Rock Hero

published: 09 Jun 2015 in Freshman 2015

ROCK HERO, a stakeswinning son of champion sire Fastnet Rock and the Gr.2 winner Gallant Tess (Gallileo) begins his stud career at Lauriston Park in 2015. His fee is $4950.

ROCK HERO, a stakeswinning son of champion sire Fastnet Rock and the Gr.2 winner Gallant Tess (Gallileo) begins his stud career at Lauriston Park in 2015. His fee is $4950.
  The bay showed great talent in a nine-start career for trainer David Payne who showed much patience with the big colt, taking him along slowly. After being unplaced on debut Rock Hero was in the money in his next four starts from August to October 2013, running third behind Citations over 1400m at Warwick Farm, then a close second to Fuerza over 1600m at Newcastle before breaking through for a win over 1550m at Canterbury, scoring by 6.25 lengths from Liberty’s Choice and equalling the track record time of 1:31.44 for the distance set by Penrickson in December, 2008. 
  Rock Hero was promoted to stakes company next time out and again defeated Liberty’s Choice, this time in the Dulcify Quality-LR at Randwick, running the 1600m in 1:35.75 after bungling the start and losing three lengths. Trainer Payne called him “a special colt, but still a big baby,” after the win. “He’s class, if he’d jumped I think he would have lapped them.”
  He was injured when eighth of 14 as second favourite in the Spring Champion Stakes-Gr.1 behind Complacent on October 12, 2013 and sent for a spell. He resumed the following February when runner-up to Thunder Fantasy (1.75 lengths) in the MRC Autumn Stakes-Gr.2 but was then unplaced in the Australian Guineas in March and sent for a break, retiring when he finished last on resuming over 1300m at Randwick in early August, the injury suffered in the Spring Champion ultimately ending his career on the track. He was in the first three in five of nine starts and earned $146,285.
  “It is a tragedy Rock Hero was unable to achieve his full potential after such a promising start to his career,” owner John Cordina, who raced Gallant Tess with his partner Sandy Ward, said. It’s a sentiment shared by David Payne who noted, “He was a horse who unfortunately we didn’t see the best of. Rock Hero is a beautiful specimen who would have won a Gr.1 over 1600m and I will be very surprised if he does not make a top stallion.”
  Lauriston Park’s Chris Bakker is delighted with the son of Fastnet Rock who is already at the Creighton’s Creek farm and will stand alongside Desert King (IRE). “He’s a lovely big strong horse with a terrific temperament and he settled in very well, very quickly. John will be supporting him with some lovely mares this season which will give him a great start to his stallion career.”
  The horse, who will stand in conjunction with Julie Nairn’s LP Stallions, is one of 75 stakes winners by champion sprinter Fastnet Rock (Danehill (USA)-Piccadilly Circus by Royal Academy (USA)) who won six races including the VRC Lightning-Gr.1 and MRC Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 and who is the most expensive sire at stud in Australia, his “private” fee rumoured to be in the region of $200,000.
  Rock Hero is bred on a similar cross to Flight Stakes-Gr.1 heroine First Seal (her dam by Scenic, a son of Sadler’s Wells). His dam is a daughter of European Champion Sire Galileo (Sadler’s Wells), that dual Derby winner the sire of 177 stakes winners including 2014 English and Irish Derby hero Australia, who now stands alongside his sire at Coolmore in Ireland. Fastnet Rock, who is leading the sires’ table with the winners of more than $8m this season, is already emerging as a sire of sires with his young sons including Wanted, Hinchinbrook, Rothesay and Stryker.
  Rock Hero’s dam Gallant Tess showed talent as a juvenile, winning the Listed Fernhill Handicap at Randwick, was running third in the Champagne Stakes-Gr.1 and fourth in the Sweet Embrace-Gr.2 
(at just her second start). She blossomed as an older performer, winning the AJC Breeders’ Classic-Gr.2, Chelmsford Stakes-Gr.2 (beating Triple Honour) and was runner-up in the Tea Rose-Gr.2 and Warwick Stakes-Gr.2 and third in the Chipping Norton-Gr.1, George Main-Gr.1, Epsom Handicap-Gr.1 and Coolmore Classic-Gr.1 (also fourth) as well as the Furious Stakes-Gr.2 and Apollo Stakes-Gr.2. She retired with five wins, three seconds and eight thirds for earnings of $813,425.
  Her unraced dam, Dragoncello, is a daughter of champion sire Diesis (Sharpen Up) and a half-sister to dual US Gr.1 winner Little Brianne (Coastal). Next dam Spicy Life, by the Bold Ruler (Nasrullah) son Cornish Prince, is a daughter of the Acorn Stakes and Delaware Oaks winner 
Spicy Living (Gallant Man-Rivaz by Nearco). This of course is family 9e and the speedy Rivaz, who won the July Stakes and Queen Mary Stakes, is a sister to breed-shaper Nasrullah and a three-quarter sister to Royal Charger. Spicy Living (third dam Mumtaz Mahal) is inbred to this family, as her sire Gallant Man is 3fx3m to Mumtaz Mahal’s daughter Mah Mahal. Click at this site to read more information!

  Rivaz’s descendants include Kalamoun (sire of Kenmare) and her second dam is the brilliant Mumtaz Mahal (The Tetrarch) whose family members include Mahmoud, Abernant, Nassipour and closer to home Eight Carat (GB) (dam of Octagonal et al) and Mossman. Daughters of the Sadler’s Wells horse Savoire Vivre (GB) could be interesting mates for Rock Hero as he is also from this family and his dam, Triple Crown winner Oh So Sharp, a daughter of Kris (brother to Diesis), has Malindi, a sister to Rivaz and Nasrullah, as her third dam. Daughters of Mossman, Kenmare (and his sons), Golden Snake (USA) and Ladoni (GB) could also be interesting mates for Rock Hero. n