Rocket Man being set for the Patinack Farm Classic

When Peter Moody issued a challenge immediately after the 2011 Coolmore Lightning Stakes to the connections of the world’s best sprinters to “come on down” to take on Black Caviar, he may not have expected that his challenge would be taken up later in the year by Singapore superstar Rocket Man.

The recently announced prize money increase to $1 million (making it the equal richest sprint race in Australia), and the adding of a $600,000 bonus for international winners of Global Sprint Challenge races in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK has enhanced the prospects that the Patinack Farm Classic will, over time, become an international feature race of the Melbourne Cup Carnival each year.

VRC Chief Executive, Mr Dale Monteith, announced today that, “Over the weekend Mr Fred Grabbia, owner of Rocket Man, informed the Club that, subject to suitable quarantine arrangements, Rocket Man would be targeting the 2011 Patinack Farm Classic.

“In addition, the VRC and RV have issued an invitation to the connections of the Hong Kong-trained, Ultra Fantasy, winner of the 2010 Japan Sprinters Stakes.

“Formal invitations will also be issued to the winners of each of the upcoming UK legs of the Global Sprint Challenge, the King’s Stand Stakes, Golden Jubilee Stakes, both at Royal Ascot, and the July Cup at Newmarket.”

At this stage it is most unlikely that South African speedster JJ The Jet Plane, the winner of the 2010 Hong Kong International Sprint will make the journey due to injury and Japanese sprinter Kinshasa No Kiseki, winner of the 2011 TakamatsunomiyaKinen in his homeland, has been retired.

“Danny O’Brien’s Star Witness and Peter Moody’s Hinchinbrook would both become eligible to compete for the $600,000 bonus in the 2011 Patinack Farm Classic should they win one of the Global Sprint Challenge races in the UK,” Monteith explained.

The bonus, which will apply for at least three years, is structured to ensure that the Patinack Farm Classic will attract internationally performed runners to the race, and is also an added incentive for Australia’s best sprinters to compete overseas.

“This aspect of the bonus available for the Patinack Farm Classic is important to note, as it will encourage Australian sprinters to travel overseas for Global Sprint Challenge races and thereby become eligible to win the bonus in November each year,” Monteith explained.

Racing Victoria (RV), through its support of the Global Sprint Challenge series, provides travel subsidies to international runners competing in the Australian legs of the series, including the 2011 Patinack Farm Classic.

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