El Roca’s Son a Highflyer in Hong Kong

12 July

The career of El Roca continues on an upward spiral and the last-start performance of his gifted son Lucky Patch at Sha Tin has confirmed the Westbury Stud stallion now has a rising star in the Hong Kong sprinting ranks.

Bred and sold by the Karaka nursery, Lucky Patch has won five of his 13 starts and his latest effort on Sunday evening for trainer Francis Lui was his best yet, cutting out the 1200 metres of the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners’ Trophy in an electric 1.07.61s.

The four-year-old, who won by 2.25l, lowered the Class 1 record of 1.07.8s set in 2007 by the former Horse of the Year and Champion Sprinter Sacred Kingdom.

The quality of Lucky Patch’s performance is further emphasised when taking a look at the winning performance of Japanese speed merchant Danon Smash, who clocked 1.08.45s when he won the G1 International Sprint at Sha Tin in December.

That would strongly suggest Lucky Patch has all the qualities to succeed at the highest level when he returns next season.

Bred by Gerry Harvey, he was offered at the Magic Millions National Sale in 2018 and purchased for AU$40,000 by GPI Racing, Billy Healey Racing and Andrew Williams Bloodstock.

He won both of his Brisbane starts as Paleontologist from Healey’s stable before he was bought by clients of Lui.

Lucky Patch is out of the Danehill Dancer mare Gould, now owned by Greg and Barb Ingham of GPI Racing, who has a Redwood colt heading to the yearling sales in January and is back in foal to El Roca.

With just four runners to date in Hong Kong and Lucky Patch aside, El Roca has also produced Everyone’s Delight, the winner of three of his last four starts, and Moeraki, a winner and second yesterday to the unbeaten Blaze Warrior.

With just three crops of racing age, El Roca has made a glowing start to his stud career and the flow of winners has been constant in recent weeks.

From his first crop, he produced the top-flight winner Travelling Light, who claimed the Levin Classic against the colts at Trentham and has been Group 1 placed again this season, Group 1-placegetter Bella Mente, the Group-placed Moeraki, who finished second in Hong Kong yesterday and Group-placegetter Irish Girl.

Along with Lucky Patch … Everyone’s Delight, Summaroca, El Nymph, Esta La Roca, Mega Bourbon, Tina Again, Miss Cartier and recent stakes-placed juvenile Ima Roca Bee are all horses who look destined to go to higher grades.

El Roca’s yearlings sold up to $200,000 in January with David Ellis and Te Akau securing his top-priced lot, a colt from Anthology, as well as a filly from the Group 3 winner Underthemoonlight, while Cody Cole purchased the brother to Bella Mente for $110,000.

El Roca was a high-class Australian stakes winner who also finished runner-up in the G1 Randwick Guineas and is closely related to the Champion Sprinter, multiple Group 1 winner and two-winner Everest hero Redzel.

El Roca continues to attract strong breeder support in 2021 and at $8,000 +GST the son of Fastnet Rock represents exceptional value.


Pictured: Lucky Patch (sourced)