Roy Rogers not feeling the pressure as he chases fourth straight Fitzpatrick Plate on Sunday
Leading Albany trainer Roy Rogers insists he is not feeling the pressure as he chases a quartet of Fitzpatrick Plates when his two-pronged attack hits the ground running in Albany on Sunday.
Now up to $125,000 — $25,000 up on previous years — the stakes have never been higher.
Rogers has triumphed in the $100,000 Albany Racing Club sprint feature previously with Echo Effect (2021), Kia Ora Star (2022) and Strathmore Rose (2023).
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Reigning Fitzpatrick Plate champion mare Strathmore Rose gets another start, alongside Rogers’ six-year-old gelding Halatorion.
Despite just five wins so far this season, far below his lofty standards, Rogers hopes he can complete his four-peat.
“We’ve just been having a quiet run at the moment and that’s what racing is like — it’s very up and down,” Rogers said.
“If we stick to our routine then things can turn around.”
Rogers insisted he can not split the difference between his prized mare, who will be ridden by Madi Derrick, and Halatorion, by Beau Banovic-Edwards.
“Strathmore Rose is a track specialist really and she’s drawn barrier one,” he said
“If she breaks clean and gets a comfortable lead, she should be hard to run down.
“She raced and won in a lower grade race last year, and her second-up run was for the Fitzpatrick Plate, so it’s perfect preparation for her.
“But in saying that he has also won on this track before and his work’s been really good.
“So I think both horses have got an equal chance.”
Albany trainer Rebecca Bayliss has secured a dual entry with Kohli and the in-form Beau Zoom, while Steve Wolfe is set to race the impressive Cable Boy.
Cable Boy is in red-hot form, winning two of its last four races.
Resonator, a NSW-born gelding, is gearing up for its inaugural run in WA after undergoing a barrier trial at Lark Hill in Perth last week.
Superstar Perth jockey and Ascot and WA racing stalwart William Pike will also make the feature race on the back of Adam Durrant’s galloper Supersession.
Rogers said the field is strong across the board as trainers look to test their best combinations for The Bluff Knoll in March.
The Fitzpatrick Plate and the Albany Cup each received a $25,000 prize money increase, which Albany Racing Club general manager Mark Bayliss said was due to a stakes rise.
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