21 April 2011 - Emma Stewart isn’t letting Our Surfer Girl’s failure at Cranbourne this weekt get her down ahead of Vicbred Super Series specialist Rocknrolla’s long-awaited return to the racetrack this Saturday night at Bendigo.
Like Our Surfer Girl, which Rocknrolla nosed out to win last year’s $100,000 Group 1 Vicbred 3YO Fillies Final, the daughter of Grinfromeartoear resumes from a lengthy spell in a heat of this year’s four-year-old mares division. This week'ss heat saw Our Surfer Girl gallop out before finishing eighth behind Hermione at her first start since cracking a pastern after her effortless 3YO Fillies Classic win last June, but Stewart is confident of a better showing from Rocknrolla. She also won the Vicbred crown at two and defending her titles has been the aim ever since Stewart put Rocknrolla aside after she beat home just two runners behind De Lovely in last July’s Australian Oaks at Tabcorp Park. “It’s been a long road back, but we’re looking forward to seeing her race again,” she said.
“She had a really bad virus when she came back from Sydney from the Australian Pacing Gold (in March) and we battled with it all season, but we just decided to give her a long spell so she could get over it and come back and defend her title this year. “She’s probably come back the best we’ve had her. We had a bit of a hiccup two weeks ago when we weren’t sure whether we were going to make it or not, but apart from that her work’s been really good and we’re really happy with her.” Rocknrolla might still be short of her best given she’s coming off a nine-month break, but Stewart thinks she’s capable of taking of her record to 13 wins from 22 starts. She will start from barrier five in the 2150-metre qualifier that includes Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown two-year-old champion Led Suitcase (three), in-form pair Nickle Miss (six) and Espshlilucky (nine) and the capable Illawong Cath (eight). “It is a strong heat and the others are all up and running, so we’re on the back foot a little bit there, but she’s had plenty of work at home and she trialled well on Sunday so she’ll definitely be forward enough,” Stewart said.Rocknrolla’s race, to be run at 6:55pm, is part of a big Easter Saturday night of Vicbred action at Bendigo. Another four-year-old mares’ heat, including classy types Revivalist (one), Art Shadow (two), Miss Trickin Lombo (seven) and Vapar Raine (10), will follow at 7:30pm. Our Flash Girl and Moyabamba headline a three-year-old trotting fillies heat that kicks off the program at 6:25pm, while the clash of Composed and Bitobliss headlines the four-year-old entires and geldings heat that rounds out the card at 10:00pm. - Brad Bishop