Major Trojan Set for First Australian Victory

Highly-regarded New Zealand-bred three-year-old Major Trojan looks set to record his first win in Australia when he begins from barrier two on the front line in the 2130m Glenroy Chaff Oakford Stockfeeds Derby prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“His was a great effort when third in the 2536m Western Gateway Classic last Friday night,” declared champion trainer Gary Hall Snr. “He’s quick out and I think he will lead and prove very hard to beat this week.”

Major Trojan started out wide from barrier eight last week and raced three wide early before working hard in the breeze outside the pacemaker Patrickthepiranha. He got to the front 550m from home and fought on doggedly when beaten home by stablemate Eloquent Mach and Franco Edward.

That followed Major Trojan’s seconds to Eloquent Mach at Bunbury and Gloucester Park at his first two appearances in Australia.

His chief rivals this week appear to be the polemarker Gee Jay Kay and Its Rock And Roll, who will start from the outside barrier (No. 9). 

Gee Jay Kay, a comparatively inexperienced gelding with three wins and four placings from ten starts for trainer Vicki Lea and reinsman Shannon Suvaljko, will have plenty of admirers after drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier. He impressed greatly with a commanding performance to set the pace and win a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning after dashing over the final three quarters in 29.4sec., 28.6sec. and 28.4sec.

“He showed really good speed off the gate,” said Suvaljko. “We can lead or sit behind Major Trojan and should run a good race.”

Trainer-driver Colin Brown expects a strong showing from the talented Its Rock And Roll this week and in the Group 1 WA Derby the following Friday night. 

Its Rock And Roll, winner of the Group 1 Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings and the Group 2 Champagne Classic last season, has resumed after a spell in solid form, with his first four starts as a three-year-old producing three seconds and a third placing.

At his most recent outing, in the Group 2 Sales Classic for three-year-old colts and gelding a fortnight ago, Its Rock And Roll began speedily from barrier four, but was unable to cross Shockwave in a spirited battle for the early lead. He then had a tough run in the breeze before taking a narrow lead on the home turn and finishing a good third behind Patrickthepiranha and Walsh.

“I’m rapt with him at the moment; he really did benefit from the hard run two weeks ago and he’s jumping out of his skin. This week I won’t be able to go forward from barrier nine and sit outside Major Trojan, who rolls along just too quickly. I’ll drive Its Rock And Roll in a way which should guarantee him finishing in the best possible position.”