Roth ready to Fire in the G2 McEwen Stakes

It does not take jockey Blake Shinn long to get an affinity with a horse.

After one ride on Queensland sprinter Rothfire, Shinn could feel the quality the gelding possesses.

Rothfire is back in Melbourne for a second Spring Carnival campaign and is looking to start it the way he did 12 months ago with victory in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Last year Rothfire defeated fellow Queenslander Zoustyle and Coolangatta in a seven-horse field and again meets six opponents on Saturday.

Zoustyle is back again on Saturday while there is new blood in this year’s race – Giga Kick, the extremely quick Perth sprinter Acromatula and Group 1 New Zealand mare Imperatriz.

A look at Rothfire’s winter campaign would suggest the now six-year-old is going better than he was 12 months prior.

Last year he ran fourth in the Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm, he was third this year, and he ran third in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap, second this year.

Also, a plus for Rothfire was victory in a 1000m trial at Doomben last month in preparation for his return.

The solitary time Shinn has been aboard Rothfire was in his Kingsford-Smith placings this year.

“He gave me a great feel that day. He’s a very genuine horse,” Shinn said.

“Obviously, we’re up against Giga Kick and the like, but we won’t go down without a fight, I can tell you.

“He’ll be right there, right until the end.”

Riding a noted on-pace galloper, as are Zoustyle and Acromantula also, Shinn said he does not want Saturday’s race to be a pure speed contest.

“We’ll be in front of Giga Kick, as will a few others, but I’m mindful that we don’t want to be setting it up for these backmarkers,” Shinn said.

“The Perth horse (Acromantula) and Zoustyle, they’ll be running along, so it will be a high-pressure race.

“Rothfire’s a Group 1 winner and if he’s going to beat Giga Kick, this might his chance as he’ll have residual fitness from the winter too.”

About RS NewsWire

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