Riff Rockets home to snatch Guineas victory

Riff Rocket has denied the fast-finishing Ceolwulf to win the Rosehill Guineas.

RIFF ROCKET winning the Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas at Rosehill in Australia.
RIFF ROCKET winning the Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas at Rosehill in Australia. Picture: Steve Hart

Victoria Derby winner Riff Rocket is now a Group One winner in two states after adding the Rosehill Guineas to his Victoria Derby triumph.

Trainer Chris Waller had been keen to see if the three-year-old could bring his best form to Sydney as the bulk of his career had been spent in Melbourne and Riff Rocket responded in the best possible way.

Allowed to find his feet early, the $2.70 fancy stormed down the outside under Nash Rawiller to defeat Ceolwulf ($15) by three-quarters of a length with Cap Ferrat ($18) another neck away third.

"He's a Derby winner and he's a Rosehill Guineas winner, he's showed touches of brilliance in between as well, so that was a pretty satisfying win today for the team," Waller said.

"The draw was tricky, he had to come from a long way back, but Nash knew what he had under him and he backed him for a solid finish and that's what he produced."

Waller originally hoped to aim Riff Rocket at the Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington but with a revamped autumn timetable, that race is only seven days away.

While a float trip back to Melbourne isn't completely off the table, the gelding is more likely to stay in Sydney where next month's ATC Australian Derby (2400m) is an obvious target.

"I always thought about the Australian Cup, but I didn't realise it was next week," Waller said.

"I'm not sure. He only just won the Victoria Derby (over) 2500 metres, our Derby is 2400, so I guess it's going to be hard not to (run), but we'll just see what Nash (Rawiller) says."

Joseph Pride was rapt with the effort of runner-up Ceolwulf and said he did everything bar win.

He will definitely progress to the Derby but Pride expects him to be even better again next season.

"He's been beaten by the Victoria Derby winner and he's beaten plenty of other good horses home, so he's just confirming what I think about him," Pride said.

"I think he's a really good colt and I think the Derby will suit him better.

"In six to 12 months' time he's going to improve a lot because he's still a baby."

Tom Kitten had support as a $3.30 second favourite and while he briefly appeared a winning chance in the straight, he was overpowered by the backmarkers late to finish sixth.

Jockey Hugh Bowman wasn't disappointed in his effort and felt the Godolphin three-year-old was looking for further.

"Sprinted through like I was going to figure, but it was a short sprint and he kept building to the line," Bowman said.

"Further won't hurt."