Narromine Cup winner rocketing towards Dubbo feature

The Kylie Kennedy trained Wild Rocket won the Narromine Gold Cup on Sunday with Mathew Cahill in the saddle. Photo: Racing Photography.

Kylie Kennedy followed in the footsteps of her father Wayne Collision on Sunday when winning her local feature race, the Narromine Gold Cup, with Wild Rocket.

The six-year-old was a clear last in the 1600m race but under the guidance of Mathew Cahill, Wild Rocket stormed home down the outside, recording a commanding victory beating race favourite From The Bush and outsider Caszar in the $39,000 event.

“I’ve only ever had one other runner finish second in in the Narromine Cup in 2008 (Prince Raheed), but I haven’t generally had too many open class stayers,” Kennedy said. 

“I’ve had good picnic stayers, but not stayers that were good enough to win this race. 

“It’s always good to win your hometown cup and my dad (Wayne Collison) won it in 2018 with Magic Over The Bay, so it was nice to win one too.”

Kennedy is already planning her next country cup assault, with her promising five-year-old set to contest next month’s $100,000 Dubbo Gold Cup.

Despite the race making sense for Wild Rocket, the Narromine trainer explained that the current Covid-19 lockdown and issues with travelling forced her hand. 

“I will probably go to the Dubbo Gold Cup and then maybe turn her out,” Kennedy said. 

“I would love to take her to town but with Covid, and the way she behaves, I’m not confident of leaving her in Sydney.”

The Uncle Mo mare has a devilish reputation both on and off the track, even failing her first ever trial, but Kennedy persisted with Wild Rocket, and she is now reaping the rewards, having won six races from 21 starts, including a fourth in the final of the 2021 Country Championships. 

“She was just very immature; she didn’t pass her first barrier trial. She missed the kick a long way and flew home and had to re-trial,” Kennedy laughed. 

“I gave her one start and tipped her straight out because she was immature in the head and body.

“She has come a long way since then, but I still think next prep, she will be at her peak, a lot stronger and mature and she could do anything.”

Wild Rocket still has her negative tendencies during races, and Kennedy explained some unique gear changes and an understanding jockey in the form of Mathew Cahill made all the difference. 

“She is just getting better and better with age. She has a one-eyed blinker because she will lay in on horses, but she is slowly working it all out,” Kennedy said. 

“Plus, I am so confident with Matty on her, because he knows her and her little quirkiness.

“Even at the 800m at Narromine, she had settled and then she started trucking him into the race and that’s her way of saying she is ready, and he just clicks with her, and we see that in her races.”

The 1600m Dubbo Cup looks the perfect ‘next step’ for Wild Rocket, although Kennedy explained that she was tempted to try her galloper over more ground mext preparation.

“Because she won at Narromine last month, I took her to Hawkesbury over 1800m but the race before she was meant to go around, they had a downpour and they called the races off, so I had to drag her home,” Kennedy said. 

“I wanted to get her over more ground, and I think she is looking for further, but it’s just about finding the race to try it.”

Regardless of what Wild Rocket does in the Dubbo Gold Cup, a good spell is on the cards before Kennedy ventures back to town with her enigmatic charge. 

“She has been in work since around Christmas time, she will have been up for eight or nine months when Dubbo comes around,” Kennedy said. 

“She hasn’t been over raced either, but it’s a long time and a bit of time in the paddock won’t hurt her.”