Top marks to Coleman

Camino Rocoso (Michael Coleman) ending a long drought with victory in yesterday’s Taupo Cup.

A heady ride from Michael Coleman put Cambridge galloper Camino Rocoso back in top form at Taupo yesterday.

Camino Rocoso had been off the winners’ list since scoring at Avondale in March 2017 and had to settle for 11 placings between times before victory again came his way in the Harcourts Taupo Cup (1950m).

Both trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman agree if it wasn’t for the initiative shown by Coleman it could have been another placing instead of a win.

Camino Rocoso was fourth on the outer and when the pace slackened leaving the home straight the first time he wasn’t prepared to make it a sit and sprint affair.

He let Camino Rocoso slide forward at the 1200m to lead and had the son of Shocking travelling smoothly in front across the top stretch before applying pressure turning for home.

Camino Rocoso kicked on straightening and despite lugging outwards he held on strongly to win by two and a quarter lengths from Battle Royal.

His stablemate Mental Telepathy did well for fourth after being last to the home turn and running on down the inside.

“It was a great ride,” Forsman said. “He summed it up. They were going very steady and he (Camino Rocoso) just over-raced a bit so he took the initiative and got the job done.”

Forsman admits he was a bit worried early in the run home as Camino Rocoso had looked like winning in the past then thrown the race away.

“When he hit the front I was a bit nervous that something was going to run him down,” Forsman said.

It was Coleman’s first win on Camino Rocoso after placings in three previous rides.

“He was lugging a bit at the first corner when the pace came right off,” Coleman said.

“I knew if I stayed there and tried to restrain him more he was going to hang harder so I let him stride round them when they were going slow.

“He kept wanting to get out in the straight, but he had plenty in reserve.”

Camino Rocoso has now won four races and been placed 12 times from 25 starts for earnings over $130,000.

“He’s actually not a bad miler so we could look at one of the lesser mile races for him,” Baker said.

One option is the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham on January 12.