Fastnet Rock sires first Group 1 winner

Coolmore sire Fastnet Rock landed his first Group 1 victory as a sire when Irish Lights confirmed her superiority among this season’s 3yo fillies in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on Wednesday.

Irish Lights (3f Fastnet Rock – Aspen Falls by Hennessy) won first-up this season at Flemington and then earned favouritism for yesterday’s feature with a convincing victory in the G3 Thousand Guineas Prelude last month.

The winner was a $230,000 buy out of the Lustre Lodge draft at the 2008 Inglis Easter yearling sale.  She completed a G1 double for Coolmore sires after the Caulfield Guineas victory of Starspangledbanner (Choisir) last Saturday.

Fastnet Rock (Danehill) has taken a commanding lead in the second-season sires’ premiership and, at this rate, will challenge for the general sires’ title in another year or two.

Coolmore Australia general manager Michael Kirwan said Irish Lights was well worth waiting for.  “We raced Fastnet Rock and to get a filly as good as her, who does everything right, it’s great.”

The Thousand Guineas winner is raced by Coolmore’s Sue and Tom Magnier in partnership with Kirwan, Ken Barry and Demi O’Byrne.

Irish Lights is the first winner for the sparingly raced Aspen Falls who hails from one of the world’s great families.  Second dam River Crossing is a half-sister to USA Broodmare of the Year Fall Aspen who produced G1 winners Timber Country, Northern Aspen, Hamas and Fort Wood.

Her G2 winners include Swettenham Stud sire Bianconi and Colorado Dancer.  The latter foaled Darley superstar Dubai Millennium.

Trainer David Hayes intends to start Irish Lights against older mares in the G1 Myer Classic at the Flemington Melbourne Cup carnival.