16 March 2004
Oak Lodge Bloodstock
Cockney Rebel (foaled 2004) is an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, best known for winning both the 2000 Guineas Stakes and the Irish 2000 Guineas in the spring of 2007.
Cockney Rebel is a son of Val Royal, winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) at Belmont Park in New York in 2001. Val Royal's time, 1:32.0, established a new record for the Breeders' Cup Mile and still stands as the second fastest time in the history of the championship race. Val Royal was trained by multiple champion trainer Andre Fabre in France, where he won the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano (G2) and Prix de Guiche (G3), and by Julio Canani after being exported to California.
Val Royal's sire Royal Academy also won the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1), ridden to victory by Lester Piggott at Belmont Park in 1990. Trained by Dr Vincent O'Brien Royal Academy was a son of the outstanding racehorse and stallion Nijinsky II, also trained by O'Brien and voted European Horse Of The Year.
Cockney Rebel's dam Factice, was a winning daughter of European champion miler Known Fact. She raced just twice and as was sold as a broodmare for 240,000 guineas at the Tattersalls December Sales in 1993. Factice was a descendant of the broodmare Rare Exchange, a half-sister of the Belmont Stakes winner Jaipur.
2006: two-year-old season
As a juvenile Cockney Rebel won his maiden at Newmarket in uncomplicated fashion before stepping up in class to finish second in the Class 2 St Leger Yearling Stakes at York. His final start ended in a third place in Doncaster's Group 2 Champagne Stakes where he was beaten by the high class Vital Equine.
2007: three-year-old season
Cockney Rebel, ridden by Olivier Peslier, was a 25-1 chance for the 2000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket in 2007, but beat Vital Equine, his Champagne Stakes (G2) conqueror, by a length and a half. He proved that there was no fluke about the result when he followed up in the Irish 2,000 Guineas (G1) at The Curragh three weeks later, in similarly impressive style. He only the second horse in the previous 15 years (and the sixth in racing history) to win both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas Classics. The last horse to achieve the double Guineas feat was Rock of Gibraltar - who ran a slower time than Cockney Rebel in both races.
A very sharp miler, Cockney Rebel clocked the second fastest time (1:36.1) since modern timings began in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. He beat winners of nine Group One races, including the locally trained champion Duke Of Marmalade, in this classic. His time in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket was also excellent, as he stopped the clocks in 1:35.2, the best time in the historic classic since 1995. This time was over two seconds faster than the time superstar Frankel recorded in the same event in 2012.
Sadly, Cockney Rebel suffered a pelvic injury when beaten as the even money favourite in the St. James's Palace Stakes at Ascot and this proved to be his final race. He had been reported to be working well ahead of his planned reappearance but suffered a bizarre injury on the gallops when a piece of paper blew across the field and hit his near fore on the tendon. The news that it would take three months to heal prompted his connections to retire him.
He retired to stud at 2008 to The National Stud in Newmarket. In 2013 he moved to France and is standing now in Normandy at Haras de Saint Arnoult. The most successful of his progeny to date has been the hurdler Cockney Sparrow.