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Rosehill Guineas for Absolutelyawesome can enhance Zenno Rob Roy's legacy

Bart Sinclair From: The Courier-Mail

THE loss of Japanese sire Zenno Rob Roy from the Australasian stallion roster will be highlighted if his son Absolutelyawesome wins the Rosehill Guineas tomorrow.

Zenno Rob Roy, a son of the superstar producer Sunday Silence, won the 2004 Japan Cup, relegating Melbourne Cup winner Delta Blues into third placing.

Internationally respected Japanese breeding nursery Shadai Farm sent Zenno Rob Roy to the now closed Java Lodge in New Zealand in the spring of 2006.

Absolutelyawesome is a product of that first crop in an initial season when Zenno Rob Roy covered fewer than 100 mares at a fee of $NZ15,000 ($10,987). Ross Mackie, manager of Java Stud, said Zenno Rob Roy was a strong-minded type but not all that difficult to handle.

"You could appreciate he was such a well-performed stayer. He had a real toughness about him," Mackie said.

The following year Zenno Rob Roy came back as a shuttle stallion but was in the Victorian quarantine station en route to New Zealand when the equine influenza lockdown struck.

Shadai agreed to allow Zenno Rob Roy to cover some mares in Victoria when he became available but his bookings only reached 30.

Subsequently, given Zenno Rob Roy's elevation to the elite group of stallions in Japan, the decision was taken not to shuttle the 11-year-old back to the southern hemisphere.

Absolutelyawesome's trainer Mike Moroney is convinced even the limited exposure Zenno Rob Roy had to this part of the world will have an influence.

"I have a couple of other young horses by him ready to come along and I know Lee Freedman also bought a few," Moroney said.

Absolutelyawesome was not an influence on the three-year-old races in the spring but he has emerged quickly this campaign and his stout finish to claim a close fourth in the Randwick Guineas last start earned him a high spot in Rosehill Guineas betting.

The gelding will not be troubled going to the AJC Derby distance (2400m) in a fortnight judging on his bloodlines.

His dam Switch Hitter is by the exceptional sire of long-distance runners, Pentire, and his third dam Sandarae was a VRC Oaks winner.

"In the spring he had a habit of doing everything wrong," Moroney said.

"With hindsight my theory was he was feeling the after-effects of a really bad stone bruise. I think something was still hurting him.

"This campaign he has done everything right. But he's still learning."

Talented stablemate Brazilian Pulse is an acceptor for the Ajax Stakes (1500m) and the Keith Nolan Classic (1800m) but Moroney said the filly will race in the longer event if the track is reasonably good.

"She's poorly weighted with 3.5kg over weight-for-age against the older mares in the Ajax," Moroney said.

[25 Mar 11]


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