By Simon Jackson.
Fascinating Rock beat Found in last year’s QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot and again got the better of his rival when they were first and second in the Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland.
The Dermot Weld-trained Fascinating Rock beat Found into second place in the feature race of Champions Day at Ascot last October. Found had finished ahead of her rival at the Curragh earlier this month, but on Saturday the son of Fastnet Rock scored by three and three quarters of a length over the Aidan O’Brien-trained Found in the Group 1 contest.
The manner of the victory delighted Weld who revealed that the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe may this season be the ultimate target for Fascinating Rock who continued his unbroken partnership with jockey Pat Smullen.
“It’s a race I love to win as it’s an excellent Group 1 and it always takes a very good horse to win it. I’ve been fortunate to win it with a few very good horses in the past and he’s as good as any of them,” Weld said.
“I’ll speak to the owner but he might have the summer off now and we’ll look to train him for the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes and the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. His next race will most likely be the Royal Whip as a prep for the Irish Champion Stakes.
“He has all the class to win an Arc and has won a Group race over a mile-and-a-half at Leopardstown so gets the trip well,” the trainer said on the Coolmore website.
“He’s a big horse and takes a run no matter what you do with him. Last year we took him to Windsor and he came back and won at Leopardstown – it’s hard to get him 100 per cent first time out. Today was an excellent renewal of the race and Found is an outstanding mare.”
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