Phenomenal Run for Fastnet Rock
Fastnet Rock has gone from strength the strength as a sire over the past 12 months.
It is not just on the race track, Fastnet Rock’s sons are proving extremely popular at stud and horses like Cluster are set to extend the Fastnet Rock legacy. The first Cluster yearlings will see the sales in 2018.
Champion sire Fastnet Rock posted a rare trifecta in the 1400 metre maiden at Warwick Farm on Wednesday with victory going to the Dynamic Syndications colour bearer Rockin’ Ruga (3g Fastnet Rock x Sevruga, by Encosta de Lago).
Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Rockin’ Ruga was fourth on debut when slowly away on January 5, but made no such mistakes this time around.
He led from the jump and kept going to the line to win by a short neck over his paternal siblings Condor and Californiafirebird.
“Dynamic Syndications are great supporters of the stable so it’s nice to get a good result for them,” said Adrian Bott.
“He knuckled down strong late to get the win and he’ll continue to improve. We’ll just look to take him through his grades.”
A $125,000 Inglis Easter purchase from the Amarina Farm draft for Dynamic Syndications / Dean Watt Bloodstock (FBAA) / Gai Waterhouse Racing, Rockin’ Ruga was foaled and raised at Coolmore and is the third winner from three foals to race from Sevruga, an Encosta de Lago half-sister to Group winners Langoustine and One World.
Sevruga is a daughter of celebrated producer Prawn Cocktail (USA), a half-sister to champion sire Royal Academy from the family of legendary sire Storm Cat.
She produced a filly by Vancouver last spring and is now back in foal to the Golden Slipper winner.
A Gerry Harvey homebred, Twilight Song (f Fastnet Rock x River Serenade, by Hurricane Sky) made a pleasing debut at Caulfield keeping the perfect record for her dam River Serenade, who has had nine foals to race and all are winners.
Trained by the Hayes Dabernig partnership, Fastnet Rock filly Twilight Song was easy in the market but had no trouble scoring a three-quarter length win in the 1100 metre maiden.
She sat three deep for Jake Duffy travelling in third place coming to the turn, but was very strong to the line in an encouraging display.
“She’ll take a lot of benefit from that,” said Duffy.
“It was a good learning experience for her. I’d rather not have been three deep, but they said to ride her where she was comfortable and she would finish it off, which she did.”
Twilight Song is a half-sister to Group II winners First Command and Oneworld being the ninth winner for River Serenade, a winning full sister to Group I winner River Dove, the dam of Group II winner Headwater.
She was one of four winners on Wednesday by champion sire Fastnet Rock, who is enjoying a hot run at present with 31 winners in the past 30 days!
Champion sire Fastnet Rock added a 32nd Group I winner to his tally when classy colt Age of Fire (3c Fastnet Rock x Dragon’s Tail, by Galileo) captured the Group I Levin Classic at Trentham in New Zealand on Saturday.
Leading rider Opie Bosson once again showed why he is such an important player for the Te Akau team with another man of the match performance aboard the progressive colt at Trentham.
The 37-year-old produced an outstanding ride to guide Age Of Fire to victory in the 1600 metre feature.
After jumping from an inside gate, he was stuck four back on the rail, but Bosson kept his cool and was able to ease away from the fence into the clear across the top.
The strapping colt let down impressively in the straight to win by a long neck over talented fillies Belle Du Nord and Savvy Coup.
“That’s why he’s paid the big retainer,” said Jamie Richards, who trains in partnership with Stephen Autridge. “He’s a lovely, big horse and he pinned his ears back, he was in for the fight.”
The stable’s number one jockey was having his first race day ride on Age Of Fire, but Bosson had been in a confident pre-race mood.
“He is a lovely colt and his work in the last few weeks had been outstanding,” he said. “He’s a big horse, but light on his feet.
“I was a little bit worried across the top when there wasn’t much speed, but once I got into the clear he showed that powerful finish.
“Well done to Stephen and Jamie and the team – another Group One for the tangerine.”
A $400,000 Inglis Easter purchase for David Ellis from the Erinvale Thoroughbreds draft, Age Of Fire shares favouritism for the Group I Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at $7 with Demonetization and he is now likely to take on the older horses ahead of the Ellerslie classic.
“My gut feeling is that we’ll go to the Herbie Dyke Stakes to give him another chance at a Group One,” Richards said, referring to the weight-for-age feature at Te Rapa on February 10.
Second in the Group I New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas, Age of Fire has the overall record of three wins and three placings from six starts with this victory his first in a Black Type race.
Foaled and raised at Coolmore, Age of Fire is the best of three winners from Dragon’s Tail, an unraced daughter of Coolmore legend Galileo from the European family of Champion Miler Fly to the Stars.
“Fastnet Rock had a great year in 2017 with 29 Stakes winners and now he has started 2018 with a bang,’’ Coolmore Australia’s Stud Manager Jim Carey said.
“It’s an amazing result for David Ellis and his team at Te Akau. David has been telling us that he thinks this horse was top class and he was vindicated in that view today.
“He is a horse with huge scope for improvement and he might just be a very good one.’’
Erinvale’s John Kenneally knew from the moment he saw Age Of Fire he was a star in the making.
“He was as good as any horse I’ve ever sold,’’ Kenneally said.
“He was a magnificent-looking animal, not too heavy, very athletic with a big walk and he’s a Fastnet, so he was always going to be popular.’’
He is the sixth Group I winner for champion sire Fastnet Rock from a daughter of Coolmore’s legendary Galileo, that direct cross also producing 15 stakes-winners in total and achieving 26.3% stakes-winners to runners.
Dragons Tail has never been to a stallion other than Fastnet Rock and has a yearling filly to be offered at the NZB Premier Yearling Sale as Lot 172 by Hallmark Stud.
She produced another filly by him last spring and was then covered by him again.
Fastnet Rock also featured at the Gold Coast on Magic Millions race day with his son Tumultuous (4g Fastnet Rock x Boisterous Lady, by Rivotious) scoring a thrilling win in the $1million Magic Millions Trophy over 2200 metres.
Trained by Chris Waller, Tumultuous has won four of 21 starts earning over $700,000 in prizemoney.
Champion sire Fastnet Rock provided the top lot during the opening session of the 2018 Magic Millions Yearling Sale and also finished the day as the leading sire by average.
His star performer was a colt from stakes-winning Encosta de Lago mare Risk Aversion that was offered by Element Hill and bought by Tom Magnier/John O’Shea.
John O’Shea is no stranger to success with Fastnet Rock having trained his high class offspring Foxwedge and Sea Siren to Group I success.
“It’s all about the type,” O’Shea said. “This colt is a real athlete and that’s why I was drawn to him.
“For me he is a great horse by a champion sire in Fastnet and it’s exciting to have him.
“It’s outstanding to have a horse in partnership with Coolmore and congratulations to the Hutchins family for breeding him and it’s great for a group of my clients who have taken a share in the horse.”
The colt comes with an outstanding pedigree as his dam is a half-sister to multiple Group II winner Shania Dane and HK Group I winner Scintillation, while more recent stakes-winners from this family include Group I winning 2YO Summer Passage and Group II winner Man From Uncle.
Fastnet Rock had nine yearlings average $458,889 during the first day of trade with other big results coming for a colt from Radharcnafarraige that made $650,000 and a filly from Paprika that made $500,000.