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El Roca puts spring in Trent Busuttin’s step for autumn carnival

February 17, 2014

Trent Busuttin put the disappointment of the Caulfield Guineas behind him on Saturday when his exciting colt El Roca returned to win first-up at Rosehill.

The Fastnet Rock colt will be nominated for everything when entries close for The Championships on Monday and Busuttin won’t decide where to go until next month.

El Roca was hampered badly in the blue ribbon three-year-old event in the spring and is now on course for the Randwick Guineas and possibly Doncaster after defeating Dissident by two lengths with Romantic Touch three quarters back in third.

“He trialled well and we were pretty confident but you like to see them do it and travel like that leading up to the turn,” Busuttin said.

“You’ve got to be fit to come over here and take on the likes of Gai and Peter Moody’s horse [Dissident] so he was ready and with natural improvement he’ll go forward.

“I did sulk for a bit [after the Caulfield Guineas] but that’s racing.”

El Roca sat third behind Aussies Love Sport and Pirandello before looming up to the leaders at the 250-metre mark and sprinting clear.

He will head to the Hobartville Stakes (1400 metres) in a fortnight before the Guineas at Randwick.

“He’ll have to relax a bit more over further ground but he relaxed well enough over 1200 metres today,” Busuttin said. “The Doncaster is the goal … we’ll take on our own age group in the Randwick Guineas in a month and see how we go.

“We still don’t know if he’ll run 1600 metres because a mile probably pulls him up on pedigree but we didn’t get the chance to see whether or not he got a strong mile in the Caulfield Guineas, but he hit the line strong.”

Jockey Hugh Bowman wasn’t concerned about El Roca’s ability to extend his speed over more ground, assuring Busuttin he had a Guineas horse.

“He gave me a good feel and I haven’t been on him before so it was nice to come over and open up his campaign like that because reports have been good from New Zealand ,” Bowman said.

“He feels like a miler, no question about it, but we’ll see how he goes in two weeks in the Hobartville.

“He settled well. I pushed him to get a spot and he was aided by that 1200-metre pace. He’s not going to get that in a mile but I think he’ll settle well enough to run a mile.”

It wasn’t all good news for Busuttin however after he was reprimanded by stewards for El Roca being late to the parade yard before the race and the horse having buckles left on the reins.

“The ANZAC connection will only get you so far,” chief steward Ray Murrihy said to the Kiwi trainer.

Tommy Berry was excited about Romantic Touch’s performance after he flew home for third.

Jim Cassidy put Dissident’s failure to win down to the wet track and said the colt would get better over more ground.

Story from The Sydney Morning Herald