from barrier 2.
“He seems to be a better stayer than a speed horse.”
“He has got the right draw, so we might have to turn it in to a staying run.”
Phelan also combines with Smoken Shazza tonight for trainer Kyle Marshal
“Kyle thinks she is quite a decent horse.”
“She has been favourite a couple of times and gone good races.
“If she gets a bit of lucky early, there is no reason she can’t be in it.”
Phelan also drives Ain’t No Princess for trainer Matthew Pemberton.
“She has got all the ability in the world, but her manners are not quite there yet.”