By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
One of the surprise packages of the IRT Harness Jewels on Sunday will back-up at Cambridge Raceway just five days later.
Rocknroll Mama flew home late in the Gr.1 Woodlands Stud 4YO Diamond (1609m) to beat race favourite Amazing Dream into third and record her first elite-level placing.
Trainer Matt Purvis took in the action from his local pub in Canterbury, with a cold beverage in his hand, and said when he saw her track Plutonium Lady into the race he began to get a bit animated.
“It was a hell of a surprise for us. We were rapt with her performance,” he said.
“We were down watching it at the pub and I thought she could run top six with the right sort of run, but when she was following Plutonium Lady around the top of the bend I thought ‘we might actually be in this’.”
Purvis has received positive reports from caretaker trainer Mike Berger and his stable junior driver Luke Whittaker will get the opportunity to sit behind her one last time in the John Deere/Agrowquip Mobile Pace (2700m) at Cambridge on Friday.
“All reports from up there is that she has bounced through that run, so she is in on Friday in a junior drivers event to try and get a penalty free win,” Purvis said.
“2700m does suit her, she is always rolling into it late, but she lacks that little bit of high speed. 2700m gives Luke a bit of time to get her back off the arm and drive his own race according to the tempo.
“She has done everything we have asked, so she should go another solid race.”
Purvis sent Rocknroll Mama north to Berger’s Cambridge barn at the beginning of May, and that has proven to be a masterstroke, with the mare placing in three of her four runs, including the Jewels.
“She was right on the cusp of making the Jewels and you can race up there in an eight-horse field and get your chance, whereas you race down here in a 15-horse field and it is so much stronger. It has worked out well,” Purvis said.
“She will come home after tomorrow’s run and I will see how she is when she gets back and we will just assess whether she has another run before she goes back out for a well earnt break.”
Purvis is looking forward to her five-year-old season and is already lining up some potential targets.
“She follows the speed really well, so as long as she comes back from her spell in the same sort of mental state that she is now, you have got the Cup Day mares race and Kaikoura could be her friend too,” he said.