Millionaire yearling wins NZ 2000 Guineas

Millionaire yearling Rock ‘n’ Rop is a horse of immense promise and he raced right up to that potential in the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on Saturday.

Rock ‘n’ Pop (3c Fastnet Rock – Popsy by Sir Tristram) burst through a gap in the straight and then held off a brave challenge from Anabandana (Anabaa) to score by a half length.  Pacemaker Dollario (Captain Rio) was third home in the $400,000 classic.

“He had the perfect run from gate one and we’d learned enough from his previous three runs to know that he had to be held up,” Te Akau trainer Jason Bridgman said.  “The way he relaxes now, there’s no reason why we can’t consider the NZ Derby.”

Raced by the Te Akau Rock ‘n’ Pop Syndicate, the colt was purchased from Tom and Shelley Murtagh’s Esker Lodge at NZ Bloodstock’s 2010 Karaka Premier Sale for $1 million.  He has now won two of his four starts and over $250,000 in stakes.

A blue-blood colt, Rock ‘n’ Pop is from G1 NZ Derby winner Popsy and is a three-quarter-brother to stakes winning mare Lilakyn (Danehill).   Popsy has been represented by 9 graduates of the Karaka sales ring and they have averaged over $500,000.

Her Redoute’s Choice colt Maciano was the top priced yearling in 2008 when knocked down to trainer John Sargent for $1.45 million.

Rock ‘n’ Pop continues Te Akau’s impressive record in the NZ 2000 Guineas following wins by Darci Brahma (Danehill) and Tell a Tale (Tale of the Cat).

His sire Fastnet Rock has four entries in NZB Ready to Run Sale next week including a filly from Esker Lodge out of the Group 3 placed Centaine mare Shimo Star (Lot 310).  There’s also a colt from the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Secret Silence to be offered by Lyndhurst Farm (Lot 301).

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