Gold Rocks the Valley first-up

Sep 23, 2016

Rock ‘N’ Gold had little trouble handling the short course in a terrific return to racing at Moonee Valley.

The gelding had not raced since a fair effort in May but dropping back to Benchmark 78 company helped Rock ‘N’ Gold make a winning start to his campaign.

Damian Lane reunited with Rock ‘N’ Gold in the first heat of the Inglis 55-Second Challenge for the Moonee Valley night season and the union brought another success after the jockey piloted the sprinter to his last win at Sale in April.

A smart early gallop meant Rock ‘N’ Gold settled in the second half of the field in the $55,000 contest before Lane let the son of Rock Of Gibraltar improve along the inside approaching the home turn.

Rock ‘N’ Gold quickened well on the turn before Lane sent him three-wide to challenge the lead and the smart sprinter did the rest, dashing clear to score by 1 ¼ lengths.

“He hadn’t won first-up before so his effort was really good,” Simon Zahra, who trains Rock ‘N’ Gold in partnership with Mathew Ellerton, said.

“He cruised into it pretty well before the turn but he had the fitness to put them away really well in the end.

“He finished second over the 955m distance last time in and the sprint trips agree with him so we’ll keep him in this type of race this time in.”

Rock ‘N’ Gold’s win was his fourth in 24 starts and the $30,250 winner’s cheque took his stakes tally to more than $140,500.

Congratulations to Rock ‘N’ Gold’s owners and all involved with the six-year-old’s latest victory.