Rock Of Estonia in the first rank of Society
Debut Windsor success begins legacy of tragic sire
There has been much lamentation among industry professionals about the loss of Society Rock and it was not hard to see why when the ill-fated sire got off the mark with only his second runner at Windsor on Monday.
Rock Of Estonia, trained by Charles Hills, proved highly professional as he broke smartly in the 5f novice stakes and was able to hold on by a neck under no more than a hands-and-heels ride from Jamie Spencer.
Society Rock, winner of the Golden Jubilee Stakes and Haydock Sprint Cup for James Fanshawe, died suddenly last May after an attack of laminitis.
The son of Rock Of Gibraltar should certainly have the numbers to mount a challenge for the rookie sires' title, having covered 164 mares at a fee of €8,000 in his first season at Tally-Ho Stud in 2014. His first yearlings by were well received at auction last autumn, selling for an average of 31,235gns and a top price of 210,000gns.
Rock Of Estonia was bred by Colin Kennedy out of the winning Exceed And Excel mare Estonia and is a half-brother to the twice-placed Mayson gelding Tallinski. He was bought by Glenvale Stud for 68,000gns at the 2015 Tattersalls December Foal Sales, and then by Alastair Donald for 90,000gns as a Tattersalls Book 2 yearling.
Another son of Society Rock shaped well when third on his debut at Redcar only twenty minutes later, and he still has quite a bequest lined up. After a book of 125 in 2015, he had covered 73 mares last year before his sudden death.