Rock lights up Royal Ascot with G1 success

Last year’s G1 Golden Jubilee Stakes runner-up Society Rock (4c Rock Of Gibraltar-High Society, by Key Of Luck) went one better at Royal Ascot on Saturday to give Rock Of Gibraltar a G1 success. The four-year-old triumphed under Pat Cosgrave in a top-class international field in which Australian G1 winner Star Witness finished third. Winning trainer James Fanshawe commented: “I am absolutely thrilled with the horse because he was slightly forgotten last year when he was second and then he was never really right afterwards. “He has taken his time to fire this spring and the last two bits of work have been very good but you never quite know if they are going to go on the ground or not. He has never raced on the ground but he obviously liked it. “It’s fantastic result for his owner Simon Gibson. He’s not here because he had a fall down his stairs and banged his head. He’s recovering and this will make him feel a lot better. “It’s great for Pat because he has been riding for me for the past year and he has ridden a fantastic race today.” Cosgrave added: “I think a lot of people doubted this horse on his first two runs this year but I think James has had this as his target all along. Over the past three weeks, he has been showing the old Society Rock to me. I would have probably appreciated quicker ground but that’s the way it is and he handled it well and showed how good a horse he is. “I know it was a competitive field and a Group 1 but I was quite confident beforehand with the main concern being the ground because he has a turn of foot and had done all his winning on a quicker surface. “All Group 1s are nice but it is nice to get a first Royal Ascot winner and to meet the Queen was fantastic.” Society Rock was bred by San Gabriel Investments and realised 75,000gns when appearing from Ballyhimikin Stud at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale