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Monday, 11 November, 2002, 20:37 GMT
Rock's reign comes to an end
Rock of Gibraltar strides to yet another victory
Rock of Gibraltar will now have a new career at stud
When he won his debut in a five-furlong maiden at the Curragh in April 2001, Rock of Gibraltar was picked out as a horse to watch.

A son of Danehill, Rock Of Gibraltar was bred by top trainer Aidan O'Brien, his wife Anne-Marie and father-in-law Joe Crowley.

He was spotted by Sir Alex Ferguson in May 2001 after he finished sixth to stable companion Landseer in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Owners Mr and Mrs John Magnier sold a share in the colt to Ferguson and his red and white silks proved lucky from the start.

Sir Alex Ferguson guides Rock of Gibraltar into the winner's enclosure at Royal Ascot
Rock enjoyed success in this year's St James's Palace Stakes

The Rock romped to victory in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes and started his Group One career with victory in the Grand Criterium at Longchamp in October 2001.

Just two weeks later in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket he ran a courageous race to gain victory by a short-head over Landseer.

Although the victories signalled that Rock could challenge for the 2000 Guineas, he was deserted by his regular rider Michael Kinane for the one and only time in the Newmarket Classic in May.

  Seven in a row - Rock of Gibraltar's G1 wins
Grand Criterium (Longchamp - Oct, 2001)
Dewhurst Stakes (Newmarket - Oct, 2001)
2,000 Guineas (Newmarket - May, 2002)
Irish 2,000 Guineas (Curragh - May, 2002)
St James' Palace Stakes
(Ascot - June, 2002)
Sussex Stakes (Goodwood - Aug, 2002)
Prix du Moulin (Longchamp - Sep, 2002)

Johnny Murtagh deputised as Kinane was in America to partner Johannesburg in the Kentucky Derby.

Even though stablemate Hawk Wing was the pre-race favourite, Rock, a 9-1 shot, landed the spoils by a neck.

With Kinane back in the saddle, he completed the English/Irish Guineas double at the Curragh in effortless style by a length and a half from Century City.

He then provided one of the highlights of Royal Ascot when he tamed the field in the St James's Palace Stakes to be acclaimed the best of his generation.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Michael Kinane were involved
Aidan O'Brien and Michael Kinane played key roles in Rock's successes

Older horses could not cope with him either as he landed the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood from the previous winner, the four-year-old Noverre.

And he put the brilliant four-year-old filly Banks Hill in her place by completing his magnificent seven of Group One triumphs in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp in September.

Although his racing career did not end on a high note at the Breeders' Cup Mile in Chicago, the defeat has not tarnished Rock Of Gibraltar's place among racing's great milers.


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