Awesome Cox Plate aspirant for Gold Front

Gold Front Thoroughbreds struck gold at Moonee Valley on Saturday with Awesome Rock on the G2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600).

The Fastnet Rock stallion was bred by Gold Front’s owners Alan and Sue Olive and they kept a share after selling him for $575,000 at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions.

Awesome Rock lost the G1 Australian Cup on protest earlier this year but is now exempt from a ballot to make amends in the G1 Cox Plate back at Moonee Valley on October 22.  “We’re locked in – you don’t knock back a chance to run in one of the best weight-for-age races in the world,” co-trainer Troy Corstens said.  “Now we will sit down and work out how we get there.

“We don’t want to dwell on what happened in the Australian Cup but this has softened the blow a bit.”

Awesome Rock is slated for a stud career in the Hunter Valley after Newgate Farm’s Henry Field, who sold him as agent for Olives at the Gold Coast, purchased 20% of the horse as a stallion prospect.

The winner’s dam Awesome Planet (Giant’s Causeway) has been a marvellous money-spinner for the Gingin-based breeders.  Her first three yearlings totalled more than $1.40 million as yearlings and she followed up with fillies by Pierro and Snitzel.

“Awesome Planet was a Group 3 winner at Doomben and a Listed winner in New Zealand,” Alan Olive said.  “She throws beautiful foals and that’s reflected in the sale ring.”

The Olives are also partners in British bred stallion Excess Knowledge (Monsun) who is entered for the G1 Cox Plate as well as having nominations for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Gold Front graduate Nightwatchman (Hard Spun) was nailed in the last stride at Belmont.  He cost $60,000 at the 2015 Perth Magic Millions and has already paid his way for clients of trainer Dan Morton.