George Scott is looking to keep his Windsor Castle Stakes second Rocket Rodney busy over the next few months and already has his next two runs pencilled in the diary, starting with an appearance in the Dragon Stakes at Sandown on Friday.
The Dandy Man youngster was beaten only a neck by Aidan O’Brien’s 6-5 favourite Little Big Bear at Royal Ascot and Scott believes pushing a horse the calibre of the winner all the way is a good indication there is plenty more to come from the 18,000 guineas buy.
“We were thrilled with his run, but in the same breath disappointed to finish second,” said Scott.
“We were probably just unlucky to bump into what probably is Aidan’s best five-furlong colt, but he ran a blinder and like a lot of these unexposed, lightly raced two-year-olds, he probably got a bit lonely when he found himself out in front. But we bumped into a good winner who was the best horse in the race on the day for sure.”
Rocket Rodney will remain at Listed level for his upcoming assignment at Sandown, but could move on to Group company after that, with the Molecomb Stakes during the Qipco Glorious Goodwood Festival on the agenda.
“You would expect having run so well in a Windsor Castle you would be able to flick over to a Dragon Stakes and be favourite and go and win it, but it is going to take plenty of winning, it’s a really competitive race. I’m really looking forward to the race and really pleased with Rocket Rodney,” said Scott.
“He’s come out of Ascot really well and I think that race really made a man of him. I’ve been really pleased with him since and I’m keen to run him in the Dragon Stakes very much as a stepping stone to the Molecomb at Goodwood.”
The youngster opened his account with an impressive display on the Sussex Downs in April and the Newmarket-based handler is relishing the prospect of returning to the course with a more experienced operator.
He continued: “The Molecomb is a very obvious race for him in the sense that he handled Goodwood really well – he almost broke the track record there on his second start.
“If he was a horse that kind of needed freshening up between races then I would skip the Dragon Stakes, but he loves racing and training and I think he needs a run between now and Goodwood.
“His mind is just bombproof, he is probably the quietest horse in the yard and for a young sprinter, that is a huge asset. He almost fell asleep down at the start of the Windsor Castle and I’m hoping that is going to be a massive asset for him moving forward.”