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Cluden Park
Rocco Ready to Roll for NQ Cup

Rocco Ready to Roll for NQ Cup

5th July 2021 | By Tony Wode

Bush cup specialist Rocco loves a scrap and Innisfail trainer Stephen Potiris expects the tough gelding to be close to his fighting best for tomorrow’s NQ Cup (1609m) at Cluden Park.

Rocco has so far claimed the Gordonvale, Mt Garnet and Laura Cups and Potiris is upbeat about his chances against some of the North’s best milers tomorrow.

There’s plenty on the line for the crack NQ Cup field with the race providing the winner with ballot free entry into the Townsville Cup.

“He’s no (The) Harrovian, but you wouldn’t get a more honest horse,” Potiris said.

“Every time he races he gives 110 per cent – he empties everything in the tank. He’ll never say die.

“He’s also very versatile with wins from 1500m to 2000m. We’ve got a nice gate and Graham Kliese rides him well and whatever he does they’ll know they’re in a race.”

With three wins from his past four starts at the non-TAB events, Rocco is coming into the NQ Cup in peak form.

At his most recent run he lowered the colours of the smart Paniagua in the Laura Cup (1500m) held at Mareeba on June 26.

The son of Mulaazem also has proven credentials at Cluden Park with a tearaway win over 2000m on August 4 last year.

With that 2000m win under his belt, Potiris is looking further ahead to a Townsville Cup run.

“The horse has a great group of owners and it’d be great if we could get him there,” Potiris said.

“We’d probably need a slightly higher rating to get a run in the cup, depending on what comes, so this would be a nice race to win.”

The NQ Cup has drawn a crack field of winter Cup aspirants headed by the brave Best Hoffa, the in-form Fortification, and Buster Block.

Veteran NSW galloper Unbiased will also use the race as a springboard for a third Townsville Cup campaign.

The Glenn Morgan-trained gelding ran second to The Harrovian 2019 and sixth to Shiranda last year.

Morgan also has Breakdance entered while his son Cody will run the classy Bajan Gold, who was runner up in the Country Classic at Rosehill in November last year.

Meanwhile, Grey Missile will continue his path towards another Cleveland Bay Hcp next month in the Cluden Park Facebook Open Hcp (1200m).

The ghostly grey won the 2018 Cleveland Bay and returned from a southern stint with an eye-catching fourth under 63kg behind Brad at Cluden over 1200m on June 12.

Tomorrow’s open sprint offers the winner a guaranteed start in the Cleveland Bay Hcp.

Pictured: Rocco storming to a runaway win at Cluden last year. Photo courtesy of Mike Mills Photography. 

See the racing calendar for upcoming race days.