International stakes double from NZ Bloodstock

Pago Rock and Makkura completed a black-type double for NZ Bloodstock graduates on the weekend.

Pago Rock (Rock of Gibraltar) won the LR Sir John Monash Stakes on Saturday and Makkura (Falkirk) claimed the G3 Paititi Gold Trophy on Sunday.

Pago Rock hunted down front-runner Elite Elle to score by a length at Caulfield.  He has now won three out of his last four starts since returning from a spell for trainer David Hayes.  “It was a win of a good horse that’s going to win more races,” commented Hayes.  “The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes is his ultimate target this preparation and if he keeps improving we may look at another Group 1 in the Toorak Handicap.”

The Monash Stakes was the 10th win of Pago Rock’s career, taking his earnings to $357,560 after changing hands for $125,000 from Esker Lodge at the 2009 Karaka Premier Sale.

Coolmore shuttler Rock of Gibraltar sired him from Thunder Gulch mare Dancing Pago who was a Listed winner of the Placid Ark Stakes in Perth.

Pago Rock’s older sister Rock My Pago also won at Listed level in the 2008 WATC Belmont Oaks.  The family had been developed by Evergreen Lodge owners Vince Yovich and his son Professor John Yovich.

Makkura (NZ) chimed in with a decisive G3 Paititi Gold Trophy victory on the Singapore Derby undercard on Sunday.

The six-year-old mare had the drop on the leaders and, as the field cornered, she produced a strong turn of foot to draw away at Kranji.

Makkura is trained ex-pat Kiwi Laurie Laxon who is now only one away from breaking the 1000 winner milestone in Singapore.  “She ran a quick time (1.08s),” commented Laxon.  “I’ve only had her for a short time and have won three races with her.”

Poseidon Bloodstock sold Makkura for $12,000 at the 2009 Karaka Festival Sale.  Bought by trainer Stephen Crutchley, she was a debut winner at Awapuni in June 2011 before heading off-shore.

The mare’s dam Electric Dream (Centaine) is from the family of Group 1 racehorse and sire Westminster.