Kensington Stakes triumph for Rock 'N' Gold

Jan 20, 2018

Some horses simply deserve a stakes win and grand stable performer Rock ‘N’ Gold fitted that description with his win in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington.

Rock ‘N’ Gold was one of three Ellerton Zahra Racing runners in the Kensington Stakes but the presence of his Group I-winning stablemates Amber Sky and Flamberge, who were resuming for the stable, but the seven-year-old prevailed over a talented field.

Chris Symons let the early speed horses go, preferring to get Rock ‘N’ Gold into a rhythm off the pace before starting his run with 300m to run.

Rock ‘N’ Gold hit the front before holding off a late challenge from the handy Husson Eagle to score by a head, giving the son of Rock of Gibraltar his first black type win at his third attempt.

“He always runs well fresh and his jump-out on Monday indicated he could run a cheeky race but we just thought the class of the other two might just get him,” co-trainer Simon Zahra said.

“It’s his first crack at the big time and he’s prevailed nicely.”

The win was also a deserved success for jockey Chris Symons, who has enjoyed a terrific relationship with Zahra and Mathew Ellerton for more than a decade.

“I really thought the stable mate out there (Amber Sky) setting the pace was going to be tough to run down but I had him easy and although I got that pressure (from Husson Eagle) late, it was all over,” Symons said.

“My relationship with Matty Ellerton and Simon Zahra has gone back over 10 years which is pretty unheard of in racing for a jockey and trainer combination.

“I’m still getting those opportunities to ride in town and to get a winner is a bonus.”

Rock ‘N’ Gold’s maiden stakes win was the gelding’s seventh from 40 starts while the victory took his earnings to more than $400,000.

Congratulations to the grand campaigner’s owners and all involved with Rock ‘N’ Gold’s brilliant win.