Guineas Triumph for Fastnet Filly

Fastnet Rock weighed in with his eighth Group I winner when Planet Rock (3f Fastnet Rock a Akris, by Zabeel) overcame trying conditions to win the Group I NZ 1,000 Guineas at Riccarton in New Zealand on Saturday. Persistent rain through the day caused stewards to downgrade the track to a Heavy 10, prompting connections to scratch the pre-post favourite Anabandana, who finished second to Fastnet Rock colt Pop ‘n’ Rock in the Group I NZ 2,000 Guineas last Saturday. Jockey Haydn Tinsley had no luck getting Planet Rock closer than three horses off the fence and was forced to travel four-wide for sections of the race, but she loomed up in the straight and did best in a torrid finish to take the 1600 metre classic by half a head. "It was quite marvellous,” Dawn Williams, who trains Planet Rock in partnership with her husband Peter, told Sky Racing. "She is a big, free-going, scopey filly and a big strider. It was probably better she was out there (wide) with the way the track was anyway.” It was the first stakes win for Planet Rock, who has the overall record of three wins and four placings from seven starts with prizemoney of $278,975. A $290,000 purchase from the Wellfield Lodge draft at the 2010 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, Planet Rock is the first foal of the stoutly bred Zabeel mare Akris, a half-sister to two mile stakes-winner Gorky Park from the family of Group III winner Galroof, the dam of spring stakes-winners Pinnacles and Sabrage. Planet Rock is the 23rd stakes-winner for Fastnet Rock and is his eighth Group I winner, four of them coming this spring with Planet Rock joining Atlantic Jewel, Pop ‘n’ Rock and Mosheen. Interestingly all four of his spring Group I winners carry Sir Tristram (IRE) blood on their female side, Atlantic Jewel and Planet Rock from mares by Zabeel, Pop ‘n’ Rock from a daughter of Sir Tristram, while Mosheen’s grand-dam is by the Sir Tristram horse Kaapstad.