Riff Rocket (American Pharoah) wins the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas at Rosehill

Coolmore Raised Riff Rocket Wins G1 Rosehill Guineas

A homebred for Debbie Kepitis and her family through their Woppitt Bloodstock venture, Riff Rocket (3g American Pharoah x Missile Coda, by Smart Missile) won the $2million Group I VRC Victoria Derby (2500m) last spring and was back in the winning groove in Sydney on Saturday taking out the $750,000 Group I ATC Rosehill Guineas (2000m).

Trained by Chris Waller and ridden by Nash Rawiller, Riff Rocket scored by three-quarters of a length taking his overall record to six wins, two seconds, and a third from ten starts with earnings of $2.2 million.

“He’s a Derby winner and he’s a Rosehill Guineas winner, he’s showed touches of brilliance in between as well, so that was a pretty satisfying win today for the team,” Waller said.

“The draw was tricky; he had to come from a long way back, but Nash knew what he had under him, and he backed him for a solid finish, and that’s what he produced.

“I always thought about the Australian Cup, but I didn’t realise it was next week.

“I’m not sure. He only just won the Victoria Derby (over) 2500 metres, our Derby is 2400, so I guess it’s going to be hard not to (run) but we’ll just see what Nash says.”

Nash Rawiller was delighted with the win.

“He’s done a wonderful job here today,” Rawiller said.

“It takes him a while to build and find it, but when we got to the furlong he surprised me how well he lengthened again, and that’s what those good stayers do.

‘I was probably three lengths further back than I wanted to be, which is where I’ve been the last two weeks, but the horse was able to keep balanced and he built into the race.”

Riff Rocket was foaled, raised and educated at Coolmore and is the first winner from two to race for the stakes-placed Smart Missile mare Missile Coda, who comes from the family of multiple Group winning sprinter Rain Affair tracing in direct tail female line to the 1945 Melbourne Cup winner Rainbird.

Missile Coda was covered by Home Affairs last spring.

Riff Rocket is the eighth Group I winner and first in Australia for Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who shuttled to Australia for five seasons.