Free-going southern galloper Camino Rocoso led his rivals a merry chase when he dominated proceedings from the front to take out the first of the Trentham features on Saturday, the Group 3 Barneswood Farm Trentham Stakes (2100m). Rider Chris Johnson was struggling to keep his mount in check in the initial stages of the contest as the Shocking six-year-old shot away to a ten-length lead and was keen to go even faster.
Johnson knew what he had under him and turned for home still six lengths clear of his nearest pursuer as the rest of the field started to get motivated to try and hunt him down. Camino Rocoso never looked like flinching despite the chasers whittling away at the margin and went to the line a length to the good of race favourite Fiscal Fantasy with fellow North Island raider Masetto in third.
Co-trainer Karen Parsons, who prepares Camino Rocoso in partnership with husband John, admitted the stable had been confident of that type of performance despite taking on some highly touted northern rivals. “That’s what he does down south as that’s how he likes to run,” Parsons said. “We just hoped he could keep going as we all thought he could do it but when we (South Island representatives) come up here they rubbish us. “He (Camino Rocoso) can keep going at a hang of a quick tempo and he (Chris) is magic, he is the magic man. “We’ll go home now and have a think about what next.”
Formerly prepared by Cambridge conditioners Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Camino Rocoso won four races and was stakes placed on two occasions before transferring to the Parsons operation where he has won another five times to take his tally to nine victories from 41 career starts. The win was the second North Island prize taken out by the Parsons stable in recent weeks after Kiwi Ida scored in the Group 2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni last month.
Kiwi Ida will tackle the Group 2 Westbury Classic (1400m) at Ellerslie on Karaka Million night (January 25) after consideration had been given to bringing her to Trentham to contest another of today’s features, the Group 3 Bluestar Anniversary Handicap (1600m). “She (Kiwi Ida) is well,” Parsons said. “I wanted to come here for the Anniversary but we’re going to Ellerslie instead.”