Aiden de Campo notched his fourth Group 1 win as a trainer when he drove Rock On Top to a convincing victory in the $100,000 Allwood Stud Farm Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
It was not all plain sailing for de Campo, who had a testing time to get the Rocknroll Dance gelding to pace smoothly before he dashed away from his rivals over the final 100 metres to score a decisive 4m win over Whataretheodds and Tricky Miki.
“He has got a lot of speed, but has still got a lot to learn,” said de Campo. “He is a bit erratic in his races, wanting to get up the track all the time. I did a few gear changes that didn’t work. I am disappointed that he didn’t do everything right, bit I’m happy with the result.
“I got off the pegs about the 1000m mark which enabled me to keep Tricky Miki on the rails.”
Polemarker Floewriter, also trained by de Campo, was a $4.80 chance with Ryan Warwick in the sulky. He led for the first 1000m with Whataretheodds ($4.80) in the breeze, Rock On Top ($4) behind the leader and Paul Edward enjoying the one-out, one-back trail.
Tricky Miki, the $2.80 favourite from the No. 5 barrier, raced three wide early before Gary Hall jnr restrained him and the gelding settled down in eleventh place. Hall then began a three-wide move 550m after the start and Tricky Miki sprinted brilliantly in a determined bid for the lead. This was foiled when Michael Grantham urged Whataretheodds to the front with 1100m to travel.
Hall then angled Tricky Miki to the inside, and he was third in Indian file behind Whataretheodds and Floewriter at the bell. Tricky Miki got off the pegs 250m from home but was badly hampered for room until he got clear approaching the home turn. He ran on fast to be third.
“Rock On Top will now run in the Golden Slipper in two weeks,” said de Campo. “And that will be it for him. He will go to the paddock for a well-deserved break.
Rock On Top, purchased for $18,000 at the 2020 APG Perth yearling sale, is owned by Rob Tomlinson, Damian Keating and Peter Morris. He has raced eight times for four wins and a third placing for stakes of $103,503.
He is out of the Victorian-bred Grinfromeartoear mare Harper Grace, who earned $47,185 from six wins and five placings from 27 starts. Rock On Top is a half-brother to Just For Love, who won the group 3 Gold Bracelet last July and the group 2 Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies last February.
by Ken Casellas