Rock on Wood made an emphatic return to the races at Hastings on Wednesday when he stormed home to win the Nadeem 1300.
The Leanne Elliot-trained four-year-old hasn’t been seen on race day in almost a year and showed his class when taking out the last race on the card.
The son of Redwood showed a tremendous turn of foot to come from last at the turn to surge past his opposition to win by 1-1/2 lengths in the hands of Elliot’s son, Ryan.
“It was a pretty good win, he was a bit further back than I thought, but the way he did it (ran home) was good,” Elliot said. “It was also great to have Ryan on board for the win.”
Elliot said it was a relief to get her charge back to the track after nearly a year away from the track, his previous start being an unplaced run in the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) at Awapuni last March.
“I had him in early and he worked well, but just didn’t hold his condition, he was just growing,” Elliot said.
“I put him out for about six weeks and then got him up again and he cut his leg, so he had a couple of stitches. I have just had to bide my time a bit with him.”
Rock on Wood showed a lot of promise as a three-year-old, finishing fourth in both the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) and Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) and Elliot said connections have had to knock back some sizeable offers for their gelding.
“We have had quite a bit of interest in him but Mum likes to race her horses and isn’t keen to sell,” she said.
Elliot hasn’t planned too far ahead with Rock on Wood, with the major aim being to get him through his first run safely. However, the Levin trainer is now eyeing a potential trip to Trentham next month.
“I just wanted to get through this one and keep him in one piece,” she said.
“I’ll just take every race as it comes. I’ll probably look at going to Wellington on the 16th and see how he comes through this one. We’ll just see how the tracks hold up.” – NZ Racing Desk