Rock of Gibraltar retires

 

Rock of Gibraltar, the racehorse part-owned by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson which won a record-breaking seven successive Group Ones, has been retired to stud, it was announced today.

In a statement, Ferguson said: "As a relative newcomer into ownership I cannot adequately express the pleasure I have derived from the association with such a great horse."

Trained at Ballydoyle by Aidan O'Brien Rock of Gibraltar will remain in Ireland at Coolmore Stud in County Tipperary, the home of his sire, Danehill.

The three-year-old's victory in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp, France in September saw the history-making colt overtake British equine legend Mill Reef's record of six victories at the highest level in 1971-1972.

His astonishing run came to an end last month with valiant defeat in the Breeders' Cup Mile in Chicago, by Domedriver.

However, it was Irish champion jockey Michael Kinane, rather than the horse, who received most criticism for that defeat with experts saying his hold-up tactics had cost Rock of Gibraltar the chance to go out in a blaze of glory.

In all "The Rock" as he was to become known as won 10 of his 13 starts, banking career prize money of £1,269,800.

His 'super seven' sequence of Group One wins came as a two-year-old in the Grand Criterium and Dewhurst Stakes last year, followed by this season the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas, the St James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes and Moulin.