Kennewell in search of stakes spoils with Esta La Roca

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Lloyd Kennewell on Saturday when the Caulfield trainer tries to nab stakes success at his old stomping ground of Morphettville with his promising filly Esta La Roca.

ESTA LA ROCA
ESTA LA ROCA  Picture: Racing Photos

The daughter of El Roca has been in pleasing form this preparation, winning first-up over 1000m at Sandown before finishing second over the same distance behind subsequent Gr.3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) runner-up Malkovich at Caulfield earlier this month.

"She could easily be unbeaten (this prep)," Kennewell said. "She won brilliantly first-up at Sandown and I thought she was good at Caulfield.

"She went up in grade and bumped into a horse that then came out and ran second in the John Monash Stakes against the older horses, so the form has been franked."

Kennewell gave the three-year-old filly a trial last week in preparation for the Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) on Saturday, and he was pleased with her hit-out.

"She had a soft trial last Tuesday at Caulfield just to keep her ticking over," he said.

"She is in really good order, she is physically a bit stronger and if she can run the 1050m out tomorrow, she will be right in the thick of things.

"She has got a good score on the board and we are hoping to add black-type to it tomorrow."

With border restrictions Kennewell will be unable to be trackside on Saturday, but he has been able to entrust her to trainer and former colleague Matt Seyers.

"I am originally from Adelaide, so I send them over to Matt Seyers who used to be my pre-trainer, and he is a trainer in his own right, and he takes care of the horses for me," he said.

The border restrictions haven't hampered their travel plans, with Esta La Roca  arriving in Adelaide on Friday morning.

"Not much changes for us here," Kennewell said. "She got on the float last night as normal when we go from Melbourne to Adelaide, she arrived there first thing this morning and she will just have an easy day and head to the races tomorrow."

Depending on Saturday's result, more stakes assignments could be in the offing for Esta La Roca.

"I have got some races in-mind for her here (Melbourne)," Kennewell said. "There is a 1000m stakes race at Moonee Valley in three weeks, the Carlyon Stakes (Listed). There are plans there but she has to tick the box tomorrow to get to those races."

Esta La Roca is the only horse by Westbury Stud stallion El Roca in Kennewell's barn, but he said she won't be the last.

"I bought her at the breeze-up sale on the Gold Coast. I liked her breeze-up and she looked nice," he said.

"I was keen to secure her. I went there with an open mind to try and buy a horse that I felt was a good running type, and that was her. We came home with a nice filly."
NZ Racing News