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Fascinating Rock


Fascinating Rock and Pat Smullen (white star on cap)  winning The Qipco British Champions Stakes
Ascot 17.10.15
Pic Dan Abraham-racingfotos.com

  • 2017 Series win-2nd-3rd - -
  • 2017 Total prize money

  • Sire-Dam -
  • Owner
  • Trainer

Career details
Fascinating Rock ran 15 times in a three-year period between October 26, 2013 and August 21, 2016.

He was ridden by Pat Smullen in all his races and won eight times, including twice at Group 1 level, and earned his breeder-owner Newtown Anner Stud Farm £1.15m in prize money.

Punters who followed his from race to race would have also been on good terms with themselves because on six occasions he won at odds against, including at 9-1 and 10-1.

Well held on his only start as a two-year-old, Fascinating Rock began his next campaign with three successive wins over a mile and a quarter on soft ground (including twice at Group 3 level) before failing to make an impact in the Derby or Irish equivalent over farther on a quicker surface.

As a four-year-old he added two more Group 3 wins to his CV, including over a mile and a half, and he achieved a breakthrough win at the highest level when landing the QIPCO Champion Stakes on British Champions Day at Ascot at the main expense of Found.

Kept in training as a five-year-old in 2016, Fascinating Rock added another Group 1 win to his record when beating Found almost four lengths in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.

He was beaten by Success Days over the same course and distance three months later in what proved to be his final race.

That contest was intended to set him up for major autumn objectives but he missed the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after apparently not working with his usual brio and then was a late withdrawal from the Champion Stakes on account of the ground being too quick for him. He ended his career with an official rating of 123.

Career highlight
Winning the QIPCO British Champion Stakes at Ascot in the autumn of 2015.

Sent off at 10-1 in a high-class field, Pat Smullen was content to sit in mid-division on Fascinating Rock until getting into the thick of the action with two furlongs to run.

Driven to the front just inside the final furlong, he stayed on strongly to beat Found by a length and a quarter, with Jack Hobbs, the hot favourite, another half a length away in third.

What they said
Dermot Weld said on his retirement
: “Fascinating Rock was an outstanding horse to train. He defeated the best horses in the world from Postponed to Found. A good stakes winner over a mile, he had the ability to carry that speed to win two Group One races over ten furlongs. He has great conformation, size and scope and a lovely temperament.”

Where he will stand
Fascinating Rock will stand at a fee of €10,000 at Ballylinch Stud in Ireland, which was started by Major Dermot McCalmont in 1914. The Stud has been responsible for helping produce many wonderful thoroughbreds over the past century and Fascinating Rock will join five other Group 1 winning stallions in Lope De Vega, Dream Ahead, Lawman, Intense Focus Beat Hollow and Make Believe.

What should we expect from his offspring?

Fascinating Rock got better with age and so, rightly or wrongly, there will be an assumption that his stock will need time to flourish.

However, Weld has never been one to rush his horses and so that may misleading.

A fine stamp of a horse, do not rule out the possibility of him throwing up two-year-olds who can hold their own over 7f or a mile in the second half of any season.

His optimum trip was ten furlongs but he also won over a mile, plus a mile and a half, being unexposed over the latter trip.

If he can pass on his blend of speed and stamina, he should thrive in his new vocation.

BCS Career statistics

Year Wins-2nd-3rd Prize money Group 1 wins Archived results


6 hrs
Teddy Grimthorpe on super sire FRANKEL, "He had more 2YO Group winners than any other sire last year. That puts him in a pretty good place!"
6 hrs
Grimthorpe on MIDTERM: "We were a bit disappointed with him on Saturday. If we can get him right then I don't doubt he'll improve greatly."