Boom staying prospect Rockoon emulated the Group 1-winning heroics of his underrated sire Peter Rocket with a barnstorming victory in the Hume Cup (600m) at The Meadows on Monday night.
It was a fairy tale result for Pearcedale owner/trainer Keith Hellmuth and his wife Lisa, who bred Rockoon and also raced his father Peter Rocket, a son of champion stud dog Where’s Pedro that won the Group 1 Dapto Megastar and Group 2 Horsham Cup in 2013.
“This is a dream come true,” said an elated Lisa Hellmuth.
“We raced his sire (Peter Rocket) and we raced the dam (Raya Riot). She could run 600m but I never expected her to produce a pup as strong as Rockoon is.
“We are standing Peter Rocket at stud for $1,000, but no one wants to use him. I always knew he would produce a good dog because he was such a hard chaser.
“Rockoon’s litter was very slow to mature, but once they hit about 22 months of age they showed enormous improvement.”
Despite having only a handful of middle distance starts under his belt, including a strong-finishing second in his heat, and a tricky draw in four, Rockoon was a well-backed $4 favourite in the $75,000 to-the-winner Hume Cup, shading Van Ann ($4.10) and fastest qualifier Brueghelino ($4.20).
There were a few anxious moments early in proceedings for the Hellmuths when Rockoon was shuffled back worse than midfield, but with the benefit of a clear run the Group racing novice wound up powerfully down the back.
Rockoon unleashed a paralysing finishing burst in the home straight to win running away, defeating NSW visitor Where Art Thou by 3.51 lengths in 34.33sec, with another NSW raider in Riley Tokaam filling third place.
“It was a huge run,” said Lisa.
“He was last at one stage, and I thought he might be able to run a place but I didn’t really give him any chance of winning.
“I actually can’t believe how strong he is. We haven’t tried him over 700m yet but the (Group 1) Bold Trease (715m) is on in a couple of weeks (at Sandown) and we might just enter him in that. We will give it some thought.”
Rockoon has the impressive strike rate of nine wins and eight minor placings from his 23 career starts, while he’s finished no worse than second in six middle distance appearances.
*This article was compiled by Gerard Guthrie and Andrew Copley.