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    From forgotten horse to Grand Circuit candidate From forgotten horse to Grand Circuit candidate


    AN injury plagued horse which was almost given away to the HERO program a couple of years ago has emerged as one of the... From forgotten horse to Grand Circuit candidate

    AN injury plagued horse which was almost given away to the HERO program a couple of years ago has emerged as one of the leading contenders for next season’s Victoria Cup.

    The lightly-raced Emma Stewart-trained Born To Rocknroll staked a serious claim for the Group One when he withstood a veritable barrage from a star studded line up in the Breeders’ Crown Graduate Pacers Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Melton last night.

    Sent out a $2 favourite, Born To Rocknroll worked around to wrest the lead off Audi Hare with 1800 metres to travel but was joined shortly after by the New South Wales raider Courtsinsession as the pair flew through the first half of the last mile in 56.4 seconds.

    The brutal mid race tempo maintained as the leaders went stride-for-stride in a 28.3-second back straight quarter with the swoopers from back in the field looming.

    But Born To Rocknroll refused to yield.

    With challengers spread across the track in the home stretch, the six-year-old wouldn’t surrender the lead and held on to score by a neck from stable mates Code Black and Rocknroll Icon to provide Stewart with a training trifecta.

    Driver Gavin Lang was somewhat taken aback with the winning rated 1:52.8 which is just outside Lennytheshark’s track record of 1:52.4.

    “Yeah, an outstanding effort,” Lang said. “A good lead time and then no respite whatsoever, yeah it was a gutsy effort because he was under pressure half way around the bend and just kept finding and that was a very good field, so full credit to the horse.”

    Lang acknowledged the training efforts of the Stewart team.

    “Both Clayton (Tonkin) and Emma hold him in high esteem and as we know they’ve had a lot of great horses over the years and it’s no surprise that they can get one to do what he did tonight,” he said.

    “If he was one of mine he would have to have a month off now to get over it.”

    Owner Bill Anderson was also suitably impressed by the effort.

    “That was one of the biggest runs and we’ve had some nice horses,” Anderson said. Until Poster Boy came along he was our favourite son

    “He had a hind suspensory and two and a half years off and two attempts to get back.”

    Anderson revealed he fielded a request to make the pacer available for the HERO program.

    “We were asked actually as a four-year-old to give him away as a HERO horse but Clayton and Emma believed in him, so we said we would give it one more shot,” Anderson said.

    “The horse himself is such a trier…you’ve just seen what he is capable of.

    “He was a good two and three-year-old but I think if he can hold together he will go to the Grand Circuit.”

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    John Dunne

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