Rock Leads Home Mm Trifecta In Champagne

Winner: Lone Rock (Fastnet Rock-Pride of Pine)
Race: MVRC Champagne Stakes G3 (1200m)
Sold for: $75,000
Sale: 2009 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Glastonbury Farms (As Agent)
Buyer: Aquanita Racing
Earnings: $142,178
Owner(s): AS & JA Bongiorno
Trainer: Robert Smerdon (Caulfield)

Lone RockLone Rock sent her future broodmare value soaring when she led home a Magic Millions trifecta in Friday night’s $150,000 Group Three Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.

A filly who hit the track running early in her career, Lone Rock got home after a copybook ride from proven big race rider Glen Boss.

A decision to add blinkers to Lone Rock proved a masterstroke when she bounced back from a last start fifth for an impressive victory at group level.

Connections trialled the filly in shades at Cranbourne on Monday and she duly won her 990 metre heat in brilliant fashion.

“Trialling her four days before was a bit of a concern,” Smerdon said. “Glen (Boss, winning rider) said last time when he rode her that she was a blinker horse.”

Lone Rock“My concern was that she would over race.”

“Glen was in Dubai for the Melbourne Cup (tour) so Jason Maskiell rode her and we just wanted to see that she wouldn’t over race.”

“She towed him over the line two or three in front of the others and said there was plenty up the sleeve.”

“Then it was just a matter of keeping her right for the end of the week. Keeping her on top of her game.”

Connections pre-race confidence took a major hit when acceptances were declared and she came up with the outside barrier of 12.

“Boy what a ride from that gate,” Smerdon said. “When I saw the barriers during the week I nearly died!”

Robert Smerdon“I felt sick.”

“We had to go back and chance our hand. I said to Glen if you’re on the fence and you don’t get a crack at them, I’ll cop that.”

Smerdon said he was delighted to be able to secure an important group race win for a filly that is raced by long time stable clients.

“This is what it’s all about. Tony and Joe Bongiorno have been with me for 20 years now.”

“We bought this filly at the Magic Millions. She won a city race and then it’s all been about getting some black type and we headed toward this as an aim.”

Now having broken through for her first all important stakes success, connections are eyeing more big race glory for the Fastnet Rock filly.

“In two weeks time at Caulfield there’s the Thoroughbred Club Stakes – another Group Three for the fillies.”

Glen Boss“She’s still in the Thousand Guineas. I dunno, we’ll talk to Glen. But it’s great she’s got the black type there now.”

By Coolmore Stud’s leading young sire Fastnet Rock, Lone Rock was purchased for $75,000 from the draft of Glastonbury Farms at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

As it stands the well bred filly has two wins and a placing from just five starts and earned over $140,000.

Lone Rock, bred by Lisa Randle, is the first runner for the twice winning Lion Cavern mare Pride of Pine.

Pride of Pine hails from a fantastic female family. She is a half sister to the stakes performed Queensland galloper Calm Before and is from Storm at Night.

Storm at Night, an unraced daughter of Night Shift, is a half sister to Procrastinate (dam of Laisserfaire, Foreplay, Personify and Time Thief), Galapagos Girl and Kampaign.

Also among her relations are stakes winners Centennial Park, Ballack and star sire Centaine.

A full sister to Lone Rock is set to go under the hammer at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale – like her sister to be offered by Glastonbury Farms.