Riff Rocket a genuine chance to stay the Victoria Derby trip

Chris Waller’s hope that Saturday’s $2 million Victoria Derby is run at a ‘genuine tempo’ underlines the champion trainer’s belief in Riff Rocket’s ability to be strong at the end of 2500 metres.

The raging Derby favourite was beaten at $1.28 in a sit-sprint Caulfield Classic (2000m) at his most recent appearance, which Waller felt did not suit the son of US Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

The gelding was a runaway winner of the Listed Super Impose Stakes (1800m) at the Derby venue at his previous starts and his work under raceday jockey James McDonald at Flemington on Tuesday has Waller confident he can bounce back.

“He certainly likes Flemington and we need him to replicate his run here two starts ago to be a threat in the Derby on Saturday,” Waller said.

“His work was very good. James McDonald was aboard, he said the horse relaxed very well and quickened up nicely in the straight, so I think conserving energy over the 2500 metre distance is the key.

“He’s certainly got a great turn of foot when called upon and I’m sure he can put last start’s defeat behind us provided we get a genuinely-run race.”

While Riff Rocket possesses strength on the male side of his pedigree, his dam Missile Coda is a daughter of sprinter Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) whose five wins were all between 1000m and 1300m.

Missile Coda is out of the Lonhro mare Rain Melody, whose four wins were in races up to 1200m, and is a three-quarter-sister to I Believe, the dam of the dam of multiple Group 2-winning sprinter and T J Smith Stakes runner-up Rain Affair (Commands).

Missile Coda’s only other to race is Quintillion, a son of Deep Field who is also trained by Waller and is yet to win in five starts but owns two third placings in 1550m Canterbury maidens.

Riff Rocket is one of 16 acceptors for the Derby and will start from barrier five with his Caulfield Classic conqueror Sunsets (barrier 16), last Saturday’s Moonee Valley Vase quinella Apulia (three) and Verdad (four) among his rivals.

About RS NewsWire

Racing and Sports is a global publisher of online horse racing form and information, and a leader in interactive racing technology. Racing and Sports is at the cutting-edge of information technology, allowing businesses and website users first access to emerging technologies.

Bookmaker Why Bet Sign Up Full Review
Bet Now at ladbrokes Back Yourself with Ladbrokes! Join Review
Bet Now at neds Back a Winner with Neds! Join Review
Bet Now at palmerbet Sign up to Unibet and start betting in minutes! Join Review
Bet Now at tab Sign up to TAB and start betting in minutes! Join Review
Bet Now at playup Sign up to PlayUp and start betting in minutes! Join Review