It seemed that the weather was vying for favouritism with its descriptive namesake today at Ayr when Rocco Storm lined up in the 2m 1/2f, 0-100 handicap chase.
With persistent rain banishing any semblance of “soft in places” it was truly heavy all over by the time racing got underway, with the diminutive Rocco set to carry top weight of 12 stone.
Nevertheless he was sent off the 5-2 favourite under Conor O’Farrell, who was taking the ride in place of the injured Henry Brooke.
Conor had Rocco held up in the rear for the early part of the race before starting to make headway leaving the back straight with 5f to go when charting a wide course round the final bend.
Conor spied a long stride at the fourth last and when he asked Rocco answered, with a beautiful jump that carried them into second place.
Rocco was then sent on to deliver his challenge between the 2nd last & final fence as the front two pulled clear and he readily responded. Having been mindful of the leader jumping markedly to the right, Conor switched Rocco to the inside approaching the last and a neat jump conclusively put the contest to bed as they went away to score by 5 lengths.
Rocco was quite rightly very suited with himself having got back to his customary winning ways after having his hat-trick foiled by a rival carrying in excess of a stone less than him last time out.
We are delighted for The Rolypoly Partnership who are great supporters of the yard, and also for horse. Despite being favourite it was no penalty kick in the conditions and he & Conor delivered in great style.
ROCCO STORM (Shirocco) carries top weight to victory @ayrracecourse, marking a third win from his last two starts 👏🏼 Well done to Danny Brooke @jb_racehorses and breeder Susan Bredin 🥂 pic.twitter.com/kc5C9Z9N6X
— Rathbarry & Glenview (@RathbarryStud) January 9, 2023