Shaun O’Donnell adopted different riding tactics to steer home a double for Gold Front Thoroughbreds sire Awesome Rock at Belmont on Wednesday.

He came from last on Banks Avenue in the Peninsula Dining Room Hcp (1200m) and then led from go to whoa aboard Zaza Rock in the TeleMed Vet Hcp (1650m).  The second-leg was an added bonus for O’Donnell – his wife Sarah is part of the Belhus Racing syndicate that owns the mare.

Banks Avenue (5g Awesome Rock – Ejay’s Girl by Bianconi) is trained by Gino Poletti for a syndicate managed by his wife Bethany.  He won a Northam maiden in July and had excuses when runner-up to Gold Keeper at Belmont a fortnight ago.

“He carried 60kg today but is a big, strong horse and it was a peach of a ride by Shaun,” Poletti said.  “He can be a larrikin at home just like his dam Ejay’s Girl and she also had a tremendous finishing sprint.”

Zaza Rock (4m Awesome Rock – Zadar Miss by Husson) graduated from a Pinjarra maiden earlier this month to win a Class 1 for trainer Trevor Andrews.

“All credit to the mare because she’s had a few setbacks,” Andrews said.  “She put a back leg through a fence and we nearly lost her.

“Her temperament was also a problem but she’s finally learning to be a racehorse.

“Shaun controlled the race.  He cantered and then quickened and I can see her getting over 2000m and further.”

Belhus Racing purchased Zaza Rock (Photo / Western Racepix) for $22,500 out of the Gold Front consignment at the 2021 Perth Magic Millions.  Zadar Miss has been covered by Awesome Rock in every one of her six seasons at stud.

Her 3yo is an unraced gelding with Simon Miller named Gun Lake and her 2yo filly was passed-in at this year’s Perth Magic Millions.

Awesome Rock is a Group 1 Flemington-winning son of Fastnet Rock and he went to another level as a sire last season with a 3yo division headed by Awesome John (G2 WATC Derby) and Red Sun Sensation (G3 SAJC Chairman’s Stakes).

He stands at Gold Front Thoroughbreds for a $9,900 fee alongside Leonardo Da Hinchi ($3,000).  Both fees (inc GST).

Gold Front owners Alan and Sue Olive also sent their homebred sprinter Acromantula across to Melbourne last month and he ran a brave third first-up the Steveos Scamper Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.

The Pearce Racing-trained 6yo gelding is by Champion Australia stallion Written Tycoon from For Your Eyes Only (Bletchley Park) who scored Listed victories in the Gimcrack Stakes, Ascot 1000 Guineas and Beaufine Stakes.

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