David Payne had plenty of thrills with quality mare Gallant Tess, who won over $800,000 in prizemoney, and he may well enjoy even more success with her first foal, Rock Hero (3c Fastnet Rock x Gallant Tess, by Galileo) who bolted in at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Rock Hero had been working up to a win with a third and a second at his two previous runs and finally joined all the dots when sent to the front over 1550 metres by Serg Lisny.
He led his rivals a merry dance and landed some big bets in powering clear to win by more than six lengths at his fourth start.
David Payne will now step the promising colt into better company.
“He’ll go to the Dulcify and then the Spring Champion Stakes (Group I) before heading to the paddock,” said Payne.
“He’s been a big gangly baby, who has taken a while for the penny to drop, but I think racing will get it out of him.”
A homebred for John Cordina that was foaled and raised at Kitchwin Hills, Rock Hero is the first foal for Gallant Tess, who won five races highlighted by the Group II AJC Chelmsford Stakes and was Group I placed on five occasions.