Veteran sprinter Rocking Force is a tribute to his trainer, St Leonards mentor Mandy Shillito.
The now eight-year-old continues to surprise those who work with him, with Shillito today admitting she didn’t expect the “old bloke” would be running in, and being highly competitive in $100,000 races in town.
“We just didn’t expect he’d be here this time around, but he’s going as well as he ever has so we’ve got to put him in these races,” Shillito said this morning.
Rocking Force had his first run since September when an eye-catching second to First Command in the $100,000 Mal Seccull Handicap (1000m) at Caulfield on January 5.
“He’s pulled up really well.
"He went into his last run and we were thinking he was a bit underdone because we couldn’t find a trial over Christmas,” she added.
“I suppose 1200 metres would be better for him tomorrow, but we’ll just try and take our usual sit behind the pace.
"I think First Command is the one to beat so we’ll try and sit on his back,” Shillito added.
“He needs to chase, that’s his go.”
Rocking Force, already the winner of almost $300,000 in stakes, will be aimed at a race like the $120,000 Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington on February 13 if he continues to perform well.