He's Our Rokkii gives Dunn a Gr 1 double
Photo Source: Getty Images
He's Our Rokkii has delivered on a long-range plan in the Group One Toorak Handicap to cap a huge day for leading jockey Dwayne Dunn and the Lindsay Park training team.
He's Our Rokkii wore down leader Great Esteem in Saturday's 1600m handicap at Caulfield to give Dunn a Group One double after taking out the $1 million Caulfield Guineas on Divine Prophet.
The long neck win by He's Our Rokkii also gave the training partnership of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig their fourth winner on the program after stakes wins to Sheidel, Hear The Chant and Wait For No One.
The trainers also almost claimed the Caulfield Guineas with Seaburge only for him to be denied by Dunn on Divine Prophet by a head.
"Haysey wanted to punch me up before that race," Dunn joked after winning on He's Our Rokkii, referring to his earlier win on Divine Prophet over Seaburge.
"But he said 'I'll leave it until after this one because I need you in this one'. Hopefully now he's copped it on the chin."
He's Our Rokkii was sent out the $2.50 favourite and after settling midfield on the rail, Dunn angled his way into the clear at the top of the straight before wearing down Great Esteem ($31) inside the final 100m, with a half length to Tivaci ($21) third.
The plan to target the Toorak was hatched in the autumn when He's Our Rokkii won back-to-back Group Three races in Sydney.
He added two more wins in lesser grade to start his spring campaign, building in confidence before getting his chance to shine at Group One level.
"It's my first Group One double which is pretty enormous," Dunn, who also won a Group Three on Hear The Chant, said.
"It doesn't happen every day but I was going in on the favourite in that race so there's a bit of pressure. I just wanted to get the job done."
Hayes said He's Our Rokkii was likely to head to the Longines Mile (1600m) at Flemington, dodging a Cox Plate start against champion mare Winx.
"With the great mare in great form, it's an mission impossible just at the moment. It's not a normal Cox Plate year, I don't think. So I'll be skirting the packs," Hayes said.