Awesome Rock’s rise up the stallion ranks went to another level on Saturday when Red Sun Sensation won the G3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) at Morphettville.
It was Awesome Rock’s second Group winner this month following Awesome John in the G2 WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot on Easter Saturday. Bookmakers reacted by firming Red Sun Sensation into a $7 second-favourite to make it two classic triumphs this season for the Gold Front Thoroughbreds stallion in the G1 South Australian Derby (2500m) on May 13.
The Chairman’s Stakes has been a reliable SA Derby guide with five horses completed the double since the turn of the century – Mummify (2003), Rebel Raider (2009), Howard Be Thy Name (2016), Leicester (2018) and Jungle Magnate (2022).
Red Sun Sensation (pictured) is a homebred for Gold Front owners Alan and Sue Olive and he came off strong on-pace sectionals to finish full of running for a narrow but decisive victory over Loco (So You Think) and Suizuro (Real Impact). The victory wasn’t without incident with stewards reporting; “Red Sun Sensation shifted in on jumping away and contacted Karaka Kiwi resulting in jockey Craig Williams becoming extremely unbalanced in the saddle.”
Nevertheless, Williams is keen to stay aboard the Peter Moody-trained stayer for the SA Derby. “He nearly threw me to the side so I was glad to stay on board. Peter assured me he had confidence in his stamina and ability after the way the way he worked this week.
“He dug deep and toughed it out late. And I still think he’s got a lot of natural progression to come out of this preparation.”
Red Sun Sensation had won a Geelong maiden (1400m) second time out last August and was a Listed runner-up to Mr Maestro (NZ) in the Super Impose Stakes (1800m) at Flemington in October.
His dam Society Gal (Faltaat) is an unraced sister to G1 HKJC Champions Mile winner Sight Winner. She has also foaled Chili Is Hot (Gingerbread Man) to win a LR Belmont Oaks (2000m) and her 2yo Rocking Society (Awesome Rock) was purchased by Jason Miller for $110,000 at the 2021 Perth Magic Millions.
Society Gal foaled another Awesome Rock colt last August and was bred back to him in October.
Awesome Rock (Fastnet Rock) won a G1 VRC Emirates Stakes (2000m) for the Olives before retiring to Gold Front. He was Champion WA second-season sire and Champion WA 3YO sire in 2021-22. He’s currently the leading WA third-season stallion ($1.76 million) from Rommel ($1.53 million).