Rockin and rolling O'Brien ready for more Tontine success

Leroy O’Brien believes he has the right filly to secure more McLardy McShane Tontine Pacing Championship glory for the stable.

Leroy O'Brien
Leroy O'Brien Picture: HRV

The 32-year-old trainer took out the 2023 edition with Blake Bolac and has three-year-old Rockin Gemma primed for the time-honoured feature at Terang on Tuesday.

"We won it last year with Blake Bolac off a similar sort of campaign, and I think she is just as good as him, if not a little bit better," O'Brien said.

"She is a lovely filly and she is good, (but) obviously she is a three-year-old taking on the older horses. She has been racing well, I think she will be thereabouts."

The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven and Soho Artemis was poised to target the NSW Oaks, but illness kept her out of action.

"I took her to Sydney for a month and had a bit of bad luck with a virus and all that," he said. "She was still in work, she just never raced."

Rockin Gemma has drawn four for the $15,000 event with Ryan Duffy booked to pilot.

"I think she will just come out with it and find a spot. She won't come out too hard, I think. She is very versatile - if she has to go forward at some point, she will," he said. "I don't see why she can't come from behind at Terang.

"Terang is a nice track. She is racing well and is full of confidence."

Last year's Terang Co-Op Rural Store Tontine Trotters Championship winner Sir Eros will have to go the extra distance if he is to win a second-straight $15,000 feature.

The squaregaiter will start from a 30m handicap alongside the Matthew Craven-prepared Hautacam. Last-start winner Imperial Monarch will be the furthest back runner (40m), while Gary Donaldson's Luvski and Rebecca Morrissey's Tictok are both off 10m.