Riff Rocket thriving ahead of 2023 Caulfield Classic

James Mcdonald took Riff Rocket for a spin around Caulfield and in a scary thought for his potential rivals on Saturday said the gelding had trained on since his recent stylish victory.

Riff Rocket runs in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) as a lead up to the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 4 for which he is the $3 favourite with bookmakers.

A last start winner by a widening 5-½ lengths at Flemington over 1800m on October 7, Riff Rocket heads the list of 13 nominations for the Caulfield Classic on Saturday.

“He hasn’t taken a backward step judging off his work this morning,” McDonald said on Tuesday.

“He had a nice workout, nothing too stressful. He stretched and extended lovely.

“He had a good look around and did get a little bit lost out there by himself, but his last two furlongs were spot on.

“He’s on track.”

Noting that Riff Rocket’s last start victory was not against the strongest of opposition, McDonald was still impressed by the way the gelding strode clear of his rivals.

McDonald said Riff Rocket should have no problems running out the 2500m of the Derby.

“He covers the ground so well,” McDonald said.

“He has an economical action and has a good turn of foot which over that trip is a huge asset.

“He relaxes so well and if we can keep those fundamentals going towards a Victoria Derby, he will be there when the whips are cracking, that’s for sure.

“The races will get stronger from here on in and he’ll have to make another step, but he doesn’t have to improve much after winning last time.”

Riff Rocket has raced only five times, registering three wins and a second.

He scored on debut at Geelong in April and resumed his current campaign with a win at Kembla Grange of 1500m in September.

Trainer Chris Waller moved the three-year-old to his new Mount Macedon stable ahead of the gelding’s win at Flemington at his most recent outing.

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