Updated on 09/16/2011 7:54AM

Rock of Gibraltar wins 6th straight Group 1


Rock of Gibraltar entered the realm of the legendary with his sixth consecutive Group 1 triumph in Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday.

"The ultimate racehorse" was how rider Michael Kinane described the 3-year-old Rock of Gibraltar after he swept past last year's Sussex winner, Noverre, to record a two-length victory as the 3-5 favorite. The winning time for the mile was a slightly fast 1:38.29 on good to firm ground. The issue was never really in doubt and Rock of Gibraltar's margin of victory could have been much greater had Kinane wished it.

Aidan O'Brien, who had trained Giant's Causeway to five straight Group 1 victories in 2000, the third of which was the Sussex Stakes, was a bit relieved in the winner's circle. Most of the 3-year-olds in his Ballydoyle yard have come down with a virus, but Rock of Gibraltar has managed to avoid the cough. The trainer said there was no firm plan for Rock of Gibraltar's next race but he is nominated to both the five-furlong Nunthorpe Stakes and the 1 1/4-mile, 85-yard Juddmonte International at York's August Meeting. More realistically, the Breeders' Cup Mile might be the ultimate objective for a horse who loves firm ground.

The only other horse to win six consecutive Group 1 races in Europe since the pattern race system was introduced in 1970 was the great Mill Reef. Owned in tandem by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and Susan Magnier, Rock of Gibraltar is now well clear of the field as the world's best miler.


7 Oct 01Longchamp (Fr)Grand Criterium7f
20 Oct 01Newmarket (GB)Dewhurst Stakes7f
4 May 02Newmarket (GB)2000 Guineas1m
25 May 02Curragh (Ire)Irish 2000 Guineas1m
18 Jun 02Ascot (GB)St James's Palace1m
31 July 02Goodwood (GB)Sussex Stakes1m

* The virus at Ballydoyle has knocked Hawk Wing out of the Juddmonte International but has so far spared O'Brien's dual Derby winner High Chaparral, who is being rested prior to an autumn campaign.

* In France, the Aga Khan's Grand Prix de Paris winner, Khalkevi, who was being considered for either the Juddmonte or the Arlington Million, broke a pastern in a workout between races at Maisons-Laffitte on Tuesday and will miss the rest of the season.