A change of training tactics has prepared the speedy Rocky King for the step up to 1400 metres for the first time at Eagle Farm.
Rocky King was once considered among the best short-course horses in Queensland winning 15 races from 1000m to 1300m.
At one stage he held the record for 1000m at the Sunshine Coast and he also ran third fastest time on record for 1000m at Eagle Farm.
However, he has struggled in his past two campaigns and hasn't won since July last year at the Sunshine Coast.
More recently he finished last in the Grafton Kirby Quality (1000m).
Trainer Tom Bourke decided it would be worthwhile to give Rocky King his chance at longer trips where he might not be run off his feet in the lead and he runs in Saturday's Moet & Chandon open handicap.
"Rocky King has lost a bit of his dash so I have decided to change his training routine around a bit. He does more swimming now and he seems to like it," Bourke said.
"I have trialled him a couple of times at 1270 metres and he has handled it well. The latest was only a small field but he seemed to travel very well. It was a solid trial."
Bourke said Rocky King liked Eagle Farm where he had won six times and the gelding had also scored his longest win over 1300m at the track.
"He handles soft tracks and having barrier 12 might not be a disaster at Eagle Farm at the moment," he said.
"There are a couple of other speed horses in the race and he might be able to get in and get cover."
Bourke had hoped Damian Browne would ride Rocky King but the jockey has taken a month's leave.
"Damian is on holiday so I have gone for a two kilogram claim with Brooke Stower. She has won on Rocky King before and knows him well," Bourke said.
G1 - The Bet365 Celebration Steeple Chase (class 1)
G3 - The Bet365 Gold Cup Steeple Chase (handicap) (class 1)
G1 - Aes Champion 4yo Hdle
Grade B - Setanta Sport H'cap Hdle
Grade B - Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe H'cap Chase