Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday paid tribute to Rock Of Gibraltar as it was confirmed that the horse, who carried the red and white colours of the Manchester United manager to a record seven successive Group One races, has been retired to Coolmore Stud in Ireland.
"As a relative newcomer to ownership I cannot adequately express the pleasure I have derived from the association with such a great horse," Ferguson said. "While I will be saddened not to see him in action on the racecourse I have every confidence that he will transmit his amazing talent and courage to his offspring. I owe an eternal debt to everyone at Ballydoyle."
Winner of 10 of his 13 starts, the colt overtook Mill Reef's 20-year record of six victories at the highest level and amassed £1,269,800 in prize-money. That is only the beginning of his potential earnings as, although his stud fee has not been announced, it is likely to be set at around £60,000 per covering, with a very minimum of 40 coverings per year.
* Polly Gundry, who rode the 3-1 joint-favourite How Ran On and Andrew Tinkler, on 20-1 chance Smart Guy, received 10-day bans for taking the wrong course at Fontwell Park yesterday in the amateur riders' chase. They were in first and second place, and clear of the field, when they veered on to the hurdles course after jumping four fences. Tullons Lane, who led the remaining runners, continued on the correct course to land the spoils at 25-1.