Roch ‘N’ Horse delivers knock-out blow

5 November 2022 Written by Racing & Sports

Roch ‘N’ Horse has upset the short-priced favourite Nature Strip to claim Champions Sprint honours.

Roch 'N' Horse has scored another knock blow in a feature sprint race at Flemington taking out the Group 1 Champions Sprint

The Mike Moroney-trained mare won the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap over the same course and distance as Saturday's 1200m sprint earlier in the year. 

This time there was no $101 on offer as Roch 'N' Horse ($20) scored a short neck win from the $1.75 favourite Nature Strip with Baller ($61) a head away third. 

Roch 'N' Horse has become something of a straight track specialist as her four starts at the track have resulted in two Group 1 wins and two stake race placings. 

"This has been a great track to me," Moroney said. 

"I've won a couple of Derbies, an Oaks, the Melbourne Cup, a couple of Newmarket's down the straight. We've won most of the Group 1s here. 

"I think it is the best track in the world." 

Moroney said the stable made the wise call to scratch Roch 'N' Horse from the Group 1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day. 

He said the mare became 'frazzled' by the lightning and thunder the previous night which resulted in the race being held over for almost 24 hours. 

"It was a great performance by all my staff and my vets because she's not the easiest at times," Moroney said. 

"But she's a very good mare and we knew it was no fluke, the Newmarket, and we were happy to take them on today. 

"We scratched out of the Manikato. I was with her when the lightning came and she really got a bit frazzled with the lightning above her, and she didn't eat. 

"So, I got her there (the following day) and when they didn't upgrade the track, we pulled her out and that was the best decision." 

For jockey Jamie Mott, the win aboard Roch 'N' Horse was his second Group 1 of the Melbourne Spring Carnival having ridden Callsign Mav to victory in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield in September. 

That was also Mott's first win at the highest level while Saturday's victory came following an untimely suspension to Patrick Moloney after his ride on runner-up Emissary in the Melbourne Cup. 

"Unbelievable. This is truly what dreams are made of." Mott said. 

"I was lucky enough to get my first Group 1 only a month ago and to think I'm here on Final Day going past Nature Strip, I can't believe it. 

"Callsign Mav was a special feeling, but this just takes it to a whole new level. 

"I must say I feel sorry for Patrick Moloney. He's done all the work on this mare, and he's won a Group 1 on her himself, but he got suspended during the week. 

"It's unfortunate for him but that's racing, and I was lucky enough that Mike and the connections gave me the opportunity and what a wonderful mare she is. 

"She's small and she's tough."