Cream to Rocket to the top in Cotton Cup

The Kylie Kennedy-trained Wild Rocket will start as one of the favourite’s in Sunday’s Cotton Cup at Warren. Photo: Racing Photography.

Kylie Kennedy has little doubt Wild Rocket’s class will come to the fore in Warren’s $34,000 Cotton Cup (1600m) on Sunday.

Kennedy’s mare has been in scintillating form, placing in four of her past five starts including a win the $39,000 Narromine Cup (1600m) and brings with it some irresistible formlines from earlier this year. 

“I think she’s the class (horse) in the race – I’m pretty confident with her,” Kennedy said. 

“Not many horses in this field would finish two lengths behind Art Cadeau.

“I think she probably should have won The Championship Qualifier at Coonamble against Activation too. I overworked her a bit because I was worried she might over race and Matt Cahill said she wasn’t as bright as he would have liked, so when we went to the final I freshened her right up for that.”

The feature mile has attracted a small but competitive eight horse field, which the Narromine trainer has revealed could be the last time we see Wild Rocket on the country circuit. 

“The reality is she has to go to town,” Kennedy said. 

“If she wins the Cotton Cup she will be benchmarked out of country racing.

“After this run, I’d prefer to turn her out for next Autumn and then, if she is good enough, she will have a couple of runs in town for me before having another crack at the Country Championships. Then we will probably look at placing her with a trainer down in Sydney.

“Some people have said to me, ‘I wouldn’t send her to Sydney’ but you have to look after the horse and the owners.

“She deserves a few cracks in town next prep.”

Despite being beaten in the Coonabarabran Cup (1600m) last start behind Notabadidea, Kennedy believes the expansive track of Warren, barrier seven and the prediction of rain will see Wild Rocket produce her customary barnstorming finish from the rear. 

“She’s drawn out wide on Sunday so we will just peel her out the back and let her do her thing,” Kennedy said. 

“Her only unplaced run at Forbes in her past five starts she got stuck in amongst them, so it didn’t really work out and suit her. 

“She’s pretty exciting to watch. I’ve never really had a stayer that comes from behind like her. She keeps you waiting with anticipation, that’s for sure!

“The big Warren track will suit her much more than last start, as will a bit of rain.

“Her runs on good tracks have been alright but she just grows an extra leg in the wet.

“I think if a bit of that rain predicated hits, that’s going to bring in her price as well.”

The track is currently rated a Good (4), however the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a 90% chance of between 6-15mm of rain on Sunday. 

The five-year-old will have to lump the top weight of 61kg but Kennedy draws confidence from the fact that she has her regular rider and top jock Matthew Cahill in the saddle, the jockey that has partnered Wild Rocket to all six of her wins. 

“The big weight is the only little concern but she has won on a heavy with 59kg, plus it’s great to have Matty on,” Kennedy said.

“You don’t really need to give any instructions; just wish him luck and off he goes – you’re very confident when he is on. 

“Matty has ridden her most starts and even after his first couple of rides on her he came back and said ‘I think she is something special’ and I looked at my partner and said ‘Oh geez! I don’t think Matty would say that too lightly.’”

Wild Rocket ($4) currently shares favouritism in the Cotton Cup (1600m) with Damien Lane’s Oakfield Captain and Scott Singleton’s Rich And Shameless. 

The mile feature highlights a big nine-race card and will jump at 4.54pm on Sunday. 

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