The Rock Strikes At Turffontein

'She's capable of winning a few more races' - De Kock

Deceased champion Rock Of Gibraltar, whose progeny have enjoyed so much success in South Africa, was a striking influence at Turffontein on Saturday.

‘The Rock’ was broodmare sire of a pair of winners at Turffontein, with Sea Anemone (out of the Rock Of Gibraltar mare Alboran Sea) victorious in the second race at Turffontein, and Captain Hindsight (out of the Rock Of Gibraltar mare Uber Rock) winning the sixth race.

Sea Anemone (JP van der Merwe) wins well (Pic – JC Photos)

Mike de Kock commented: “As noted in my preview, things didn’t go Sea Anemone’s way last time. She is progressive and actually ran above her rating when Stuart Pettigrew’s smart filly Callmewhenuneedme beat us into second last month. She is capable of winning a few more races.”

Jockey JP van der Merwe suggested that Sea Anemone won easier than the margin suggested. “She pricked her ears and did it very easy in front,” he said.

The blue-blooded Sea Anemone is a daughter of champions Dynasty and Alboran Sea, with the latter South Africa’s Champion 3YO Filly of 2014-2015.

From the family of Breeders’ Cup winning champion Answer Lively, Alboran Sea won five of ten starts including the Gr1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship, Gr1 Cape Flying Championship and Gr1 Computaform Sprint.

While yet to produce anything approaching her own merit Alboran Sea does rank as the dam of dual Memorial Mile winner Marmara Sea.

Marmara Sea (Pauline Herman)

Captain Hindsight’s dam Uber Rock was a smart racemare in her own right, winning the Goldfields Sprint and finishing second in the Gr3 Pretty Polly Stakes.

She has proved a very effective producer, and also ranks as dam of Banyana Handicap runner-up War Path (dam of smart Hong Kong performer Super Commander and Gardenia Stakes queen Bella Chica), and Devon Air Stakes winner Beloved Country. The latter’s daughter Paton’s Tears finished third to Sea Anemone on Saturday.

Rock Of Gibraltar, whose son Big Rock finished second in the Gr1 Qatar Prix du Jockey Club earlier in the year, is no stranger to making his presence felt in South Africa.

The son of Danehill was not only represented by the aforementioned pair of Alboran Sea and Uber Rock, but was also responsible for a host of other high-class locally based runners.

Rock Of Gibraltar’s other notable local gallopers included Gr1 Gold Medallion winner Seventh Rock, who  left behind a pair of Medallion winners in the form of Guiness and Equus Champion Seventh Plain, respectively.

Seventh Plain

The Rock also sired top-class racemare Europa Point, who won nine of 13 starts including both the Gr1 L Jaffee Empress Club Stakes and Gr1 Champions Challenge in 2012. Despite hailing from an outstanding family, Europa Point has proved a rather disappointing broodmare thus far, having produced nothing close to her own merit.

Other stakes winners representing Rock Of Gibraltar in South Africa included Alinga (East Coast Handicap), Atyeb (Gr3 Caradoc Gold Cup), Arcetri Pink (Gr2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas, Gr2 Ipi Tombe Challenge, dam of Milkwood Stakes winner Iris), Perana (Gr2 Victory Moon Stakes), Rich Girl (Gr3 Strelitzia Stakes), Sunshine Rock (Laisserfaire Stakes) and Gibraltar Blue.

Gibraltar Blue

The latter, winner of the Gr2 KRA Fillies Guineas, Gr2 Tibouchina Stakes and Gr2 Ipi Tombe Challenge, produced Sophomore Sprint third Pillar Of Hercules as well as Gr2 SA Nursery third Battleoftrafalgar, and also ranks as the dam of the smart filly Cullinan Blue.

The latter won well on debut last season before finishing fourth, to subsequent Gr1 winner Mrs Geriatrix, in the Gr2 World Sports Betting SA Fillies Nursery.

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