Chris Waller‘s VRC Derby champion, Riff Rocket, has set his sights on the Australian Derby after a dominant victory in the 2024 Rosehill Guineas results.

2024 Rosehill Guineas winner Riff Rocket

2024 Rosehill Guineas winner Riff Rocket posted his second Group 1 success with a big run down the outside. Photo: Steve Hart.

This win ties Waller with Gai Waterhouse for the most career Group 1 victories (159).

The talented American Pharoah gelding spearheaded a successful Golden Slipper Day for Waller, following Via Sistina’s win in the Ranvet Stakes.

Riff Rocket, a surprise winner in the CS Hayes (1400m), came off a third-place finish in the Australian Guineas (1600m) before returning to winning form here.

Nash Rawiller delivered a perfectly judged ride, settling Riff Rocket near the back of the pack before making his move with 800m remaining.

The colt surged around the field down the outside, showcasing his powerful closing speed.

Riff Rocket crossed the finish line comfortably ahead of the Joe Pride-trained Ceolwulf and another Waller runner, Cap Ferrat, to secure his second Group 1 win.

“To be honest, I feel like it was a bit of a present from the great man Chris Waller because I knew he was a pretty special horse but I didn’t realise how good he was until before the race when he told me,” winning hoop Rawiller told the media after the event. 

“He’s done a wonderful job here today, the horse. He probably stole one last year and he’s repaid me this year.”

This victory positions him as the clear favourite for the $2 million Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 6th, aiming to emulate Criterion’s feat of completing the Rosehill Guineas-Australian Derby double in 2014.

Ladbrokes has installed Riff Rocket as the short favourite at $2.50 to win the 2024 ATC Derby.

2024 Rosehill Guineas Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 2 RIFF ROCKET Chris Waller Nash Rawiller 8 56.5kg $2.70F
2 9 CEOLWULF (NZ) Joseph Pride Blake Shinn 0.76L 11 56.5kg $15
3 8 CAP FERRAT Chris Waller Ryan Moore 1.08L 9 56.5kg $18
4 6 GANBARE Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 1.34L 4 56.5kg $14
5 7 IMMEDIACY (NZ) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Luke Currie 1.41L 12 56.5kg $7.50
6 4 TOM KITTEN James Cummings Hugh Bowman 1.59L 2 56.5kg $3.30
7 10 DUCASSE Michael Freedman Tyler Schiller 3.42L 1 56.5kg $61
8 5 KING COLORADO Ciaron Maher Mark Zahra 5.59L 3 56.5kg $10
9 12 STEEL BLAZE Brett Lazzarini Reece Jones 5.89L 5 56.5kg $201
10 3 CAFE MILLENIUM John O’Shea Tom Marquand 9.32L 6 56.5kg $21
11 11 COSMIC LAD Edward Cummings Chad Schofield 14.27L 10 56.5kg $101
1 MILITARIZE (NZ) Chris Waller James McDonald 0

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.