Rock 'n' Gold Captures John Dillon Stakes

Mark Smith - Saturday January 26

After being caught four and five wide early, Damian Lane elected to circle the field and take up the running on Rock 'n' Gold in Saturday's Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and the 8-year-old gelding proceeded to make every post a winner.

Keeping up a relentless gallop, Rock 'n' Gold defeated the favourite Manolo Blahniq (Jimmy Choux) by two lengths with Chamois Road (Choisir) a short-head back in third. (photo Grant Courtney)

It has been just over 12 months since the Son Of Rock Of Gibraltar earned his only other stakes win in the Listed Kensington Stakes at Flemington.

He advances his record to 9 wins, 10 seconds and 9 thirds from 53 starts with earnings of $596,200.

"I think Damian went to plan B, it wasn't our plan to lead but good jockeys sum it up well and Damian did so," co-trainer Matthew Ellerton said.

"He's a durable horse who loves his racing and enjoys his time in work.

"He'll go back up in the ratings. He had 55.5kg today so we'll have to think about (where he goes next). We usually leave him in work until the tracks turn sour then he usually has his winter break and comes back racing later in the year. He might be tough to place from here."

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

He is the eighth foal of ten foals and fifth 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 4yo Written Tycoon named Mister Mogul who has won his last two starts.

Rock 'n' Gold is one of 130 stakes-winners for Rock Of Gibraltar (IRE) who shuttled to Coolmore Stud for eight seasons, the last in 2010.

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