Everyone Needs a Hero!

Media Release - Monday September 11
There is a definite taste of spring in the air at Chris & Kathie Bakker's Lauriston Park with the second crop of resident stallion Rock Hero starting to arrive.

Yearling by Rock HeroAnd they are looking just as good as his first, Chris Bakker impressed by their size, quality and scope.

"He is such a lovely, big, strong horse and it is great to see him stamping his progeny with his own class and style," he said.

"I am so pleased with how his first foals are maturing, they are very correct and athletic with great temperaments. I look at them in the paddocks and think that there is not one who I would say is not a chance of being a race horse."

Meanwhile Bakker is always very happy with how Rock Hero himself is faring, at seven letting down into a "magnificent stallion."

Trained by David Payne, Rock Hero was a talented racehorse with an impressive turn of foot. He displayed blistering speed to win the Listed Dulcify Quality, overcoming a slow start to claim the 1600m contest in easy fashion.

And he was highly regarded by the stable who compared him favourably with his then stablemate Criterion... "there was a time," Payne said, "that I thought Rock Hero might be as good as if not a bit better than Criterion."

Payne was impressed by how Rock Hero progressed with each start; "in every race he had since his first start he has gone 'whoosh' and improved by about four or five lengths."

"He had such a big stride," he added, "he would take one to their two."

Rock HeroRock Hero is bred on the same Fastnet Rock/Galileo cross as the Group One winners Intricately, Rivet, Qualify, Zhukova and Magicool; a cross that boasts an outstanding 17.7% stakes winners to runners strike rate.

Fastnet Rock has sired 121 stakes winners including 28 Group One winners. He boasts progeny earnings in excess of $128 million and has been represented by winners in 20 different countries (stakes winners in 16 of those). His statistics make for impressive reading; a 68.2% winners-to-runners strike rate with 8.5% stakes winners to runners.

Already seven of his sons (Foxwedge, Hinchinbrook, Stryker, Your Song, Smart Missile, Rothesay and Wanted) and this branch of the Danehill sire line is known for producing a variety of high class winners beyond just early maturing speedsters.

Rock Hero is a son of the classy and durable mare Gallant Tess. A mare who spent most of her career racing in stakes company, she won five races, two of those at Group Two level; the Chelmsford Stakes, 1600m and the AJC Breeders' Classic, 1200m - also winning a Listed contest and placing in five Group One events.

Gallant Tess is one of the best of the locally bred progeny of the mighty Galileo, sire of 255 stakes winners (including 67 Group One winners) and an outstanding broodmare sire force with his daughters already producing 77 stakes winners, 13 of whom have been successful at the elite level.

"It seems that with anything regarding Galileo you can't go wrong," said Coolmore's Michael Magnier - "whether its seven furlong horses or Derby types, two-year-olds, three-year-olds, older horses... he gets them all. And as a broodmare sire he seems to work with anything."

Galileo enjoyed a particularly good weekend with Hydrangea and Decorated Knight winning at Group One level at Leopardstown whilst his sons Frankel and Teofilo were also represented by Group winners.

Hailing from a prolific family that has been producing outstanding gallopers for generations, Rock Hero is a descendant of the incomparable Mumtaz Mahal... also ancestress of such outstanding stallions as Nasrullah, Royal Charger, Mahmoud, Kalamoun, Danewin, Mossman and Commands.

Rock Hero has spring foals due by a nice range of mares including daughters of Encosta de Lago, Redoute's Choice, Zabeel, Canny Lad, Commands, Desert King, Mossman, Tale Of The Cat, Choisir, Nicconi, Volksraad, So You Think, Hussonet, Testa Rossa and Danehill Dancer.

Standing alongside Rock Hero at picturesque Lauriston is Desert King who is still in fine fettle aged 24. "You would not guess his age looking at him," Bakker said, noting that Desert King is enjoying life and that he and Rock Hero are the best of mates.

The sire of champions in both hemispheres including the great Makybe Diva, Desert King has been represented by 27 stakes winners including six Group One winners. He stands at a private fee and will cover a select book of mares this season, Bakker happy to take enquires from the proven stallion's many fans.

For further information on Rock Hero contact Lauriston Park's Chris and Kathie Bakker (0427 903 353) or LP Stallion's Julie Nairn (0402 901 910)

W: lauristonpark.com.au or lpstallions.com.au

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