After just three starts Barry Marshall’s decision to purchase regally bred sprinter Padrino Rocks is looking like an astute investment and there’s every chance it could be even better after Saturday night’s Shepparton To The Meadows Final (525m).
Marshall bought Padrino Rocks, a son of the legendary Brett Lee and multiple Group finalist Angie Rocks, off good friend Mario Briganti, and the result thus far has been two runaway wins at Healesville and a close last start second in his Shepparton heat.
“Mario is a good friend of mine and I’ve had a fair bit to do with the breed,” Marshall explained.
“Mario trained a dog for me called Undisputed (a half-brother to Angie Rocks). He was a pretty good dog. He’s retired now and Mario’s wife has him as a pet.
“I’ve had a lot to do with this dog all the way through, since break-in, and he’s always had a lot of ability.
“He’s had a few problems here and there, through no fault of Mario’s, but when he’s fit and healthy he can really run some time.
“I bought him for what I thought was a really good price. Mario looked after me and I couldn’t be happier with the dog.”
The winner of four of his last five starts and seven from 18 overall, Padrino Rocks has to contend with box six in Saturday’s Final (race 9 to jump at 9.07pm); however Marshall is more concerned about fastest heat winner Rollo Ragnar (box 3), trained by Tricia Curtain.
“I don’t think box six is going to hurt him,” said Marshall.
“He used to absolutely crash to the rail but in his last few starts I’ve noticed he’s waiting and timing when he comes across.
“He had a little bit of a hip problem after Shepparton. I’ve been able to get on top of it but he’ll go in fairly fresh on Saturday.
“I think he can lead this race but he’s going to need to be three or four in front. If the three (Rollo Ragnar) is anywhere near him turning for home he’ll get him.
“The last 50 metres will be his Achilles heel but I expect him to run a good race.”
While Marshall only has two race dogs in work at present, Padrino Rocks and Zulu Eyes, the winner of three from five, there could be some bright times on the horizon courtesy of a number of well-bred pups.
“I’ve got a couple of Fernando Bale – Angie Rocks pups that were whelped in June and I’ve also got a litter of my own by Brett Lee out of Unfakeable, which was a litter sister to Undisputed. They were also whelped in June.”
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Photo by Jason Mckeown photography.