From the Commentary Box – Monday, 16th September, 2013


 The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young team have another very promising galloper on their hands.

Although still a long way behind stable star Sangster, El Roca showed at Ruakaka last Saturday he is very smart.

An upstanding colt by sire sensation Fastnet Rock, El Roca maintained his unbeaten record when winning the Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes.

Ridden by Mark Du Plessis, El Roca trailed the leaders before making his move at the 300m mark .

“He was always travelling like a winner, and when I asked him to go he really put them away” said Du Plessis later.

The win came as no surprise to co trainer Trent Busuttin.

“I told Mark to ride him like the best horse in the race because I thought, even allowing for the strength of the field, he was the best horse in it” said Busuttin.

El Roca certainly lived up to that confidence winning comfortably by two lengths from Gobi Ranger and All Decked Out.

Although never a winning prospect, the effort of All Decked Out had plenty of merit.

After trailing in last spot to the turn, All Decked Out made up ground stylishly to finish in third spot.

He is worth following in the near future.

According to Busuttin, El Roca has plenty of options for his immediate future.

“We nominated him for the Caulfield Guineas before he even raced so we’ve got to consider it after today’s win” said Busuttin.

El Roca looks very promising and should be a force to be reckoned with in his upcoming campaign.

Cambridge trained horses picked up three other wins at Ruakaka.

The first two year old race in the northern region was won by Vinnie Eagle, trained by Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue.  Sent out favourite on the strength of a recent trial win, Vinnie Eagle delivered a professional performance to win.

Bounced out to lead by rider Leith Innes, Vinnie Eagle scooted clear at the 250m to win comfortably.

“He’s a natural two year old type who has always shown us plenty” said Pike.

The runner up, Riding Shotgun, could be the improver out of the race.  Riding Shotgun ran on nicely over the concluding stages.

Another local winner was Tolarno, trained by Ben Foote.

Although unwanted by punters in the market at nearly 15 to one, there was a fair degree of confidence in the Tolarno camp.

I found that out myself purely by chance.

On my way north last Saturday morning, I stopped for some breakfast at Albany.

Seated at the table next to me was a bloke who explained he was off to Ruakaka too.

“I’ve just flown in from Sydney and my trainer told me to make a special trip over to see my horse race” said the stranger.  “What’s your horse’s name?” I asked.

“Tolarno, aparently he just wins” said the stranger.

In my capacity of race caller I’m often bombarded with tips by enthusiastic owners, confident their pride and joy will win.

Experience has taught me not too believe most of them.

I wish I had listened on Saturday though as Tolarno gave a dashing front running display, winning by a length.

It was a very nice win.

The last of the Cambridge trained winners was Atacama, trained by Shaune Ritchie.

Raced by Peter Vela, Atacama accounted for her rivals over 1400m.

One of four winners on the day for Mark Du Plessis, Atacama impressed with her fresh up victory.

She should be in for a profitable campaign.

I’ll catch you next week.