The Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes has a remarkable record this century of being won by subsequent Group 1 stars and the roll of honour includes Fascinating Rock (by Fastnet Rock), the dual top-level winner whom Timeform rated 127 at four and 129 at five.
The grandson of Danehill (by Danzig) is one of two horses beginning their stallion career at Ballylinch Stud in 2017: the other is New Bay.
A top-class 10-furlong horse, Fascinating Rock was unplaced in both the Derby and Irish Derby but, on his only other attempt at a mile and a half, he beat Panama Hat by six lengths in a Group 3 contest at Leopardstown. Both of his Group 1 wins came at the expense of the star filly Found.
He is an early stallion son for Australian champion sire Fastnet Rock, a horse whose 114 stakes winners include the European Group 1 stars Diamondsandrubies, Qualify, Intricately and Rivet and whose overall tally of 26 top-level winners includes successful young shuttle sire Foxwedge, whose first juveniles ran in Europe in 2016.
Fascinating Rock is the best of three winners out of Miss Polaris (by Polar Falcon), the other pair include the Grade A Galway Hurdle star Quick Jack (by Footstepsinthesand), and his dam's four blacktype siblings are headed by her stakes-winning full-brother Euro Falcon.
His grandam is the one-time scorer Sarabah (by Ela-Mana-Mou) and as she is out of the prolific Be Discreet (by Junius) that makes her a half-sister to the multiple Group 1-placed triple Group 2-winning miler Gothenberg (by Polish Patriot), to multiple blacktype-placed juvenile sprinter Omaha City (by Night Shift), and to Lindesberg (by Doyoun).
That latter horse is the dam of Group 1 Phoenix Stakes runner-up Amadeus Mozart (by Mozart) and of Listed Masaka Stakes third Madam Hoi (by Hawk Wing) and she is the grandam of the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes winner Nancy From Nairobi (by Sixties Icon) and of Japanese Group 3 scorer Sweet Salsa (by Durandal).
If you go back to the fourth generation of the family then you will find a string of stakes winners, including Japanese champion and US Grade 1 scorer Cesario (by Special Week), who became the dam of the Group 1 Japan Cup and Group 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) winner and dual classic-placed colt Epiphaneia (by Symboli Kris S) and his Group 1-winning juvenile champion half-brother Leontes (by King Kamehameha).
The fourth dam of Fascinating Rock is Querida (by Habitat) and, in addition to being a half-sister to the Timeform 131-rated sprinter-miler Chief Singer (by Ballad Rock), she was a grand-daughter of Oaks, Lowther Stakes, Cherry Hinton Stakes and Park Hill Stakes heroine Pia (by Darius).
Fascinating Rock was unplaced on his only start at two, the mile maiden in late October won by subsequent Group 1 star Adelaide, who was also making his debut. This, combined with his pedigree and overall racing record suggests that, although he will of course get winners in that age group, his best results are likely to be seen with his three-year-olds and older horses.
FASCINATING ROCK (IRE) – b.2011 – Fastnet Rock – Miss Polaris, 8 wins inc Champion Stakes (Gr1), Tattersalls Gold Cup (Gr1), Mooresbridge Stakes (Gr3), Kilternan Stakes (Gr3), Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes (Gr3), Ballysax Stakes (Gr3), Heritage Stakes (L), 2nd Tattersalls Gold Cup (Gr1), Royal Whip Stakes (Gr3), 3rd Mooresbridge Stakes (Gr3). Sire in Ireland. First foals in 2018.
Sire of Stallions