Good dress rehearsal for Randwick Guineas

Hugh Bowman’s judgment proved spot on when the smart Cambridge colt El Roca finished second to Terravista in last Saturday’s  Gr. 3 A$150,000 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm.

Bowman had ridden El Roca in his fresh-up win in the Eskimo Prince Stakes but had a prior commitment to one of the opposition, Ninth Legion last weekend. However, he got a rear view of El Roca’s bold effort for second and wasn’t surprised by the result.

“Hugh Bowman’s assessment of the race was spot on,” said El Roca’s trainer, Trent Busuttin. “He told me we would probably be beaten by Terravista because he’s an out-and-out sprinter on his home track but over 1400 metres and further we would beat him.

“That’s just the way it turned out. Terravista sprinted better than us off the turn and was just too quick. But I was rapt in my horse’s run.

“Craig Newitt (El Roca’s rider) said if the race was 100 metres further he would have kicked back and won.

“It would have been nice to win and he just about got there. It was a top run for a three-year-old against older horses.”

El Roca was beaten a neck by Terravista, who was ridden by former Kiwi jockey Jason Collett, and Busuttin is thrilled with the way he has come through the race.

“It’s all go for Saturday (the Randwick Guineas),” he said. “He’ll strip a lot fitter for the run last Saturday and he’s back to his own age group. Hugh is back on.”

El Roca had to switch to the Liverpool City Cup because of his late withdrawal from the planned second-up mission, the Hobartville Stakes. And again it wasn’t all plain-sailing for the El Roca camp before last Saturday’s race.

“He pulled a shoe on the way round to the start and while it wasn’t ideal it didn’t really bother him,” said Busuttin. “Once he jumped out the adrenalin kicked in and he was over it.”