Horses To Follow » Royal Rock

Royal Rock

There has been a classy performance in Royal Rock for some time, and he finally delivered by landing the Group 3 Bengough Stakes over six furlongs at Ascot on Saturday. Settled nicely in rear by George Baker in the early stages, he got a nice gap when Tamagin for once moved to his left, and he picked up nicely a furlong and a half out to move through and lay down a challenge to the talented Triple Aspect passing the furlong pole. The result was in the balance until well inside the final 100 yards, the pair went toe to toe for a while, but Baker said afterwards that he always thought that he had Triple Aspect covered, and it may be that he won with a little more in hand than the head winning margin. The pair of them finished nicely clear of a good field, and the time was good.

The ease in the ground at Ascot on Saturday suited Royal Rock well. Indeed, it is probable that he needs it. A progressive sprinter in 2007, he was off the track for the majority of last year, but he shaped with immense promise on his debut this term in May when he was impressive in landing a conditions race at Haydock over six furlongs. He disappointed on his next start at Haycock, however, when the ground may have been too quick and the five furlongs may have been too sharp, and again in a Group 3 contest at The Curragh, when the soft ground and the six-furlong trip should have been ideal. It may have been that the ground was actually too soft for him there, and he put that experience behind him on Saturday. Although he is five, he has only raced 13 times now, and he remains progressive. Trainer Chris Wall is talking about perhaps bringing him to Dubai for the Carnival in the spring, and he will be of interest there if the turf is soft or if he handles the Tapeta surface. Looking further ahead, he will be a big player in any of the top sprints next season if he gets his favoured easy ground.

4th October, 2009