Fast ‘N’ Rocking returns to the winners circle after two years (Racing Photos)
It’s hard to whinge about a horse that has won $1.4 million in prizemoney.
However, following the victory of Fast ’n’ Rocking in Saturday’s Listed Keno Weekend Hussler Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield, much of the focus was on the 7YO’s inability to win a race for the past two years. Two years to the day, as a matter of fact, with the Listed italktravel Stakes at Caulfield on 14 October 2015 being Fast ’n’ Rocking’s last salute.
Owner, Peter Devitt, isn’t complaining though and, following the Weekend Hussler, lauded his home-bred for adding to a rich resume which also includes victories in the Group Three Kevin Heffernan and Group Three HDF McNeil Stakes PLUS placings in the Blue Diamond, Rupert Clarke, Oakleigh Plate and Winterbottom, all at Group One level. You can throw in four Group One fourths for good measure.
“Not surprisingly, we were very happy with the win,” an elated Devitt points out. “Sure, it’s been a while between wins but his run first up at Caulfield (in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes) three weeks ago was terrific, coming from near last to finish third.
“I haven’t spoken to the stable (Lindsay Park Racing) at this stage, but he’ll next likely race over 1200m or 1400m during the carnival.”
With the Lindsay Park team split between Caulfield and Royal Randwick on Saturday, co-trainer, Tom Dabernig, concurred with Devitt’s assessment and said he has a real soft spot for Fast ’n’ Rocking.
“He’s certainly a stable favourite,” Dabernig claims. “He loves it at Caulfield and I think his first-up run showed he was in for a good preparation and franked that on Saturday.
“He often has a short margin go the wrong way for him and so it was good for him to get up by a short margin in the Weekend Hussler.”
Handy early, Fast ’n’ Rocking found a split just before turning for home and, after moving up to the leader – favourite, Religify – with 200m to go, just got his head in front at the business end.
Fast ’n’ Rocking now has six wins and 12 placings from 52 starts for $1,413,900 in stakes.
As the name would probably suggest, Fast ’n’ Rocking is a son of the Champion stallion, Fastnet Rock (122 stakes winners) and is out of Hennessy’s Adelaide stakes winner, For The Good Times.
Since being purchased for $135,000 at the 2010 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale – when carrying Fast ’n’ Rocking – For The Good Times has produced a winner in Kristofferson, while her 2YO Sebring colt, Good ’n’ Fast might just live up to his name too following a trial win last month.
Unfortunately, For The Good Times lost her Sebring foal in 2016 and slipped to the Widden-based stallion last spring, but is likely to head back to Sebring this time around.
Devitt has come a long way since he and close friend, the late Les Gordon, first approached legendary trainer, Colin Hayes, about purchasing a horse in the mid 1980s.
Since then, the familiar royal blue and pink diagonal stripes of Devitt/Gordon have been carried to success by many a memorable neddy including King’s Hero (VRC Derby and Australian Guineas), Niconero (five Group Ones), last year’s Listed Debutant Stakes winner, Wait For No One and, dual Group One winning sprinter (Galaxy and Lightning), Nicconi.
Standing alongside Sebring at Widden Stud, Nicconi has 13 stakes winners under his girth strap – including Faatinah, Chill Party and Sircconi – and, according to Devitt, is currently working his way through another monster book of mares.
“We ended up buying around 20 mares to support Nicconi when he first went to stud, but as it turned out, we didn’t need to,” Devitt explains. “He covered nearly 1000 mares (994 to be exact) in his first seven seasons at stud and already has 225 booked to him for this spring.
“When I spoke to them at Widden a few weeks back he’d already covered 90 mares … he just loves his job!”
Another who is content to be just ‘rocking’ along.