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

Riff Rocket Wins Again in GI Rosehill Guineas

American Pharoah’s Riff Rocket (3g American Pharoah x Missile Coda, by Smart Missile) added a second Group I victory to his record on Saturday with a win in the Group I Rosehill Guineas.

Riff Rocket was returning to the 1 ¼ mile distance after finishing third in the one-mile Group I Australian Guineas three weeks ago and winning the Group III CS Hayes over seven furlongs last month. He had plenty of work to do in the final quarter here as they turned into the stretch but once he was given clear running room, he made the most of it.

The gelding closed strongly down the straight and confronted the leaders in the final sixteenth. He put his head in front soon after before going on to win by three-quarters of a length for his sixth victory in 10 starts.

The winner of AU$2,216,125, he’s won four stakes with that group also including the Group I Victoria Derby. Trained by Chris Waller for owner-breeder Woppitt Bloodstock, Waller said he may make a quick turn around to run in another Group I next week.

“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,” Waller said. “I always thought about the Australian Cup, but I didn’t realize 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.”

Riff Rocket is the first winner from two to race for the stakes-placed Smart Missile mare Missile Coda. A five-time winner, she comes from the family of multiple Group winning sprinter Rain Affair and Melbourne Cup winner Rainbird.

It was a big win for multiple divisions of Coolmore with the dual Group I winner foaled, raised and educated at Coolmore Australia.

It was a successful Saturday at Rosehill for both of Coolmore’s Triple Crown winners with Justify’s Storm Boy finishing third by just 1 ½ lengths in the Group I Golden Slipper as well.