G1 Goal for New Pierro Stakes-Winner Rock
A patient approach with progressive four year-old Rock (4g Pierro x Subtitle, by Fastnet Rock) paid big dividends at Newcastle on Friday when he stormed into contention for the Group I ATC Epsom Handicap with a barnstorming victory in the Group III Cameron Handicap.
Drawn wide in the big field of 15, the Team Hawkes trained Rock settled at the rear and was the widest runner turning for home, but unleashed a sensational finishing burst to power home and win the 1400 metre contest by a length running away.
“That was a massive win,” said winning rider Tommy Berry.
“I had to go back a lot further than I wanted, so full credit to him, he had a tough run and was the best horse.”
Rock has been allowed to make his way quietly through the grades with wins in Benchmark 72 and 74 grade races at his first two runs back from a spell and was cherry ripe for this big step up in grade.
“He had to do it tough even with his light weight, but he’s got that explosive turf of foot,” said co-trainer Michael Hawkes.
“He’s a good horse in the making and now has a date with the Epsom (Group I).”
A $130,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Coolmore draft for Hawkes Racing, he runs for a big syndicate of stable clients and has the tidy record of four wins and three seconds from just eight starts with prizemoney topping $226,000.
Foaled and raised at Coolmore, Rock is a full brother to stakes-placed Femme Fireball and is the second foal from winning Fastnet Rock mare Subtitle, a grand-daughter of Group I winner Credit Account.
Subtitle has foaled this spring producing a filly by Cox Plate winner Adelaide.
Rock is the 18th stakes-winner for Golden Slipper winner Pierro, who is fully booked this spring at a fee of $88,000.