Foxwedge Ready to Rock
Tara Madgwick - Thursday, 16 February 2012

Black Caviar has been perfect in 18 wins from 18 starts, but there is one person who is quietly optimistic about giving the great mare a run for her money in the Group I VRC Lightning Stakes at Flemington on Saturday and that's Paul Whelan, who co-bred exciting colt Foxwedge at his Luskin Park Stud in New South Wales.

Foxwedge has already provided Mr Whelan with plenty of excitement, firstly when he fetched $925,000 at the 2010 Inglis Australian East Yearling Sale to be the highest priced yearling by his sire Fastnet Rock sold at that sale and secondly when he hit the track and proved he could run.

Prepared by John O'Shea, Foxwedge (pictured www.stevehart.com.au) won on debut as a spring two year-old and hasn't looked back, winning a further three times, twice at Group II and III level before running Sepoy to a head when finishing second in the Group I VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes at his last run before spelling.

Two recent trials have Foxwedge primed for his return and Mr Whelan has heard nothing but good reports from all those associated with him.

"John (O'Shea) is confident he's never had the horse better," Whelan said.

"He's bigger and stronger and his attitude is excellent, which for a colt is so important if he's going to go on and become a successful young sire.

"Black Caviar is a world champion for sure, so you don't dare to imagine what would happen if he did manage to beat her ... would they boo him? Would there be silence?

"I keep thinking back to what it was like when Octagonal had his last race at Randwick and was beaten by Intergaze.

"The crowd didn't know what to do. There was scarcely a person to greet Intergaze when he came back to scale. The camera man stayed on Octagonal, it was all about this great champion and how he'd been beaten at his last start."

If the unthinkable does happen and Foxwedge posts his first Group I win it will reflect very well on his yearling full sister, who will be offered by Luskin Park as Lot 164 at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Another interesting Luskin Park graduate competing at Flemington on Saturday is Group I VRC Australian Guineas winner Rock Classic(pictured), who was bred and sold by Luskin Park Stud and is also a son of boom sire Fastnet Rock.

Plucked from the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $275,000 by his trainer Bart Cummings, Rock Classic has won three races and placed second twice from nine starts earning $668,900 in prizemoney.

Spelled for more than year through injury, Rock Classic resumed with an encouraging fourth in the Group II MVRC Australia Stakes behind Black Caviar and will carry top weight of 61kg in the open sprint over 1200 metres.

"He's a Group I winner at a mile, but Bart has him entered for the Newmarket, so it will be very interesting to see what he can do on Saturday," Whelan added.

Luskin Park Stud will present a select draft of six yearlings at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, three by Charge Forward and one each by Fastnet Rock, Sebring and O'Reilly.

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