Rocksinga (outside) finishing third to Moorings Melody in the 2003 Canberra Cup when he was trained by Gai Waterhouse.
Rocksinga (outside) finishing third to Moorings Melody in the 2003 Canberra Cup when he was trained by Gai Waterhouse.

Brothers in arms

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

Rocksinga warming up to hit the high notes

THE Sawtell Cup may be a long way from the glitz and glamour of a big city meeting, but for seven year-old gelding Rocksinga, it may the first step back from an injury that forced a long layoff from racing.

Prior to sustaining a tendon injury in the Spring of 2003, Rocksinga was proving to be a potential star of the staying game after following up a second in the Wyong Cup with a close third in the listed Canberra Cup behind Moorings Melody.

Trainer Gai Waterhouse had a keeper in the stables until the tendon injury struck.

During the spell, Waterhouse advised the stayer's connections that they should give up on the thought of him racing again.

But the owners weren't willing to see their $60,000 investment go to waste.

"That mightn't be a lot of money to Gai but it is for the little fellas," said Rocksinga's new trainer Bill Sutton from his Warrell Creek base.

It was fate that brought together horse and trainer for the comeback bid.

Sutton's daughter Pauline worked with the wife of one of Rocksinga's owners and when retirement for the horse was mentioned, naturally Sutton's daughter pushed the promising stayer in the direction of her father.

Sutton is known for his soft touch with horses and he has prescribed plenty of hours in the pool for Rocksinga since he came under Sutton's care.

Rocksinga has had two starts since his return but has been showing indifferent form.

Finishing down the track in both the Wauchope and South Grafton Cups, Sutton is hoping that tomorrow's Community Cups meeting at Coffs Harbour will be the start of a resurgence.

"He can gallop," Sutton said in his typical understated fashion.

"It's just a matter of whether he comes back or not."

Rocksinga is the topweight in tomorrow's feature race over 1600 metres but before his injury he did appreciate extra ground.

"We're just trying to get him fit and see how he goes," the trainer said.

"We'll take him to the bigger cups down south if he stands up."



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