Fingers crossed for Telegraph start

Rocanto and Danielle Johnson kicking on strongly to win at Taupo yesterday. (Photo: Race Images).

Rocanto and Danielle Johnson kicking on strongly to win at Taupo yesterday. (Photo: Race Images).

Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh got the result he was looking for at Taupo yesterday from his talented three-year-old Rocanto.

Despite the burden of 60kg, Rocanto proved too strong over the final stages of the Kinloch 1200, kicking back strongly for rider Danielle Johnson to hold out fellow Cambridge galloper It’s Bianca by a half length.

It was Rocanto’s first win since taking the Listed Reid & Harrison Slipper at Matamata last February and it was his first run following an 11th placing in the Gr. 1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 7.

“He’s not a miler, he’s a sprinter,” said Marsh. “I’ve always thought that but we had to have a crack at the Group One.

“It’s good to see him back winning and that was a good effort. He’ll go down to Trentham and I’m hoping he can sneak into the Telegraph. There’s also a three-year-old 1200 down there for him.”

Rocanto not only lumped the clear topweight to victory yesterday, he also ran the 1200 metres in a swift 1:9.71, just outside Biddable’s 1:9.28 of two years ago.

“He fought hard,” said Johnson. “He flew the gates and dug deep and came again when the second horse came up alongside. That’s good to see from a colt.”

Rocanto has now won four of his 11 starts and his placings include a second to Marky Mark in the Gr. 1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes and a third to Dal Cielo in the Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes.