Oliver to Partner Awesome Rock in 2014 McNeil Stakes

August 27th, 2014

Performing to a good standard despite being unable to secure much of a consistent run of form over his maiden racing preparation through the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Awesome Rock has been confirmed to make his racing return in this weekend’s Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse.

Jockey Damien Oliver has been confirmed to partner Awesome Rock in the 2014 McNeil Stakes

Jockey Damien Oliver has been confirmed to partner Awesome Rock in the 2014 McNeil Stakes. Photo: Daniel Costello

Securing one win and one minor place from just four competitive race starts so far, Awesome Rock has not been seen at the races since failing to fire and beating just a single runner home in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22nd.

Having partnered fellow McNeil Stakes nominee Jabali in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) two weeks ago, champion jockey Damien Oliver has been confirmed to take the ride on the Fastnet Rock colt this weekend, and is excited by the prospects of success with the three-year-old not only this weekend, but pressing through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.

He’s a nice horse,” Oliver told AAP.

“I think Awesome Rock has probably got a bit more scope to go a bit further distance-wise, and I wasn’t sure how far Jabali would go distance-wise.

“And Jabali probably could have done a bit more in his last run as well.”

Debuting with a less-than convincing seventh in the Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Maiden (900m) on February 8th, Awesome Rock charged home to secure a maiden race win in the Say It With Flowers Handicap (1300m) on February 26th before stamping his claims as one to watch when finishing second to Zululand in the Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in his only other start prior to the Todman.

Yet to be confirmed for a specific path beyond this weekend’s McNeil Stakes, Awesome Rock is currently available at generous odds of $26 for success in the featured Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11th with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.

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