Hayes Expecting Fast ‘N’ Rocking To Win Abell Stakes

Fast ‘N’ Rocking will return to the races in the 2015 Abell Stakes at Moonee Valley tomorrow night and co-trainer David Hayes is expecting the talented sprinter to make a winning start to his 2015 Melbourne Festival Of Racing campaign.

Fast 'N' Rocking has the chance to record a second straight win at black type level in the 2015 Abell Stakes. Photo by: Sarah Ebbett

Fast ‘N’ Rocking has the chance to record a second straight win at black type level in the 2015 Abell Stakes. Photo by: Sarah Ebbett

Fast ‘N’ Rocking was sent to the spelling paddock after he scored a narrow win in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on November 15 and has impressed Hayes with the way in trackwork ahead of the start of his autumn preparation.

The Fastnet Rock gelding recorded a narrow victory in a jump out over 800 metres at Flemington last Friday, despite being kept under a heavy hold, and Hayes is confident that the four-year-old can carry 60 kilograms to victory in the Listed Abell Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

“His trial last Friday was terrific, he is a winner at the track and you can’t fault his form since becoming a gelding,” Hayes said.

“He looks well placed.”

Fast ‘N’ Rocking was included in the nominations for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) that were released by Racing Victoria last month, but Hayes is considering skipping the $1 million event at Flemington on March 14 with the gelding.

The four-year-old has not recorded a race win in his three race starts at Flemington and Hayes told TVN that Fast ‘N’ Rocking would likely be set for races like the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28 and the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 27.

“Tomorrow night will set the scene, but there is a chance that we could dodge the Newmarket because of his poor straight track history,” Hayes said.

Fast ‘N’ Rocking was a consistent performer at the highest level of racing as a two-year-old and he finished second in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), but he was unable to record a win as a juvenile and did break his maiden until he took out the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.

He failed to fire in eight subsequent starts as a three-year-old and connections opted to gelding him at the end of his 2014 autumn campaign.

Fast ‘N’ Rocking took out the Alannah Hill Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on September 20 in his first race start as a gelding and he went on to win the Triforce Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley before he recorded a second win at Group level in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes.

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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.