New Group One Star for Fastnet Rock

Champion sire Fastnet Rock is never short of a top class performer, his latest to emerge being Kiwi based rising star Atlante (3c Fastnet Rock x Readyforcatherine, by More Than Ready), who captured the Group I New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas at Riccarton on Saturday. The Murray Baker trained colt has been on a sharp upward spiral since turning in inconclusive efforts at his first two starts. He broke his maiden at Avondale on October 7 and then romped home to win a Listed event over a mile at Riccarton by three lengths at his most recent run. For this Group I test, Atlante jumped well to lead for Opie Bosson, but was challenged early in the run home before eventual runner-up Chambord headed him 200 metres from home. When Bosson asked for another effort from Atlante, he responded in style and rallied strongly to take top honours by three-quarters of a length. “He ended up running away the last bit so all credit to him,” Bosson said. Murray Baker is no stranger to nurturing star three year-olds having put the polish on last season’s superstar colt It’s a Dundeel and he has long held Atlante in high regard, so much so that he was nominated for the Group I MRC Caulfield Guineas. “He had a bit of a shaky start due to the wet tracks and he didn’t handle the bend (when third on debut) all that well at Taupo where he ran third to El Roca,” Baker said. “He needs good ground and he’s just not the same horse on a soft track.” Atlante was bred in Australia by Reavill Farm and fetched $170,000 at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale where he was bought by New Zealand pinhookers Lyndhurst Farm, who re-offered the colt at the NZB Ready to Run Sale where he was bought for $200,000 by Bruce Perry Bloodstock. He is the first winner for stakes-placed More Than Ready mare Readyforcatherine, who has another yearling filly by Fastnet Rock. Atlante is the 14th Group I winner for champion sire Fastnet Rock.