Coolmore sire Holy Roman Emperor (Danehill – L’On Vite, by Secretariat) earned his first southern hemisphere Group 1 winner when Rollout The Carpet (Holy Roman Emperor – Out Of Egypt, by Red Ransom) fought tenaciously to claim Saturday’s New Zealand Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.
Homecoming Queen (Holy Roman Emperor – Lagrion, by Diesis) and Morandi (Holy Roman Emperor – Vezina, by Bering) have achieved Group 1 wins for the stallion in Europe before Rollout The Carpet did it tough to claim her maiden win at the highest level.
Jockey Mark Du Plessis sent Rollout The Carpet to the lead early in the event before the filly refused to wilt under the weight of Waterford’s (Darci Brahma – Crystal Hailey, by Greinton) challenge in the straight to score by a nose.
Waterford’s jockey Leith Innes protested against Rollout The Carpet being declared the winner but stewards allowed the Holy Roman Emperor filly to keep the race by a nose.
“She jumped out of the gates and fell flat on her face, but she picked herself up straight away,” Du Plessis said. “Every time I’ve ridden her she’s learned how to race and relaxed every time and she gave a really good kick.”
Rollout The Carpet failed to meet her $NZ40,000 reserve at the 2011 NZB Select Sale but has now won three races and more than $NZ320,000 in earnings from her nine starts.