Champion sire Fastnet Rock produced a rare trifecta in the Group II ATC Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday and also added a new stakes-winner to his tally in Adelaide.
Exciting prospect Cluster (4h Fastnet Rock x Tarcoola Diamond, by Last Tycoon) confirmed his spring potential when outgunning Bull Point (4h Fastnet Rock x Rose of Cimmaron, by Bite the Bullet) and Ninth Legion (5g Fastnet Rock x Xaar’s Jewel, by Xaar) to score a thrilling win.
Eighth in the Group I ATC Golden Rose on this day last year for Anthony Cummings, Cluster has thrived for his new trainers Peter and Paul Snowden winning two of his three previous runs since joining the stable.
Sent out favourite for the 1400 metre Theo Marks, Cluster found himself last turning for home, but when angled into the clear by Tim Clark he descended quickly to reel in the leaders and win by half a neck.
“Full credit to the horse. Once he got to the outside, he showed his class,” said Snowden.
“He wasn’t ridden ideally through circumstance, but still stamped himself as the class horse.”
With three wins and three placings from 10 starts and prizemoney topping $280,000, Cluster will now get his chance in Group I company with the MRC Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes on September 28 his likely next target.
“I think the Rupert Clark Stakes is the perfect race for him at the handicap,” Snowden said.
A homebred for Peter and Wendy Moran, Cluster is a half-brother to stakes-placed Inkling and is the best of four winners from stakes-winning Last Tycoon mare Tarcoola Diamond, a grand-daughter of Group I AJC Champagne Stakes winner I Like Diamonds.
Bought by the Moran’s for $430,000 at the Inglis Broodmare Sale in 2010, Tarcoola Diamond has a yearling full sister to Cluster.
Astute trainer Mick Price made a wise decision in sending blue-blooded filly Royal Ocean (3f Fastnet Rock x Chasing Mammon, by Giant’s Causeway) to Adelaide on Saturday as she broke her maiden by winning the Listed SAJC Morphettville Guineas.
Placed at her three previous runs, Royal Ocean put her best foot forwards to beat another promising filly in Betsy by a long head in the 1600 metre feature.
Royal Ocean continued a great week of success for New Zealand based Curraghmore Stud as she was purchased from their draft at the NZB Premier Yearling Sale for $160,000 by Bill Frost’s Pendant Equine Syndicate.
Royal Ocean is the first winner for Chasing Mammon, a half-sister by Giant’s Causeway to stakes-winner Zelsnitz from a half-sister to Group I winning sire Holy Roman Emperor.
This is the famed Fanfreluche family that has produced champion sires Encosta de Lago and Flying Spur, so Royal Ocean has become a very valuable broodmare prospect for the future.
Cluster and Royal Ocean are the 64th and 65th stakes-winners for Fastnet Rock, who enjoyed great results at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale this week with four yearlings averaging $US502,500 which put him third behind only US based Tapit and War Front on the leading sire by average with three or more sold.