A spur-of-the-moment change in race tactics has done the trick for Moonbi-trained Rocky Dancer who can boast three wins from his last four starts.
And owner-trainer Sonny Fields is hoping that run of good fortune will continue with the seven-year-old in the Royal Hotel Manilla Benchmark 55 Handicap (1200m) at Gunnedah Racecourse today.
Fields previously trained the gelding for outside interests, their only win coming back in November 2010 in an 1100m maiden at Inverell.
Four starts back he opted to purchase Rocky Dancer.
With the purchase came a spur-of-the-moment training and race tactic change.
“I’d only had him two weeks and he won his first race for me,” Fields said.
“My son Todd, who does most of the work on him, made a bit of a trackwork change.
“Then we changed his racing tactics around, and it did the trick.
“He used to race up on the speed but now he comes from behind.
“He’s won three of his last four starts that way – coming from behind.
“And he’s better in himself – his coat’s all of a sudden blossomed and he’s really changed his attitude.”
Coastal jockey Pietro Romeo has ridden Rocky Dancer in all his four starts under the ownership of Fields.
The trio headed to Inverell on August 18 to take out the BM 50 Benchmark over 1200m, then returned to Tamworth for victory in the 1200m Class 2 Handicap 10 days later.
Their next outing resulted in fourth of nine over 1600m at Tamworth on September 11 before returning to the winner’s circle in Class 3 company over 1400m at Tamworth on September 24.
“The mile was probably a bit far, plus the race wasn’t really run to suit him,” Fields said.
With Romeo accepting coastal rides today, Fields has engaged Geoff Snowden to take the reins on Rocky Dancer.
“Snowy hasn’t ridden him before but he’ll do the right thing by us,” he said.