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More cause to regret early death of Society Rock as A'Ali lands Norfolk Stakes

Late Tally-Ho Stud stallion has excelled with his sole three crops

A'Ali: a £135,000 purchase from the Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale
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The death of star sprinter Society Rock from laminitis at Tally-Ho Stud in 2016 has clearly robbed breeders of a fine source of speedy and precocious performers, and a member of his third and final crop underlined the point at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

A'Ali, trained by Simon Crisford for Shaikh Duaij Al Khalifa, had run only once before lining up for the Norfolk Stakes, when beaten a neck into second at Ripon, but he showed no signs of inexperience when running out a narrow but emphatic winner of the Group 2 heat for two-year-olds over the minimum trip.

In doing so he became the fourth generation of his male line to triumph at the royal meeting, with Society Rock taking the Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2011, Society Rock's sire Rock Of Gibraltar landing the St James's Palace Stakes in 2002 and Rock Of Gibraltar's father Danehill winning the Cork and Orrery Stakes in 1989.

Society Rock, who also won the Haydock Sprint Cup and Duke of York Stakes in a glittering career, spent three seasons at Tally-Ho Stud, producing a first crop of 121 foals in 2015, a second crop that numbered 78 in 2016 and a crop of 42 who are this year's juveniles before his untimely death.

Society Rock wins the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2011

His debut two-year-olds, who included the Prix Morny winner Unfortunately, made him leading first-season sire in Europe, while the year-younger generation included Cheveley Park Stakes second and Grade 2 Appalachian Stakes winner The Mackem Bullet.

Society Rock has also supplied Listed winners Corinthia Knight and Shumookhi and the black-type performers Aisa Dream, Society Power, So Hi Society, Tangled and Yolo Star – not a bad roll of honour considering those three books were covered off advertised fees ranging from €6,000 to €8,000.

A'Ali, who becomes Society Rock's fifth stakes winner, was bred by Tally-Ho Stud and is the second foal out of the mile-placed Motivator mare Motion Lass, whose first offspring Slowmo (by Kodiac) is a dual sprint winner for Tom Dascombe.

Motion Lass is a half-sister to Darley Stakes winner and Coronation Cup third Enforcer and the Listed-placed Canaveral out of Tarneem, a winning daughter of Zilzal and US Grade 3 winner Willowy Mood.

The nine-year-old mare has never been in great demand in her four sales ring appearances but her value has skyrocketed now. She was a 4,500gns vendor buyback as a foal, a 16,000gns vendor buyback as a yearling, sold to BBA Ireland for 13,000gns at the Autumn Horses in Training Sale as a three-year-old and was knocked down to Creighton/Schwartz Bloodstock for just 9,000gns at the Tattersalls February Sale this year.

A'Ali, on the other hand, has been much hotter property at auction. He was bought by Howson and Houldsworth Bloodstock with Star Bloodstock for £35,000 from the Tally-Ho Stud draft at the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale and was resold by Star Bloodstock to Stroud Coleman Bloodstock for £135,000 at the Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale in April.

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The nine-year-old mare has never been in great demand in her four sales ring appearances but her value has skyrocketed now
E.W. Terms