Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Rocket Spade and Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) runner-up Sir Charles Road will return home following their exertions in Sydney last Saturday.
The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained pair didn’t trouble the placegetters in their respective Sydney targets, with Rocket Spade finishing eighth in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) while Sir Charles Road finished tenth behind Quick Thinker in the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m).
“The Derby just wasn’t run to suit for Rocket Spade, that was the first time he’s been up there like that through the first 500m of a race,” O’Sullivan said of the colt, who didn’t relish the stop-start tempo.
“He’s never done that before. He’s always just jumped and then we’ve put him away. It was a funny run race. He was hemmed up in the straight, it was a similar run race to the 2000 Guineas (Group 1, 1600m), where he just didn’t get out and get a real crack at them.
“The horse on his outside leaned all over him all the way up the straight and it was just a non-event but he still finished eighth. The first three home all came from back and wide, and swooped.”
Raced by Hermitage Thoroughbreds, a racing and breeding operation headed by Hong Kong businessman Eugene Chuang, O’Sullivan and Scott are yet to learn what the long-term plan is for the Fastnet Rock colt.
“Hong Kong is a consideration they’re giving at the moment,” O’Sullivan said.
“We will just wait and see what transpires. We were corresponding yesterday and it’s just a matter of let’s just see what happens. We’ve got a bit of time to think it over.
“He’ll come home and have a rest anyway and then a decision will be made. I know he won his Group One over 2400m but I certainly believe he can win a Group One over a far shorter journey.
“He was just trained to win a Derby all the way through. That was their goal and we achieved it. He’s done his job.”
The next step for veteran stayer Sir Charles Road is also to be determined.
“He’s coming home and we’ve still got to have discussions with Diane and David (Archer, owners) and we will take it from there,” O’Sullivan said.