Rock Of Gibraltar
(Photo : Stallions AU)
…FAMILY MATTERS MORE.
We all know that Royal Ascot is about The Queen, but very few people ever mention “the King”. Generally this title goes to a jockey, trainer or a stallion, or when he was the unassailable monarch of the staying division, a horse like Yeats, who brought home the only four-timer in the more than three hundred years of the Gold Cup (Gr1) at this week of celebrated racing.
There were a couple of standouts last week, none more so than the Coolmore team and their own four-timer, but the stallion who stood up as much as any, and who was probably more deserving of the title because he doesn’t enjoy the headlines (or the support) of a Galileo, Montjeu or a Dansili, is Rock Of Gibraltar. You can usually get a couple of bob on his progeny, because they’re not of the sort of fashion that Royal Ascot is famous for, and last week was no exception. Apart from the places his progeny managed, it was his juvenile daughter, Samitar who put the cat among Friday’s pigeons in the Albany Stakes (Gr3) where she rattled home ahead of some of Europe’s most highly touted youngsters, for erstwhile Premier League footballer, Mick Channon. That was just the curtain-raiser though, as glory beckoned on Saturday in the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Gr1) where last year’s runner-up Society Rock at (50-1), blasted some of the best sprinters on the planet, going-away for a length and a half victory at half those odds. It has to be said that the ground was giving, and he enjoyed getting his toe in, which, together with his exertions in the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr1) four days earlier probably cost Widden Stud of Australia’s newest stallion acquisition, Star Witness the laurels.
And more family…
Coincidentally, this week also marked the arrival at Summerhill of three more Rock Of Gibraltar yearlings destined for this year’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale. They’re part of an eight member contingent of imports for the first Sunday in November, including sons and daughters of Danehill Dancer, Tale Of The Cat, Forestry (sire of this year’s Preakness hero, Shackleford), Street Sense (the only horse in history to win both the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby,) and the old warrior, Royal Academy, sire of more than 150 Stakes winners worldwide.
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