Big Rock and Blue Rose Cen to Race On Next Season

Christopher Head claps Big Rock in to the winner's enclosure at Ascot | Emma Berry

Christopher Head's two star three-year-olds of 2023, dual Classic winner Blue Rose Cen (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}) and Saturday's sensational Queen Elizabeth II S. winner Big Rock (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}), will both remain in training for next season.

Timeform has awarded Big Rock a rating of 129 for his six-length romp on QIPCO British Champions Day, which is the highest figure recorded by a miler in Europe this season. The winner of two Group 3 Classic trials in the spring, Big Rock was second to Ace Impact (Fr) in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club and also finished runner-up in the G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois and G1 Prix du Moulin, behind Inspiral (GB) and Sauterne (Fr) respectively. 

Head told TDN on Monday, “He's come out the race perfectly well. It's crazy, a horse coming back from that kind of race and looking like he hasn't even raced.”

He continued, “We would have gone to the Arc de Triomphe if he had won the Jockey Club because we wouldn't have known the limit of the distance for him. So in one way I am happy that things have gone this way because we know better about him for next season.”

Both Big Rock and Blue Rose Cen race for their breeder Leopoldo Fernandez Pujals of Yeguada Centurion, who is also the breeder of their stable-mate Ramatuelle (Justify). The winner of the G2 Prix Robert Papin and G3 Prix du Bois, Ramatuelle was beaten only a short-neck by Vandeek (GB) in the G1 Prix Morny. She was sold as a yearling to Arthur Hoyeau for a syndicate which includes Ecurie des Monceaux and Tony Parker's Infinity Nine Horses.

“It's the end of the season now for Big Rock, and for Blue Rose Cen and Ramatuelle, and they are all coming back next season,” Head confirmed. “It's wonderful. Leopoldo loves his racing and he loves his horses and he doesn't want the public to get bored, so he wants them to be running next season and for everyone to be able to follow them.”

He added of Big Rock, “He was from Rock Of Gibraltar's last crop so it is wonderful to have him doing what he is in the same year that his sire has disappeared. And now he will be able to carry on the genes because he already has value as a stallion.”


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