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."