Coolmore Stud has decided to return international champion Rock of Gibraltar to Ireland, a year after he was sent to Shizunai Stallion Station under a lease agreement with the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association, according to the Racing Post.
The son of Danehill remains locked in quarantine with 42 other shuttle sires at the government-controlled Eastern Creek facility in Sydney, Australia, due to the outbreak of equine influenza.
However, it is understood that he and several others of the quarantined stallions could be released soon to begin serving mares in the exclusion zone, known as the ‘purple zone', agreed to this week by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
In any event, Rock of Gibraltar will complete his Australian tour at Coolmore before returning to Ireland.
Rock of Gibraltar, whose first foals are 3-year-olds, is represented by 15 stakes winners this year, including 2007 Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) runner-up Eagle Mountain. The 8-year-old stallion, who is out of the Be My Guest mare Offshore Boom, covered 147 mares in Japan this year.