Rocket Rodney powers to Dragon Stakes victory

Newmarket handler George Scott has a slew of options for talented sprinter Rocket Rodney – including a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup – after the Shaikh Nassar-owned colt powered to victory in the Coral Dragon Stakes at Sandown.

The son of Dandy Man, who was an excellent second to Little Big Bear in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot, was sent off the even-money favourite for the five-furlong Listed event.

Rocket Rodney tracked main market rival Eddie’s Boy, but Daniel Muscutt barely moved a muscle as he drew upsides a furlong and a half out and strode clear to beat the staying-on Cuban Mistress by two and a half lengths.

Scott will now head to Goodwood for the Molcomb and is also eyeing the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland in November, with potentially a run in the Gimcrack at York in between.

Scott said: “He is a horse that has shown plenty at home from day one. We went to Royal Ascot thinking we had a chance of running a big race, but to go and bump into Aidan’s (O’Brien) horse, it was obviously frustrating and he got beat by a better horse on the day.

“I felt like Ascot made a man of him. He came back a different persona and it reflected in his run today.

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“At Royal Ascot winning is everything, but if you have a young horse to look forward to, you can walk away excited as well. I think he will be a better horse with something to aim at. He is one of the most laid-back horses I have ever trained. He doesn’t do too much until he’s asked.

“He will go to the Molcomb provided he is in good order. He has already shown a liking for the track and nearly broke the track record on his second start.”

On the possibility of a trip to Keeneland, Scott added: “That was a bit of a trial for him. Dandy Man is not a nominated stallion so we had to pay 20 grand to get him in the Breeders’ Cup and I said that if he won like that today, he would be nominated for the new race – the five-furlong race on the undercard.

“We might try something like a Gimcrack – a flat six (furlongs), I might put him in the Gimcrack.

“Everyone is keen to push distances, but this is a fast horse and we will try to keep him as a fast horse for as long as possible. It is just that the five-furlong programme dries up ever so slightly.”

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