Big Rock

Guineas Options Open for Ramatuelle

Christopher Head won his first Classic last season with Blue Rose Cen (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}) and he is now eyeing a possible run un the Qipco 1,000 Guineas for Ramatuelle (Justify), who was the top-rated juvenile in France in 2023. The winner of the G2 Prix Robert Papin, and runner-up in the G1 Prix Morny, Ramatuelle is also entered for the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and she will begin her preparations for the Classics in Deauville on April 9. "Ramatuelle has been a tremendous filly for us as a...

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Equinox Crowned Longines World's Best Racehorse 

LONDON, UK -- Japan stole the show at the Longines World Racing Awards in London, with Silk Racing's Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) named the Longines World's Best Racehorse for 2023 while the G1 Japan Cup claimed the title of Longines World's Best Horse Race. The top-rated three-year-old filly in the world was Japan's Triple Tiara winner Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}). Equinox's top rating of 135 - the highest ever awarded to a Japanese horse - was achieved in his four-length romp in the Japan Cup, his final appearance...

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TDN Horses of the Year: Big Rock

   Continuing the profiles of the favourite horses of TDN Europe's editorial team in 2023, Emma Berry selects the French raider who took QIPCO British Champions Day by storm. I'd been impressed by Christopher Head since the day I first visited his stable in July 2019 and found him on the end of a broomstick sweeping the floor outside the rented boxes of the five horses he had in training at that time. His ascent has been rapid, and by now his string must be 20 times that size. And,...

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Big Rock and Blue Rose Cen to Race On Next Season

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...

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A Champions Day Made of Rock and Steel

ASCOT, UK--It's that time of year, with retirements of the top horses coming thick and fast, but the really good news from Champions Day is that Big Rock (Ire) and King Of Steel will both be back to wow us again next year.  And wow they did, along with that other predictable star of the show, Frankie Dettori. It is a course that he has been lighting up ever since his magnificent seven of 1996 and at which he is now commemorated in bronze, the statue of Dettori having been...

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Prix du Jockey Club: Where Did They Come From?

Trainer Christopher Head and owner-breeder Leopoldo Fernando Pujals have already taken home the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches trophy with Blue Rose Cen (Fr) (Churchill {Ire}) and their year could become even more memorable should favourite Big Rock (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) take another step forward in an impressive season to date. There's a strong homebred feel to the line-up, and only five of the runners have ever appeared at an auction. Four are graduates of the Arqana August Yearling Sale, while Winter Pudding (Fr) will be flying the flag...

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Marhaba Ya Sanafi Seeking Classic Double 

Twelve horses stood their ground for Sunday's G1 Qatar Prix du Jockey Club, led by Jaber Abdullah's homebred G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner Marhaba Ya Sanafi (Ire) (Muhaarar {GB}), and there will be one supplementary entry in Feed The Flame (Fr) (Kingman {GB}). The Andreas Schutz-trained Marhaba Ya Sanafi is joined by Yeguada Centurion's Big Rock (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}), who has won a pair of Group 3 contests for Christopher Head this season and is the current market favourite. The unbeaten Feed The Flame is trained by...

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Head Rock Steady as Classic Dream Builds

It has been a good spell for Christopher Head. On Sunday, his colt Big Rock (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) became the latest group winner for owner-breeder Yeguada Centurion, followed two days later by a TDN Rising Star award for the trainer's first juvenile runner of the season, Ramatuelle (Justify), who demolished her opposition in the Prix du Premier Pas at Chantilly. This prominent start to the season picks up where Head left off last year: his first Group 1 success came in October's Prix Marcel Boussac with Blue Rose...

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Seven Days: La Vie En Rose

Thank goodness for France. While Britain and Ireland mostly pause the serious Flat action in Grand National week, the French Classic trials rolled on with the return of racing at Longchamp on Sunday, which will be backed up by another strong card this coming Sunday. It was hard not to be impressed by the seasonal debut of Jannah Rose (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), who has raced only twice for two wins, and looked a proper Classic prospect for Al Shira'aa Farms and Carlos Laffon-Parias when winning the G3 Prix Vanteaux. When...

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