Big league beckons Porto Roca in England

Porto Roca is making a name for herself in the broodmare ranks in England.  She is the dam of Sheikh Hamdan’s promising colt Monterosso who doubled up at Lingfield on Saturday.

Monterosso (3c Dubawi – Porto Roca by Barathea) is trained by Mark Johnston and he scored a commanding win over a mile following an earlier victory at Lingfield on January 23.  

Porto Roca was bred by Queenslanders Peter Moran and Ron Gilbert and she helped Danny O’Brien break into the big league with a Group 1 victory in the 2001 Coolmore Stakes at Rosehill.  She also won a Winter Stakes at Eagle Farm when it was still a Group 3 event.

At stud, Porto Roca foaled the winners Seven Stars (King’s Best), Via Corone (Zeditave) and Elusive Port (Elusive Quality) before being exported to Europe in December 2005.  Monterosso is her first northern hemisphere foal and he was followed by a Tiger Hill colt.

Darley sire Dubawi is back in the winning groove in Europe.  His tally so far this year is 5 winners of 7 races in England and France.  A son of Dubai Millennium, he was awarded European first-season sires’ honours last year with 34 individual winners.