Maiden Stakes Success for Rock Of Gibraltar's Rock 'n' Gold

Mark Smith - Saturday January 20

Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra had three of the eight starters in Saturday's $120,000 Listed VRC Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington and it was the outsider of the field, Rock 'n' Gold that saluted.

Chris Symons had Rock 'n' Gold camped on the speed set by Amber Sky and Lord of the Sky before finishing the best to win by a half-head over Husson Eagle (Husson) with Adelaide visitor Itz Invincible (I Am Invincible) edging out the luckless Flamberge for third. (photo Darryl Sherer )

It was the first stakes win for the 7yo son of Rock Of Gibraltar (IRE), advancing his record to 7 wins, 8 seconds and 9 thirds from 40 starts with earnings of $404,900.

"He heads down to Danny O'Brien's farm a fair bit and they do a bit of work with him and he always races well fresh, Zahra said.

"His jump out on Monday indicated he could run a cheeky race but we thought the class of the other two would get there.

"We bought him to stay, he is from the family of Fawkner and Tanby so we went to the Ready To Runs and bought him because of that.

"He used to pull too hard but now needs plenty speed on, gets back and runs on.

"We send him to the farm when he looks tired. This is his first start at the big time and he has performed well.

"He has been a little bit frustrating but a fantastic horse to the stable but we'll keep him fresh and find another race in the next three or four weeks."

A half-brother to Listed stakes-winner Antidotes, Rock 'n' Gold first went through the ring at the 2012 Inglis Premier Yearling sale where he made just $12,000. He was then was onsold later in the year for $55,000 at the NZB Ready To Run Sale.

He is the eighth foal and fourth winner out of the winning Geiger Counter mare Goldberg, a daughter of the Group 1 VRC Oaks heroine Tay Eclipse, and a half-sister to the dam of Group III winner and VRC Oaks runner-up Dane Belltar (Danewin), the dam of triple Group 1 winner Fawkner and Group II Adelaide Cup winner Tamby.

Goldberg was pensioned in 2015. Her final foal is an unraced 3yo Written Tycoon colt named Mister Mogul.

Rock 'n' Gold becomes the 122nd stakes-winner for Rock Of Gibraltar (IRE) who shuttled to Coolmore Stud for eight seasons, the last in 2010.

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