Sunday, 27 May 2018

Rock Of Gibraltar

Rock of Gibraltar
Owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and Susan Magnier and trained by Aidan O’Brien, Rock Of Gibraltar had the distinction of winning seven consecutive Group 1 races in 2001/02, in so doing breaking the record set by Mill Reef 30 years earlier.

Rock Of Gibraltar raced seven times as a juvenile, winning five times, including back-to-back Group 1 victories in the Grand Crierium - Lucien Barriere at Longchamp and the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, both over 7 furlongs, in October. Stepped up to a mile for the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on his three-year-old debut, the Danehill colt led the group on the far side over a furlong out and was ridden out to beat stable companion Hawk Wing, who raced on the near side, by a neck.

Rock Of Gibraltar subsequently bolted up in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh three weeks later and readily beat old rival Landseer – whom he’d denied by a short head in the Dewhurst Stakes – in the St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot the following month. Two more Group 1 wins, in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in July and the Prix de Moulin de Longchamp in September, followed before a trip across the Atlantic to contest the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Arlington Park, Chicago. Sent off at odds-on, for the fifth time in a row, Rock Of Gibraltar finished a never-nearer second, beaten three-quarters of a length, behind 26/1 outsider Domedriver.

Understandably, Rock Of Gibraltar was named Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt and Cartier Horse of the Year in 2002.

In 2004, Ferguson threatened John Magnier, owner of Coolmore Stud, with court action in an extraordinary dispute over stud fees for Rock Of Gibraltar, before settling out of court in a compromise deal worth £2.5 million. In his autobiography, Ferguson dismissed the episode in a paragraph or two, but later told a press conference, “It was straightforward. I had an agreement with John Magnier that, after the settlement, nothing will [sic] be said about it at all. I’ve said nothing and they’ve said nothing. That’s how it is and that’s how it should be.”

Friday, 18 May 2018

Michael Stoute

Michael Stoute
Sir Michael Stoute is a Barbadian, British thoroughbred horse trainer who has achieved incredible success over his five-decade career. Stoute is widely considered one of the best trainers in horse-racing, winning in all five British classic races - the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, 1.000 Guineas Stakes, Epsom Oaks, Epson Derby and St. Leger Stakes. 

At 19 he moved to the UK to become an apprentice to trainer Pat Rohan, establishing his own stable in 1972. He was the only trainer of the 20th century to win a Classic in five successive seasons and was named Champion trainer 10 times between 1981 and 2009. Stoute's success continued overseas with victories in Ireland, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. 

His most famous horse was Shergar who won the 1981 Epsom Cup by a record 10 lengths. The horse was stolen from a yard in County Kildare, Ireland in 1983 with kidnappers settling a ransom of £2 million. At the time Shergar's value was set at £10 million and despite a nationwide search was never found. One theory was the IRA had stolen him. 

In, 2009 Stoute became the first trainer to finish with a clean sweep of places in Ascot's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Conduit, Tartan Bearer and Ask. He had further success at Ascot in 2013 training the Queen's Gold Cup winner, Estimate.

He currently trains at Freemason Lodge Stables and at Beech Hurst Stables, both in Newmarket.

Monday, 7 May 2018