Society Rock Seeks Rare Royal Ascot Double

Society Rock Seeks Rare Royal Ascot Double
Photo: AP Photo/Alastair Grant
Society Rock won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2011.

Society Rock will bid to become only the second horse in more than 50 years to win the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) twice when he takes on 17 opponents June 22, the final day of the 2013 Royal Ascot meeting.

Right Boy won back-to-back editions of the six-furlong race when it was known as the Cork and Orrery Stakes in 1958-59. No horse has won the race more than once since then. The Diamond Jubilee, also formerly known as the Golden Jubilee, is carded as the day's third event, with an approximate post time of 10:45 EDT.

A 6-year-old Rock of Gibraltar horse, Society Rock makes his fourth appearance in the race he captured in 2011 after finishing second to Starspangledbanner in 2010. He was slow to start in last year's edition before finishing a fast-closing fifth, two lengths behind unbeaten champion Black Caviar. He followed with a third in the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) at Newmarket and a win in the Betfred Sprint (Eng-I) in August at Haydock over Gordon Lord Byron, who rebounded to win the Qatar Prix de la Foret (Fr-I) at Longchamp.

Trained by James Fanshawe, Society Rock currently is the 10-3 favorite off his win in the six-furlong Duke of York Stakes (Eng-II) May 15 at York. He scored by a head over group II winner Lethal Force, with Gordon Lord Byron 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Lethal Force (12-1), a 4-year-old Dark Angel colt, re-opposes for trainer Clive Cox as does Gordon Lord Byron (11-2), a 5-year-old Byron gelding trained by Tom Hogan.

Australian runners have fared well in the Diamond Jubilee, with the win roster including Black Caviar, Starspangledbanner, and 2003 victor Choisir, while others from Oz have placed prominently. This year's race features group I winner Sea Siren (7-1), a 5-year-old Fastnet Rock mare recently acquired by Coolmore and partners. She comes in off a runner-up finish to Epaulette in the Doomben 10,000 (Aus-I) May 25 for trainer John O'Shea.

Havelock (20-1), a multiple graded stakes winner in North America for trainer Darrin Miller, won the Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a head this spring at Keeneland. The 6-year-old Great Notion gelding dropped his next start when fifth in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes (gr. IIIT) May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Other contenders include 2012 Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) winner Krypton Factor (Kyllachy) (20-1), who finished third in the 2013 Golden Shaheen in March in his most recent start; and Maarek (Pivotal) (20-1), winner of the 2012 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (Eng-II).
 

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