Rocket due to fire
THE DREAM start to Punjab Rocket's racing career in 2012 seems like a long time ago for South Grafton trainer Hunter Kilner.
The form it exhibited to produce four wins from four starts including the Benchmark 60 Handicap on Grafton Cup Day was gift-wrapped with its own little curse.
"He won his first four starts and has been a bit disappointing since.
"He's been rated up too quick, which happens to a lot of them lately.
"It's taken 14 starts to get him to where he can hopefully win a race again."
The five-year-old gelding has just three third places to show since that win streak.
After finishing back in the pack in a benchmark 70 at Ballina on March 16, Punjab Rocket is finally starting to come back in the ratings.
In more modest company, Punjab Rocket finished third in a benchmark 55 at Ballina on May 3. Kilner will be hoping he is finally ready to fire when he lines up in the North Side Fruit and Vegies CG&E Benchmark 55 Handicap (1020m) at Grafton at 2.37pm today.
It will be the same sort of race," Kilner said.
"I'm hoping he'll come good."
Punjab Rocket's third at Ballina was part of a good day out for Kilner, who had Carmela Miss run second in a Class 1 and Zappa The Rockstar finally break its maiden in its 21st start.
"It wasn't such a bad day I suppose," Kilner admitted.
"It was a long wait (for Zappa The Rockstar) and the owner didn't show up on the day, but at least she's won a race."
Punjab Rocket will likely be Kilner's only starter today with Carmela Miss second emergency in the last, the Cansdell Signs Class 3 Handicap (1425m) at 4.28pm.
"She's in a class one at Ballina on Friday. It will probably suit her better."
Meanwhile Andrew Parramore's Power Receiver returns to Grafton today where race wins have eluded the top performer.
Last start at Grafton on March 24 the winner of eight races from 47 starts ran third to Speed Of Dark over 1400m and has since won at Armidale over 1300m and a second at Beaudesert on Anzac Day to Faultless Dancer.
"He's racing consistently," Parramore said.
"Just oddly enough hadn't won here yet. Last time he led them until the last 20 metres."
Parramore admitted the cut back in distance to 1220m for the Grafton Hire Open Handicap at 3.48pm was not ideal for Power Receiver.