Karaka Quinella in John Dillon Stakes

Saturday’s A$140,000 Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) featured a Karaka quinella as Rock ‘n’ Gold (Rock of Gibraltar) beat Manolo Blahniq (NZ) (Jimmy Choux).

Manolo Blahniq had scored a stylish last-start win in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington and was the favourite to deliver a repeat result, but he had to settle for second this time as Rock ‘n’ Gold came out on top.

Ridden by Damian Lane, Rock ‘n’ Gold broke from a wide gate and speared to the front, kicking away in the straight and winning by two lengths.

“He was too good,” Lane said. “It was a mess at Flemington last start when he bombed the start and was stuck back on the rail. But when you can let him do his own thing, he's effective."

Trained by Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra for a big group of owners, the eight-year-old has now had 53 starts for nine wins, 19 placings and A$596,200 in prizemoney – more than 10 times his $55,000 purchase price at the 2012 Ready to Run Sale.

“He's a durable horse,” Ellerton said. “He's loving his racing and he enjoys his time in work.”

Manolo Blahniq, who was a $115,000 purchase at the 2015 Select Sale, has now had 25 starts for four wins, seven placings and A$387,334 in stakes – three times his purchase price.

Vendor Diamond Lodge
Purchaser Ellerton Zahra Racing (Victoria)
Breeding Rock Of Gibraltar – Goldberg
Sale Lot 122, 2012 Ready to Run Sale, $55,000
Bred by Mr DM Stanaway

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