Fastnet Rock’s Rivet Triumphs In The Racing Post Trophy
Winner by a decisive one and three quarter lengths was the well-bred colt Rivet (Fastnet Rock) who staged an outstanding performance to lead all the way to defeat the Aidan O’Brien-trained favourite Yucatan (Galileo) with Salouen (Canford Cliffs) a further neck back in third place. On good going, time for this important race was 1:37.08.
After winning his maiden at York in August, Rivet looked very promising in taking the Champagne Stakes (Gr 2, 7f) at Doncaster in September but then disappointed when unplaced in the Dewhurst Stakes (Gr 1, 7f) on October 8, not handling the Newmarket track, but his Racing Post Trophy success firmly establishes him as a strong contender for next year’s European classics.
Run under four different names since first contested in 1961, the Racing Post Trophy has often proved an important guide to the following season’s classics and major events as its roll of honour includes such names as the filly Noblesse (Mossborough), Ribocco (Ribot), Vaguely Noble (Vienna), Green Dancer (Nijinsky) who appears in Rivet’s background, Reference Point (Mill Reef), Takeover Target’s sire Celtic Swing (Damister), High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells), Motivator (Montjeu), Hartnell’s sire Authorized (Montjeu) and Camelot (Montjeu) who went on to win three classics in 2012.
Legendary jockey Lester Piggott won the race five times and it is interesting to learn he is one of the co-breeders of Rivet with partners Des Scott, Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor and that Rivet is trained by his son-in-law William Haggas.
When a wave of top class stallions began shuttling to Australia from the Northern Hemisphere in the 1990s, upgrading the standard of our bloodstock, one of the key hopes was that this could also lead to the production of stallions appealing enough to reverse shuttle to Europe and to the United States.
Coolmore’s Fastnet Rock (Danehill) and Choisir (Danehill Dancer) are two who brought the dream to reality and have succeeded in both hemispheres.
Rivet is the 25th Group One winner for Fastnet Rock among his 101 career stakes winners to date and he is the sire’s fifth Group One winner in Britain and Ireland after Diamondsandrubies, Fascinating Rock, Intricately and Qualify.
A champion sire in Australia, Group One-winning sprinter Fastnet Rock spent four seasons (2010 to 2013 inclusive) at Coolmore in Ireland but when his early runners were a little slow to make an impact in Europe he was rested at home in NSW for two years before returning to Ireland for the 2016 season.
Breeders are well aware of the great affinity between Fastnet Rock’s breed-shaping sire Danehill (Danzig) and today’s many times champion European sire Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) and Rivet represents an exciting extension of the potency of this broad cross as he is out of Galileo’s winning daughter Starship. The Fastnet Rock/Galileo cross is already well proven, resulting in 21 per cent stakes winners-to-runners including four at Group One level.
Starship’s six winners also include stakes winner Alexander Pope (Danehill Dancer), bred along similar lines to Rivet, and she, in turn, is one of no fewer than ten winners produced by placegetter Council Rock (General Assembly). Best of Council Rock’s progeny was champion European juvenile filly Superstar Leo (College Chapel), herself dam of two stakes winners.
Council Rock is a half-sister to stakes winners Glatisant (Rainbow Quest), dam of 2000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1m) winner and useful sire Footstepsinthesand (Giant’s Causeway), Rockerlong (Deploy) and Gai Bulga (Kris).
Glatisant’s other foals include Pedro The Great (Henrythenavigator), a Group One winner, stakes winner Belle d’Or (Medaglia d’Oro) and the excellent producer Frappe (Inchinor), dam of the highly promising young New Zealand shuttle stallion Power (Oasis Dream), Canadian Grade One winner Curvy (Galileo) and Group Two winner Thakafaat (Unfuwain).
Power was a top class two-year-old who trained on at three years to win the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Gr 1, 8f) and has made a good start at stud with his first European-bred crop.
Rivet’s third dam Dancing Rocks (Green Dancer) won the Nassau Stakes (Gr 2, 9f) and the Blue Seal Stakes (Listed, 6f) in Britain and among other high class horses to emerge from this exceptional family in recent seasons are December Draw (Medecis) in Australia, Lady Lara (Excellent Art) and Mahler (Galileo), runner up in the St Leger (Gr 1, 1m6f) and third in the 2007 Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m).
With sons of Fastnet Rock already making a name as sires in Australia and New Zealand it would be pleasing to see Rivet stand in Australasia when his racing career concludes.