Coolmore's southern branch has announced its roster for the 2003 Australian breeding season starting in September.
As expected, Rock of Gibraltar is the significant freshman on the 15-strong line up to work from the Hunter Valley base at Jerrys Plains.
The coming of "the Rock" was telegraphed late last year as the natural replacement for his sire, Danehill, but the official announcemt comes in the week he was delared Timeform's Horse of the Year for 2002, with a rating of 133 pounds.
Rock of Gibraltar stretched a sequence of group I wins to seven at three last year before it was snapped by Domedriver in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
Danehill has not worked in the south since 2001 -- his 12th straight dual season -- and the 17 year-old is unlikely to return in the wake of his belated success in the Northern Hemisphere, and the fact Sadler's Wells is 22.
Johannesburg is the Hennessey son who as an unbeaten 2 year-old of 2001 scored group I wins in Ireland, France, and England, and took the Long John Silver Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Belmont. His career was closed out just two starts into his classic season.
Coomore has delayed the announcement of season prices until after the Australian Easter sale on April 22-24. Rock of Gibraltar is certain to head them at $100,000 plus
Fusaichi Pegasus returns for his third Australian season, his fee, $100,000, in the past two years. Hennessy and Honour and Glory, left off the Ashford contingent last year, again find themselves warming the benches.
The full roster, in alphabetical order is:
Danehill Dancer, Fasliyev, Fusaichi Pegasus, Galileo, Giant's Causeway, High Yield, Johannesburg, King of Kings, Mull of Kintyre, Orpen, Peintre Celebre, Rock of Gibraltar, Royal Academy, Spinning World, Thunder Gulch.