07 June 2018 | Ken Casellas
Five-year-old Sheer Rocknroll has run her final race and has been retired to the stud, with eight-time premier trainer Ross Olivieri declaring that the Rocknroll Hanover mare was in the top ten mares he has prepared over the past 40 years.
And to mark Sheer Rocknroll’s retirement, her half-sister Veiled Secret scored a brilliant victory at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, beating last month’s WA Oaks winner Our Maja Mama at a 1.53.6 rate over 1684m, with a final 800m in 55.4sec.
Sheer Rocknroll, bred and owned by Bob Fowler, is out of Sheer Royalty, who earned $248,904 from nine wins and seven placings from just 33 starts. Her victories included the Group 1 State Sires Series for three-year-old fillies and the Group 1 WA Oaks in 2009.
Sheer Rocknroll, the first of Sheer Royalty’s progeny, raced 74 times for 22 wins, 14 placings and stakes of $303,715. She won six times as a two-year-old, including successes in the Western Crown Classic at Gloucester Park and the de Campo Memorial at Bunbury. She also finished third behind Sprinter and Dodolicious in the Golden Slipper. In May 2017 she won the Group 3 WASBA Breeders Stakes at Gloucester Park.
Olivieri, who has prepared 95 winners this season, said that Veiled Secret was developing into a good late three-year-old and showed all the signs of developing into a really nice four-year-old.
Among the best mares he has trained are Tebaldi, Gliding Princess, Ima Spicey Lombo, Lady Willoughby, Arctic Fire, Sensational Gabby and Miss Bo Scott.
Tebaldi won the New South Wales Oaks in 1982 (one of her nine wins from 12 starts at Harold Park), Gliding Princess won the NSW Oaks and Derby in 1983 and Ima Spicey Lombo was retired with a record of 57 starts for 24 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $483,686.
Lady Willoughby earned $167,293 from 16 wins and 14 placings from 53 starts and her four-year-old half-brother Lord Willoughby has been a model of consistency, with his 48 starts producing 12 wins, 15 seconds and seven thirds.
This season Lord Willoughby has raced 20 times for eight wins, eight seconds and four thirds and he has sound each-way prospects in the RH Trotter and Company Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will start from barrier three on the front line with Shannon Suvaljko in the sulky.
Lord Willoughby finished ninth in the WA Derby in April of last year. “He took a little time to come to hand as a three-year-old,” Olivieri said. “He had a break and has come back really good. He’s matured. He’s always had speed, and now he can carry the speed a lot better. He is a good racehorse and is very versatile. He’s an each-way chance in a very strong field on Friday night.”