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Rock On Zariz wins at Thoroughbred Park to set up possible Canberra Guineas tilt

Canberra training duo Paul Jones and Barbara Joseph had almost given up on Rockton as a broodmare, with troubles getting pregnant and troubles at birth plaguing the mare with "an abundance of speed".

But Rock On Zariz might be changing that as the three-year-old filly made it two wins and two places from her four starts when she saluted in the three-year-old Country Plate (1200 metres) at Canberra's Thoroughbred Park on Friday.

The daughter of Zariz is getting closer to earning a date with the listed Canberra Guineas (1400m) on Black Opal Stakes Day in four weeks.

Rockton had shown some speed as a racehorse, which was why she was kept as a broodmare and paired with Black Caviar's brother Moshe.

But she never fell pregnant to the sibling of Australia's most famous racehorse and has also had several foals die during birth as well - making Rock On Zariz an only child.

"[Rockton] showed an abundance of speed, but the problem was there aren't a lot of 900m races and things just didn't go her way," Jones said.


"She hurt herself in the end so [Joseph's] been trying to breed from her without a terrible lot of success - we've lost two foals and she's meant to go to Moshe twice and she's failed to go to foal.

"We've got Rock On Zariz and that's about it."

Jones said Rock On Zariz will go to the Jack Thomas Handicap (1400m) - the Canberra Guineas prelude - next up and a good showing there could lead to a Guineas run.

She sat in behind the pace on Friday, where Nick Olive's Lock The Doors found himself caught three wide throughout the race.

Rock On Zariz finished strongly up the middle of the track to win by ¾ length, with Lock The Doors fighting on well to hold on to second - a nose in front of Snipps Parade.

"[Jockey] Matty Cahill doesn't think 1400 metres is an issue so we might go to the Jack Thomas - the three-year-old Guineas prelude next meeting here and give her a go then," Jones said.

"If she runs the 1400m out then we'll keep on raising the bar, because every time we raise it she seems to jump it."

Jones has three potential runners aimed at the Goulburn heats of the NSW Country Championships in a fortnight.

Bank On Henry needs to win at Wagga Wagga on Friday to qualify, Darts Away will hopefully resume at Goulburn - or go to Muswellbrook for the wildcard heat on March 27 - and Because We All Can was another chance.