IF you appreciate a good omen bet then don’t look any further than Wayne Watterson’s Rockn N Rolln in this Wednesday’s Elvis Championship Final (2,040 metres) at Parkes.
Rockn N Rolln is named after the genre the ‘King’ helped to define, and the Oberon trainer’s horse goes by the stable name of Elvis in the stables.
It takes more than a name to be a winning shot but Watterson’s horse showed his credentials with a strong heat win almost a fortnight ago.
Rockn N Rolln will have a tricky time in trying to take out the finale on Wednesday after being handed a second row start.
The other two Elvis heat winners Barkway Arnold and Uncle Ryan will both go off the front.
“It’s going to be hard work but we’ll see what happens,” Watterson said.
“Chris Frisby’s horse (Uncle Ryan) is on the outside of the front row and there’s a lot of speed on the inside with the three (It’s A Shakedown) and four (Barkway Arnold).”
Rockn N Rolln’s heat win was earned after sitting three wide for the majority of the final lap.
Under the guidance of Doug Hewitt – who returns for the drive in the final – Rockn N Rolln breezed by leader Its A Shakedown over the closing 100m.
It was a one spot improvement on his opening start of this preparation, a narrow defeat at Bathurst.
This preparation has been a refreshing change of pace for Rockn N Rolln.
His previous campaign, which ran from May through to August, tested Rockn N Rolln against some of the state’s top four-year-olds.
Watterson said his horse may have been a tad out of his depth but he’s returned to the track with encouraging performances.
“We probably went a bit too high going into the Breeders Challenge series, and then we still went a little high with the Regional Challenge races. You don’t know really know how they’ll fair though until you give them a go,” he said.
“It’s taken him some time to get his confidence going.
“He just needs some speed up front for this one. And at Parkes you’re always going to need that little bit of luck as well. If he does get that bit of luck then I’m sure he can be there at the end.”
Rockn N Rolln starts from three wide on the back row.
Amanda Turnbull took out last year’s final with Greenngold but does not have a runner entered.
Nathan Hurst is looking to go one spot better than 2017’s final when he lines up Tulhurst Santanna.
The meeting at Parkes will also include two Menangle Country Series Heats.
The higher-graded of those races features Steve Turnbull’s former Breeders Challenge champion Conviction making his second start this prepration.
Parkes’ feature meeting gets underway from 6.07pm.