Speedster ready to rock NZ
The United State's second fastest 3-year-old, Johny Rock, will race in New Zealand early next year.
He is part-owned by a New Zealand syndicate, spearheaded by Christchurch trainer Graham Court, of Terror To Love fame. Johny Rock will start in the US$600,000 Little Brown Jug at Delaware in Ohio on September 19 and then go into quarantine the next day.
''He'll have three weeks in quarantine in American and then two weeks [quarantine] in Auckland,'' Court said yesterday.
Johny Rock is expected to arrive at Court's West Melton stable late next month to begin preparations for 4-year-old races next year.
Immediately after the Little Brown Jug, the syndicate will buy Johny Rock outright. The son of Rocknroll Hanover and Soggy Britches thrilled his Kiwi owners with a stunning mile time of 1min 48sec on the 1000m Mohegan Sun Pocono track in Pennsylvania on Saturday. The world record for a 3-year-old is 1:47.8.
Johny Rock, driven by Andy Miller, ran amazing sectional times of 25.3 for the opening 400m, first 800m in 53.4 and second last 400m in 26.4.
The breathtaking performance has made Johny Rock a favourite for the Little Brown Jug, which is Ohio's richest horse race.
Court's son, Paul, who returns from Canada soon, first noticed Johny Rock two months ago. He is destined for Australasian Grand Circuit racing next season and beyond that, a stud career at Graham Court's Pinelea Farm, the home of Stunin Cullen, Charles Bronson and Mel Gibson.
''He's something pretty exciting,'' Graham Court said of Johny Rock.
''There has never been a horse of his quality to race at his age in New Zealand.''
Court said two of the 25 shares in the syndicate were still available. Syndicate members include Brendon McIntyre and Tom Kilkelly, of Invercargill, and Terry McDonald and Paul Renwick, of Christchurch.
- © Fairfax NZ News