Riordan helps Rock get the gold at Caulfield

Dec 26, 2018

A smart piece of riding from apprentice Liam Riordan drew accolades after Rock ‘N’ Gold broke through for his first Caulfield win on Boxing Day.

Rock ‘N’ Gold had missed a place at each of his previous seven runs at Caulfield but managed to change that statistic in the Ken Sturt Handicap (1400m).

A forecast fast early pace did not eventuate, which left Riordan with a decision to make early in the $100,000 race.

Riordan decided to send Rock ‘N’ Gold to the front at the 900m and the pair was never headed as Rock ‘N’ Gold showed a neat turn of foot to sprint away from his rivals in the straight to record a 2 ¼-length win.

“They gave him a few cheap sectionals and he’s always shown a good turn of foot when he’s allowed to do that, and he had no weight on his back,” Zahra, who trains Rock ‘N’ Gold in partnership with Mathew Ellerton

Zahra was quick to praise Riordan for his initiative aboard the stable veteran.

“Full credit to Liam. We thought they’d go hard on paper, but they stacked them up and he used his brain and went around them,” Zahra said.

“He’s been working hard. He works hard and hopefully at this time of the year, he can get going.”

Zahra said Rock ‘N’ Gold, who is a stakes winner at Flemington over 1000m, had shown all the signs of needing 1400m and further this time in.

Rock ‘N’ Gold was placed over 1600m at Flemington in 2015 and Zahra said the son of Rock Of Gibraltar could get out to that distance in his next few runs.

“We might stretch him out again, even to a mile,” Zahra said.

“This time in he’s shown he has been happy to relax and get a bit more ground and they have just been a bit slick him over 1200(m).”

Rock ‘N’ Gold’s Boxing Day win was the eighth of his grand 51-start career while the $55,000 winner’s cheque took his stakes tally to more than $500,000.

Congratulations to Rock ‘N’ Gold’s owners and all involved with the terrific performer’s Caulfield win.