Awesome Rock | Horse Of The Month June 2017
Awesome Rock - Horse Of The Month June 2017
With the 2016 – 2017 Australian Thoroughbred racing season almost in the books, finding a Horse of the Month Candidate was a bit challenging, simply because this is not a Horse of the Year accolade, in which case the choice would be simple.
The problem is that there were many competent runners this year, but we have covered them in previous months. We gave Winx the betsfree.com.au the award in February of 2016 and April of 2016. No doubt, she was deserving in other months as well, as Chris Waller gently shepherds her along, perhaps with visions of catching Black Caviar for consecutive wins.
For June of 2017, our selection for betsfree.com.au Horse of the Month is Awesome Rock. The five-year-old bay by Fastnet Rock out of Awesome Planet was deserving, in our opinion, for the prize money he brought in over the course of the season and for his career.
His current prize money stands at just over $2 million, with $1.5 million of that this season alone, which puts him in the rarefied positon of fourth place in the state of Victoria, trailing only Almandin, Jameka and Winx.
Like Almandin, winner of the 2016 Melbourne Cup, over half of the money taken in by Awesome Rock resulted from his winning the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (Emirates Stakes), which earned him over $1.2 million.
Awesome Rock first rose to notice when he made his inaugural appearance at Flemington in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, where as a two-year-old, he ran second in March of 2014.
Considering his results since then, he might be considered a bit of a disappointment, but we could not resist him for June betsfree.com.au Horse of the Month because we have a soft spot for underdogs who arise, seemingly out of nowhere, to capture a major prize.
Prior to his Mackinnon Stakes win, the only notice he had given of living up to his early potential was a Group 2 win at Moonee Valley in September of 2016 in the Dato Chin Nam Stakes. Punters with the sagacity to back him received a $31.00 dividend. Awesome Rock gave a two-kilogram advantage to Real Love and Set Square, the second and third placers, and the strong field included Tosen Stardom, The United States and Jameka.
To win the Mackinnon or Emirates Stakes, Awesome Rock went off at $18.00 and finished ahead of Hauraki and Seaburge. The United States was in the field once again, as the favourite, but Awesome Rock put three horses between.
Perhaps our choice of Awesome Rock as the betsfree.com.au Horse of the Month could be viewed as a stretch, or unconventional, but in the highly competitive environment of Victorian racing, his owners certainly have to feel that their investment has been returned in spades.